RAS Uses


Joseph, In my opinion....
The RAS has some disadvantages that may warrant your consideration.
The over arm that carries the saw/motor has a locking arrangement to set it at common angles such as 90, 60, and 45 degrees. There must be some amount of clearance in order for this mechanism to release so you can change to a new angle setting. Considering the length of the arm only a thousands or so clearance at the lock can equate to a 1/4 inch or more at the end farthest from the locking arrangement. This means cuts that are not true. It also means that for each setup change you must use a square to set this accurately before locking it down and make a few test cuts to be satisfied it is ready for your project, this equates to lost time.
Ripping is no problem as long as it does not exceed the capacity of the blade to post area.
When the RAS was introduced many people lived and died by it, but that has pretty much faded, some still swear by it however but they are few.
I have two RAS's (not that I set out to have them, they just came my way). One I use for rough in type work in deck building etc where precision is not mandatory. The other one I use for cutting scrap wood for the wood burner that heats my shop. On rare occasions if I have a large production job where all 3 table saws and the panel saw are setup for repeat cutting, I'll set up a RAS for one of the less critical cuts.
So.... if you really want one and can buy it at a modest cost they MAY justify the space in the shop they consume. I would think twice before purchasing one new, there are plenty on the used market. I have given one of mine away 3 times but it keeps coming back!
Don Dando
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Don Dando wrote:

OK, I must admit that I am a RAS user. For saws that what I knew having grown up using my Dad's. I was building some cabinets for the garage and I came to the same conclusion as Don. They are not too accurate. I bought the RAS because I knew the machine and I thought that I would not need the expense of a miter saw as well. I bought the miter saw. Now I wish that I bought a good table saw. So anyone who wants a Rigid RAS can make me an offer. I might even still have the video that explains how to align it. Mean while I try to figure out how to convince HomeDepot I need to upgrade -- for free. :)
-G
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Not necessarily.
Considering the length of the arm only a thousands or so

Fail geometry? No where close.
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I suspect that the RAS uses a "tapered" indexing system that requires NO PLAY at all.

I never witnessed any thing like that all either.
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On Tue, 21 Mar 2006 15:08:23 GMT, "Leon"

The manual for my 1972 Craftsman specifically describes that.
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LRod

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Agreed. I think Don has something badly wrong with his saw or its setup. With the carriage at the extreme end of the arm (where it seldom is), I can get maybe 1/32" or 1/16" inch of play--more than I'd like, but I haven't really fine-tuned the saw, since I use it primarily for rougher work. 1/4" would be dramatic slop in the saw.
I think the "failed geometry" comment was based on the comment about .001" of slop in the pin leading to 1/4" play at the end of the arm. On my saw, the indexing pins are registering with the outside of a ~2.75" column. So they are at a radius of 1 3/8". If they have a .001" slop, that would translate to slightly more than 1/64" at the end of a 27" arm. But maybe Don's got one of those mega RASs with a 15-foot arm! <g>
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Since Don indicated that he did not set out to get the 2 RAS's and they just came his way I strongly suspect the indexing system was worn out when he got them.
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Probably. I wonder; with a tapered pin, if sawdust gets packed in the indexing hole, might that keep the pin from fully seating, resulting in such slop? Now I need to check to see if there is any way to clean mine!
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wrote:

Perhaps, If saw dust can get into that spot and that is assuming that the taper points down and not up. Taper pointing up would be self cleaning.
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As far as the Geometry question is concerned, it depends on the radius of the locking mechanism. The closer the locking mechanism is to the center of rotation, the more maginifed the slop becomes... Thus, depending on the make, the slop magnification can be large or small.
I'll see if I can determine the amount of slop on my blade tonight, but I doubt it's more than 1/32 (I've never had any problems with accuracy).
John
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