I got this Dewalt radial arm saw from Criagslist for $80.00 Feb 2012. It is an MBC 202, 1/2HP, 9 inch blade.
The person I purchased it from had lost the key for the switch and it was in a storage unit so there was no power to run it any way. I took a chance and bought it. After getting it home the first thing I did was to take the keyed switch out. That is when I learned that the keyed part of the switch was a removable attachment to a regular toggle switch. After getting the switch back in and plugging it in the thing ran great.
I spent several days cleaning the saw and rebuilding the table. I made the table from two layers or ¾ inch MDF and one layer of ¼ hard board. The rails underneath are Uni-strut. The table is adjustable using a double nut system. The fence is Oak and glued and screwed to the two layers. The back part of the table is one layer of ¾ and is intended to help keep the sawdust out of the lower frame area.
The stand is just dressed up 2×4’s and a piece of ¾ plywood for the top. The extension to the table is removable and works great for supporting longer pieces.
The stop I used is an electrical part found at Home Depot. I had a co-workers husband mill the sides flat and it works great. Not bad for 3 dollars.
I installed a paddle switch on the front of the table. I felt it would make turning the saw on and off safer. I ran the cord from the saw to the switch and then a cord to the wall outlet. The toggle switch on the saw arm is always on and I simply turn the saw on and off from the paddle switch.
After spending a lot of time looking on the internet as to where to set the fence distance from the blade, I decided to set the fence so the blade is just at the top corner of the fence. What I did not see was that for ¾ thick pieces it was fine but 1.5 inch the wood was a little close to the blade and if I tried to cut a 2 inch thick piece the blade would be cutting into the wood when the blade begins to turn. Since I wanted maximum cut I set the blade as close to the fence as possible. I mainly cut ¾ inch on this saw so it is not much of an issue. The length of 90 degree cross cut is 14 inches.
So I do have a question for the LJ folks that have a RAS. What is the ideal distance from the center of the blade to the fence?
Last Saturday the bearings in the motor went out. So I will be posting my rebuild of the motor.
-- Peter, A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.