Dewalt Radial Arm Saw

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Forum topic by Deedle posted 02-28-2012 06:32 PM 11145 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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6 posts in 2660 days

02-28-2012 06:32 PM

Topic tags/keywords: dewalt vintage ras radial arm saw mbe

I recently uncovered this old radial arm saw sitting in my grandpas old shop. I was wondering if i could get a little help to ID it or if anyone can tell me about it. I looked into it a little and all I see is the MBF model but this one says MBE. Just wondering what the deal is with it. I would really like to restore it, or at least clean it up to use in my shop. Everything on the saw seems to work just fine though it needs some cleaning. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks Justin

11 replies so far

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10383 posts in 3644 days

#1 posted 02-28-2012 06:41 PM

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#2 posted 02-28-2012 06:41 PM

View Richard's profile


1916 posts in 2687 days

#3 posted 02-28-2012 09:00 PM

Don’t let Neil see it, he will steal it for for spare parts.

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3171 days

#4 posted 02-28-2012 10:28 PM

LOL @ Richard !

Luckily, mine doesn’t need anything … yet :-)

My first inclination is to agree with Loren, about it being mis-stamped, and it even looks like it may have been, but …. can you provide the serial number, from the RIGHT side of the badge (on the frame; not on the motor). Might be a little more info to sleuth this one out.

Rest assured … whichever model it is, it’s cool. The fact that it was your grandfather’s … is extremely cool. It’s not a particularly powerful RAS, but … within its world … you’ve got yourself a good saw, there !

-- -- Neil

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4816 posts in 3171 days

#5 posted 02-28-2012 10:42 PM

I’m a-gonna’ give you my best guess … right now.

I think you’ve got a hybrid, on your hands.

There WAS an MBE model, manufactured between about 1955 and 1959, and equipped with a 3/4HP 220/440/550V 3-phase motor, which … you clearly don’t have.

I think somebody retrofitted the saw, to get it to play nice with 110V, single-phase power. I’m going to guess that the motor comes off of a model MMB or model MBC.

It’s a 9” saw.

Personally ? I think your grandfather—due respect—would want ME to have it ;-)

-- -- Neil

View Deedle's profile


6 posts in 2660 days

#6 posted 02-29-2012 01:29 AM

Thanks everyone for the feedback on this. Neil I think I’ll just hang onto this one for a while,after all it was free and I can put it to good use. The serial number on the frame is 121978 and on the motor it’s 163H 62

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3171 days

#7 posted 02-29-2012 01:50 AM

The serial number on the frame puts it at about ‘54 or ‘55.

I don’t blame you for keeping it ;-)

If you look under my blog posts … you can find a series I did on my 1956 MBF, and a BUNCH of great links for RAS info !

Cheers !

-- -- Neil

View Deedle's profile


6 posts in 2660 days

#8 posted 02-29-2012 01:57 AM

Wow that’s a lot older than I thought. I cut some scrap wood up last night with it and it works like it just came from the factory. Just have to figure out how to make a new table.
Thanks for your help Neil

View dhazelton's profile


2767 posts in 2293 days

#9 posted 02-29-2012 02:50 AM

TONS of stuff about these saws out there. When you want to make the table and tune up the saw turn to Mr. Sawdust:

My MBF sits on the bench and awaits some loving care, too. Probably set it up as a dedicated mortiser. But who knows, they can do so much.

View Danpaddles's profile


573 posts in 2308 days

#10 posted 02-29-2012 03:46 AM

I just finished refurbishing one old hunch back, when a slightly newer model showed up on CL.. I have two in my shop right now. They are very sweet machines. One will have to go soon. Darn it.

I did build a Mr. Sawdust table for the first (older) one. With modifications. Depending how you end up using it, you may or may not want to go to the trouble to follow his advice. But the book is good, there is other valuable info in there about how to tune it properly. They are very smooth running, smooth operating machines.

Especially considering it was your grandfathers, you have a wonderful tool there. Clean it up, fix anything that might be worn, then use and enjoy it.

Good find!

-- Dan V. in Indy

View MedicKen's profile


1615 posts in 3459 days

#11 posted 02-29-2012 02:03 PM

There are a lot of these saws out there. I too have an MBF, 1955 model. I would take a look at the bearings, both motor and the bearings in the arm for wear and they should probably be replaced. Sealed bearings only have a life span of about 20-25 years before the grease dries up. If the saw has been sitting for any length of time I am sure they are hard and brittle. Plus it is cheap insurance, especially on the motor. If ya fry a bearing good luck finding another suitable replacement motor.

Vintage machinery will have lots of info, including the “dirty paper” on the machine. I have also found another site dedicated to the DeWalt RAS. It can be found here

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their

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