After re-reading my post in your reply LRod, I'm in total agreement
with what you're saying. One of those classic cases of thinking one
thing and saying another. I should have reread my post before sending
it rather than watching TV while responding to Robatoy's post. I was
indeed referring to the correct method of sawing stock with a SCMS
rather than a radial arm which does indeed require that you to pull the
carriage through the stock. I'm a little embarrased by my faux pas and
absolutely stand corrected. Thanks!!!
Oh, and by the way, I'm not secretly Bruce Johnson in disguise.
Because that is the correct way to cut wood on a RAS. The saw can lift the
wood up as you push it. And DO NOT think that because you have not had an
accident yet is strictly because you adhere to what ever safety rules that
you follow. Following safety rules guarantees nothing.
I don't know of any power tool, electric or
Or any one else for that matter. If you think you can prevent all accidents
that could possibly happen you simply are not old enough yet to understand
how wrong you are.
I'll be the first to admit my error - see my reply to LRod. But let me
address your other comments as I have read some of your posts and you
seem to be a knowledgeable person. Whenever I use a power tool, I am
very aware of my environment and of the risks that are inherent with
each tool I use, as I hope you are. Those risks are minimized, albeit
not totally eliminated, by knowing how to operate your equipment
safely, knowing, respecting and using a tool for its intended use,
wearing the proper safety equipment, dressing properly, not allowing
yourself to be distracted when using a tool, etc. I never turn on a
power toll wondering if I'm going to be lucky and not get injured while
using it. I fully expect to complete the job at hand successfully and
SAFELY because I make a point of thinking about the safe use of the
tool. Most accidents in the shop, that are not the result of something
totally out of a person's controle, are caused by an act of
carelessness. Minimizing that carelessness by employing and following
safety rules absolutely has contributed to my safety record in my shop.
No where did I state that following safety rules gurantees anything or
that I can prevent ALL accicents that could possibly happen to me. So
please don't take my comment out of context.Can I prevent an accident
from occurring. You bet I can if it is something that I have control
over. If I can't, I have no business turning on that power switch.
I will totaly agree with everything you have said up to this point.
May I repeat your statement,
I've never had an accident with this saw, not because I
was lucky, but because I know how to use it and because I strictly
adhere to and follow the correct procedures when using it.
Now I read that as you believe that your knowledge of safety rules is why
you have never had an accident.
Good luck with that.
Can I prevent an accident
You are as capable of making a mistake or misunderstanding a particular
hazard as anyone else. Just as easily as commenting that you push the blade
into the work on a RAS. You knew better but you came out with a quick
answer or misinterpreted a post. We really don't have as many accidents
when we pay attention but we all have accidents because none of us are 100%
focused 100% of the time. I have a question for you that I have asked
another poster that has a similar point of view that you do. Have you ever
cut yourself with a knife? Ever? And did you know the safety rules of
handling a knife before you cut your self?
Do not ever assume that your knowledge of a tool will always keep you out of
Stay safe. I once believed the way that you do.
Thanks. I know I'm not bullet proof and a long way from being perfect.
I do know that I can minimize my risk for injury when I'm in the shop.
I'd be foolish to think that nothing can happen to me. I have the
scars to prove otherwise although they aren't shop related. As a
matter of fact, a couple of them are from sharp knives. In a couple of
months I'll close out the 50's and begin my 6th decade here on this
good planet. My goal, the Good Lord willing, is to be able to share
with my grandkids the joy of woodworking and instill in them the safe
use of shop tools as I did with my sons.
I've enjoyed the dialogue Leon and appreciate your thoughts and
candidness. I'll put this thread to rest now. I'll look forward to
reading other posts from you and other members of this group. I joined
this group to tap the vast storehouse of knowledge that exists so that
I can learn from it and to hopefully share some of my own. I haven't
been disappointed. Stay safe.
I refuse to work with a tool which requires so much attention to safety
that the entire experience becomes laborious. The danger is
disproportionate to what the damn thing does.
Okay... that may be a bit over the top.
I have never had a mishap with a RAS, but read many reports on accidents
which involved RASaws. Locally, an experienced woodworker lost a hand at
Accidents happen to experienced safety-conscious people when the tool
has inherent design flaws which go against the grain of rational
thought. The evil RAS is such a beast.
Micro-surgery is a wonderful development, but the results are 'iffy' at
best. I recall the story of the farmhand in India which had his manhood
ripped off by an alligator whilst bathing in a river. A US medical team,
which happened to be operating near the border grafted the remnants
back, filling in a missing section with tissue grafted from a baby
elephant's trunk. After a period of healing, the farmhand's wife was
quite pleased with the result. The farmhand reported that he was annoyed
that every time he walked across a lawn, the thing would shove a tuft of
grass up his arse.
I don't know if I'm lucky but I own both a Delta compound miter saw
and an old 1949 Rockwell 6" radial arm saw that my grandfather
earned a living with...using it to rip, crosscut, and dado with. Gramps
was buried with all ten still attached. This is a very well made solid
saw that is so much smoother in operation than any low cost units
for sale today. (minus..no built in electronic brake...takes two or
three minutes to whirl to a stop). However, it still scares me using
stacked dado cutters on it
or for ripping materials with it. I think the unpopularity of the RAS
is for a good reason. I mostly admire the construction of the old saw
and think about gramps whenever I dust it off, but seldom turn it on.
On Sun, 19 Mar 2006 13:55:47 -0800, "Pat"
Not my miter saw, unless you're Shrek.
I'm 6'1", 225, and in excellent shape. I have no problem wheedling
around with full sheets of 3/4" MDF. While it's no RAS, my Delta
miter saw is freakin' heavy for it's size!
I'd like to point out that any argument made here about the safety of
radial arm saws also applies to compound miter saws, so the
discussion is slightly off topic.
When deciding between a miter saw and RAS -- The RAS is more
versitile, whereas the miter saw is more portable, and depending on
the saw, generally cheaper.
If you have a tablesaw, you don't need any of the versatility of the
RAS saw, and a Miter Saw would probably be a better buy. If you
don't you should strongly consider a RAS saw. See the FAQ, section
3.3 for information on RAS saws and Table saws. One thing that is
not mentioned is that it is possible to rip large boards (the kinds
that are are to rip on a RAS) using a circular saw and a jig.
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