Radial Arm Saw? What can they do that a Mitre and Table saw can't.

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it accidently comes in contact with a piece of wood.
Use a Forrest WW1 blade with the TCP triple chip profile, a properly aligned saw and you DON'T have a climbing "problem".
--
Rumpty

Radial Arm Saw Forum: http://forums.delphiforums.com/woodbutcher/start
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Agreed. In my case, some experience was had. YMMV, obviously. I apologize for my prior comment.
I would tend to say that the RAS is one of the more versatile tools you can have in the shop, provided that you have the necessary attachments and accessories to make it do other things. I find them to be a mediocre jack-of-all-trades, master of none, and barely adequate for anything except rough crosscutting. Some of the older DeWalts, Red Star, Northfield, and even the Deltas had some stars and some dogs, and the good ones are solid as a rock. Problem is, there's so many things that can cause errors - bad bearings, worn rails, slop in the raising mechanism, bed not parallel to the rails, out of plumb, etc, that to me, it's not worth having one unless you dedicate it to one specific purpose. At that point, you've got a one-tasker that takes up a lot of room.
Jon E
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Now that we have the bad stuff taken care of let me share my thoughts on the RAS.
I included the above quote from your post to say that for the most part I agree. Any tool that tries to be too much almost has to fall into the category of jack of all trades and master of none.
But, lets discount all the little nice things the makers would like us to think the tool can do and concentrate on what it is really meant to do which is to cross cut stock.
Why the bad rep for the RAS? Look into the history of the tool and you will find that the main use of a RAS, almost from it's inception, was as an on site contractors tool. As such it was not only not meant to be a precision machine but, for the various reasons you state, all the moving parts, and the fact that not only was every ham fisted apprentice on the site using one machine but the machine had to survive being thrown into the back of a truck along with the contractors saw and bounce around between job sites.
Today you will find adherents of the RAS almost unanimously saying they don't make them like they used too. The reason is that the only old RAS's one finds today are like period furniture found in a museum. They weren't subject to the abuse their cousins were. These old RAS's found today and coveted were probably tools in someone's shop or maybe stationary in a cabinet shop. The same for those, like myself, who say they have had their RAS's for years with no trouble. Of course we haven't nor are we really likely too. How often and how long, does one person in a small shop actually have any big power tool running and how frequently are the settings changed? The answer is, not often or at least not anything like what would be found in a busy multi person shop or, say, a high school shop class.
Yes, a CMS has fewer moving parts and is less likely to get knocked out of alignment but the RAS, due to it's wider cut and ability to take dado blades, remains more versatile and, in a one man shop, is, even new ones, is quite capable of remaining in tune for many years.
The real irony of the whole thing is that a miter saw, because of it's portability and simpler construction, is better adapted to the original intent of the RAS then the RAS ever was.
There is nothing wrong with either tool nor preferring one over the other but damning one or the other for reasons of accuracy or lack of abilities is doing both a disservice. A RAS is as accurate as the user makes it and will stay tuned and true as long as it is treated properly and a miter saw is an uncomplicated and accurate tool that makes up for it's lack of capacities by it's portability and taking up little room in a small shop.
As for this "safety" BS that some try to foist off as a reason why there shouldn't be any RAS's, don't even go there with me. All tools including a sharp chisel or dull screwdriver are inherently dangerous and have to be treated with total respect. Only a fool approaches any tool with the idea it is in some way "safe just as anyone who climbs up on a horse or pets a dog is in a fools paradise if they think they are "safe". Anyone care to bet on which ratio is higher, number of RAS owners bit by their RAS every year or the number of dog owners bit by their dogs every year?
--
Mike G.
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Geez! Remind me to keep my mouf shut when Mike's around.
UA100
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? Did I say a Bad thing?
Jon and I worked things out and this last wasn't meant to knock his second message. I was just putting my thoughts on the RAS down. I included a quote only to indicate I, to some measure, agreed with the statement.
Didn't mean the post to be derogatory to anyone.
--
Mike G.
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Mike, Radial arm saws are pretty much obsolete these days, and an old unit like that dewalt is probably downright dangerous since it was manufactured before the cpsc mandated better guards and warning labels. Yep I really don't think you should risk putting that in your shop. Just tell your friend to ship the saw to me. I will know what to do with it. In the interest of safety i'll even split the cost of shipping. Scott.

