A RAS has the good behavior to sit quietly (most of the time) in one place,
along the wall just waiting to be used. A table saw in use requires enough
space, on both sides of the blade (leading and trailing), for the workpiece
to be pushed through. My Dad was a cabinetmaker for 40 years; his shop was
laid out all around the TS, but it was about 30'x120'. I can't make the
same commitment of floor space in my double garage, so I use a RAS. A lot
of the rips I need to make are less than 30" long, so I use an auxilliary
fence parallel to the blade travel. Clamped to the normal fence it gives a
reliable reference that allows me to rip with the RAS used in its normal
crosscut fashion. As I usually have it set up, I get about 16" of travel;
by flipping the piece and cutting from each end I can make a safe, accurate
cut about 32" long. When that isn't long enough, I usually use the bandsaw
or a circular saw.
Let me ask you something, Steve: are the rips good enough for glue ups?
I couldn't get a quality rip from my old Sears TS, but my Unisaw with
WWII lets me rip as smooth as a baby's butt and straight as an arrow.
Steve Peterson wrote:
I usually make at least one pass through the jointer before trying to glue
anything. I do have a WWII blade and it does make a nice cut, but the
jointer still makes it cleaner and assures a right angle.
I haven't had any trouble with making perpendicular cuts with my Unisaw,
due to the positive, repeateable stop for the tilt mechanism. My
Crapsman TS, on the other hand... <g>
Steve Peterson wrote:
Well, I personally think it matters not a whig as long as one has either
set up properly...I choose to rip on thr RAS precisely <because> I have
it set up such that it is the most convenient tool for the job in my
imo, ymmv, $0.02, etc., ...
YEP. The proper procedure for ripping on every RAS I've seen is into the
climbing teeth. Read the manual. If you've got one that's different, a lot
of us would like to know. It's one reason why folks don't do it much if they
have an alternative. The guard can be rotated forward to limit the lift on
some (those with anti-kickback pawls), but the modern ones benefit more from
a featherboard clamped to the fence, because they've got the semicircular
Speaking of the fence, it is another reason why ripping on the RAS, even if
you move it out from the wall to get better position, can be a bit
troublesome. Too many people don't keep an uncut piece of slick-faced
whatever available to reference. The cuts can trap the board due to a bit
of misalignment, or catch a splinter, stopping the feed. Very frustrating.
Also a temptation to unsafe reaching or forcing....
So a friend of mine offered me a RAS, as he's got two sitting in his garage
(in pieces). I've got a tablesaw, a miter saw, but I'm thinking this saw
could still be a useful addition to my arsenal. Or am I dreaming? I was
thinking it would be as useful as having a crosscut sled set up, and useful
for cutting dado's and rabbets. Probably keep it at 90 degrees almost all
================I have owned a RAS for at least 40 years and it has not moved off a 90
degree cut for the last 30 years....I also own a CMS and a couple of
Tablesaws..which are both used...
The RAS is pretty useful for dado's especially if they do not need to
be dead on accurate...89.90 degrees or so... lol...
Sorry but my old Delta Contractors saw is set up with a dead on
adjustabe sled just for doing crosscuts of less then 30 inches in
lenght... the RAS is used ONLY for rough cutting crosscuts...
anything over 30 inches that I need super accurate cross cuts is done
on my Cabinet saw also with a sled....
Actually my CMS is only used ocassionaly and also never for accurate
cuts.... I just prefer the feel of using the RAS over the CMS.... BUT
If I were a young man and just starting out I would go for the CMS to
Well, that's probably my biggest issue with getting the RAS; the space
required for it. But I was thinking that the RAS, CMS, and drill press all
have similar "long board" requirements, so maybe they can co-exist on a wall
Don't listen to chicken littles about the RAS. It's as safe as any
other powered, toothed implement in your shop. Operator stupidity,
now; that's another matter.
However, get the book by Wally Kunkel ("Mr. Sawdust") at
http://www.mrsawdust.com . It's focus is on Dewalt RAS' and their
structure, but much of the material is useful to any RAS owner.
$29.95, but worth it. You'll certainly get something out of it.
I've got a RAS and find it to be very useful, and safe. I don't rip on it
only because I'm used to using my table saw for that. It allows me to cut
miters in an easier fashion than fidling with the miter gauge on the table
saw though. It's invaluable for cutting down stock to length when the
boards are long.
As for keeping it in adjustment, well I have a craftsman from around 1984
maybe and I set it up myself then. Today, not a single adjustment has
needed to be made and it still cuts dead on. Clean it up, plug it in, and
give a go!
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