I have 2 nice saws and have to cut a 2x4 in half length wise. My son
approached the Table Saw, and I suggested the Radial Arm saw. My
Radial Arm saw is a compound Rockwell saw, that allows me to move the
lower arm into a position so I can push the 2 x 4 from the side that
has the splitter. My son likes to do it on the Table Saw right along
the fence. To be honest, could I get a feeling what you guys do?
Please don't laugh about this dumb question, but I don't like to argue
or tell my son what to do, and I'm too old to remember which way to do
it....Thank you in advance........PM
I use the radial myself because it's in a long table (12-ft) so have
Either works, but need a good outfeed table or other support on the
Use whichever has the proper support or make it for whichever you're
most comfortable with.
dpb gave you the right answer. Do it whichever way gives the workpiece
the most stability and support.
I prefer using a table saw with an adequate outfeed table, but that's
just what I'm used to. A lot of folks cringe at the thought of ripping
with a RA, but a RA with a table that stabilizes the work is much
better than trying to use a TS without an outfeed table of with roller
stand supports that, IME, are far too prone to tipping or applying
side loads to the work (if the rollers are the least bit canted to one
side or the other).
I have both a radial arm saw and a table saw. Ripping a 2x4 lengthwise is a
natural job for a tablesaw. However, whichever saw you do use, keep in mind
that the 2x4 may be wet inside and may not be exactly straight which could
cause problems when cutting. If it is wet inside it will want to either
spread or contract together causing the wood to bind on the side of the
blade. Also wet wood can be a problem with a "good" blade that has too many
teeth. When I have to cut such wood I use an old, but still sharp, carbide
blade with a wide kerf, which has only 8 teeth on a 10 inch blade. The blade
doesn't bind much and the wide spaced teeth clear out the wet sticky sawdust
instead of heating up.
"Tom Veatch" wrote in message
I love all the answers, and at least I know that he could use the TS
as well as the RAS. and yes we have super support, because I believe
in the support issue very strongly. Maybe more answers will come, but
I'm sure there is probably no person that would only use one saw over
the other. The answers so far just make too much sense.....Thanks
again you nice folks here for helping me with some good answers.....I
almost forgot Tom mentioned using a sharp but otherwise older sawblade
with only 8 or 10 teeth. It really made a lot of sense to me, but I'm
again shocked for never considering that angle. I always use the
sawblade with the highest amount of teeth. I thought this would always
makes sense. Tom's remark however makes sense now, and I will never
forget it, well I hope not.....what a great discussion, I'm really
glad I wrote....Pete
It's not the number so much as the type. For ripping you really want a
rip tooth, not a cross or combination.
Framing material is so soft it really doesn't matter a whole lot other
than there is some advantage in coarser w/ wet material but a very fine
tooth crosscut would definitely be a poor choice.
Well, I guess I'm not familiar with exactly what a "compound Rockwell
saw" but if it's truly a radial arm saw, and thus very similar in
design and use to my Craftsman radial arm saw, then you absolutely do
not want to push the 2x4 from the side that has the splitter. In fact,
I don't even see how you could do it the way you describe. The blade
has to make a kerf for the splitter to go in.
When ripping with a radial arm saw (not automatically a dangerous act,
contrary to internet lore), the wood is fed toward the teeth which are
spinning toward the wood--exactly like with a table saw. The splitter
is the last thing encountered by the wood in the whole operation.
I'm surprised no one caught this, or I have it wrong.
Sounds like he is talking about setting the saw head up for either a
in rip or out rip
It can be turned either way, I'd guess he set it so it was turned so
the splitter and blade was
to the outside of the cut (toward the operator looking at the motor,)
versus toward the fence
I don't think he meant "the splitter" at all. I think he meant the anti
I once mentioned to a friend that I use my RAS for ripping a lot and he
turned white from fear, then told of his near death experience with one.
When I mentioned how I set up the anti-kickback device, he had never
heard of such a thing. No wonder people are afraid of the RAS.
You may be right. It's from such misstatements that internet lore is
I've actually seen accounts regarding the so called "scary ripping"
wherein the the writer described feeding the stock in the same
direction the blade was spinning (instead of against the spin). It's
no surprise he had a bad result, and I have been convinced for a long
time that the hoary chestnut that a RAS is unsafe for ripping had its
genesis in such a tale.
I guess I'm lucky. I bought and learned to use a RAS in 1972 and used
it often for lots of projects for nearly 20 years before the internet
came along with scary people all over the place telling me how scary
my tool was. Never occured to me. Not the way I learned to use it.
Same here. I have built countless projects on a radial arm saw for many
years. When I grew up, they were everywhere. I even knew a couple of guys
who built special trailers for them for the construction guys. Every home
construction site had a radial arm saw set up for cutting boards on site.
I built lots of rustic furniture and bookshelves out of construction grade
lumber, just because it was all I could afford at the time. Much of that
stuff is still going strong, 30 years later. And it is much stronger and
more durable than crap built with politically correct woodworking machinery.
And lo and behold, I was reading the internet one day when I learned that
millions of limbs and lives have lost to roving gangs of radial arms saws
terrorizing the land! I entirely missed that one. I often wondered what
kind of drugs these internet gossip hounds must of been on.
Yep...an inexpensive second-hand B&D was the first stationary tool I
bought after uni days. For several years it remained the only and was
used for absolutely everything from edge jointing and surfacing to
shaping and sanding.
Eventually I got the jointer, planer, shaper, table and band saws, etc.,
etc., etc., but that old RAS was the workhorse for quite a while and
built many projects from framing to my then stock-in-trade custom work
extra cash pieces of cedar and blanket chests.
I still have it although it is now little more than a momento as it was
superceded years ago w/ it's (much) bigger brother...
TS w/Good Out feed support and a feather board in place. Check to see
the bow on the 2-by and put the "high side" against the fence so the
blade will be on the "inside" of even the slightest bow.Yes, ths is
what I'm "used to" and, no, my RAS is not yet setup in is ten foot
table. But I bet its easier and safer to secure the material as
indicated and push it through from the end than to lean over the RAS
table and try and slide it with the resistance of all that contact
with the table and the setup for the RAS is more complex than raisng
the TS blade and setting the fence and feather board.
Now, you never said much about junior's expeience. Maybe he's a
framing guy or in the furnirure business and has a better shop then
you and, despite the difference in years, more experience in these
things. If so, defer by all means - but let him make the cut!
It's a tubafor, for heaven's sakes!!! How much resistance is there and
why is there any significant amount less for the table saw with an
adequate outfeed table?
The difference in setting the table saw fence and the radial head for a
rip cut is trivially small as well.
Ripping is one of the primary reasons the RAS is set up in the long
table and there's simply not that far to reach that there's any
significant difference there, either. In fact, w/ my setup of an
extended fence, initial feeding is much safer for a long piece than any
typical setup I've ever seen for a table saw as there's both infeed and
outfeed support--rarely is there infeed support on a TS as then one
_does_ have a reach problem to reach over that support to get the end of
the material past the blade.
I own a good tablesaw and I own a radial arm. I wouldn't consider
either one for cutting a 2x4 over 4 or 5 feet long. It is a job
for a hand held circular saw.
If I had to use one of the stationary tools, I would use the
tablesaw. I do have a 6' fall off table.
Keep the whole world singing . . . .
If I owned both, it would never occur to me to use the radial arm saw. The
principal reason would be that the blade of the RAS is
above the table, and thereby is in position to cut my arm off. All a table
saw can do is cut my fingers off; hence it is safer.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.