I am using my new RAS for real work for the first time today?
I am cutting lap joints with a dado set.
The instructions say to always pull the saw through the work, never push it.
But I can see the work much better if I push it; pulling it puts the blade
in the way when I position the material.
I have tried it both ways and it seems pretty much action either way. What
is the big deal about pulling rather than pushing?
You _will_ pull the material up off of the table someday if you push
through. By pulling through, the blade rotation forces the material
dwon at the intersecting point of the table and fence. Optimum.
My problem with a dado on a RAS is that the saw wants to climb over the
top of the material and I'm constantly fighting that. I'm still
convinced that there's nothing faster for cross dados and half lap
Tom in KY, Be careful Toll one :-)
Hardwood store I frequent owner had board "kick" as he was pushing his
RAS. Kicked his leg a few times and changed his shorts then walked
away from it. I never tried pushing the blade when I had one.
On 2 Jan 2006 10:07:23 -0800, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
| Toller wrote:
|| I am using my new RAS for real work for the first time today?
|| I am cutting lap joints with a dado set.
|| The instructions say to always pull the saw through the work,
|| never push it. But I can see the work much better if I push it;
|| pulling it puts the blade in the way when I position the material.
|| I have tried it both ways and it seems pretty much action either
|| way. What is the big deal about pulling rather than pushing?
| You _will_ pull the material up off of the table someday if you push
| through. By pulling through, the blade rotation forces the material
| dwon at the intersecting point of the table and fence. Optimum.
Y'know, I've been worrying over this since I bought my RAS back in
'72. In thirty+ years of cutting, I've only once had the blade climb
up on top of a workpiece. That was early in the relationship and it
scared hell out of me. Since then I've mostly cut by pushing the blade
through the work - and I've /never/ had a workpiece even try to jump
I will admit that whenever I felt nervous going into a cut, I rigged a
hold-down to help constrain the workpiece from going anywhere; but, as
best I could tell, it was never really needed.
| My problem with a dado on a RAS is that the saw wants to climb over
| the top of the material and I'm constantly fighting that. I'm still
| convinced that there's nothing faster for cross dados and half lap
I look at the dado on my RAS about the same way I suspect I'd look at
teeth in a shark. I've discovered that I can go fast enough (and with
greater accuracy) using a router and a guide jig.
BTW, Leon has designed an elegantly simple router dado jig - and I've
put his photos on a web page you can reach through the link below...
DeSoto, Iowa USA
You, obviously to me, probably, have a heavier, better built saw than
I. Mine was bought in the early 90's.
Yep, a hold down clamp is hardly ever noticed, if it's doing it's job.
(me again, for clarity's sake!)
Well, not exactly fighting it. Just bracing myself to stop it if it
does climb up. It's amazing how paranoid a screaming RAS will make you
after seeing it coming atcha' once or twice.
(back to Morris now)
(me and my grand finale.)
Leon's jig looks pretty good to me. Morris, there must be more than one
way to do just about anything. While I won't personally EVER recomend
pushing a RAS, that doesn't mean that I don't think it can be done. The
hold down clamp is a good deal. I clamp material to the table whenever
I feel uncomfortable with a cut. We should all be as careful in our
shops as possible. I am a loner in my shop more often than not. A man
can bleed to death pretty quickly from a saw cut. Luckily, my worst
power-tool injury was from a jig-saw (not too much blood). I hate the
trigger-lock feature on a jig saw. That saw is like a wild cat jumping
all over the place when you pop out of a cut! If I'd keep my work
areas picked up better,,heh-heh, I wouldn't trip on 2x4 cut-offs and
such, and would have had much better control of the situation that day.
Tom in KY, Have a safe day guys.
What you (and others) say about pulling the material up when pushing makes
sense; but what is this about climbing? I can see that the blade pushs the
material down, and if it does that it must be pushing the saw up, but can it
really do that? Isn't the saw sufficiently solid to prevent any movement,
or are you talking about something else.
I did find that pulling the saw makes it want to shoot out and it takes a
bit to control that. Is that what you are referring to?
It is almost enough to make me use the motorized controller that is on the
saw! It only allows the motor to come back gradually as the motor releases
it. It seems like a nuisance, but if injury is a possible consequence of
You attach a cable from the saw to the top of the post. There is a motor
that unwinds when you squeeze the handle at a variable rate. It stops when
you let go and won't move back. A spring pulls the saw back to the post.
So, no matter what happens, the saw can't shoot back because it is
restrained by the motor.
I tried it and didn't care for it, but after cutting the dados I can see
there is legitimate need for it.
I think a lot of the climbing problem has been reduced with the blades
specific to RAS, i.e. the tooth angle. I use to get a significant amount of
climbing until I realized I had a table saw blade in a RAS.......now I
rarely encounter climb but then I still treat the saw as if it will
Well use it some more and you will see what
climbing is, especially if you have a dull saw or
the saw is somewhat underpowered like mine. Mine
will will climb up on the board and stall.
Back to your original problem. What you need is a
new fence. Simple since they are just a board
clamped in the table. Put the board in pull the
saw forward and cut through it. Put the board
where you want to cut where the fence cut is.
That is where it cuts. Eventually the cut in the
fence widens, so just make another fence.
RAS = Radial Arm Saw
When you pull the saw through the work the teeth are cutting from the
top down and this both helps hold the workpiece down to the table and
forces it toward the fence.
If you push the saw through the work you would have to pull it forward,
position the board, and then push back. This means you are cutting with
the back of the blade and the force on the work is up.
On my saw there is an adjustable brake that prevents the saw moving
forward faster than the set speed.
I do not understand your comment at all on work visibility. On mine at
the start position the saw and blade are at the rear behind the fence
with the work between you and the blade.
Pull the blade forward a little bit and you can clearly see the teeth
and do any fine adjustment for the cut. If you try a push cut the
blade and motor assembly are between you and the work.
If the blade is in the way you don't have the table set up
properly...the blade should be completely behind the fence when at rest.
About "climbing" (later in the thread)...if, when you pull, the blade
want to agressively self-feed (climb) you need a blade with less hook.
dadiOH's dandies v3.06...
...a help file of info about MP3s, recording from
LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that.
Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico
A thread to potentially start a war with no winning side, akin to Gullivers
Travel "little end vs big end" war over which end of a boiled egg should be
In my opinion the "pull" method is recommended by the manufacturers so that
the carriage can be stored behind the fence to minimize the possibility of
injury once a piece has been cut. This method also means the carriage will
be behind the fence when the motor is started, again reducing the potential
for fingers to be in the way when turning on the RAS. In the US this may
save the manufacturers a lot of legal battles. I was a recipient of a class
action suit which resulted in Emerson having to give away a replacement
blade guard. I expect this was due to some person removing pieces of
fingers or hand due to the 80's design having an open blade.
I have been using my RAS since the early 80's. I quickly realised that if I
parked the carriage behind the fence, I lost a lot of cross cut capacity, so
I changed to the "push" method. I do pay attention to the position of my
left hand whenever I turn on the RAS with my right hand.
It is interesting that a Sliding Compound Mitre Saw is typically used in
"push" mode, but so many people feel that an RAS must be used in "pull"
I would use whatever feels most appropriate for you.
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