Should I? Radial Arm Saw

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Forum topic by Jarrett posted 10-23-2015 12:09 AM 1484 views 0 times favorited 34 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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78 posts in 1155 days

10-23-2015 12:09 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I’ve got a lead on an old AMF DeWalt radial arm saw for $100. should I take the “plunge”?
I’ve been on the fence about it. The saw seems in good shape for its age, and comes with original base and a homemade table. I started building children’s furniture awhile back and the ordres are really starting to pour in so I’ve had to reconfigure my shop to accomodate more of a production style. The furniture encompasses a good bit of mortise and tenon, shoulders, and rabbets, and I build it all with reclaimed barn wood and or rough circle sawmill wood and timbers. I have two large cabinet tablesaws (only one set up in shop), and two compound slide mitre saws, but was thinking if I have the room, it may save me on time and on shooting sawdust up my nose from making tenons on tablesaw (not to mention blade change outs or setting up other saw) if I have a radial arm saw. I’m a chef by day to keep insurance for the family, so its more of a part time job, but seems to be really taking off and I want to keep up! Thanks for yoiur thoughts in advance! -Jarrett

-- Jarrett

34 replies so far

View theoldfart's profile


9743 posts in 2479 days

#1 posted 10-23-2015 12:14 AM

Jarrett, Smitty-Cabinetshop has one of these i think. Check with him, he is a big proponent of RAS’s.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View Clarkie's profile


455 posts in 1869 days

#2 posted 10-23-2015 12:15 AM

Hello Jarrett, DeWalt AMF is one of the finest radial arms ever produced. For a hundred dollars, if the saw runs well, I’d have it on the truck by now. Don’t see how you can lose, making furniture and doing the dadoes on this saw saves a lot of time. Have fun, make some dust.

View hairy's profile


2720 posts in 3560 days

#3 posted 10-23-2015 12:24 AM

If you get it, get this:

-- My reality check bounced...

View xmastree's profile


47 posts in 1008 days

#4 posted 10-23-2015 01:44 AM

I can’t believe I threw one of these Dewalt greenies in the dump. Somebody gave it to me in pieces, I proclaimed it “junk” and out it went.
Stoooooo- NOD!!!

-- Every tree is a Chistmas tree with its gifts hidden inside.

View BurlyBob's profile


5555 posts in 2293 days

#5 posted 10-23-2015 01:59 AM

Jarrett, I got to agree with Clark. That’s got to be a really good tool, solid metal and built in the USA. Sure it might need some TLC but I bet it’s miles better than anything Crapsman can offer.

View splatman's profile


586 posts in 1426 days

#6 posted 10-23-2015 02:05 AM

Go for it!

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15369 posts in 2646 days

#7 posted 10-23-2015 04:05 AM

That saw’s a beauty! If it sounds good and cuts true to square when you inspect it, i’d be hard pressed to pass it up. And it’s what I paid for my MBF a few years ago!

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

View unbob's profile


810 posts in 1931 days

#8 posted 10-23-2015 08:49 AM

Well, unlikely the saw will cut much of anything true or square. It is missing the table rails, that will adjust the table true to the machine, properly hold the fence. Actually not a very good buy “in my area”.

View Jarrett's profile


78 posts in 1155 days

#9 posted 10-23-2015 10:38 AM

Good eye about the lack of table slides. I’ll be sure to point that out during negotiations. I’m confident that I can come up with a good solution (even if its just track w/toggle bolts for now) looking over the old manuals and finally cashing in on the woodworking jobs/ remodeling help I’ve done for a friend who has a huge machine shop. If it takes me a bit of time to get her true, I’ll just use her as a workhorse to work up a few truckloads of salvaged oak and chestnut so I can get it all in the dry before winter gets any closer. ...then do a good rebuild of the saw over the winter.

Mr. Sawdust seems to be an awesome book. I’ll be sure to get a copy. Thanks for the lead.

-- Jarrett

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78 posts in 1155 days

#10 posted 10-23-2015 10:41 AM

Thanks to all for the help. Taking the truck to work today so I can hopeully bring the big ol gal home.

-- Jarrett

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5000 posts in 2521 days

#11 posted 10-23-2015 11:19 AM

It’s hard to discern scale from those photos, but it’s clearly one of the large frame saws. If it’s 10”, it might be a GWI or 1030…some of the best ones made. Like someone else said, if it was me It would already be at my house. BTW, if you need a set of table cleats, I think I have a set that can be yours for the postage (I’ll have to find them first). One other thing, I have some pdf files, one is a cliff notes rebuild article…the second a dead nutz tuning prodedure that really gets them set. I’ll e mail them if you want (pm info for the e mail).

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Tennessee's profile


2873 posts in 2542 days

#12 posted 10-23-2015 11:36 AM

As much as I am not a proponent of RAS, I think this one is easily worth $100, even without the table slides. Those can be built in a number of ways. My last saw had angle iron mounted on the table with threaded rods with jam nuts where it hit the table. Worked pretty good, as these saws seem to come out of square from time to time.

If it doesn’t work out, you can always sell it for what you paid.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View helluvawreck's profile


31407 posts in 2894 days

#13 posted 10-23-2015 12:14 PM

If you have the room they are a fine tool for crosscutting certain things. If you are pushed for room I would just have a miter saw and table saw. You can do a whole lot of things with a table saw including crosscutting.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View SirIrb's profile


1239 posts in 1258 days

#14 posted 10-23-2015 12:30 PM

Should you? yes, before I or someone else who is wanting one of the beautiful machines gets it.

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

View rwe2156's profile


2967 posts in 1508 days

#15 posted 10-24-2015 10:50 AM

Sounds like this is too late, but make SURE you test it out first.

I had the exact saw and did not test it.

The motor was weak from the start and after a year or so finally became unusable.
Took to electric motor repair shop they said it would have to be rewound by hand- cost prohibitive.

If this is the same model it takes a 9” blade and I believe has a 3/4 HP motor, which is pretty weak anyway, IMO.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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