Alternative to $3,000.00 radial arm saw

Every time I get into a project where I have to crosscut wide pieces of plywood I end up going to my friend's millshop and using their Italian 3-phase radial arm saw that will make a 24 inch cut. I do it because I can't think of anything more expedient for speed and accuracy, but I get tired of mooching after 24 years. I was just wondering about other methods to acheive the same results for less of an investment that I could set up in my own meager little shop. Any ideas, anybody?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Get a Table Saw.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
http://www.exaktortools.com/pages/slidingtable.htm

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

saw that makes this whole process easier.
The most expensive and best version of this I have seen is the Festool circular saw. It seems to me that the guide rail is built into the original design. It is not an add on. I saw it used once and it was outstanding. Forgot what it cost but it was VERY expensive. But it did a wonderful job with pinpoint accuracy.
There was talk at the time of them adding plunge capability to this setup. Don't know what the latest features are. Festool has an excellent reputatiom among folks who actually USE tools to make a living. Most of us hobby folks would look at these heavanly tools enviosly as a very expensive toy.<drool>
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
After 24 years - you're just now trying to find another way....why? I'd say buy the man a new blade for his saw, a case of beer and continue the tradition....
Bob S.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Yeah, you're right, Bob S. I took the plywood over there and had an entire kitchen of cabinet doors cut out in about half an hour. What I do usually is buy the material there and they let me work it, and whatever I can throw them I do, like somebody was giving away a 3 phase plasma cutter cause they didn't have 3 phase for it, so I donated it to the shop. Great bunch of guys
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
How about a panel saw! Ted
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (BUB 209) wrote in message

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

wide is easily and safely done with the rip fence.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Thank you Leon. From your posts here it does seem you know something about WW. "A cross cut ... with the rip fence." Just this AM I was thinking about what the difference is. The best I could come up with is the orientation to the grain. And maybe the shape of the piece of wood. So, w/ plywood there is no difference -- except for the method used to run the wood through, with the fence or a sled/miter gauge. Am I right about this?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Kind of right. Plywood typically has an odd number of plies. Generally the larger number are oriented the long direction of the sheet and are visible. Thus it is not uncommon to hear people talking about ripping plywood (cutting parallel to the face grain) or doing a crosscut (perpendicular to the face grain). In reality you are ripping some plies and cross cutting some no matter what you do.
-Jack
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yes Igor, cross cutting is generally accepted as cutting across the grain. But, with plywood, IMHO a cross cut would be using a fence to cut a piece that is wider than it is long regardless of grain orientation. With that in mind though cross cutting with the fence is inherently more risky than using a sled or miter gauge. Unfortunately pieces can be to large for a sled or a miter gauge to cut safely also. Bigger wider pieces being guided by the fence will tend to be a safer cut. As long as the edge of the board that is being guided by the rip fence is long enough that you can easily keep it flush against the fence, there should be no worry about kickback. With a push stick and a helper for the long panels this is a safe operation. I build lots and lots of cabinet doors and generally do not pay a whole lot of attention to the rails and styles being in perfectly alignment on the ends as long as the door is square. When the glue has set, I use the rip fence to guide and put a clean edge along the tops and bottoms of the doors. Essentially I am cross cutting the ends of the doors and using the fence as the guide.
Now, this is not to indicate that all cross cuts with the rip fence are safe. Certainly a short width panel or board should always be cut with a sled or miter gauge and away from the rip fence. In those instances, the piece between the blade can VERY easily rack and come flying back at you.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Build the sled. Easiest, cheapest and works perfectly.
wrote in message

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Panel saw. Many on the market are just kits designed to add you Circular saw. Rockler sells 2 and I have seen even more. However expect to pay 1,000 - 3,000 US.
--
Young Carpenter

"Save a Tree, Build Furniture"
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Absolutely! BUT there are cheaper panel saws. Try this one for starters:
http://www.rockler.com/ecom7/favorites.cfm?skuS11
or just do a Google search for Panel Saw, which is where it showed up, along with the prebuilt commercial ones and this one:
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
Lots of ways to get the job done without having the $3K invested. Nahmie
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.