Drill chuck and accessories for craftsman radial arm saw / RAS rehab / table etc

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Forum topic by joshtank posted 04-05-2010 09:56 PM 24270 views 1 time favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View joshtank's profile


224 posts in 2394 days

04-05-2010 09:56 PM

Topic tags/keywords: radial arm saw craftsman ras

I’m new here and this is my first post. Hope the pics show up etc..

I got a radial arm saw. I’ll post up the model number later.

The table wasn’t square or flat at all. So I removed all of that.

...and cleaned up the machine best I could. Going from this: this:

I’m working out a table design that incorporates a mitre saw I have and plenty of cabinet space underneath for tools and the vacuum that operates with the saw.

I’m wondering a few things..

1. By the pictures – It this a good saw? I know everyone screams Dewalt for RAS (or just don’t use a RAS). As well as new to this board I’m relatively new to woodworking, so I just need to know if this is a decent tool to start with for the weekend hobbyist.

2. I’ve heard of drill chucks that fit these saws – and hence hold drum sander bits. Does anyone know where I could get one of these? Do they work well, etc.

3. When cutting on a RAS is the scrap side to the left or right of the blade or does it matter? I know the outfeed is to the left when you position the blade parallel to the fence. I ask because i don’t know which side of the blade I should have more table on, or if it should just be centered? Currently I’m thinking of 50 inches of the to the left (where the mitre saw will be located as well), 20 inches in the middle (a replaceable panel), and 30 inches to the left of that. My shop is a garage, so it’d often double as worktable space.

If you have pictures of your RAS set up, especially if it sounds at all like what I am planning, please post them.


-- Josh - Jacksonville, FL -

16 replies so far

View jm82435's profile


1284 posts in 3163 days

#1 posted 04-05-2010 10:41 PM

I have never seen a drill chuck on one of these – doesn’t mean it didn’t happen though. (wouldn’t it be spinning backwards?) I put the waste to the right of the blade. I am right handed this leaves my left hand to hold the stock, and right hand to run the saw. I also put hold down clamps on both sides, you could use them to hold the stock when cutting. I usually use the one on the right to hold a stop block for repeated cuts. My table is longer on the left. I really only use my RAS for cutting tennons and half lap joints these days though. It has a wicked 3/4” carbide cutter that just stays on the saw.

Whoa that picture was way bigger than I thought it would be. sorry.
Honestly I use mine so rarely, It mostly gets to be a horizontal surface to pile stuff on.

-- A thing of beauty is a joy forever...

View joshtank's profile


224 posts in 2394 days

#2 posted 04-06-2010 02:25 AM

Jm – Good to know. Thanks. I’m definitely making the table big with the understanding that it’ll be a workbench area. If, when I get it going, it has enough power for a decent dado blade cut, i’l probably leave that on the RAS and use the table saw for everything else.

Praire – Yeah it came with a planer that I wasn’t planing on using. I am finding nothing online about how they can hold drill chucks though. I think i need to search through woodcraft or call em for whatever actual product it is… I work at a library, and yes – I have a stack of woodworking books and the few RAS specific books I could find. Thanks!

-- Josh - Jacksonville, FL -

View MrHudon's profile


114 posts in 2631 days

#3 posted 04-06-2010 02:01 PM

The drill chuck screws onto the threaded shaft on the other end of where you mount the blade. It is a 1/2 – 20 thread. I have one of these Craftsman RAS’s, I’ve had it since the early 70’s and still use it for crosscuts and miters. It needs tweaking every once in awhile to get it to cut straight. One of these days I’ll break down and replace it with a Power Miter saw.

-- Mark,

View SKFrog16's profile


661 posts in 2621 days

#4 posted 04-06-2010 02:30 PM

joshtank, I have a craftsman RAS. A little later model than yours but not by much. I find it invaluable for doing dadoes and half lap joints. The guard is big enough on mine to cover the dado blades. Like PrairieFire said, you need to stay on top of the head adjustment as they do go astray every once in a while.

-- Methods are many,Principles are few.Methods change often,Principles never do.

View Raymond's profile


676 posts in 3148 days

#5 posted 04-06-2010 03:01 PM

View joshtank's profile


224 posts in 2394 days

#6 posted 04-06-2010 04:26 PM

mrhudon – dang. on the other side of the shaft on mine is this weird brake thing.. like after you run the saw you press it to slow down the blade quicker (because it keeps running f-o-r-e-v-e-r). i’ll try to take it off and see what’s there. are there standard drill chucks with this threading etc? or do i get to go hunt down some craftsman only part that was discontinued years ago?

raymond – whoa – that is intense and much more elaborate than i have in mind. i’m thinking a drill chuck that holds something like this.

