The Original Saw Company RAS

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Forum topic by Kaleb the Swede posted 02-20-2013 03:51 AM 3163 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Kaleb the Swede

1879 posts in 2204 days

02-20-2013 03:51 AM

I was in woodcraft over the weekend (for the first time, I’m new to this game). There were some pretty amazing things in there. I was drooling over the powermatic machines and the like and the festool beauties, and who can forget the incredible sawstops.

I noticed on the side there was an Original Saw Company Radial Arm Saw. What an incredible piece of machinery that was! My brother wouldn’t even go near the thing, but it intrigues me quite a bit.

Now I know that in life I don’t think I will ever buy one, unless the little wife can just see the argument that we don’t need to pay the mortgage or for food or whatever other useless things there are in life and just buy cool wood working tools. But, my main question is if any of you have used one, have one, seen them in action, blah blah blah. I looked online and could only find the website, I know that they were started by two fellas from Dewalt, with the original design for the RAS. But I was just wondering what kind of Van Damage that kind of machine can do.

I know that there are some strong opinions about RAS’s, but I am more interested in what you guys think about these incredible machines. Any thoughts would be great.

And if you have one I would love to see a video of how that sucker works.

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

8 replies so far

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Craftsman on the lake

2842 posts in 3672 days

#1 posted 02-20-2013 03:56 AM

I don’t own one. I have a table and miter saw that suffice nicely. All I’ve heard though is that they can be incredibly dangerous even for careful people. Not sure why, don’t know the particulars just that a lot of people have been chewed up by them.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3882 days

#2 posted 02-20-2013 04:04 AM

The original models were based on the old Dewalt saws
from the Golden age of the Dewalt radial arm saw.
The old Dewalts are considered among the most
accurate radial arm saws ever made. You can get
a vintage Dewalt for a few hundred bucks.

An accurate radial arm saw is a useful machine,
but how useful depends on the type of work
you do and whether you really have the space
to set it up with long tables one either side.

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Kaleb the Swede

1879 posts in 2204 days

#3 posted 02-20-2013 11:46 AM

Thanks guys. I was just wondering if anyone had experience with them is all. I don’t think that I will ever have the room (or funds) for one

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View MedicKen's profile


1615 posts in 3696 days

#4 posted 02-20-2013 12:02 PM

If you want a good RAS, find an older DeWalt MBB or MBF. I have an MBB from 1955 and it is a joy to use. I use it primarily for dado cuts and occasionally cross cutting. It is quiet and with a good blade will cut just about anything.

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

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Fred Hargis

5231 posts in 2727 days

#5 posted 02-20-2013 12:12 PM

Original bought all the remaining Dewalt castings, parts, designs, etc and kept that great idea alive, but only on the very largest models. The smallest one they offer is a 12” one, as I recall. They are also a source for parts on the older Dewalt large saws. Another company called Wolfe Machine actually buys the older large saws and completely rebuilds them for resale. The RAS is a wonderful tool, and those Dewalts are great in a home shop. That said, I have seen one of the OSC machines, but I’ve never used one. I do have a Dewalt in the shop at the moment, but it is a smaller 10” saw.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View lab7654's profile


266 posts in 2481 days

#6 posted 02-20-2013 12:18 PM

In my high school shop we have an Original Saw Company RAS. It’s ok to use, but I don’t find it to be terribly accurate. Most of the time I’ll just use one of the DeWalt miter saws, which I am way more accustomed to. The RAS likes to pull forward as you are cutting, so you don’t need to pull hard. There are stories of people pulling way too fast and causing the blade to rise up on top of the workpiece, shooting the carriage out. I don’t know how true that is, but from my experience it seems believable.

-- Tristin King -- When in doubt, sand it.

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Kaleb the Swede

1879 posts in 2204 days

#7 posted 02-20-2013 02:12 PM

Thanks again guys. I am still interested to hear if anyone owns one and can offer their input. I am referring to the newer model Original Saw Company Radial Arm Saws, I know that it is from Dewalt originally and I am aware of the Sears and other such brands that are smaller. But I just wanted to know if anyone was putting them to use anywhere

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View toolie's profile


2148 posts in 2863 days

#8 posted 02-20-2013 11:15 PM

i have a c-man RAS from the mid 60s that i use for crosscutting. now that i’ve got it set up, it’s dead on , ba!!s accurate every time.


it was a cast off from a neighbor. it needed $60 in parts and it was worth every penny. 45 degree jigs facilitate non-90 degree cuts and i don’t rip on it. i did rip on it a few times when it was on a mobile base, but i’m not comfortable with that operation.

here it is, in operation:

because of the downward movement of the blade, the workpiece is pressed onto the table, which is why i was able to perform the cut without holding onto the work piece. i don’t routinely do that.

-- there's a solution to every just have to be willing to find it.

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