I'm using an old Craftsman radial arm to crosscut cabinet plywood pieces
to length and seem to have a problem with surface tear out.
The tear out is only on the left side of the blade(a combo carbide blade
still in good shape). I get a clean cut on the right side.
Any ideas why this might be occurring, and only on the left side?
Mike is right. Although I'm not sure if you need a Freud (the're about
80 bucks), crosscutting plywood demands a dedicated plywood blade.
They are simply normal blades with about 80-100 teeth. The will
prevent tearout in general, and produce a smoother cut through the
varying plys of the plywood.
If it's happening only on one side, and the blade doesn't appear to
have any obvious problems, it's likely that the blade isn't aligned
perfectly with the arm. If the front of the blade is slightly to the
right, and the back to the left, the teeth will rub against the work on
the left side as they are rotating up out of the cut.
Blade has some "heel" in it. Means it's not parallel to the line of travel,
the equivalent of blade not parallel to miter groove in tablesaws. You need
to touch the adjustment a bit nose right so the teeth won't pick up the
splinters. I like the splinter method of adjustment - it's the most
Note: as you check for heel, pull a bit to either side and see if the arm's
out of adjustment. Loose arm and heavy hand can do it, too.
Oh yes, doesn't matter how many teeth you have in the blade if you slow the
feed rate. Use your blade if you care, until you can get one with the
negative rake popular for RASs.
I also agree that the blade is not square to what you are cutting. If
you can not get the blade or the arm square then draw out the distance
of the cut you are cutting. Then on the bad side go along the line
with a utility knife before you cut. This will keep the tear-out to a
Since nobody else has mentioned thise, get a copy of Jon Eakes radial saw
book and do what it says
<http://www.wired-2-shop.com/joneakes/ProductDetail.asp?ProdID=3&nPrdImageID=&CatID=3 . While you're about it you might want to pick up a copy of the Mr. Sawdust
book as well <http://www.mrsawdust.com/ .
In other words it's out of alignment. The heel/toe needs to be adjusted.
The Jon Eakes book has complete alignment instructions for the craftsman
RAS. It can be downloaded in PDF format for around $15.00 CDN.
Radial Arm Saw Forum: http://forums.delphiforums.com/woodbutcher/start
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