What would you pay for a RAS?

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Forum topic by HokieMojo posted 08-25-2010 09:11 PM 1692 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3692 days

08-25-2010 09:11 PM

I’m just wondering. I found an old Dewalt (1957 10 inch model) but the seller and I are far apart on price.

I’m under the impression that it runs, but it definitely looks like a 50 year old machine. The table is pretty much worthless and one of the table leveling bars underneath it is bent about20 degrees (I’m thinking it will need full replacement). It seems that all the knobs and levers will work, but a couple are just about frozen right now (it seems someone set it square and locked the arm as tight as possible, then never moved it). I don’t see a manufacturer on the blade and it shows signs of plenty of use. The wiring has been redone and while it doesn’t look like it was done too badly, there was definitely some creative rigging (like a socket/plug combo up near the arm for easy access??). The paint has completely worn off the handle which isn’t a dealbreaker, but that indicates the cast iron ways may be worn.

I’m just curious what you guys would pay? I’m under the impression these saws usually go for about $50-100 on craigslist. Note, this is NOT one of the larger industrial saws.

12 replies so far

View davidpettinger's profile


661 posts in 3164 days

#1 posted 08-25-2010 09:23 PM

HokieMojo, Your right. It’s kind of like the commercial… unless it can perform miracles don’t pay too much. The price difference could be due to the fact that the seller has sentimental value attached to the saw. In that case the two of you may always be very far apart on price. I got my 1975 10” Craftsman RAS for $100 in 2001. Replaced the table and fence. Reset it to square and I love it. The seller of my RAS threw in a carbide blade and an Oshlun 8” dado set. At the time, I think it was a fair deal.

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

View PeteAnthony's profile


7 posts in 2802 days

#2 posted 08-25-2010 09:25 PM

I’ve been looking for one too they’re just so handy for quick rough crosscuts….. and I’m right there with you. Most of the one’s I see are a stretch at $50 yet everyone wants $$$$ for them…
<shrugs> I’ll find one cheap enough :D

View TheWoodNerd's profile


291 posts in 3155 days

#3 posted 08-25-2010 09:26 PM

There are very different types of RASs, even within the Dewalt line. The older round-top models are much more valuable, I’d say a typical price around here is $2-400 depending on the condition. The square-tops are much less valuable. The typical $75 craigslist Craftman RAS is nowhere in the league of the old Dewalts.

-- The Wood Nerd --

View Stonekettle's profile


135 posts in 2868 days

#4 posted 08-25-2010 09:31 PM

I picked up a an old DeWalt 7790 12” cast iron RAS for $90. The day I bought it the temperature was -48F here in the Alaskan MatSu. The thing was covered in rust and cobwebs and sitting in an unheated barn so the grease was frozen solid and I didn’t dare try to turn it on. I wrestled the damned thing up onto the trailer by myself, all 300 plus pounds of it (incuding the table) and hauled it home. It sat in my shop for two days before it warmed up enough to turn it on and for me to be able to touch it without losing skin. Ran like a champ. I spent a month doing a complete refurb/restore including paint, rewiring, new table and fence. I spent nearly 3x what I paid for it on a new dedicated crosscut blade (I use the TS for ripping, the RAS is dedicated soley to crosscut – I despise GP blades) and it leaves cuts that are glass smooth and dead-on accurate. The machine is beautiful. I’ve been offered $2000 plus for it. Not a chance, I wouldn’t be without it, next to the lathes, it’s probably the most used machine in my large shop.

And I’ll second TheWoodNerd, the old pre-B&D Dewalts are in a league of their own. Craftsman RAS’s and the B&D Dewalts simply don’t compare. General rule of thumb on a RAS: if it’s not made out of cast iron, you’re wasting your time and money. Dewalt founded his company on the RAS, he knew what he was doing.

