LumberJocks

Radial Arm Saw *UPDATE*

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by LoyalAppleGeek posted 09-06-2016 12:44 AM 345 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View LoyalAppleGeek's profile

LoyalAppleGeek

122 posts in 362 days


09-06-2016 12:44 AM

Topic tags/keywords: radial arm saw circular stiff stuck miter swing seized craftsman

Greetings and salutations Lumberjocks!

The greatest neighbor in the world just completed the construction of his shop, and had some redundancy of tools. He gave me his beautiful Craftsman radial arm saw, the aftermarket rolling base with drawers, and both drawers full of goodies and accessories he had bought just for this saw. The machine has only 10 hours of use on it since it rolled out of the factory in 1977, all the issues I’ve had with it are related to the rather sedentary lifestyle it’s had since then. It’s completely free of any form of rust or corrosion and has been stored indoors its entire life.

The machine runs quiet as a mouse (OK, maybe a pack rat) and smooth as butter, accept for both adjustments related to the radial arm. The height adjustment is sticky, no catching but I’ll have the arms of Arnold Schwarzenegger if I don’t free it up a bit. The primary issue is the arm won’t swing in either direction for miter cuts, even with my super-man like physique behind it :-)

Any suggestions?

Thanks!

UPDATE

It’s been a couple days since I posted this request, and I am very grateful for the help I received. This beauty is up and runnin like new, I just need to build a new table. The one it came with isn’t the proper design. Also, I’m looking for the recall upgrade kit for this saw. If anyone has information about other ways besides the company to aquire these parts, I would really appreciate it. I’m not giving up until she’s retrofitted!

Thank you again, to everyone, for being so willing and quick to help. I know it may seem like a small thing to you, but you never know the impact a cheerful, helpful response can have on someone’s life. I’m better because of the community here, and I really appreciate those who have taken time from their shops to help others out, even in a small way. I look forward to the future you’re helping to build (pun intended :-) Thank you.


11 replies so far

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

4247 posts in 1667 days


#1 posted 09-06-2016 12:57 AM

A good clean/lube does wonders. As for the miter adjustment, you are pulling the column lock (index) release first, right?

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

View LoyalAppleGeek's profile

LoyalAppleGeek

122 posts in 362 days


#2 posted 09-06-2016 01:22 AM

Yep, I sure am! I’ve been on a roll of overlooking he obvious lately LOL, so that was the first thing I checked :-)

View JBrow's profile

JBrow

822 posts in 388 days


#3 posted 09-06-2016 01:55 AM

LoyalAppleGeek,

It sounds as if the column to which the radial arm is attached is binding. This may be due to improper torque on the column retainer bolts (the rows of bolts on either of the column housing). Improper column alignment caused by some bolts torqued too much and perhaps others not enough, could account for the difficultly in both rotating and rising/lowering the radial arm.

You may need to find a copy of the manual for the saw if you do not have one. It will describe the procedure for properly aligning the column; a matter of tightening or loosening the bolts in the column retaining collar. The manual identifies which bolts (silver or black) and in what order the bolts should be adjusted.

If I understand the manual for my last year’s Craftsman Radial Arm saw correctly, all saw alignment settings are predicated on proper alignment of the column. Therefore, if the column is re-aligned, checking all alignment adjustments would probably be a good idea. The manual is indispensable for aligning the saw.

View LoyalAppleGeek's profile

LoyalAppleGeek

122 posts in 362 days


#4 posted 09-06-2016 02:10 AM

Jbrow, perfect timing :-) I was just going through that very section in the PDF manual right now. The old grease on the column is sticky, really defeating the purpose of It being there. I’m degreasing and reapplying new lubricant, so now would be a good time to check over the settings you mentioned. The manual recommends wiping a film of motor oil on the column, but would paste wax work? I have both, but thought the paste wax may have a friendlier relationship with the dust.

View LoyalAppleGeek's profile

LoyalAppleGeek

122 posts in 362 days


#5 posted 09-06-2016 02:39 AM

Alright, hight adjustment is working great. Still no progress on the radial arm itself pivoting. I should note that on my saw, the arm pivots on top of the column, the column stays rigid.

View JBrow's profile

JBrow

822 posts in 388 days


#6 posted 09-06-2016 03:23 AM

LoyalAppleGeek,

A thin film of oil is probably ok, but like you I fear fine dust sticking to the oil creating problems down the road. I have tried teflon lubricant, but that does not seem to last long. I would think that wax would also have to be frequently re-applied.

