pushing or pulling a RAS?

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I am using my new RAS for real work for the first time today? I am cutting lap joints with a dado set.
The instructions say to always pull the saw through the work, never push it. But I can see the work much better if I push it; pulling it puts the blade in the way when I position the material.
I have tried it both ways and it seems pretty much action either way. What is the big deal about pulling rather than pushing?
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Toller wrote:

You _will_ pull the material up off of the table someday if you push through. By pulling through, the blade rotation forces the material dwon at the intersecting point of the table and fence. Optimum.
My problem with a dado on a RAS is that the saw wants to climb over the top of the material and I'm constantly fighting that. I'm still convinced that there's nothing faster for cross dados and half lap joints.
Tom in KY, Be careful Toll one :-)
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Hardwood store I frequent owner had board "kick" as he was pushing his RAS. Kicked his leg a few times and changed his shorts then walked away from it. I never tried pushing the blade when I had one.
On 2 Jan 2006 10:07:23 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@bellsouth.net wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@bellsouth.net (in snipped-for-privacy@g44g2000cwa.googlegroups.com) said:
| Toller wrote: || I am using my new RAS for real work for the first time today? || I am cutting lap joints with a dado set. || || The instructions say to always pull the saw through the work, || never push it. But I can see the work much better if I push it; || pulling it puts the blade in the way when I position the material. || || I have tried it both ways and it seems pretty much action either || way. What is the big deal about pulling rather than pushing? | | You _will_ pull the material up off of the table someday if you push | through. By pulling through, the blade rotation forces the material | dwon at the intersecting point of the table and fence. Optimum.
Y'know, I've been worrying over this since I bought my RAS back in '72. In thirty+ years of cutting, I've only once had the blade climb up on top of a workpiece. That was early in the relationship and it scared hell out of me. Since then I've mostly cut by pushing the blade through the work - and I've /never/ had a workpiece even try to jump the fence.
I will admit that whenever I felt nervous going into a cut, I rigged a hold-down to help constrain the workpiece from going anywhere; but, as best I could tell, it was never really needed. | | My problem with a dado on a RAS is that the saw wants to climb over | the top of the material and I'm constantly fighting that. I'm still | convinced that there's nothing faster for cross dados and half lap | joints.
I look at the dado on my RAS about the same way I suspect I'd look at teeth in a shark. I've discovered that I can go fast enough (and with greater accuracy) using a router and a guide jig.
BTW, Leon has designed an elegantly simple router dado jig - and I've put his photos on a web page you can reach through the link below...
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/interest.html
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Morris Dovey wrote:

(me) You, obviously to me, probably, have a heavier, better built saw than I. Mine was bought in the early 90's.
(Morris)

(me) Yep, a hold down clamp is hardly ever noticed, if it's doing it's job.
(me again, for clarity's sake!)

Well, not exactly fighting it. Just bracing myself to stop it if it does climb up. It's amazing how paranoid a screaming RAS will make you after seeing it coming atcha' once or twice.

Yep.
(back to Morris now)

(me and my grand finale.) Leon's jig looks pretty good to me. Morris, there must be more than one way to do just about anything. While I won't personally EVER recomend pushing a RAS, that doesn't mean that I don't think it can be done. The hold down clamp is a good deal. I clamp material to the table whenever I feel uncomfortable with a cut. We should all be as careful in our shops as possible. I am a loner in my shop more often than not. A man can bleed to death pretty quickly from a saw cut. Luckily, my worst power-tool injury was from a jig-saw (not too much blood). I hate the trigger-lock feature on a jig saw. That saw is like a wild cat jumping all over the place when you pop out of a cut! If I'd keep my work areas picked up better,,heh-heh, I wouldn't trip on 2x4 cut-offs and such, and would have had much better control of the situation that day. :-)
Tom in KY, Have a safe day guys.
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What you (and others) say about pulling the material up when pushing makes sense; but what is this about climbing? I can see that the blade pushs the material down, and if it does that it must be pushing the saw up, but can it really do that? Isn't the saw sufficiently solid to prevent any movement, or are you talking about something else.
I did find that pulling the saw makes it want to shoot out and it takes a bit to control that. Is that what you are referring to? It is almost enough to make me use the motorized controller that is on the saw! It only allows the motor to come back gradually as the motor releases it. It seems like a nuisance, but if injury is a possible consequence of ignoring it...
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Toller wrote:

