Craftsman RAS recall comments

I realize the recall is old news, but for anybody who hasn't heard about it the info is at <http://www.radialarmsawrecall.com/ . Just had some comments about it. I wasn't aware of it until I read about it here--thanks Lance and Jim.
When I ordered it the web site kept giving me errors so I wasn't sure that it had taken the order. Decided to try again with a different browser sometime but never got around to it. Was surprised today to open the front door and there was this big box.
What comes in the box is a new table, new table mounting rails, new table clamps, the guard, a new carriage handle, and instructions. There is no new fence.
Of course I put a new table on the thing a couple of months ago, so the one from the recall is I suspect going to end up either gathering dust for a decade or be turned into project parts.
The mounting rails are identical to the old ones except that they have a square cutout in the back for mounting the table clamps.
The new rear table is about a quarter inch wider than the old one. The spacer board is more than twice as wide as the old one, while the front table is narrower in proportion. All are 1" MDF.
The new guard seems to have been optimized for ripping. It has to be manually lifted (squeeze the new handle and it lifts) to clear the fence and the work during crosscutting. During rip the guard is lifted by the work.
The old round splitter that one had to diddle around with to get located so it went into the cut has been replaced by an honest to God riving knife. An adjustable front hold-down has also been added. These two changes address the biggest gripe I've had about the saw and are worthwhile improvements in efficiency IMO regardless of any safety issues.
The new guard is retained in the same manner as the old one, however the clamping screw is in a different location and a key has been added to keep the new guard from rotating about the shaft axis--the key has no effect on the old one. The old guard still fits fine for those circumstances where it might be a better choice--I suspect that I may end up using the old one for crosscut and the new one for rip. Haven't got enough experience with the new one to decide.
Hope this is helpful to somebody.
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--John
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J. Clarke wrote:

Thanks for the info. I wasn't aware of the recall either. I just ordered the parts at that site. I got no errors and was given an order number upon completion.

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Bill


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You're welcome. I just wish my saw qualified for the free upgrade instead of the $100 buy-back program.
Lance
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Bill Schnakenberg wrote:

Update: My kit was delivered yesterday.

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<<I realize the recall is old news, but for anybody who hasn't heard about it the info is at <http://www.radialarmsawrecall.com/ . Just had some comments about it. I wasn't aware of it until I read about it here--thanks Lance and Jim.>>
Add me to the list of people who found out about it here. I bought my RAS for $75 from a guy who must have been sure he was ripping me off. The table that was on it was made from two thicknesses of 3/4 particleboard with a fence that appeared to be fashioned from an old inch-wide bed (the kind you sleep in) rail and was mounted BEHIND the blade assembly. Between that and the dullness of the blade, I can't imagine how he could even have attempted to cut anything with it. So I knew I would have to buy a new table, fence and spacers for it. I was all set to pay Sears for new stuff when I read about the recall. Rather than ordering it on-line, I used the toll-free number on the website and the lady I spoke to kindly informed me that a new table was included. It all arrived in less than a week. One caveat: except for the two new table clamps the kit does not include any mounting hardware. You must reuse the hardware that came with the original table. In my case, that stuff was long gone and some of the required pieces are not exactly standard hardware store items. (Even the Sears Hardware store didn't have them.) It took some searching and a bit of careful substitution to get everything snugged up and properly adjustable.
Lee
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On Thu, 10 Jun 2004 12:38:21 -0400, "Lee Gordon"

Don't dismiss the guy as ignorant over that. On my Sears RAS (and I'm sure it's probably true across the spectrum), the fence is mounted in the rearmost position to maximize the width of a rip when the motor is turned to the "outrip" position.
That was probably the last cut made on the saw. The motor was probably returned to the crosscut position for appearance or mobility.
- - LRod
Master Woodbutcher and seasoned termite
Shamelessly whoring my website since 1999
http://www.woodbutcher.net
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LRod ...
<<Don't dismiss the guy as ignorant over that. On my Sears RAS (and I'm sure it's probably true across the spectrum), the fence is mounted in the rearmost position to maximize the width of a rip when the motor is turned to the "outrip" position.
That was probably the last cut made on the saw. The motor was probably returned to the crosscut position for appearance or mobility.>>
That would be a possibility, but considering the amount of fiddling required to get the motor assembly to swivel at all, I doubt that he was using it in that way (if at all). And it took even more heavy-duty manipulation to get the arm to move from side to side.
Lee
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Lee Gordon wrote:

What kind of "fiddling" was required? Did you have to disassemble it and clean the mechanism or something?

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<<What kind of "fiddling" was required? Did you have to disassemble it and clean the mechanism or something?>>
For the blade assembly it just required a bit of lubrication and some strong-arming to get the head to swivel. The effort involved made me believe the previous owner had not rotated the blade in quite some time, if ever. To get the arm to swing required some input from some of the kind folks here in the NG as well as obtaining a manual, which the guy I bought it from did not have. There are four bolts holding the head assembly on the pillar. When I got the saw, all four were snugged down as tight as possible. Once I backed off the lower two, ever so slightly, the arm was able to move freely.
Lee
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Lee Gordon wrote:

Sound like he decided to lock it up in one position, or else just didn't know how to adjust it. I'd be inclined to agree with your view that he probably hadn't moved it to the rip position in a while.

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it
here--thanks
Got it a long time ago. I consider putting the old parts back on every time I use it. A 2x will not sit against the fence: with the saw back the blade hits. The cutting stroke is not great enough to cut a 4x8 sheet even with flipping, not that there's enough table left in front of the fence for it to balance on. The scales on the radial arm are no longer useful, they could have at least made it a "whole inches" difference.
I actually got to "upgrade" kits out of it, the first one they sent me was for the wrong saw. All the paper work was right, except for the part where it said they sent me the right one. Don't think I didn't spend some time trying to make that first kit fit either.
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