Dewalt Radial Arm Saw Restoration #2: RE-Wiring, New Table (MR. Sawdust), New Mobile Base

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Blog entry by john1102 posted 01-28-2012 06:50 AM 9049 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Breakdown and Saw assessment Part 2 of Dewalt Radial Arm Saw Restoration series no next part

I will show a few pictures of the new coiled wire I added. To attach it I took one of the dual wire holders under the swing arm that was only being used by one wire and swapped it with the one on the column side that was a single wire clamp. Very clean look.

The below photos show, I had to get a little creative. Since the new wire coiled cord was larger, I had to get a new wire bushing and modify it, however this coiled cord is heavier and I didn’t want it to stress or pull on the bushing. So I took a cable clamp and turned it upside down and attached it via the screw that holds down the motor electric box seen in the photo below. I did have to get a slightly longer screw but it works GREAT. I would have liked to have found a metal one, but could only find plastic, the only time you stress this clamp bad is when you try to turn the saw upside down to calibrate the table.

Mr. Sawdust BOOK IS A MUST.
Below is the table I built, I varied a little bit by going with 3 pieceds of 1/2 steel tubing 36” long dadoed in between 2 pieces of MDF and topped with 1/4 hardboard and trimmed in SYP that I ripped down to 3/4 strips. Cheap man’s shop tools trim.

The MOBILE BASE CABINET is made of birch maple shop grade plywood, SYP trim, MDF tabletop, and 3 inch double locking SES casters to allow greater mobility in a small shop. Use the bottom storage for cut-offs and misc. items.

The saw restortion is complete and it runs great (very quiet), new bearings, wirings, table, mobile base cabinet, and it is smooth as glass with its action and cuts. I must say the calibration was the hardest, I reccommend a dial caliper and master plate, (roger hill Dewalt Saw Rebuild PDF is a great resource, Delphi Forums, and Mr. Sawdust) All great places to look for insight.

I hope you have enjoyed this journey, it was fun and enjoyable for me. I wish my tools still said made in the USA today with craftsman ship that lasted 50 years and with a little TLC and know-how another 50 years like this old dewalt RAS. Instead my latest tool PSI dust destroyer says made in China on all the boxes, ONEIDA made in the USA didn’t have a small enough DC model but I try to use USA made whenever possible. ENOUGH of my soapbox, hope you enjoyed the blog, thanks for reading if you did.


11 comments so far

View DIYaholic's profile (online now)


13378 posts in 1313 days

#1 posted 01-28-2012 07:13 AM

Here is my DeWalt Power Shop RAS. I need to rehab it & get it back into fighting shape!

Nice job on your rehab!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procratination a bad thing?

View john1102's profile


60 posts in 1305 days

#2 posted 01-28-2012 07:15 AM

Looks like a diamond in the rough, have fun and enjoy.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


9840 posts in 1256 days

#3 posted 01-28-2012 07:53 AM

You’ve done excellent work, congrats on reviving a great American shop tool. My ‘58 MBF is running strong, haven’t replaced the orig. maple top yet… You’re work is top notch and inspiring!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View NBeener's profile


4806 posts in 1811 days

#4 posted 01-28-2012 05:00 PM

You really did a great job, John—both on the mechanical restoration and on that cabinet and top combo.

There’s just something about these old DeWalts. Every single time I flick mine on … I grin just a bit.

What are you doing for a blade ??

-- -- Neil

View Bertha's profile


12951 posts in 1331 days

#5 posted 01-28-2012 05:03 PM

Gorgeous. Another beautiful RAS. Really nice work.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View john1102's profile


60 posts in 1305 days

#6 posted 01-28-2012 05:40 PM

I originally bought a freud LU91 (-5 degree hook) but wasn’t 100% happy with the blade cut or the cutting action ( I put back on the original blade for now). I plan on getting the forrest woodworker I TCP cut for this saw. It is supposed to be the best for cross-cutting, it gives a cleaner line vs. the ATB blade styles. I also plan on getting a stiffner with it.

Thanks for the gracious comments on my work.

View NBeener's profile


4806 posts in 1811 days

#7 posted 01-28-2012 05:47 PM

Very good blade choice, IMHO. Think you’ll be very happy with it.

-- -- Neil

View SteveW's profile


361 posts in 1496 days

#8 posted 01-29-2012 02:08 AM

Does anyone know where I might be able to get the original decals that DeWalt had on their
1950’s Radial Arm Saws? I just took ownership of one just like Neil’s, and I would like to restore it, but before I sandblast
all the parts, and then repaint it, I need to make sure I can get the tags, stickers or decals
for this ancient piece of ingenuity…
Any help is appreciated.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! SteveW

View john1102's profile


60 posts in 1305 days

#9 posted 01-30-2012 06:32 PM

If you can’t locate them on EBAY. Try Wolf Machinery in Iowa or The Original Saw Shop in Iowa also. The both remanufacture many of these dewalt RAS saws and may have them or know a contact. Give them a call.

John P.

View Bertha's profile


12951 posts in 1331 days

#10 posted 01-30-2012 06:51 PM

I’ve never heard anyone complain about the WWI. It’s a bit rich for my Craftsman RAS but no doubt an excellent choice. The RAS is a definite luxury in my tiny shop, taking up a lion’s share of room. It’s sooooo nice, though, to have something at the ready for a quick crosscut. The visibility is unmatched for me. If you got desperate on the labels, I bet you could color print onto a sticker, then laminate it. Some would claim that the stickers are pure vanity, but I support pure vanity;)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View scrapwood's profile


53 posts in 1487 days

#11 posted 02-13-2012 02:41 AM

Nice saw ,also the restore quite impressive, i have just picked one up its a 1954 MBC 1/2 i had to get off 200. for the deal but the saw IMO is in good shape working order when i bought.cleaned it up fittied in the shop and started making sawdust. this saw is very accurate and even with the 1/2 hp its seems like plenty of juice.this saw also came with all mannuals everything but the recipt,but to build the table i’ll probly take the advice of others and get the Mr sawdust book.not going to restore it right now no need to its in good working condition,but probly will someday its on the list.

-- I do not fail I suceed in finding what dosn't work! (Christopher Titus)

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