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Yes, very dangerous, in fact, far too dangerous to even consider shipping it. With the interest of safety in mind, I will come over there and pick it up myself. Is tomorrow ok?
--
If at first you don't succeed, you're not cut out for skydiving


"J.S. McAuley" < snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net> wrote in message
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http://woodworkdoctor.com
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I would not want to mislead people reading this and imply that the numerous accounts of getting hurt with a radial arm saw are because the person getting hurt was dumb or made a glaring mistake. Reading all the accounts of RAS accidents, one gets the feeling that a RAS:
1) Takes much more experience to use properly than any other saw,
2) Is MUCH less forgiving than any other type of saw. A small error while cutting on a TS may scare the %^$%^ out of you, but most probably not do much harm. An error of the same magnitude while using a RAS may injure you greatly.
3) Has many more things that could go wrong under regular use. There are lots of things to adjust and tune. A badly tuned RAS will probably injure you, whereas a badly runed TS will most probably produce a lousy cut on the wood. A badly tuned miter saw will probably just produce a bvad cut as well.
Do you agree or not?
I bring this up because perfectly reasonable and safe people have gotten badly injured while using RAS saws. The injuries did not occur because they were drunk, inept, or stupid, the injuries occurred because the RAS was not forgiving enough of a machine.
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Actually, if you look up the statistics related to the Emerson/Sears recall of a couple of years ago, the only ones that I know for sure exist, you will find that the ratio of ALL reported injuries to the millions, somewhere around 3 million if I remember correctly, of units sold it is 00.08% or was it 00.8%. In either case it is an extremely small almost meaningless number. Probably well under that of such things as lawn mowers and weed whackers..
Used properly and for it's intended purpose, though this can be said about any tool, the actual mechanism is far safer then that of a table saw. On a table saw one has to move their hands and stock past a cutting blade. On the RAS the blade moves and, unless ones head is firmly placed up one's ass, the hands and stock are kept firmly in one place well away from the sharp stuff..
To adjudge one tool spinning a sharp instrument at 3k + RPM safer then another is a highly dangerous conclusion to make. Actually it is a horse pucky assumption. BOTH tools need equal amounts of respect, care, and attention to detail and even then they are both dangerous.
I've owned one for almost 30 years and have had a far less number of scary incidents with it then with a table saw.
--
Mike G.
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Gabriel writes:

I'm not a real RAS fancier, but anyone who starts asking a machine to be "forgiving" is on the way to getting badly hurt, sooner or later, and probably sooner.
Charlie Self "Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves." Dorothy Parker
http://hometown.aol.com/charliediy/myhomepage/business.html
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Charlie, you have such a way with words. Goes right along with my belief that a machine is not dangerous, but people, on the other hand, can be very dangerous..
Nick
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Fair enough (and I am not one to ask a machine to be forgiving). It's just that new people don't seem to know that a RAS is more dangerous than first meets the eye (and it looks pretty menacing as it is).
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gabriel wrote:

What your writing is: To use a RAS you have to have a clue?
Agreed.
Question(s): When did the power miter box appear and when did they become a consumer item?
--
Mark

N.E. Ohio
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Absolutely. I will sum it up by using the words someone used in another forum: "If you need to ask us whether or not you need a RAS, then you don't." In other words, a RAS is by no means a machine for a beginner.
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Bill Benitez writes:

More like 26" for a real full-sized RAS, say an 18" Delta.
Charlie Self "Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves." Dorothy Parker
http://hometown.aol.com/charliediy/myhomepage/business.html
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I think the RAS and the bandsaw are the most used powertools in my shop. Een though the ras is a 60s era craftsman, it is easily adjusted to square. There is an 10x10 DC box right behind the blade, it makes no mess. Much easier to check/adjust than my TS. Sure, I can do everything mentioned on the TS and CMS - but I wouldn't want to. Fire up the DC and cut away.
On Mon, 12 Jan 2004 08:32:47 -0800, Basspro* wrote:

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"Basspro*" wrote in message

I only use mine for cutting long pieces of lumber, as it is easier because I have a long work bench. Where I work days, there are two, one for cutoff, and another for 3/4" dados.
Personally, I don't recommend saw to anyone who is not doing production work.
I also would consider the safety risks involved if you decide to do any ripping or weird stuff with this machine.
Just my lame opinion woodstuff
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Basspro* wrote:

If it's a top crank I would get it just to have it.
If it's cheap enough.
--
Mark

N.E. Ohio
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If this helps, my first large saw was a RAS. I built most of the furniture in my house with it between 1979 and 1983. In 1983 I added a TS to my collection and cannot remember using the RAS after that point. 2 years later it was gone and I have not once missed it. The RAS can do more than the TS in terms of versatility but IMHO most of the operations can be done better with just about any other tool. If you are in a pinch, it can get you out of a jam in some instances.
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