Reply by Kent Shepherd

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Posted on RAS, A necessary beast or outdated Dinosaur??

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Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3256 days

#1 posted 04-19-2011 12:01 AM

RAS questions typically result in a great division among woodworkers.

I happen to be one who has and will always use one. I am not afraid of them, maybe because I started using them so young I didn’t know enough to be scared. The only near accident I have had was when the bearing in the track broke, resulting in the saw falling out onto the table as it was running (the saw, not the table) This was a freak thing that wasn’t at all typical of a radial arm saw, but it should encourage one to inspect equipment on occasion. My real point is—-paying attention to what you are doing could easily prevent a major injury. I came out fine—the table (and my underwear)—-not so much!

Are they absolutely necessary in woodworking? I guess that depends on what you are doing. In my production shop, a SCMS would never hold up to the volumes we cut. Does the average hobbyist really need one? I think a SCMS would serve most people just fine. I have both in my home shop, and wouldn’t want to give up either one, but space is not a problem for me.

This question is like most pertaining to equipment choices. We all have opinions, and usually they are all very valid, based on our own experiences. Pick whichever one fits what you really want to do.


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