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Eric1435
Re: Radial Arm saw

Thanks for the tip!!

BFJones
Re: Radial Arm saw

Like a lot of guys, my dad did some good woodworking with a radial arm saw. I didn't have much interest but when I moved to a house with space for a shop and some projects that needed doing, I bought a used ra very cheap. I've used it for several projects. With more experience, I would say the ra is a good option for limited space and money but a table saw and miter saw are more accurate for serious woodworking.

ordjen
Re: Radial Arm saw

I bought my old Craftsman RAS new in 1970 and had it until I moved to Portland in 2005. The thing was built like a tank and required freqent tuning, but for general cross cutting it sure can't be beat. I had it permanently mounted along my 26 foot long garage wall. On both sides I had fold up approach and run out tables. As in those days I didn't ave a table saw, the long tables made it more useable as a rip saw. Ripping can be a little intimidating on a RAS!
Changeing of blades is certainly easier on a RAS. I also like the safety of always seeing that blade in front of me. I have a healthy respect for power saws and so far have been able to retain all my fingers!

When I left Chicago, I gave away my radial saw, as I knew the new house garage would not accommodate it well. I now have a DeWalt table saw and a premium 12 inch sliding miter miter saw on a roll around stand.

Having paid $200 for that old Craftsman new and having had it for 34 years, I guess I got my monies worth! Alot of these tools don't get used all that often, but when you need them, you need them!

At 72, I am now hesitant to buy new tools because I don't have that long term outlook anymore. :( Having lost my wife of 49 years this past spring, I am now acutely aware of my mortality. Hope my two boys will enjoy them as much as I have.

A. Spruce
Re: Radial Arm saw
ordjen wrote:

At 72, I am now hesitant to buy new tools because I don't have that long term outlook anymore. :( Having lost my wife of 49 years this past spring, I am now acutely aware of my mortality. Hope my two boys will enjoy them as much as I have.

Hey Ordj, I always thought you were a young (-ish) buck like the rest of us! My condolences on your loss. As far as age and investing in new tools, it's your money, you can't take it with you, so you may as well enjoy it to the fullest, and if that means adding tools to your corral, so be it. I bought my shop about 13 years ago with the long term in mind, which is one of the reasons that it's a professional grade shop. I knew when I purchased it that it would last me the rest of my life time and well into whomever inherits it when I'm gone. I have loved every second of using these machines, they were well worth the cost in my mind, the added benefit is being able to build whatever suits my fancy, cheaper, and to a much higher quality standard than almost anything you can buy ready-made these days. If you love woodworking and using a good quality tool, I say, that is a pursuit worth taking. :cool:

HoustonRemodeler
Re: Radial Arm saw

My condolences Ord.

I still have my 1987 Craftsman RAS set along a 30 foot wall of my shop. 20 foot of feed table to one side, 10 feet to the other. Exhaust fan built into the wall right behind it.

Not used too often, but I still make some sawdust every now and then

ordjen
Re: Radial Arm saw

When my wife was alive, we always knew what to get each other for Christmas. She would get that new table saw she always wanted, and I would get that new sewing machine I always wanted! :)

A. Spruce
Re: Radial Arm saw
ordjen wrote:

When my wife was alive, we always knew what to get each other for Christmas. She would get that new table saw she always wanted, and I would get that new sewing machine I always wanted! :)

Nothing wrong with that!;)

Mastercarpentry
Re: Radial Arm saw

Adding my condolences to you ordjen.

Before the advent of the sliding compound miter saws, I always felt that a RAS was the first main tool one should have in a shop; most folks called for a table saw but long cuts can be done well with a skilsaw and guide and the RAS handled the rest better than trying to slide a long piece straight across a table on a miter gage. Still a great tool if you've got room for it and I'm seeing these go cheap used now that everyone's got a SCM. I'm going to be picking up one sometime soon, I have seen very nice ones go for $150 with a stand and blades too!

Phil

A. Spruce
Re: Radial Arm saw

Personally, I think a RAS is a key tool for anyone who does any amount of woodworking. Sure, a compound miter is great, but it's still limited in it's ability to cut wider material, and panel cutting on a tablesaw is a complete pain in the posterior. When I have room for one, I am planning on adding a RAS to my shop, for just such cuts. It will be incorporated into the same wall system as the chop saw, for obvious reasons.

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