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Shop Tools #10: DeWalt 925 Radial Arm Saw

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Blog entry by WayneC posted 10-23-2007 05:43 AM 21114 reads 2 times favorited 29 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 9: Today's Finds - Oct 12 2007 Part 10 of Shop Tools series Part 11: A new plane - 6/16/2008 »

I have been resisting buying a Radial Arm Saw (RAS) for at least the last year. I have a great Sliding Compound Miter Saw, Router, and Table Saw. The only operation that seemed to be quick with a RAS that I could not easily do with the tools I have is making cross cuts using a dado set.

Last week Blake posted a project where he did a wonderful job restoring a 1959 DeWalt Radial Arm Saw. I really loved the job he did. Sunday afternoon I was browsing Craigslist and saw an ad for a saw similar to Blakes. I thought about it and tried to talk myself out of it. Deal was it was only $50. I called the man offering the saw and after a short discussion told him I would come up and get the saw.

After a beautiful drive into the foot hills where we saw a number of deer and other wildlife we arrived at his house. It was quite a trick to load the saw in to my Tahoe. The guy I purchased the saw from had a wonderful shop including an old 12” industrial jointer and 24” industrial planer.

Anyway, here are some photos of the saw.

DeWalt 925 RAS

DeWalt 925 RAS

Dewalt 925 RAS

Dewalt 925 RAS

The cabinet has wheels and can be easily be rolled from place to place.

RAS Cabinet

I spent some time rearranging the shop to make room for the saw. I belive I am going to rebuild the cabinet and raise it to match the height of my router table.

Dewalt 925 RAS in shop

Dewalt 925 RAS in Bench

Next steps are to rework the top. Shim and level the saw and begin the restoration process. I need to order a couple of books and have found the user’s manual on-line.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov



29 comments so far

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3808 posts in 2708 days


#1 posted 10-23-2007 06:02 AM

Check and make sure they have the right blade on it.
The last thing you need is to have that thing climb out at you.
If you bring it up to the height of your router table you can put longer board on the table. You might consider switching place with the router depending on the length of boards you intend to cut.
These things are sweet for running dadoes in sequence and real time savers.
Have fun with it Wayne and keep posting your progress,

Bob

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12292 posts in 2784 days


#2 posted 10-23-2007 06:09 AM

Thanks Bob. I am going to order a new blade and a dado stack for it. I debated which side to put the router table on. Easy to swap them around. I’m also going to order the book “How to master the Radial Arm Saw

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View gene's profile

gene

2184 posts in 2570 days


#3 posted 10-23-2007 08:02 AM

Wayne, I have a craftsman radial arm saw and I found that when I set up my saw as directed, you are supposed to leave a small % of tilt to the rear for ease of return. This made my dado cuts at a uneven depth.
I had to go back and setup when used for a dado cut to 0% to correct this. ( a true pain ) The 0% really makes the blade want to plow more than usual. I hope yours will adjust easier than mine.
Good luck with the restoration and looking forward to seeing the finished product.
God bless

-- Gene, a Christian in Virginia

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4437 posts in 2649 days


#4 posted 10-23-2007 01:31 PM

Hey Wayne, this looks like a fun project. I’ve got R. J. DeCristoforo’s Complete book of Power Tools. If you think it will help I’ll send it down. It has a huge section on RAS’s. It was written in 1972. If you want to use it send me your shipping address by private message. I just noticed that some of the photos are of your little saw. I doesn’t have a section just for that saw though but a lot of info from that time period.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12292 posts in 2784 days


#5 posted 10-23-2007 03:07 PM

Thanks Tom. I may have the book already and will check. Your offer is much appreciated.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View mot's profile

mot

4911 posts in 2723 days


#6 posted 10-23-2007 03:47 PM

Nice! These old Dewalts look like a real bargain!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12292 posts in 2784 days


#7 posted 10-23-2007 04:28 PM

Cannot beat the price…

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Bill's profile

Bill

2579 posts in 2848 days


#8 posted 10-23-2007 04:30 PM

Way to go Wayne. It looks like a good one. I bet you put a new top on it soon. Maybe make a wheeled base so you can move it around where needed.

-- Bill, Turlock California, http://www.brookswoodworks.com

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12292 posts in 2784 days


#9 posted 10-23-2007 04:32 PM

Thanks Bill. Definately a new top. Perhaps I will build a new base. The current one does have wheels on it and is quite easy to move.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View SPalm's profile

SPalm

4845 posts in 2569 days


#10 posted 10-23-2007 07:17 PM

Good find Wayne. That’s a true classic. I had seen that post too, beautiful job. Do your restoration plans include paint and the whole shebang?

The RAS is a controversial tool. It will be interesting to hear how you like it when you have it back in shape.

Steve

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12292 posts in 2784 days


#11 posted 10-23-2007 07:29 PM

Thanks Steve. Under the grime, the paint appears to be in good condidtion. Going to try to clean it up and see how it looks. I plan to take it slow and careful and do a lot of reading. I want to make sure I have a good handle on safe operations.

I’m hoping this will be a quick and accurate crosscutting tool once tuned up.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Tony's profile

Tony

978 posts in 2717 days


#12 posted 10-23-2007 08:25 PM

Hi Wayne – you have made a gooid buy there! . My Delta 12” is in constant use – I rarely use my Makita compound or DeWalt Chop saw any more.

If you normally work from the right, you need to follow Bob’s advice and make some more space on that side. I have 5m to the right and 1m50 to the left (which is not enough). You might like to consider putting it on wheels, so you can pull it out for those extra long boards (They should fit niceley into the house, through that door)

Take care of this beast´- If you have not used one before take it carefully and slowly at first, if it bites into the wood that can come at you at a great speed. One set up they are a great tool – I hope you get it finished by January!!!!!

-- Tony - All things are possible, just some things are more difficult than others! - SKYPE: Heron2005 (http://www.poydatjatuolit.fi)

View Jeff's profile

Jeff

10 posts in 2511 days


#13 posted 12-06-2007 04:17 PM

ANy progress?

If you ahve new photos please do share them.

I have bought and will be picking up this saw’s cousin next week.

I am excited to get it tuned up and humming…

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12292 posts in 2784 days


#14 posted 12-06-2007 11:03 PM

No progress to report. I’m up to my eyeballs in work these days. Not had any time to play, even on the LJ site.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Bill's profile

Bill

2579 posts in 2848 days


#15 posted 12-09-2007 12:10 AM

Bummers Wayne. That happens at the end of the year doesn’t it? Maybe we will see something on this in January.

-- Bill, Turlock California, http://www.brookswoodworks.com

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