Circular saw recommendations?

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True enough, but it's also true that the primary purpose of a RAS is crosscuts, not ripping. I haven't ripped even one board on my RAS since I bought my first TS.

I can easily understand preferring to never use one for rip cuts if a TS is available. Never using one for crosscuts is a bit harder for me to understand: that's what it was designed to do.
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On 8/8/2011 6:52 AM, Doug Miller wrote:

I believe that with access to a TS that cross cutting becoming the primary function of a RAS certainly is a true statement. When I bought my TS however I stopped ripping AND cross cutting with my RAS. ;~) Two years later I gained a log of room after never using and selling the RAS and never looked back although I did add add a 12" CMS about 10 years later. And true to form when I upgraded my TS to a cabinet saw 12 years ago the CMS became a dust collector which I only use on the occasional job site. It still sets at the old house that we sold to our son in October.

The key elements that I added to my cabinet saw immediately were a left and right Dubby jig, "infinite angle, 90-45 degree, cutting sleds". If you ever want to be able to accurately cut repeated length miters on panels or boards on your TS you might want to keep them in mind, especially if you want to make more room by eliminating a RAS. ;~) It is a hard decision to make, getting rid of a large piece of equipment, but if you find yourself only using the RAS for the occasional cross cut....
Not trying in any to away you from using your RAS, just letting you know that there are alternative ways to repeatedly do very accurate multi angle and compound angle cross cuts on a TS.
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@swbelldotnet says...

Oh, great, another tool to buy. Thanks Leon. Now to scrape up a spare three hundred bucks . . .

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On Sun, 07 Aug 2011 19:51:46 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@example.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

I *did* have a board (cedar, in fact) bind and "kick back" (actually propelled the carriage toward me). It eventually grabbed hold of the saw blade and stopped it dead. Then I changed my pants.

Not on a crosscut!

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On 8/7/2011 7:58 PM, snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:

...
...
Horse pucky!
How can it be anything else unless one is standing behind the saw instead at the operator location? The blade is rotating away and the arm, motor and blade guard (as well as the kickback pawls--you _are_ using and have them set properly aren't you--I knew you were) prevent an material from possibly going up and over and thereby towards the operator.
If anything, the carriage may try to accelerate, but holding a firm hold on it is sufficient.
I've used the RAS for 30 years+ and never had even a hint of such a thing as kickback of material, riding over a board or the other examples cited.
I can only infer that most of these are very lightweight, small machines that aren't rigid enough to prevent such things. Those might, indeed, as Robotoy says, be worthy candidates for abolishing and since they have little if any more capacity crosscut wise than the sliding miter saw if that's all one is doing with one then may as well use them instead since they now exist (as another said, that's a fairly recent development).
IMO a RAS should be nothing less than the 12" DeWalt/Rockwellήlta/Original Saw or similar; the little 10" things from Sears are just too lightly built. I've the 16" Rockwell-Delta and it's used extensively; primarily for roughing out large stock to length but it rips much more conveniently than the TS as well for sizable pieces; it's not as handy for taking a smidge off the edge.
But, they belong built into a long table so there's support both infeed and outfeed and as such w/ a well constructed table they are both effective and efficient as well as safe to operate.
In my early days, like Leon, it and a jointer were the only power tools I had and it did everything from the rough outs to shaping and even thickness planing w/ the rotary head attachment...also have a chain mortiser attachment that works the cat's meow for larger end mortises and particularly angles. A drill arbor on the rear shaft and it's great for center drilling posts, etc, as well.
--
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On 8/7/2011 7:39 PM, dpb wrote:

Agree with most of that, however:
My first RAS which lasted for 32 years was a 10" Monkey Ward universal motor type. It was great, held alignment and did have the "climb" issue until I figured how to set the rail bearings correctly (along with all other adjustments)and started using the proper crosscut technique. It did one rip kickback early on when I tried to cut a narrow piece of 1/4" ply which came back like an arrow and peeled about half my thumb nail off - healed up nicely without any after effects. It had a high speed spindle which was great for overhead routing. I used it for rotary surface planing, horizontal boring, disc and drum sanding and had a variable speed router control that helped with some operations. It's big drawback was the universal motor which probably accounts for the current state of my hearing. Finally, the smoke all leaked out of it - probably as a result of my incorrect replacement of brushes.
My current RAS is also a 10", but a Searz model. It is much quieter as it doesn't have a universal motor. Contrary to Robo's critique of the "control cut" feature, I have never had any incident as a result of it's use. It's main problem is the "safety guard" with all the hangy down things that make blade changing, deep cuts and miter adjustments a real pain in the tookas. I'm considering removing those as the old RAS worked fine without them.
The point about constant adjustments isn't a problem if the saw is set up correctly and proper techniques are used - in other words not having the motor climb or bind.
I use the table saw for what it does best and the RAS for what it does best. I don't shake or tremble at the thought of eithers use, just make sure all setup and technique is done with care.
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"Doug Winterburn" wrote
The point about constant adjustments isn't a problem if the saw is set up correctly and proper techniques are used - in other words not having the motor climb or bind.
I use the table saw for what it does best and the RAS for what it does best. I don't shake or tremble at the thought of eithers use, just make sure all setup and technique is done with care. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Amen to all that. I add that I will not rip on a RAS. Not with a table saw, even a contractor saw or a panel guide saw sitting around.
-- Jim in NC
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On 8/7/2011 11:11 PM, Morgans wrote: ...