I vaguely recall (perhaps incorrectly) the column on the Craftsman Radial Arm saw I replaced last year featured a column that rotated with the radial arm rather than as you suggest, the radial arm rotates while the column does not. I cannot say whether the new Craftsman Radial Arm saw’s column rotates since I keep the blade 90 degrees to the fence. Some time ago I gave up on resetting the radial arm to make mitre cuts. It took too much time to dial the saw back in to get that perfect 90 degree cut. Rather I took a day in the shop and built a 45 degree fence that I use when I need 45 degree mitres (a 45 degree triangle that clamps to the fence). For other angles, I clamp a straight edge at the desired angle as a fence and then cut the mitre. Nonetheless getting the radial arm to rotate as it should is, I think, important.

MrUnix mentioned releasing the mitre lock. I believe there are two release positions for the mitre lock. The first is where the locking leveler pops out of the locking catch. But to rotate the arm, the locking lever must be pulled and held toward the on/off switch while at the same time, the radial arm is rotated. Since the old Craftsman was an older model from yours, I am not sure that you have a double locking mitre leveler.

View LoyalAppleGeek's profile

LoyalAppleGeek

122 posts in 362 days


#7 posted 09-06-2016 03:35 AM

JBrow, you nailed it! There was nothing in the manual about this feature, it simply said to place the arm control lever in the unlocked and index release position. Thank you Sir!

View realcowtown_eric's profile

realcowtown_eric

565 posts in 1405 days


#8 posted 09-06-2016 03:48 AM

If you can….see if you can still get the bearings fir the roller on the carriage. Mine used to get sloppy after about 3 years, needing replacement

That isif you want to keep it. Compound miter saws have so totally eclipsed this device, that even “used tool stores” in our local won’t even take them on consignment.

I tried to sell mine on kijiji for two years, finally succeeded when I advertised a 100 tooth carbide saw blade with a free radial arm saw.

What I don’t miss is setting up one of these for cabinet quality cuts. Too many axii of freedom….Bench square to blade, blade at 90 degrees to fence, travel parallel to deck, blade aligned with cut,

And shift it an inch or two, the support flexes, and yer doiing it all over again.Years ago you used to take these things on site, to cut 2x material and it was OK, But now you can take a compound mitre saw on site with ever so much less fuss. AND you can cut cabinet grade materials without a two hour fuss with a dial indictor.

But maybe you can afford the shop real estate they take up.

I don’t miss mine one bit. specialloy don’t miss replacing the bearings.

Eric

-- Real_cowtown_eric

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

4247 posts in 1667 days


#9 posted 09-06-2016 04:03 AM

JBrow, you nailed it! There was nothing in the manual about this feature, it simply said to place the arm control lever in the unlocked and index release position. Thank you Sir!
- LoyalAppleGeek

I’ve got basically the exact same RAS, and the manual I have does mention the three positions for that handle:

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

View JBrow's profile

JBrow

822 posts in 388 days


#10 posted 09-06-2016 11:17 AM

LoyalAppleGeek,

I am glad you got the elevation and radial arm mitre swing working.

As I alluded, I replaced an 80’s Craftsman with a new Craftsman Radial Arm saw last year – the old one died. It was pretty frustrating trying to align the saw for perfect cuts until I replaced the Craftsman blade with the Forrest Woodworker II blade that sets in saw. My conclusions are the Craftsman blade was warped ever so slightly and a good blade is required for dialing in accurate alignments. The photo suggests your saw has a Freud blade so you may not experience the problems I originally had, but I mention it for what it is worth. I was able to align the saw to get plumb and square cuts with a lot of patience.

Anyway, congratulations on the new workshop addition! I am sure you will get a lot of good use from the saw; I know I have.

View LoyalAppleGeek's profile

LoyalAppleGeek

122 posts in 362 days


#11 posted 09-08-2016 01:49 AM

realcowtown_eric: I can see the reason why for some people wouldn’t be worth the trouble as with this saw it seems the usability is subject to the user’s type of work. For me, it’s a life saver. For example, pit it against a sliding compound miter saw for cross cutting alone, and there’s not much comparison. I use mine for drilling, different router operations, joinery, and other tasks that the unique build style of this saw allow me to do.

JBrow: So am I! This one is a beauty from 1977, and only has 10 hours of use on it. Hopefully it’ll last a long while :-) You sure are right about Frued blades, they turn any almost saw into a BMW :-) Thanks for the congratulations, I really look forward to playing with my new toy :-) I got a wobble wheel with it too, they don’t make those any more but I’ve always wanted one. I’m super exited about that!

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com