Radial Arm Saw Wisdom?

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Hello Group,
I'm in the process of (slowly) outfitting a shop for basic woodworking and furniture making. I recently came across a craftsman 10" radial arm saw. Seems like this thing can do all kinds of stuff, including compound miter cuts. Before coming across this, I had planned to buy a compound miter (chop) saw. If I have a radial arm saw, would I still need the miter? I also intend to buy a table saw. Please offer your thoughts on this...
Thanks!
Steven
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A neighbor bought one about 15 years ago from Sears that I bought from him and trying to adjust for heel problem found an adjustment that needed two mating parts but only one was there, from the factory! Be wary!
On Sun, 08 Aug 2004 10:56:19 -0500, Steven Flynn

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On Sun, 08 Aug 2004 10:56:19 -0500, Steven Flynn

the RAS will do everything a CMS will do but it will take longer for setups. it will do most things a tablesaw will do also. if properly tuned it is at the very least as accurate as a CMS also. i dont use mine much but when i want it its there. i wouldnt part with it.
skeez
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I will second this opinion. I have a 34 year old one that I also don't use much, but there are certain cuts, especially across long boards, that no other tool can match, nor do as accurately, nor as quick. Most other cuts I use a chop saw, table saw or band saw.
wrote:

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A third on all this. Number one macine should be a good table saw. I started with a RAS and it was a LOT harder. CMS is a pleasure to set for miters, but I trimmed an entire house with a RAS on a stand that I rolled from room to room. Yet if you need to go from 45l to 45r to 90 etc, it's crank up the RAS, unlock and move, then crank down. Real slow compared to CMS. Never felt comfortable ripping on a RAS, but YMMV.
Jerry
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On Sun, 08 Aug 2004 23:02:02 +0000, Jerry McCaffrey wrote:

With a RAS set up properly with a 1/4" thick aux front table, the cranking up and down isn't required as the left and right motions of the arm are made with the blade behind the fence. In fact, one should never cut into the factory main table and always use a sacrificial table cover of 1/4" ply or tempered hardboard covering the front factory table. The standard kerfs can then be cut and raising/lowering the arm isn't required even for changing from crosscut to rip.
-Doug
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Doug Winterburn wrote:

Going to 45R may result in hitting the fence if the fence is unusually high or thick--solution is to put the blade in the inrip position while moving the carriage.

--
--John
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up and down isn't required as the left and right motions of the arm are made with the blade behind the fence
Good suggestion Doug. IMHO RAS users should scrap the factory table and build the steel reinforced two layer Mr. Sawdust style table, cover it with a 1/4" layer and they will have a FLAT, accurate, stable, work table for life.
--
Rumpty

Radial Arm Saw Forum: http://forums.delphiforums.com/woodbutcher/start
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Rumpty wrote:

Even with the factory table the 1/4" overlay is desirable.

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--John
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Doug Winterburn wrote:

It depends on your how your table is set up. Mine, for example has a solid piece and then toward the back are two loose table parts so that the fence can be placed directly against the immoveable part, between the two moveable parts, and at the very back. This allows more depth for ripping and more depth for cross cutting. As a result the moveable board (normally behind the fence) must be the same height as the rest of the table and the cross cut goes into both board. Consequently the saw must be raised to move the arm left and right. I agree with the 1/4" cover, but it has to be on all parts of the table, and cutting into the original table may not be bad as many original tables are so poor that immediate removal and placement in the rain is the best possible solution. I kept my original table only long enough to make a new table of plywood an rip the two moveable parts. Made new fences also, since the original only stuck up about 1/2 inch above the surface.
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On Mon, 09 Aug 2004 21:42:38 +0000, George E. Cawthon wrote:

Your setup is the same as mine, and there is no reason to have the two rear table parts permanently covered as well as the front table. I use an appropiately sized strip of 1/4" ply not permannetly attached when the fence must be placed in either of the rearmost positions. When all the way back, it is only for ripping operations and the arm still does not need to be raised and lowered if the standard kerfs are cut in the front table. If in the middle position for ripping, the same applies. If in the middle position for cross cutting or mitering, the blade is still behind the fence (unless using a tall fence) and and no raising/lowering is required for this either.
The standard kerfs include a 90 degree crosscut, right 45 degree miter, (optional) left 45 degree miter, 45 degree bevel (requires lowering/raising arm), inrip arc and trough, and outrip arc and trough. The only operation that requires an arm height adjustment is a bevel cut or some operation using other than the standard 10" blade, such as a dado stack, sanding drum/disc, drill chuck, rotary surface planer, etc.
Here's a link showing the standard kerf:
<
http://www.winterburn.net/doug/pictures/woodworking/R0010248.JPG
-Doug
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Doug Winterburn wrote:

Hmm. I prefer the rear parts covered; all parts of the table with the same height. Don't know what the big deal is about raising and lowering the arm. It just takes a couple of turns of the crank.
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On Wed, 11 Aug 2004 05:14:40 +0000, George E. Cawthon wrote:

Well, the OP was saying what a pain in the tookas it was to raise and lower the arm every time he had to change the arm for mitering, and I thought I'd show him how raising/lowering the arm was unneceessary with a properly set up saw. Covering just the front part of the table is standard procedure in the three books I have on RAS setup and use, and it has worked well for me for 35 years.
-Doug
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standard procedure in the three books I have on RAS setup and use, and it has worked well for me for 35 years.
If you use your RAS for shaping, moulding and delicate saw cuts you want the back board to be a bit lower and adjustable with respect to the front table.
Doug what 3 books do you refer to? Kunkel, Eakes and ????
--
Rumpty

Radial Arm Saw Forum: http://forums.delphiforums.com/woodbutcher/start
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Doug Winterburn wrote:

I'm curious, what are the three books that you have. The ones I know are Mr. Sawdust, Jon Eakes, and one from Sears. Have I missed one?

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--John
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J. Clarke wrote:

I was going to order the Jon Eakes book until I found the order page on the website wasn't secure. I emailed them about it and have gotten no reply yet. Oh, well.
I don't order things on the internet unless they're on secure servers.
--
Mortimer Schnerd, RN

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On Wed, 11 Aug 2004 17:24:38 +0000, Mortimer Schnerd, RN wrote:

The three I have are the Sears Power Tool Know how for the RAS, the Eakes RAS book and a DeWalt RAS book by Howard Silken. The Mr Sawdust book is on my list.
-Doug
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Doug,
The Silken book is the one I forgot. I've read it but don't own a copy, it's good. The Mr. Sawdust book by Walley Kunkel is the best IMO for shaping, irregular shaping and moulding operations on the RAS. The Eakes book is a great book for set up and alignment of most makes RAS's.
--
Rumpty

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On Wed, 11 Aug 2004 06:04:31 -0700, Doug Winterburn

And if you'd bought a Sawsmith those 35 years ago, all you'd have to do is flip up the table-locking handles, slide the table (and its attached fence) forward, swing the arm, push the table back, and flip down the handles.
Still love my good ol' 1964 Sawsmith!
--John W. Wells
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Doug Winterburn wrote:

You're right, you're just answering the op's question, I didn't intend to criticize. I should have put my comment under the OP's comment. I raise and lower my saw blade all the time-- to change the blade, to swing the arm left or right, to swing the saw blade from cross to rip, to cut less than full depth, and some others. I just can't see the problem that the OP has--raising and lower the blade of my table saw is as much a problem. You go, crank crank (in about the same time as it takes to read it), and the saw is up or down.
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