Craftman 10" radial arm saw

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I am considering buying a Craftsman RAS for mostly dado work. Does anyone have any info thay can share about there experiences with the Craftsman?
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On Wed, 17 Nov 2004 20:01:02 -0800, Keith wrote:

New, used, year, model, your knowledge on RAS setup & tuning & usage, .....
Not nearly enough info to help you.
-Doug
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Strictly for Dado your Craftsman will probably work fine. Assuming you are purchasing a 10" RAS, buy a quality 8" dado, some will say use only a 6" dado, but on the RAS the 8" works as a flywheel to keep up the motor speed.
You might consider buying a DeWalt instead so that you can use your RAS for other operations too. The DeWalt alignment system is the best in the business and doesn't come out of alignment easily.
--
Rumpty

Radial Arm Saw Forum: http://forums.delphiforums.com/woodbutcher/start
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Stick with the 8" dado, the motor housing resticts the depth of cut too much. With a 6" dado you will be able to do very shallow cuts. i use a 8" dado in mine with no problem. IIRC I can cut about 1-1/4"+ in depth with a 8" dado in my Crapsman saw. a 6" would get that down to just 1/4"+ in depth. Good enough for 90% of the cuts, but deep dados will be out of the question. Greg
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On 17 Nov 2004 20:01:02 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@ummac.com (Keith) wrote:

IME, crosscutting dados with my Craftsman RAS is a bit tough because the blades really grab the wood and the carriage lurches forward. While there are RAS blades made to help avoid this when simply cutting, I do not know of a dado blade designed for the RAS.
This you may know, as it applies to RAS in general: If the wood does not sit flat on the TS when you cut a dado, the dado will be too shallow -- and you can cut it again in the same piece of wood. Of course on the RAS if the wood is not flat the dado is cut too deep. For example, if you are ripping a dado on a long piece with the RAS and the wood is not supported well, it can arch upwards along the way and you cut too deep. For that matter, even crosscutting in a long piece can cause problems, but they are a bit easier to catch before you cut. So, you have to be plan accordingly to ensure that the wood is flat to the table.
All that being said, it can be much easier to cross-cut a bunch of dados in 8' long pieces using an RAS than a TS. HTH. -- Igor
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are RAS blades made to help avoid this when simply cutting, I do not know of a dado blade designed for the RAS.
Forrest make a great dado blade that works well on the RAS.

The roller head bearings might be too loose and require adjustment. You need to hold onto the motor with some positive control.
--
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On Thu, 18 Nov 2004 08:24:30 -0500, Rumpty wrote:

Correst, and if the saw is adjusted properly, there will be some smooth resistance to the motor moving on the arm.
In addition, if the OP is considering a new Craftsman RAS, it has a motorized cable attached to the motor that controls the feed rate and prevents the "lurching".
-Doug
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The standard Forrest dado blade or one for RASs?

I'll check. In any event, there is still a "tendency" to lurch inherent in the way any blade works - though it is good to know that there is a way to ameliorate it.
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I have a Vermont American dado blade set that I use in my Craftsman RAS; it will try to self-propel if you don't keep control, but it isn't too hard to control, at least on things like plywood. A hardwood, like oak, might be more trouble, but I usually use a router on such.
One complaint about the RAS is that the table isn't quite level. I would like a dado to be the same depth at each end, another reason to use a router.
Steve
(Keith) wrote:

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router.
All tables can be adjusted so they are flat. Buy the Eakes book that shows alignment for the Craftsman, Delta and DeWalt RAS's. Better yet, replace the table with a 2 ply steel reinforced table like the Mr. Sawdust style table. See http://www.mrsawdust.com
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Sorry, I am looking at a Brand New Craftsman RAS. There only seems to be one model on the Sears website. I also looked at the Delta 10" RAS, but it received some bad reviews and the design makes it tougher to use. The height adjustment is at the back of the saw instead of being in the front. I would need to have this saw backed up to a wall in my shop setup and changing height settings would be a pain. I currently have a Jet table saw. I do a lot of furniture and bookcase type work. I find it takes so much time to switch from the regular setup to the dado and back. I also found similar problems with my router table that is mounted to my table saw. I feel like I'm forever switching setups. I would like to have one of the Delta 12" RAS's but I can't justify the cost.
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If that's all you are going to use it for, get a used one, there's plenty of them out there. I have one from the 70's and have used it for dado work in the past and its worked fine, but since they fall out of alignment fairly easily, I have to re-square and realign it each time. If you can find an old Dewalt from the 50's in good shape(prior to the AMF acquisition) those are really sweet machines.
Mutt
snipped-for-privacy@ummac.com (Keith) wrote in message