Yep, climbing, shooting out, chasing your a$$ back to the house, All the same thing.
Motorized feed? What has happened since I've been to Sears?
Tom in KY, maybe I need to get out more.
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You attach a cable from the saw to the top of the post. There is a motor that unwinds when you squeeze the handle at a variable rate. It stops when you let go and won't move back. A spring pulls the saw back to the post. So, no matter what happens, the saw can't shoot back because it is restrained by the motor.
I tried it and didn't care for it, but after cutting the dados I can see there is legitimate need for it.

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Cool. Yeah, keep that. I would.
Yep.
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I think a lot of the climbing problem has been reduced with the blades specific to RAS, i.e. the tooth angle. I use to get a significant amount of climbing until I realized I had a table saw blade in a RAS.......now I rarely encounter climb but then I still treat the saw as if it will climb....
Gary
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That is a good point, I am using a TS blade. I have a negative hook blade in my CMS and it does make a big difference. I will have to look into that.
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Toller wrote:

Well use it some more and you will see what climbing is, especially if you have a dull saw or the saw is somewhat underpowered like mine. Mine will will climb up on the board and stall.
Back to your original problem. What you need is a new fence. Simple since they are just a board clamped in the table. Put the board in pull the saw forward and cut through it. Put the board where you want to cut where the fence cut is. That is where it cuts. Eventually the cut in the fence widens, so just make another fence.
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Toller wrote:

RAS = Radial Arm Saw
When you pull the saw through the work the teeth are cutting from the top down and this both helps hold the workpiece down to the table and forces it toward the fence.
If you push the saw through the work you would have to pull it forward, position the board, and then push back. This means you are cutting with the back of the blade and the force on the work is up.
On my saw there is an adjustable brake that prevents the saw moving forward faster than the set speed.
I do not understand your comment at all on work visibility. On mine at the start position the saw and blade are at the rear behind the fence with the work between you and the blade.
Pull the blade forward a little bit and you can clearly see the teeth and do any fine adjustment for the cut. If you try a push cut the blade and motor assembly are between you and the work.
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Toller wrote:

If the blade is in the way you don't have the table set up properly...the blade should be completely behind the fence when at rest.
About "climbing" (later in the thread)...if, when you pull, the blade want to agressively self-feed (climb) you need a blade with less hook.
-- dadiOH ____________________________
dadiOH's dandies v3.06... ...a help file of info about MP3s, recording from LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that. Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico
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What he said. I put a 5 degree negative hook blade on my RAS, and it made a huge difference. I still really watch it when I put the Freud dado set on it.
Regards, Roy
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A thread to potentially start a war with no winning side, akin to Gullivers Travel "little end vs big end" war over which end of a boiled egg should be broken first.
In my opinion the "pull" method is recommended by the manufacturers so that the carriage can be stored behind the fence to minimize the possibility of injury once a piece has been cut. This method also means the carriage will be behind the fence when the motor is started, again reducing the potential for fingers to be in the way when turning on the RAS. In the US this may save the manufacturers a lot of legal battles. I was a recipient of a class action suit which resulted in Emerson having to give away a replacement blade guard. I expect this was due to some person removing pieces of fingers or hand due to the 80's design having an open blade.
I have been using my RAS since the early 80's. I quickly realised that if I parked the carriage behind the fence, I lost a lot of cross cut capacity, so I changed to the "push" method. I do pay attention to the position of my left hand whenever I turn on the RAS with my right hand.
It is interesting that a Sliding Compound Mitre Saw is typically used in "push" mode, but so many people feel that an RAS must be used in "pull" mode.
I would use whatever feels most appropriate for you.
Dave Paine.

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The best way to use a dado set with a RAS is set the RAS in the corner and get a table saw, put the dado blade on it.
Walt Conner
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Pushing will give you more tear out on the top of the board.
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Pushing a dado on a RAS will also pick up the board and launch it somewhere you don't want it to go.
Always pull a RAS.
Rumpty

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Yeah, I saw that most every one had already covered that.
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