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RAS cutting woes

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Forum topic by bluekingfisher posted 11-06-2011 10:59 PM 972 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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bluekingfisher

1104 posts in 1726 days


11-06-2011 10:59 PM

Ladies, Gents – I have just finished building my RAS table after having the saw sit for a year to the day in the workshop.

I’ve probably over engineered the table but I’m hoping I won’t have to build another one.

I put a new 60T negative rake blade on the saw and after much fiddling and adjusting managed to get the blade square. Howerer, when I make the cut the blade seems to snatch as it exits the cut, no matter what I cut, solid timber or MDF, ply etc last 1/2” of the top of the board has a 3 or 4 degree off square cut. The bottom of the board and the cut off piece are perfectly square?? any ideas what may be causing this?

I have checked the saw over, everything else seems to be to in line and tight with no slop???

very frustrating.

Thanks

David

-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan


20 replies so far

View patron's profile

patron

13170 posts in 2088 days


#1 posted 11-06-2011 11:05 PM

the carriage may be off square
even as the arm is square

so the blade cuts forward
but is squed slightly
so the back of the blade catches
as the front exits the cut

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View popmandude's profile

popmandude

109 posts in 1767 days


#2 posted 11-06-2011 11:10 PM

You may, or may not be aware there is a dewalt ras forum on the net. Can’t tell if yours is a dewalt, or not, but there is a lot of good info there anyway. If you figure it out, let us know

Good luck
Randy

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bluekingfisher

1104 posts in 1726 days


#3 posted 11-06-2011 11:21 PM

Patron, I’ll check that out, I’m hoping it is something as simple as that, thanks for the advice otherwise I may have gone mad trying to work it out.

Randy – it’s an Elu, I believe they are no longer made, they had a good reputation and I think Dewalt bought them out a while back. I’ll check the net for that forum.

Thanks fellahs.

-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

View mountainaxe's profile

mountainaxe

84 posts in 1252 days


#4 posted 11-07-2011 05:06 AM

This is most likely an alignment problem that is easily fixed…probably multiple adjustments that may also include a loose carriage. The most important thing about alignment of a RAS is that it must be done in steps in the proper order. My suggestion is to pick up a copy of “Fine Tuning Your Radial Arm Saw” by Jon Eakes http://joneakes.com/learning-curve/75-radial-arm-saws This is a great guide for making the RAS a precision instrument.

-- Jeff, "The things I make may be for others, but how I make them is for me."

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bluekingfisher

1104 posts in 1726 days


#5 posted 11-07-2011 10:32 AM

Many thanks Mountainaxe, I think you could be right, there just seems so many moving parts it bound to be slightly our in one or more of them. I’m a novice with the RAS so the book may be useful.

Thanks for the input

-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

3581 posts in 2707 days


#6 posted 11-07-2011 06:05 PM

Just a thought(s)...
Have ya tried another blade, is the carriage head lock (the one ya loosen to rotate the head) tight, do the carriage bearings have any “slop” in ‘em?
I thought I’d seen just about anything that could go wrong with a RAS, but that one has my (and you) confused.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

3599 posts in 1941 days


#7 posted 11-07-2011 06:43 PM

Hi David, I agree with what was said above about the steps you need to go through with all the adjustments on the saw… They have to be followed in steps to get it right…lengthy process…..But looking at the pics you posted, you might have a problem called “heeling” also, along with alignment. Heeling is caused when the leading and trailing edge of the blade grabs the work piece, causes tearout, and makes the cut not square….Google up “heeling on a radial arm saw”... This may not be the whole problem, but could be part of the problem, along with other factors….A RAS is a pain in the butt to set up, but once done, a joy to work with….I’m going to look in my instruction manual and read up on it more (haven’t looked at it in 20 years) and see if we can figure it out, pal….I think mountainaxe and Bill White pretty well have it…....I’ll PM you with further info if I find something close to the problem…..We need to get you up and running…...properly…..:))
Mine is a Craftsman, but all the saws are set up pretty much the same…....

-- " I started with nothing, and I've still got most of it left".......

View mountainaxe's profile

mountainaxe

84 posts in 1252 days


#8 posted 11-08-2011 01:53 AM

Rick’s comments reminded me that the VintageMachinery.org website has a free downloadable guide to early Craftsman RAS. The guide has a decent section on setup and alignment that is fairly universal and can at least give you a good start in correcting your problems. You can find it at http://vintagemachinery.org/pubs/detail.aspx?id=1325.

