I recently acquired my fathers Radial Arm Saw. It is an older model
Craftsman 9" (Still trying to located the exact model number). The problems
I am having are:
1. No manual.
2. the blade is out of 90. (I know tilt it to 90) however, it has locking
points at the 90. My question. Is there a place to adjust the saw to get
it back to 90 It is only out about 2 or 3 degrees (but I am learning that
can make a very big difference).
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
On my elderly 10" Craftsman radial arm saw (RAS) , the blade tilt can
be zeroed by loosening four hex head bolts on the front of the motor
yolk, very close to the graduated "tilt" ring. The old wood working
machines web site is a good place for manuals, the manual for my RAS is
If the manual is un findable, there are a number of good books on
radial arm saws out there. I use "Power Tools" by R.J. De
Christophoros. It has good instructions for RAS alignment. A trip to
your town library will often turn up a useful book.
A RAS can go out of alignment for just being moved, or from age, or
from warpage of the table. If the tilt alignment is a little out, I
would surely want to check all the alignment points, table flat and
parallel to arm, arm at right angles to fence, motor yoke play, blade
parallel to arm, just to be sure. That and use a square to check a few
trial cuts for squareness.
Was it me, I would treat the saw to a new sharp carbide blade. The
old steel blades dull after just a few hours of cutting, and once dull
they are more likely to kick back at you while ripping.
Not to mention the blade climbing up on to a chunk of timber. Fortunately, I am
happy to say, that has only happened twice to me in ~24 years, both times when
I was using it for construction and dealing with wet framing timber.
firstname dot lastname at gmail fullstop com
Ha, ha. Love the newbs. There is no such thing as a blade "rated" for
use on a RAS. Hell, when I bought mine (1971--a good twenty years
after they exploded in popularity in building sites), there were no
such things as RAS blades or table saw blades--just blades. I don't
think it was until Forrest started marketing (the key word, by the
way) a "RAS blade" that anyone even thought of such a thing.
While it is true that a low or negative hook angle can decrease the
bite of the saw, any RAS user over the age of 50 and probably quite a
few younger than that have no problem using a straight-out-of-the-box
saw blade on a RAS regardless of the specifications. TCG, ATB, rip,
+10 deg hook, -5 deg hook, doesn't matter. It's all about technique,
not the grind of the tooth.
Just look for a carbide blade with lots of teeth for smooth cuts.
Sharp makes for rips without kickback. My radial arm saw has never
climbed, even with the old instant dullness steel blades I used before
buying my first carbide blade many years ago.
Thanks. Dave Herron had me thinking all of a sudden. But then was also
thinking, of the 12 to 20 blades that were with the saw (Steel) not a one of
them said radial arm. And further they all range in size from 9" to 7".
I did go get a new carbide blade.
Thanks for the advise on the hex bolts (I wondered what they were for). I
also decided I had better find a book to check on all the other adjustments.
Was thumbing thru "Half-Price Books" and to my amazement they had a book
"Radial Arm Saw Techniques" by Roger W. Cliffe, circa 1986. Not quite as
old as the saw, but does have a section on refurbishing Saws. I also
figured that for $9.00 could not go wrong.
Sounds like a keeper. RAS techniques probably haven't changed much
since the tool was invented in the 1920's. It ought to show how to
check saw alignment.
Actually I just saw a new trick to check for "heeling" (sawblade
not parallel to the arm). Temporarily replace the fence with a 6 inch
wide board. Then you can use a framing square running across the blade
close to the center and back to the high fence. The blade wants to be
perfectly square to the fence.
That's the worst problem I ever have with my RAS. Leads to tear-out at the
trailing end of the blade. I use the method you describe, except I use an
engineer's square, set against the normal fence: works for me, since I mostly
use a pretty high fence.
firstname dot lastname at gmail fullstop com
See if you can find a copy of Jon Eakes' "Fine Tuning Your Radial Arm
Saw"--it has specific instructions for adjusting Craftsman saws. The
link I have is broken and Jon's Web site is apparently down until it
gets redesigned, so you're on your own finding it.
Many of the older Craftsman RAS have their ID numbers on a tag located on
the left rear just below the table. They went out of their way to put it in
an obscure place. I would have thought that someplace on the arm or saw
would be where to find it.
"J. Clarke" < email@example.com> wrote in message
Dont forget the recall of Emerson made RAS. You can get a new blade
guard and table top out of it for free if it is one of the recalled
saws. Otherwise they will buy the motor from you.
I got a new blade guard and table top for free. SWEET!!!!!!!!!
Yep mine is an Emerson.
As for the recall. Well mine is on the recall list. However, they do not
have the parts for it. So what they want me to do is send them the motor
and they will send me $100.00.
That seems like a pretty stupid thing to do as I would then be out of a
radial arm saw. I guess I'll just have to be real careful when using it.
(i.e. keep fingers out of the way)
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