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snipped-for-privacy@ummac.com (Keith) wrote in message

There are far too make makes, models and years of Craftsman RAS's to be able to answer that question. Are we talking a new machine ? If so, what model - although that is immaterial to me as I wouldn't buy a new Craftsman RAS - too many used ones on the market for small dollars. If used, what year, make & model? In general, in my opinion, you can buy or make a really nice router setup that will make far better dados than a RAS. If set on a RAS, an older Delta (I believe) would be better than the best Craftsman. If stuck on Craftsman, don't consider anything from the 1980's - the 1960's are probably the best of the group from what I have read. If you want a 1980's Craftsman RAS and you are anywhere near Pittsburgh, PA, I can make you a nice deal on mine after I blow off the dust.
Dave Hall
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Hi Keith,
I bought a Craftsman RAS about 7-8 years ago. I also liked the idea of being able to make a mark where you want a dado, then actually seeing the blade line up with the mark - or run a narrow dado & creep up to the width you need.
I also considered some other brands, but they were too much $ for me at the time. Also, I got a great deal around the holidays by combining sales & coupons - I think it was around $450 or so. I added their dust collection (big gulp like) set-up and this grabs 95% of the sawdust.
When I assembled it, I was sort of surprised with how thick the instruction book was - these saws have a lot of adjustments. It is the only tool I have where I keep this book hanging next to the saw for reference. Typically, I have to tweak it every 6 months or so.
I recently got a Freud 508 dado (8 inch) as an upgrade from an adjustable dado that I used for years. I had/have no trouble using either in the saw.
In summary, I think it is a pretty decent machine and worth having in the shop.
Lou

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For the use you describe it would be fine. The best thing about the Craftsman RAS is there are thousands of them on the used market. Barely a week goes by, in our area, that one doesn't show up in the classifieds. Occasionally you can pick one up, with a load of accessories, for $150 - $200.

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True. Usual caveat: Check to see if it has been recalled. If so, the good news is you get not only a new blade guard system but also a new table top - free.
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Sunday at pretty good prices. (A lot more of them than table saws, BTW)
However be aware that there was a recall of some Craftsman RAS over a safety issue. I'd do a Google search for more information before I went shopping.
--RC Sleep? Isn't that a totally inadequate substitute for caffine?
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So why have RAS's fallen so much out of favor? For cross cutting wood, it seems so much easier to use than a table saw and I have the added bonus of being able to put a sanding drum in the chuck on the back side. It just seems so much easier to move the blade instead of some 10 ft long piece of wood.

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On Fri, 19 Nov 2004 15:22:43 +0000, Curtis wrote:

1) introduction of the CMS and SCMS and the portability issues. 2) most RAS's put into operation without proper setup and tuning leading to all the inaccuracy and repeatability claims. 3) danger hysteria propoganda of the "radio alarm saw" usually spread by those who have never owned one or if they have fall in category 2.
-Doug
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There are more concerns. Ripping hardwood on the RAS is about the scariest thing I do and I avoid it when I can. I also made an auxilliary fence for mine. It clamps on the regular fence at right angles so I can rip by moving the blade on pieces up to about 30" long (by flipping the piece and cutting from each end). It sets up pretty quickly, but I have to square it every time - keep a carpenters square nearby.
An advantage of the RAS is space. I don't have room for a table saw that sits in the middle of the floor and needs room for infeed and outfeed. My RAS sits quietly along the wall and leaves room for the car.
Steve

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