...
Leaving a good tool to go to waste, then... :)
--
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Simple. When a crosscut kicks the wood is *not* thrown back, away from the operator, rather the carriage is propelled *towards* the operator.

Kickback pawls on a crosscut?

If you're lucky and nothing else goes wrong.

That often happens after a kickback.

But they are. ...and they are what we were discussing.
<...>
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Yes, that *can* happen, if the operator isn't feeding the carriage properly.
But so what? Even if it does, you can't be hurt unless you've done something blindingly stupid like operating the saw without the blade guard, or putting your other hand in line with the cut.
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On Mon, 08 Aug 2011 12:01:05 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@example.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

If no mistakes are ever made, *all* tools are safe.

See above.
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On 8/7/2011 11:20 PM, snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz wrote: ...

I'm older than I think...it's actually been 40+ years and _never_ had any of this "anything else" to go wrong yet. I really don't know what there is _to_ go wrong.

Exceptin' it just isn't an issue...
--
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Sure got me to clean out my pants!
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On 8/8/2011 6:15 PM, snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz wrote: ...

Prolly needed it anyway... :)
The RAS I have is powerful enough to just keep on trucking--I've never been able to feed it anything that even gives it a moment's pause. That includes large old oak and SYP timbers from antebellum houses or other reclaimed industrial buildings and so on that is some hard stuff...
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After, sure. ;-)

I've never had problems with hardwoods, only soft. As I said in another post, I was making fence pickets out of rough sawn (white/green?) cedar 1x. It still surprises me that it took off like that. I had a couple of kicks ripping on the thing, too, but those weren't nearly as exciting.
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On 8/8/2011 8:03 PM, snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz wrote: ...

Indeed, the softer the material, the more likely for the blade to want to accelerate.
Learning that and the touch to know how much to hold against is an acquired skill.
It's a case where an under-powered saw is worse than a big 'un, too...mine will just zip right on thru w/ a rough cut at that speed but it won't bog down; the smaller ones are the ones that can choke if let them get ahead of themselves.
I still say it isn't particularly dangerous--a little of a surprise, sure, and a screwed up workpiece maybe, but unless the saw is a _real_ POS, it'll just wedge and generally stall and pop a breaker.
The access problem is why I don't rip narrow stock on the RAS unless it is too long for my TS setup I may make a rare exception, but w/ large enough pieces that have easy enough clearance to push it thru, I much prefer ripping because I've got the long in/ and outfeed tables specifically to handle the material w/o ever having to do anything but slide it along the fence.
You _are_, I presume, feeding against the rotation and not trying to do an the equivalent of a climb-cutting operation w/ a router???? Trying that _WILL_ get you, indeed... :(
--
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On 8/8/2011 8:46 PM, dpb wrote: ...
[in connection w/ ripping on RAS]

One last comment re: your experience w/ overfeeding...
NB that the reason for the tendency of the RAS to do so (and probably the prime reason for the naysayers is a failure to fully comprehend the nature of the beast in operation and allow for it) is that in normal crosscutting of starting w/ the head behind the fence and the material in front for a cross cut, one _is_, in fact, climb cutting. That means the blade will want to pull the material in but since the fence restrains it, the head instead tends to want to accelerate towards you so one must have some restraining force to prevent it from overfeeding beyond the capacity of the particular saw.
Again, it's just the nature of the beast but it isn't terribly unsafe; just disconcerting since the path of the blade and the material are constrained. Just like one shouldn't feed a rip cut on a TS w/ the hand in front of the blade or put the fingers on the miter box near the location of the cut, one shouldn't have one's off hand in the way of where the RAS blade travels on the carriage.
In fact, since moving the carriage on the RAS requires one hand on it and therefore off the table, one could make the case that the risk of losing a digit is reduced by at least half in comparison to the TS since there are only half the number of candidates even potentially in harm's way. :)
--
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Apparently you didn't have it clamped to the table.

Yes, on a crosscut -- the wood's going to go the same direction the teeth are moving, and that is indeed away from the operator.
Perhaps you meant to say "not on a rip cut"?

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On Mon, 08 Aug 2011 11:55:58 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@example.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

GMAFB! The wood didn't move 1/16" THE CARRIAGE JUMPED!

Good grief. The wood is tight against the fence.

No. I didn't.

Which is why I still have all my fingers.
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On Sunday, August 7, 2011 3:51:46 PM UTC-4, Doug Miller wrote:

I've seen radial arm saws that weren't aligned correctly, and that had missing guards. They ARE dangerous. It's all correctible, and I've corrected one or two.
Table saws, likewise.
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