I have a Craftsman 10" radial arm saw (inherited from father) that is
25+ years old. Saw is good condition. Since most of what I want to
do is furniture/cabinet work and I have a miter saw and hand power
saw, am looking at possibly selling the radial and getting a ~$200
Also, what tools are recommended from someone starting out. I used to
do alot of woodworking years ago in school, but we had all the high
power/industrial tools (loved the $80,000 planner they had). Now,
don't have any tools except for miter, hand saw, and drill. I am
wanting to start making furniture, with first being entertainment
Any recommendations or ideas would greatly be appreciated.
Well, perhaps he doesn't want a NEW $200 table saw. I bought an older
Craftsman flex drive saw for $125 and put about $300 more into refurbishment
and upgrades including a new rip fence and a carbide tipped blade. What I
have now is something far better than the old girl ever was...even when
If you have the time and inclination to refurbish and modernize an old
tablesaw, you can find one for far less than $200 but be prepared to invest
at least that amount more for necessary upgrades. You'll end up with
something that will rival the top of the line contractor saws from the best
known manufacturerss for about half the money.
One note of caution: if you decide to go that route, get one with cast iron
extension tables. Don't even look at saws with stamped steel extensions.
I have a 29 year old Craftmans RA that I am using. I used it to build
my own kitchen cabinets, without any problems. Ripped all of the
shelving and face frames, including oak trim for all of the shelves.
There are time that I would like to have a TS but don't want to give
the space in my garage. Have a drill press, band saw, and jointer and
have made it without a TS. But I only work as a hobby.
If I were to try and make more of woodworking than a hobby that I would
like to have one.
My TS broke down a few years ago and I had to do some ripping with the RAS
to finish off a project. Ripping with the RAS is one of the most intimating
power tool operations I ever experienced. Funny I could cut trees with my
chain saw all day long and think nothing of it but ripping even one sheet of
wood on the RAS scares the bee gees out of me.
I've heard and read this a lot...why?
For years while saving for the PM 66 I used the RAS for everything and,
in fact, before the jointer had it set up to use the shaping head for
that as well. I've ripped a <ton> of material w/ nary a problem. All
it takes (like a TS) is a long table to support the work, adjusting the
hold down properly and using a push stick for narrow stock. I've never
felt it was any more "scary" than the TS.
Now that I have the TS, jointer, spindle shaper, et al., the RAS is
relegated mostly to cutoff work, but I would still miss it if it were
===================================Well I still have ...and use... my 30+ year old Craftsman RAS ...but I
will also admit that the darn thing has not moved off a 90 degree cut
in the last 20 years...but I do have a Jig that allows me to cut
perfect 45 degree cuts without moving the arm ...
That said... I am really not one to be intimidated...but I do have
plenty of reservations about ripping on "MY" RAS... just not as
comfortable as using a table saw...
As for the OP... I too suggest he keep the RAS (hell I wish I had a
lot more "stuff" that belonged to my dad...) I have plenty BUT now
that he is dead everything I see in my shop that once belonged to him
just makes my day a little more enjoyable...nothing like taking a few
seconds to remember him... ..................... ok I just took
I suggest that the OP pay himself ...every single week... if he makes
2 bucks an hour..then toss 2 bucks under the mattress each week...if
he makes 50 bucks an hour then toss 50 bucks under that mattress...
when the mattress gets lumpy...go buy a GOOD Table saw...
Pretty much the same for me <now> as well although for some really long
material the RAS is set up in a longer bench than the room the table saw
is in will handle w/o hitting a wall so it's easier to use it than to
move the TS---back then, I didn't <have> a TS... :(
I'm back on the family farm and having all of Dad's and much of
Granddad's "stuff" is, as you say, a treasured benefit...Dad wasn't very
much on keeping old stuff for sentimental reasons, though, so I keep
finding uses for something I remembered as a kid and discover it isn't
around (the old wall-mounted hand crank drill press is one specific
item). Of course, the old '28 Chevy truck I learned to drive in, the
old Cat 22 or the AC D17 would be nice to still have, too... :)
Also, OP probably won't get much for the RAS if he tries to sell it
Thats just about right.... just a simple hunk of plywood with split
adjustable fences... IT IS NOT the same one I use on the tablesaw
but is identical except it has no runners and attaches to the RAS
table with a couple of bolts...
I had a "runner" I gripped in the fence slot, after removing the RAS fence.
That way I had full distance to the right, where the existing fence, if left
in place would have interfered, and the full benefit of my tuning for square
to fence and heel out.
However, as indicated, went back to tilted blade.
Really, Ed's right. Work with the RAS for now. A 25 year old RAS in good shape
is better than a new $200 table saw.
"Political language... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder
respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind." George Orwell
Keep the RA. Save up for a good Table saw. Alternative ...Some
schools offer night courses, and you can use $80,000 equipment ..[that
one I'd like to see], their wood [you pay for it later] and their
advice ...it has been some time you say. My daughter still has the
walnut coffe table my wife made at a night course while I was studying
to finish university.
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