-- Josh - Jacksonville, FL -

View Raymond's profile


676 posts in 3148 days

#7 posted 04-06-2010 06:15 PM

My grandfather had that break thing, there was still a stubby shaft sticking out. If I remember he took the break off. He also had a planner disk for the saw.

-- Ray

View jm82435's profile


1284 posts in 3163 days

#8 posted 04-06-2010 06:19 PM

That makes sense; on the other end of the shaft it would be spinning the right way for drill bits when it is pointed down…

-- A thing of beauty is a joy forever...

View Don Newton's profile

Don Newton

714 posts in 3040 days

#9 posted 04-06-2010 06:52 PM


I also have one of those saws, as a matter of fact, it might be the same model. Keep in mind that much to their disgrace Sears sold this as a general purpose machine with attachments for drilling, planing, sanding and a partridge in a pear tree. With constant adjustments it functions reasonably well as a radial saw and for safety that’s all it should be used for. I would not even think to use it to rip anything. It works great for cutting tenons or half lapping with a dado set . I did not find it accurate enough to cut miters. The saw is on my list of things to replace with something better. Actually I have a Sears floor mounted drill press that I am quite happy with.

-- Don, Pittsburgh

View Swede's profile


191 posts in 2439 days

#10 posted 04-06-2010 06:53 PM

My father has a Dewalt RAS it works great for cutting up scrap. I don’t care to try to use it for ripping or cross cutting it just dosent cut square unless you use a framing square and follow a line. I also don’t like having that much blade exposed all of the time.

I perfer to use his Delta Unisaw.

Best of luck.

-- Swede -- time to make some sawdust

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3945 posts in 2585 days

#11 posted 04-06-2010 07:12 PM

I have a 10” Craftsman RAS, 1971 vintage, I bought it new, in regular use…....

1) The alignment can occasionally change, so you do have to watch for that. I had to partially align it 2 days ago.
2) My RAS is now a dedicated crosscut saw.
3) It should probably do dados just fine, and some people dedicate their RAS to that task
4) I put the waste on either side of the blade, just depending on the situation. Mostly, I use a stop block and do most of my crosscuts on the RAS, with the waste on the left.
5) Using a good Frued thin kerf diablo blade I get excellent very smooth cuts.
6) If you don’t have the manual, there are sites, including the Sears site where you can get the manual and parts breakdowns. I seem to have misplaced the links for those places.
7) I do not use the attachments much, but I have the chuck, drum etc. They go on the backside of the motor and I have used them all. Those functions are now performed mostly by my drill press etc.

Here is a picture of my present setup, the table was replaced about 6 months ago. I duplicated the adjustment system for the original table, so I could just follow the manual instructions to level it:

Here is a link to my blog write up of my fence:

Hope you find something of use here….........


-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Gerald6279's profile


18 posts in 2200 days

#12 posted 12-11-2011 02:34 PM

The RAS is a versatile tool but requires close attention to safety and setup. The chuck you asked about mounts to the shaft opposite the saw arbor side. I have one and use it for some operations like horizontal boring with a shop made jig. Be very careful if you use it for any ripping because even with the anti-kickback pawls attached you still do not want to be in the line of fire if it kicks back! Use a taller fence and feather-boards during ripping to hold down the work-piece if you feel you need to rip with it. I would recommend sticking to the table saw or a circular saw with straight edge for ripping as these would be much safer for this operation. On cross cuts keep a good grip on the handle, watch for where your other hand is, wait for the saw to reach speed then guide the saw through the cut not letting it determine the speed. The RAS is fantastic for making dadoes and cutting tenons.

-- Gary, Indianapolis

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4407 posts in 3381 days

#13 posted 12-11-2011 06:20 PM

I had that same saw with a chuck, a collet, molder head and guard. Tuned up it was a good saw. Bought it new in 1978 for $178.00 +tx. Sold it last month for $150.00. It sure served me well.
I still have the small rotary planer attachment that fits in the chuck. Want it?


View tatertott's profile


5 posts in 1080 days

#14 posted 11-10-2013 02:57 AM

how much for planer attachment

View tatertott's profile


5 posts in 1080 days

#15 posted 11-13-2013 06:21 AM

how much for planer attachment

showing 1 through 15 of 16 replies

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