-- Jim Wright, Stonekettle Station

View Steve Peterson's profile

Steve Peterson

371 posts in 3046 days

#5 posted 08-26-2010 02:38 AM

There are lots of RASs listed on CL in the $50-150 price range. It doesn’t seem to matter if it is an older (desirable) Dewalt or a 70s Craftsman. The prices are always the same.

A 57 Dewalt should be one of the good ones, but it seems like that particular one is in pretty rough shape. Don’t worry about the table or the blade, you can easily replace both. It sounds like you would be better off waiting for another one to come along. I think there are a lot more sellers than buyers, so be patient.

-- Steve

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3692 days

#6 posted 08-26-2010 03:52 AM

Thanks for the info guys. I think I’m going to just wait. I was really hopeful that we could work out a deal, but I can’t budge much on my price. I did ask him to call me back if he changed his mind and as far as I can tell, I was the only interested party so far. We’ll see what happens. Maybe I’ll call back in a couple of weeks.

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 2947 days

#7 posted 08-26-2010 04:17 PM

For the condition you described it to be in I wouldn’t pay more than $50 for it. I bought my 1958 craftsman for $75 and had to replace the table on it. Wouldn’t give it up for anything as I use mine quite regularly.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2814 days

#8 posted 08-26-2010 06:12 PM

I have an RAS. It is a good old one, but it goes out of square in two planes very easily. Its only job is rough cuts, and I’m thinking if I had it to do over again, I’d just make a skinny and long table with a dropped section in the middle and a fence on the back and a shelf below to hold a $15 Thrift Store Skilsaw.

Every time I approach the RAS I remember that it is the only tool I have which WANTS to make the cutting part come TOWARDS me.

-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View TheDane's profile


5399 posts in 3627 days

#9 posted 08-26-2010 09:51 PM

I just browsed through our local CL … there are a bunch of RAS, and asking prices range from $50 up to $275. The one for $275 is a Craftsman Electronic with new blade, steel cabinet, and a decent looking table.

Based on your description, I would offer $50 to take it off the guy’s hands. It could be a heck of a bargain, but depending on condition and the extent of repairs you need to make to put it in working order it could be a real albatross.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3250 days

#10 posted 08-26-2010 11:54 PM

I would not pay over $100 for it. Maybe less—-$50 to $75, depending on the shape. If it’s in decent shape, I would rather have it than a newer Craftsman. I grew up using a similar one, which my brother still has.
They definitely made things better then, but if there is too much wear, it could be worth nothing.
If you had to have the motor rebuilt you would spend quite a bit.

Bottom line, without seeing the saw, it is really hard to determine what it is worth, but for less than $100, I would take the chance.


View krainking's profile


7 posts in 2884 days

#11 posted 09-01-2010 06:15 AM

I bought a Craftsman RAS 1975 made by Emerson. This was supposedly the last year Sears use Emerson Mfg. and can be seen in the sudden change to stamped metal instead of cast iron. I think I paid 60 for it and the guy delivered it for free. I competely dissembled, cleaned, and lubed. I also added a couple adjusting blocks to the underside of the table and a replacable top. Now- heres the kicker. RECALL. This year model is also been recalled by Emerson. You send them the “motor” or head and the send you $100. So if you can find a 1975 or older craftsman RAS for less than 100 than when the motor bites it, well it’s like living rent free. You also get to keep the table and arm assemble. Now I’m quite taken with mine due to the router attachment I made. Ugly but functional it makes use of a Rotozip motor and can cut/rout in radials and arcs, function as a overhead pin router, angle router cuts (ever cut a dado at a odd angle?), and I’m currently designing aperpendicaler diriction ball-bearing clamping table that will bolt to router table and open up countless possibilities.

-- -Silence is golden, but duct tape is silver-

View Knothead62's profile


2584 posts in 2925 days

#12 posted 09-01-2010 02:43 PM

What about parts? I see where some LJ’s have refurbished/repaired old RAS but I would be cautious. You might be better off to buy an inexpensive new RAS unless you are going to use it a lot. Then a better quality one will last.

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