It'd take a hell of a bump to move the arm on my RAS16; you'll regret
you hit it and learn not to do that again if you were to do so... :)
In the roughly 35 years I've not had it be an issue _ever_ so my
conclusion is either there's something wrong in a shop that one would
get hit so hard and often or it's simply too flimsy if a casual bump can
knock it out of line.
I've seem the small DeWalts (Dad had one for 'round the farm) and I've
also seen several various Craftsmans of similar lightweight
construction; them I'll grant aren't much of a tool as far as sturdiness
goes altho I used the one Dad had for the kitchen cabinets rather than
drag mine from VA to KS and it was serviceable. I'd label it in the POS
class, though, simply because it was so lightweight. It was also
seriously under-powered for anything other than softwoods or at most
Not so w/ the 16RAS; it weighs nearly 400 lb; I doubt the DeWalt weighed
I have a Craftsman 10" RAS that I use for 90-degree crosscuts ONLY, and I never
away from that position. I could see how it could get knocked out of adjustment
if got a
good wack, and I do check it periodically but it never seems to do that of its
so I'm happy with it. I would like to have a *serious* big-daddy RAS to replace
it, but I'm
slightly space constrained and I see no immediate reason to seek one out. If a
quality RAS is as useless as a lot of people here would have us believe, I'd
like to see
what every home center and lumber yard would do if you tried to take theirs away.
Free bad advice available here.
To reply, eat the taco.
Not all of them are crap, if you have one built like a tank and
typically don't use it to its potential on a daily basis it is going to
Concerning the home center and or lumber yard monsters, if they were any
less of a machine they would not hold up given the amount of idiot
people using it. And FWIW I would never want to use the cut produced by
one of those saws, every one I have seen has been used simply to cut
lumber to rough length and square is not a goal nor is it achieved.
True; those saws are not typically set up for accuracy and the abuse they take
conducive to accurate cuts, but I don't think such cuts are impossible. I'm
sure with the
proper care and feeding you could get near perfect results out of those saws.
"Our beer goes through thousands of quality Czechs every day."
(From a Shiner Bock billboard I saw in Austin some years ago)
The RAS at Home Despot has so many safety devices attached to it that
you can hardly tell it is a RAS. Trap doors, sliding things.... I guess
somehow, the industrial safety crowd thought it was dangerous 'as is'.
They then felt compelled to deal with the morons and 'safety-ise' the
bejeezus out of that RAS.
I was just using mine and even though the settings are still dead on,
it's just such a PITA to change the angles of the cuts. You have raise
the height to change the angle (because of how the blade cuts into the
table in order to make a through cut, then lower it back down.
Every time you want to change either angle.
That's a big reason most guys use it only for crosscuts.
"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
You should use a sacrificial table in front of the fence, usually of
1/4" ply. This eliminates cutting into the main table. It also lets
you adjust the saw for miter cuts without raising or lowering the arm by
returning the motor/blade behind the fence, adjusting the miter and them
making the miter cut while only cutting into the sacrificial table. You
do have to raise/lower the arm for bevel cuts though.
I've never had to replace the main table on my RAS as it has never been
touched by a blade. Fences OTOH are a disposable item. I make mine out
of poplar. I use baltic birch for the sacricial table and they usually
last 4-5 years.
Given the way most RAS's are set up, squaring that board might be a bit
more diffident once you actually try that. IIRC the blade is
approximately 30 inches from the end of the table so you have about 7
1/2 feet of board hanging off of the table. Clamping is not really
going to be effective but having some one else or something to support
the board would be needed. You have a 2.5 to 1 leverage ratio working
against you. Not saying that you cannot do it, it is just not as
straight forward as making a cut when the wood is not going to be
working against you.
That is not going to be as big of a problem problem on a 50" capacity TS
with a closer 1/1 leverage ratio. I squared 7, 8' 1x8 today with a
miter gauge and did not give it a second thought.
Now if your RAS has a long table on one or both both sides you have over
come one of the unique problems.
no, No, NO!!!
Like a TS, a good RAS setup is in a table providing infeed and outfeed
You'll play hell doing full-size 2+X hardwoods of large sizes even on
the TS simply for the effort of pushing the material even if do have
Now, no everybody does large architectural work but that's what I did
mostly and the TS was not the tool of choice for much simply because
moving the material was harder than moving the tool by far...it's also
why I have a 16"-er. (It's also why most of the original work in the
old mansions used to refurb was able to be done--hand tools move on
large surfaces, not the other way 'round.)
The whole point is, and you your self have made the comment that the
DeWalt/B&D style RAS's are less than desirable. Most users use that
style saw if using a RAS and the users have a valid point about the
problems that are inherent with RAS's.
Because you use a "Tank of a RAS does not mean that there are not
deficiencies in the design.
But the same thing is true about the sorry POS benchtop or contractor
wannabe TS's, too...
It's not the RAS per se, just like it's not the TS; it's the
implementation if anything.
The old DeWalt of Dad's is still here; it would be perfectly adequate as
a hobbyist tool w/ one thing--a more powerful motor. At one time one
could, in fact, swap out the components and do so; I tried to talk Dad
into doing it but he was almost done w/ the house remodel so didn't
think it was worth fooling with and so it's still as it was. I brought
my shop from TN when came back, of course, so it's still out there.
I've not gone to trouble of trying to sort out what have so many
duplicates of or which of the combined set is the better to cull the
herd but at some point really should; I've got stuff in every corner of
every outbuilding on the place... :(
Somehow the RAS has become the same emblem of the down and out to be
kicked around just like the BORGs; it's a popular position but is mostly
just reiterating the refrain.
I'll retire from the thread; I think I've made my position clear. The
RAS is a fine tool for the purposes to which it is best suited and is a
worthy complement to the TS in almost any shop. I would still recommend
a _good_ TS as the first acquisition for most folks but I'll never
accept the blanket condemnation of the RAS as a device. Criticism of a
specific tool is something different.
If you have to ask... :)
No idea, as mentioned in another thread, I got lucky on this from an
acquaintance working at Lane.
It looks like Delta makes nothing but the 10" any more; Original Saw
Company still makes industrial-strength (and priced) RAS up to at least
20". If I had to guess I'd say a 16" would run $5K any way, these days
new. Seems like last time I happened to notice a new blade was roughly
$1500 just for a blade. I could get a Saw Stop for that much and then I
wouldn't have to worry about ripping, crosscutting or anything
's' okay. I just realized I don't have enough room for it anyway. ;-)
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