Why do I need a Radial Arm Saw ?

A few weeks ago I saw an announcement in the local add flyer that the middle school was selling off some surplus woodworking equipment by sealed bid. The only thing that I wanted was the Powermatic 90 lathe, but I decided to put in lo-ball bids in on everything. I got the lathe for $226 and got the Radial arm saws for $76 each. http://www.vmtw.com/shop/Tools_from_shop.htm I got the shop teacher to help me take them apart and help me haul them 16 miles to my house through a blizzard. Gave him $75 for his efforts so the whole deal has cost me $453 so far.
My question is this: Should I keep one of the RAS and if so which one.
The Delta/Rockwell is 208 volt 3 Phase 3hp 12 inch. I would need to build/buy a phase converter in order to use it. It looks to be a much more versatile and precise saw, and is way heaver. If you don't believe me, just ask my back!
The Dewalt is 120/208/240 and I think is also 3hp 12 inch. Would not need an inverter.
I have a table saw (30 year old sears) and a Dewalt miter saw. What will the RAS do better than the saws that I have now?
The bummer of the deal was that I was the only one who bid on these items, I could have gotten them for $1.00 each!
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A good RAS will walk all over a TS for many operations. Suggest you purchase and read a copy of "How To Master The Radial Saw" http://mrsawdust.com/ before you unload the saws.
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Rumpty

Radial Arm Saw Forum: http://forums.delphiforums.com/woodbutcher/start
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wrong with buying/building an inverter, it doesn&#8217;t seem that expensive. Grizzly sells an inverter for under $200. Suggest you

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The RAS excels over the TS in the safety of many operations, specifically bevel crosscut,bevel miter, bevel rip, dado operations, and simple cross cuts on long boards.
Dado operations such as angled dado or gain cut, V cuts and radius coves, beveled rabbet and raised panels. Making raised panels using a dado you have your wood flat on the table so you have a controlled cut. The RAS very good at straight line moulding, irregular shaping and shaping with rub collars. All these operations the wood is flat and stable laying on the table top.
The only RAS I can suggest is the older DeWalt's or a new RAS from "Original Saw". I currently have three DeWalts in use in my shop and no TS. Oh BTW, we rip on the RAS all day long.
Again read a copy of "How To Master The Radial Saw" http://mrsawdust.com / before you make your decision.
Happy Holidays folks!
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Rumpty

Radial Arm Saw Forum: http://forums.delphiforums.com/woodbutcher/start
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i have an old ToolKraft (Darra-James) RAS. it takes a 9" blade, which is almost impossible to find, so i just use a 8" on it. it has a 3/4HP 110V motor on it. this is the only saw i've used for almost 7 years working on my house and doing various woodworking projects (well, i have a bandsaw, handheld circular saw and a jigsaw i also use). i have an old tablesaw i fired up once and then stuck under a shelf, and i have an old Atlas tablesaw i picked up, but need to build a new stand for it. as you can see by my progress on the tablesaws, i don't have much urgency to get them running. i use the RAS to rip oak slabs, cut plywood (with supports under it) and do all kinds of miter cuts. i'm sure you can do any of these things on a tablesaw, but the convenience of the RAS and the fact i can see the blade instead of it being hidden under the wood make the RAS my first choice. also, the Grizzly phase converter is a static converter. it will effectively lower the HP rating of the saw by about 1/3 to 1/2. the rotary phase converter is a more efficient converter, but they start at $699 (for the Grizzly one anyway). of course, either of those saws would have plenty of power even reduced by half. i built my own rotary converter. there are many plans online, and the most expensive part should be the idler motor ($50-100). i see many responses tell you to go with the Dewalt saw. the Dewalt is definitely a nice unit, but that Delta would be my first choice. the compound arm arrangement is like the one on my ToolKraft, and it keeps the saw in a more central location on the table when doing miter cuts and such. if i was looking for another RAS i would make you a serious offer on the Delta.
oh, and you made one heck of a deal on all that stuff. merry Christmas!!!!!!
andy b.
On 22 Dec 2003 08:41:59 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@vmtw.com (vmtw) wrote:

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I just bought a old sears 2 hp 10" 220v radial arm saw, no blade brake, but it does have a woodgrain covering on its arm. Bought it used last week, mint condition. Switched it on, and it purrs! Looking forward to alot of use!

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snipped-for-privacy@ptd.net (hamrdog) wrote in

I have one of those ToolKraft RAS. Mine is a 12" with a 1.5 hp motor. It will crosscut a 6x6 and do a 24" crosscut on plywood. I wish you could still buy them. I got mine over 30 years ago.
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Mule-Tracks
Two for the board and one for the nail.
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Ever try cutting a tenon on an 8' long piece of stock on the table saw? A radial arm equipped with a dado head makes this daunting task a breeze! Ditto for dadoes and grooves on wider stock. How about mitering extra wide stock? Mine has a router attachment on the other end of the arbor. Granted I don't use it much but its there. Could be used for drum sanding as well. Performax used to have (maybe still do) a 22" drum sander conversion for radial arm saws. I have to admit I don't use my RAS as much these days since I got a sliding compound saw but it still does some things no other can as easily. Just thought Id chime in here with my two cents!
Jim

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vmtw wrote:

No, you should keep both.
Just kidding. Sort of.
I passed on one Rockwell similar to the one you have pictured. It was smaller and I couldn't justify getting another RAS. Since then I've been kicking myself because I want to play with the compound arm.
Your only real choice is the DeWalt because it doesn't need an inverter.
I would have a real hard time getting rid of the Rockwell but I have a place to store it. Damn shame it can't be rewired or remotored to run on 220 or 110.

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Mark

N.E. Ohio
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The DeWalt appears to be a 7790, one of the best late DeWalt models. Do not sell this saw!
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Rumpty

Radial Arm Saw Forum: http://forums.delphiforums.com/woodbutcher/start
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I agree with a poster, never sell the Dewalt, its a keeper.
By the way, $226 for the Powermatic geeze, ----- this merits a very loud
YOU SUCK.
congratulations on your good fortune, work safe.
Mutt.
snipped-for-privacy@vmtw.com (vmtw) wrote in message

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snipped-for-privacy@vmtw.com (vmtw) wrote in message

My advice would be to keep both. You can set one for croscuts and the other for ripping operations. RAS is a great WW tool.
Regards George SA
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