Radial arm saw versus 12" compund sliding miter saw question.

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I might mention also that I built a second table saw crosscut sled that's dedicated to crosscutting dados. Very handy sled. I've used it many times for the same purpose I would have used a Radial arm saw.. -Jim
Jim Hall wrote:

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Or, heavy pieces. SCMS is OK for 2x4 lumber, but a RAS can make a 3" notch in a 8x8 beam.
I also use stubs of 2x10 to make wedges, by using the RAS to make parallel straight cuts, then parallel slant cuts; there can be 30 'dadoes' in the plank when I'm done, and the wedges just pop off with a chisel (or, if I'm in a hurry, a ripsaw). Can a SCMS really do that kind of work?
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On Fri, 4 Dec 2009 12:16:25 -0800 (PST), the infamous Pete

Having been burnt by Searz before (they won't get another dime of my money for any reason), I'd go with another brand of SCMS. You can rip on the Griz TS. I need to move up to a 12" SCMS myself. The old $25 Delta was old when I got it and I've had to finish cuts on 2x8s with my ryoba several times. That gets old in a hurry.

It's really too bad that someone hasn't adapted an SCMS to be able to rip lumber, isn't it?
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That was my point.
Max
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CW wrote:

Wow, maybe I should get a ShopSmith and lose my planer, jointer, router table, drill press and sanders :-)
Now, be honest, have you used *all* those functions on your RAS?
I also suspect that a number of those (notably molding, sanding) can likewise be performed on a tablesaw. And apparently you can also do biscuit joining on a RAS as well:
http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/5193595/description.html
I guess to "refine" my response, if you're looking for a tool whose primary/sole use is related to cross-cutting of wood either squarely or at various angles, my preference would be a SCMS even if you wanted to occasionally cut dadoes.
If I was looking for a multi-purpose tool, I would consider a ShopSmith or better and be too timid to try molding/routing/planing on a RAS.
~Mark.
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All but polishing.
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Woody wrote:

Yes.
Forget planing...the rotary planer leaves a terrible surface and takes a long time.
Forget routing. Speed is too low, collets chintzy, lots of wobble.
Molding head is fine.
Horizontal drilling can be handy.
Sanding can be handy...
1. Vertical drum works well; at least as well as on a drill press.
2. I often use a sanding plate in preference to my dedicated belt/disk machine because I can sand to a precise length.
3. I used to use a 9" soft pad for surface sanding, worked fine. I now use a Performax.
--

dadiOH
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You don't say if you have a TS. If you don't, I suspect the responses would be different. LEON makes the point about dedicated blades designed for the tool in play and that - as well as several other thoughtful responses here is good advice.
The SCM Saws I've seen that seem sturdy and substantial enough cost as much as many of the decent contractor table saws - hence, I've passed and have a RAS and 12" Miter Saw built into a dedicated table and two table saws (one small portable unit and a Sears Contractor).
The RAS sat for years in my small shop with barely any use - I finally sold the dedicated steel rolling stand I'd built for it and it was nearly three years before I finished the table it sits on now. So, not much use at all.
Still, the ability to dado some 12" by 72" plywood to capture the shorter "shelf pieces" is one task I'd rather do on the RAS than the TS because I'll never have enough space to build a big table and out feed for the Sears TS and I plan on building lots of shelving for the new shop. I can fit an 18" wide board on my RAS and it can be 8 feet long or more without tipping.
The 12" Miter Saw has come in handy building my shop - lots of 2x6 boards went into the structure as well as lots of angle cut studs. It was great for building basic saw horses cutting bot angles at once for nicely splayed legs.
But, If I didn't have my Table Saw, I'd not be doing much woodworking at all.
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