radial arm vs. miter

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After re-reading my post in your reply LRod, I'm in total agreement with what you're saying. One of those classic cases of thinking one thing and saying another. I should have reread my post before sending it rather than watching TV while responding to Robatoy's post. I was indeed referring to the correct method of sawing stock with a SCMS rather than a radial arm which does indeed require that you to pull the carriage through the stock. I'm a little embarrased by my faux pas and absolutely stand corrected. Thanks!!!
Oh, and by the way, I'm not secretly Bruce Johnson in disguise.
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Because that is the correct way to cut wood on a RAS. The saw can lift the wood up as you push it. And DO NOT think that because you have not had an accident yet is strictly because you adhere to what ever safety rules that you follow. Following safety rules guarantees nothing.
I don't know of any power tool, electric or

Or any one else for that matter. If you think you can prevent all accidents that could possibly happen you simply are not old enough yet to understand how wrong you are.
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I'll be the first to admit my error - see my reply to LRod. But let me address your other comments as I have read some of your posts and you seem to be a knowledgeable person. Whenever I use a power tool, I am very aware of my environment and of the risks that are inherent with each tool I use, as I hope you are. Those risks are minimized, albeit not totally eliminated, by knowing how to operate your equipment safely, knowing, respecting and using a tool for its intended use, wearing the proper safety equipment, dressing properly, not allowing yourself to be distracted when using a tool, etc. I never turn on a power toll wondering if I'm going to be lucky and not get injured while using it. I fully expect to complete the job at hand successfully and SAFELY because I make a point of thinking about the safe use of the tool. Most accidents in the shop, that are not the result of something totally out of a person's controle, are caused by an act of carelessness. Minimizing that carelessness by employing and following safety rules absolutely has contributed to my safety record in my shop. No where did I state that following safety rules gurantees anything or that I can prevent ALL accicents that could possibly happen to me. So please don't take my comment out of context.Can I prevent an accident from occurring. You bet I can if it is something that I have control over. If I can't, I have no business turning on that power switch.
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I will totaly agree with everything you have said up to this point.

May I repeat your statement,
I've never had an accident with this saw, not because I was lucky, but because I know how to use it and because I strictly adhere to and follow the correct procedures when using it.
Now I read that as you believe that your knowledge of safety rules is why you have never had an accident. Good luck with that.
Can I prevent an accident

You are as capable of making a mistake or misunderstanding a particular hazard as anyone else. Just as easily as commenting that you push the blade into the work on a RAS. You knew better but you came out with a quick answer or misinterpreted a post. We really don't have as many accidents when we pay attention but we all have accidents because none of us are 100% focused 100% of the time. I have a question for you that I have asked another poster that has a similar point of view that you do. Have you ever cut yourself with a knife? Ever? And did you know the safety rules of handling a knife before you cut your self?
Do not ever assume that your knowledge of a tool will always keep you out of trouble.
Stay safe. I once believed the way that you do.
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Thanks. I know I'm not bullet proof and a long way from being perfect. I do know that I can minimize my risk for injury when I'm in the shop. I'd be foolish to think that nothing can happen to me. I have the scars to prove otherwise although they aren't shop related. As a matter of fact, a couple of them are from sharp knives. In a couple of months I'll close out the 50's and begin my 6th decade here on this good planet. My goal, the Good Lord willing, is to be able to share with my grandkids the joy of woodworking and instill in them the safe use of shop tools as I did with my sons.
I've enjoyed the dialogue Leon and appreciate your thoughts and candidness. I'll put this thread to rest now. I'll look forward to reading other posts from you and other members of this group. I joined this group to tap the vast storehouse of knowledge that exists so that I can learn from it and to hopefully share some of my own. I haven't been disappointed. Stay safe.
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I too enjoyed the dialogue Sir and am glad you understand my point. One cannot be too careful as we are only human. :~)
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Leon wrote:

Heh, I sorta learned those as I went along.
And have the scars to prove it.
er
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I refuse to work with a tool which requires so much attention to safety that the entire experience becomes laborious. The danger is disproportionate to what the damn thing does.
Okay... that may be a bit over the top.
I have never had a mishap with a RAS, but read many reports on accidents which involved RASaws. Locally, an experienced woodworker lost a hand at the wrist.
Accidents happen to experienced safety-conscious people when the tool has inherent design flaws which go against the grain of rational thought. The evil RAS is such a beast.
Micro-surgery is a wonderful development, but the results are 'iffy' at best. I recall the story of the farmhand in India which had his manhood ripped off by an alligator whilst bathing in a river. A US medical team, which happened to be operating near the border grafted the remnants back, filling in a missing section with tissue grafted from a baby elephant's trunk. After a period of healing, the farmhand's wife was quite pleased with the result. The farmhand reported that he was annoyed that every time he walked across a lawn, the thing would shove a tuft of grass up his arse.
r
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I don't know if I'm lucky but I own both a Delta compound miter saw and an old 1949 Rockwell 6" radial arm saw that my grandfather earned a living with...using it to rip, crosscut, and dado with. Gramps was buried with all ten still attached. This is a very well made solid saw that is so much smoother in operation than any low cost units for sale today. (minus..no built in electronic brake...takes two or three minutes to whirl to a stop). However, it still scares me using stacked dado cutters on it or for ripping materials with it. I think the unpopularity of the RAS is for a good reason. I mostly admire the construction of the old saw and think about gramps whenever I dust it off, but seldom turn it on.
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The miter saw can be picked up with one hand and carried anywhere.
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You must be pretty damned big then Pat. I've seen mitre saws that are easily in excess of 50 lbs and as big and whose footprint covers several square feet in area.
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On Sun, 19 Mar 2006 13:55:47 -0800, "Pat"
Not my miter saw, unless you're Shrek.
I'm 6'1", 225, and in excellent shape. I have no problem wheedling around with full sheets of 3/4" MDF. While it's no RAS, my Delta miter saw is freakin' heavy for it's size!
Barry
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I have that saw and I can balance it on the tip of my finger. ;~) It is a heavy SOG.
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"Ba r r y" wrote in message

I'm 6', 205, in 63 year old shape, and could maybe pick up a full sheet of 3/4" MDF with you on the other end, but I can't remember whether I have a miter saw??
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I'd like to point out that any argument made here about the safety of radial arm saws also applies to compound miter saws, so the discussion is slightly off topic.
When deciding between a miter saw and RAS -- The RAS is more versitile, whereas the miter saw is more portable, and depending on the saw, generally cheaper.
If you have a tablesaw, you don't need any of the versatility of the RAS saw, and a Miter Saw would probably be a better buy. If you don't you should strongly consider a RAS saw. See the FAQ, section 3.3 for information on RAS saws and Table saws. One thing that is not mentioned is that it is possible to rip large boards (the kinds that are are to rip on a RAS) using a circular saw and a jig.
http://www.robson.org/woodfaq/woodfaq_3.html
John
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