Radial Arm Saw not cutting well

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I got an older radial arm saw from my father-in-law. He hasn't used it much for some time. I tried cutting 2x4s with the blade he recommended. It jammed the blade. I've tried cutting 1/4" plywood, 1/2" molding, small pieces of wood, etc. It can not cut through a whole piece of wood without stalling or jamming.
He told me I had to cut it in small increments but it takes all day to get any thing done. I cut 1/4" depth at a time then lower the blade and do it again just to get it to work.
I noticed the rotation of the blade seems to be slow but if I let it sit a minute running it will start picking up speed and rotate much faster. I suspect something is wrong with the electric motor. I've aligned the blade several times so it is not the problem. Anyone know what is wrong or do they really work this way? Beginning to think I should have just bought a table saw. thanks.
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(RogWin54) wrote:

You said you checked the blade alignment... how about the sharpness of the blade? And, while we're at it... is the blade installed correctly?

Perhaps, but it could just as easily be the circuit that it's plugged into. What you describe is more or less normal behavior when trying to use a tool that needs a 20-amp circuit, on a 15-amp circuit.

Only if something's wrong. :-) Is it possible that the motor is wired (internally) for 240V and it's plugged into a 120V circuit?

Not even gonna think about starting *that* discussion, thank you very much. <grin>
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Wouldn't that simply cause the brasker to trip???
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A small overload takes a while to trip a breaker. In the meanwhile the lights get dim and motors slow. But most radial arm saws are only 10-13a, so it probably is not the problem; unless the circuit had other big loads on it.
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wrote:

Yes, but that's 10-13 amps _while_running_. A saw that pulls 16 or 18 amps at startup will behave _exactly_ as the OP described., right down to the inability to take heavy cuts without stalling.
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Doug Miller wrote:

Maintain your position at all costs, even if it makes you look stupid.
Have you ever owned or used a radial arm saw to any extent? Doesn't sound like it.
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Do you actually have a point to make, George, or are you capable of nothing more than ad hominem comments? I've had a RAS for more than 20 years, it sees regular use... and I know from experience that it behaves in a similar manner to that described by the OP, when plugged into a 15A circuit. What experience, if any, with radial arm saws do you have, that would suggest the contrary?
--
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Doug Miller wrote:

I've made my point several times. All of my experience with saws and electric motors suggest the contrary.
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No, actually, you haven't made any point at all, other than to contradict what I've said, without offering anything to back it up.

That experience evidently consists only of motors and saws that draw fairly little current. Are you unaware that motors draw more current during startup than they do while running?
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Doug Miller wrote:

Indeed you are right. For example, I have no experience with a 3 phase 25 hp electric motors. But then, the subject was a saw that draws very little current.
Are you aware, Doug, that I don't really care what you have further to say?
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And, apparently, no experience with even something as simple as a 115V single-phase motor that draws, say, twelve or thirteen amps.

In other words, you finally figured out I'm right.
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Doug Miller wrote:

Wrong again, I wasn't going to say it but you just can't stop your self, so here is what I figured out: you are an ass! Good-bye.
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There you go again, George: wrong but won't admit it. If something I said is not correct... point out the error. But you can't. All you can do is call names. How very mature of you.
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Not if the motor pulls, say, 18 amps for a few seconds on startup, and 13 while running. Breakers do not normally trip under a small overload that lasts only a short time.
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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I agree but I was under the impression that you thinking that the saw was pulling 20 amp all the time. I would think that with all the stalling, the motor would blow the breaker.
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Doug Miller wrote:

He's talking about a radial arm saw. Not much chance that the saw needs 20 A. It sounds exactly like something is wrong with the motor.
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I know perfectly well what he's talking about, and it's quite *likely* that the saw needs a circuit wired with 12-ga or heavier wire (which implies a 20A circuit) in order for the blade to spin up quickly. A radial arm saw plugged into a 15A circuit will behave *exactly* as the OP describes.
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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My guess it that the blade is dull. (or, (drumroll please...) on backwards) RAS are generally less powerful than TS, but even a feeble RAS should be able to cut a 2x4 easily enough. It is unlikely the motor would run at all if something were wrong with it.
Make sure you have the blade on right, and then buy a decent blade. You can always use it on your new TS.
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Gee, I dunno' about that. I thought the rake angle was set differently for the two types of saws.
-Zz
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It is on crosscut blades; -5 for RAS and 10 for TS. But I used 10 on my RAS for a while before I bought a -5 and it wasn't that big a deal. Likewise, a -5 would work on a TS, it just wouldn't cut as fast. Don't know about rip; but it seems like they ought to be the same.
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