I have and use a RAS. My only discomfort is that work other than cutting,
e.g., molding, rabitting etc., if the work shifts it will shift into the
cutter and get gouged. Doing the same operation on a Table Saw, if the work
shifts, you cut less than you had intended and can take a second pass.
Otherwise, I like and use RAS.
That's the one. Too many stupid people put their hand where the blade's
Mine's been with me thirty years - Montgomery Ward - and I didn't get it
new. You check the sets prior to cutting, just as you do your table saw,
and it shouldn't be a problem. Every RAS is capable of holding a setting,
the rub is how long.
If God had meant for us to rip on a RAS, he'd never have given us the
Been using mine painlessly for 30+ years!
With a long table, it rips far more easily than a TS, except for very small
I usually stop the cut when I get near the end and go around to the outfeed
side to pull the final bit through. When I can, I get a wife or kid to do
the final pull. I've done lots of 8-20 ft rips in rough 2X lumber with no
When I was building my house, the saw was far from the power source, so I
put it on 240V and fed it with 12ga Romex to prevent sag. Worked fine. If
you have serious heavy ripping to do, get a 20-24 tooth blade.
That said, I DO NOT like the molding head rig, although I have used it with
Do a search on DeCristiforo and Radial Arm Saw. I think his RAS book
is something like "The Magic of your Radial Arm Saw" or similar. It is
a pretty good book although like all the other RAS books I have seen
says nothing about the Craftsman model. I think his is written around
a DeWalt RAS. I like DeCristiforo's style but that may be because THE
book on my Shopsmith was written by him.
I built my RAS into an 18 foot workbench. I can rip a 4x8 sheet with
one hand (no I didn't chop the other off!) with the help of a couple of
rollers. It is my primary saw.
Any saw is dangerous if you don't know how to use it.
Everything I did in my 1st 10 years of woodworking was done on the RAS
and a wood lathe. I suspended my hobby for about 20 yrs. Started up
about 8 yrs ago and bought a jointer, planer, table saw, bandsaw, belt
sander, etc, etc. Having these in ADDITION to my RAS speeds things up
considerably. The RAS did everything that these do but it took a lot
longer because it was my equivalent of a Shopsmith.
I now use it for all my crosscut work over about 20 inches. Otherwise,
I use my Unisaw. I don't cut at angles any more. It is accurate if
you don't move it from square. If I want to cut 2 x 4's or similar
sizes, I usually use my miter saw. It maintains accuracy when adjusted
to angles. Tools are a real bargan today in comparison to 30 or more
tom email@example.com wrote:
It looks like I'll need to use the RAS to build another bookcase, Thanks
for the links to the literature folks, & thanks for the link to the
forum Rumpty - I'll be spending alot of time going through the postings
I'm having trouble posting pictures Tom, I haven't done it in awhile and
seem to have forgotten how Xnews works.
I spent some time today running through some scrap with the saw & trying
out the blades that came with it. It's definitely a new experience but
so was everything else at one point.
Again, to everyone who responded I appreciate it (I didn't mean to cause
any disagreements with the original post, sorry about that).
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