-- Jeff, "The things I make may be for others, but how I make them is for me."

View Loren's profile

Loren

7822 posts in 2395 days


#9 posted 11-08-2011 02:13 AM

Are you cutting on the pull or on the push?

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View bluekingfisher's profile

bluekingfisher

1104 posts in 1726 days


#10 posted 11-08-2011 10:30 AM

Bill – Haven’t tried another blade yet, i was doing some more readfing and research on the problem, I think it may be what they call heeled, Ah! – Rick, you beat me to it where the back of the blade is not in line with the front of the blade. That’s what I’m hoping anyway. It certainly seems to be the case from the symptoms although there may be more to it.

Like you say Rick it could be a series of problems although everything looks tight with no slop of course as you know it just takes a fraction off perfection to throw things out.

Another point I should have mentioned was that as I make the cut the carriage seem to accelerate slightly through the cut then there is a slight a slight “ping” sound as the back of the blade exits the timber. I guess where it is making that offset cut at the back of the board.

Mountain – thanks for the link another LJ member was kind enough to send some info he had on dewalt RAS through so I will look at the one you sent also, I guess you can’t have too much information on these seemingly complex machines.

Loren – I’m cutting on the pull

-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

3599 posts in 1941 days


#11 posted 11-08-2011 04:07 PM

Mornin’ David,
Hopefully with all the info you have or are getting, you’ll get it figured out….It just may be something pretty simple…...we hope so, anyway…...That “pinging” sound you are hearing is the “heeling” of the saw balde at the exit of the wood. One thing you might try to decrease the carriage speed: If yours is like my saw, you’ll have 2 bearings that “ride” on the arm of the carriage. Tighten or loosen the 2 nuts as needed to increase or decrease the carriage speed as you pull it towards you…..but not too much….it just takes a couple of turns either direction to tighten or loosen the nuts…..called “fine tuning”.....lol. Let me know what you find out….It might or might not fix the problem…...We’ll go from there…...

-- " I started with nothing, and I've still got most of it left".......

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bluekingfisher

1104 posts in 1726 days


#12 posted 11-08-2011 05:25 PM

Afternoon Rick – yes, i have had a lot of asistance on this matter, you fellahs have been very helpful.

The good news is the carriage runs very smoothly perhaps too smoothly, it was a little disconserting the first couple of times I pulled the carriage through, this said it is a lot quieter than my SMS and has a more solid feel to it.

I’m sure you are right, I researched the term and it is quite possible that is what is causing the problem, don’t worry mate, we’ll get to the bottom of it.

BTW – did you get the issues with the top cover sorted out – I hope they gave you discount or at least fuelled up you gas tank. ( I think gas sounds better than petrol lol)

-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

3599 posts in 1941 days


#13 posted 11-08-2011 05:51 PM

Hey,

Sounds like you’ll get it…just keep tinkering with it….patience…:))

Are you talking about the fiberglass tunneu cover for the truck? Yes….it’s been on for a few days now…Fits perfect, matched the color of the truck exactly, and is solid waterproof….I need to take a couple of pics to show you, but it’s been raining for 2 dyas now, so I’ll get them taken…..Don’t want to get it wet…Looks too purty now. I have a couple of more things I’m gonna add. AAHHH…American muscle.!!!!

Oh yea…don’t let the RAS drive you crazy…they can, you know….:))

-- " I started with nothing, and I've still got most of it left".......

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bluekingfisher

1104 posts in 1726 days


#14 posted 11-08-2011 05:57 PM

Sounds like you got thatbig yank tank all sorted out there bud Lol nothing worse than poor service, seeing as it is a 4×4 get it onto the backroads and dirt tracks, get it looking how it should.

-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

3599 posts in 1941 days


#15 posted 11-08-2011 06:06 PM

Yank tank ?.......I like that..lol. Negitave on the backroads and dirt track….This beauty is gonna be pampered worse than my wife…..(don’t tell her that)..lol. It sets in my shop just waiting for me to take it for a ride…..I’ve got to watch how many miles I put on it….it now has 408….don’t want to wear it out…..:))

-- " I started with nothing, and I've still got most of it left".......

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