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1958 Craftsman RAS Cleanup

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Forum topic by Todd1561 posted 350 days ago 1432 views 0 times favorited 26 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Todd1561

20 posts in 1297 days


350 days ago

I just inherited a Craftsman radial arm saw (model # 113.29003) from 1958, according to the date stamp on the motor plate and model number plate on the RAS frame itself. It was bought new for personal use by my grandfather so I imagine has seen pretty light use over those years, and no use in the last 10-15. The machine runs just fine and the motor sounds good. I used my compressor to blow a considerable amount of dust from inside the motor that probably hasn’t seen the light of day in 50+ years. But that’s about all I’ve done. The motor carriage seems to move relatively smooth, but not as smooth as other RASs I’ve used. I’ve cleaned the tracks the motor assembly rides on as much as possible but I imagine the bearings are packed with dust and dried grease.

Does anyone have and recommendations on other cleanup measures I should take? I’ve heard of using some type of spray electrical cleaner and drenching the inside of the motor to clean that up even more. Is it possible to clean the bearings the motor carriage rides on and repack with grease? I imagine replacements would be difficult if not impossible to find. Also, does anyone know of a modern aerosol paint that matches the old Craftsman gold color? I’ll probably try and clean this saw up and make it look a little better.

Thanks for any help keeping this old iron up and running!

Todd


26 replies so far

View JustJoe's profile

JustJoe

1554 posts in 642 days


#1 posted 350 days ago

I fixed up a craftsman RAS that wasn’t quite as old as yours. I just sanded the tracks with wet 400 grit. Grainger sells bearings, if you’ve got originals then it’s not hard to measure and find replacements.
I don’t know about spray in cleaner for the motor, but I’ve used the air compressor to blow out all the cr@p from the inside of motors.

They probably won’t have any parts except for screws and the switches and maybe the lift mechanism if it’s similar to other models, but you should look at the craftsman replacement parts site too just to see what’s out there.

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Don W

14664 posts in 1171 days


#2 posted 350 days ago

I’m not any kind og electric motor expert, but I’m not sure I’d feel confortable drenching an electric motor in anything. I’d carefully take it apart, clean it and put it back together. When I bought my Grizzley table saw it had been under water, so that’s what I did. I took lots of close up pictures so I could refer to them to get it back together.

I agree with Joe on the wet 400 grit if the tracks have some rust or need smoothing. The spay them with a dry lub.

Pictures to please!

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

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mountainaxe

82 posts in 1109 days


#3 posted 350 days ago

Before you do anything to your saw, download Jon Eakes’ book, Fine Tuning Your Radial Arm Saw, for $14.95. This is THE bible for adjusting tuning a RAS. http://joneakes.com/learning-curve/75-radial-arm-saws

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

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Todd1561

20 posts in 1297 days


#4 posted 350 days ago

Thanks for the information, guys. I have some wet/dry 400 grit paper so I’ll do some light sanding on the tracks. That RAS book sounds like a decent investment at that price, I’ll check it out (and try my best to look past the ridiculous cover!). The electrical cleaner I read about was probably something along the lines of this:

http://www.crcindustries.com/ei/product_detail.aspx?id=02018

It works similar to carb/brake cleaner in that it evaporates almost instantly so the electrics don’t remain wet or dangerous. Good to hear the bearings might still be available, I might take one out and see if I can find replacements at a reasonable price.

Here are some pictures as it sits now:
http://toddnelson.net/misc/ras1.JPG
http://toddnelson.net/misc/ras2.JPG

It won’t be until February at the earliest that I do anything with it. We’re having a house built at the moment and I won’t have room to set it up until we’re moved into the new place. At which point I’ll likely convert it to 220v. I also plan to have it built into a workbench, along with a miter saw, not sure how I’ll ultimately design that. Anyone have any ideas?

Todd

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JustJoe

1554 posts in 642 days


#5 posted 350 days ago

Someone on this forum, or over on woodworkers talk forum, has multiple RAS built into one long bench. If you don’t get a hit here on this post, maybe post a separate question and they’ll see it. IIRC I saw it when someone started one of those “what is a RAS good for anymore?” threads and this guy came out with his collection and a couple dozen uses for the RAS that didn’t involve simple cutting (grinding and sharpening, routing, jointing….)

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Todd1561

20 posts in 1297 days


#6 posted 350 days ago

Good tip. And yes, they are quite versatile, although I do have other dedicated tools that are better suited for many of those tasks. I decided to haul the RAS home because it was free, had sentimental value and does excel at rough crosscutting compared to a modern CMS for larger materials. I’ve also had to do a few projects where it would be much easier to move the tool over the workpiece rather than wrestle a large board over a table saw. For instance, lap joints on large dimensional lumber.

If I didn’t have the room for it or didn’t have access to one for free I probably wouldn’t bother.

Todd

View toolie's profile

toolie

1723 posts in 1232 days


#7 posted 350 days ago

nice RAS. even older than mine, which dares to the mid 60s. same exact design with one humorous difference. mine has a safety key to activate the motor. i believe on todd’s linked RAS, the power button on the top of the motor support arm is just a “push to start” button. appears to predate even the most rudimentary safety features.

still, it’s CI column, column support and arm make it one of the reasonably good c-man RASs. good luck with it. mine takes up a bit of room, but i’m glad i have it for fine cuts:

and how it sits today:

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

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Todd1561

20 posts in 1297 days


#8 posted 350 days ago

Nice looking RAS yourself! Mine does actually have a key switch system, but the key isn’t inserted in the pictures. It’s just a simple stamped metal key. Only real difference I can see other than the color (maybe you repainted yours a more modern color?) is the lever you have on the chromed knob used for changing the miter angle. On my model you have to pull the chrome knob out with your fingertips, it’s a little awkward. I suppose that’s why they added the palm lever to make that adjustment easier.

I can’t tell, but you might also have the accessory threaded end on the right side of the motor like the later models had. Mine has a brake you can actuate by hand in that spot.

Todd

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toolie

1723 posts in 1232 days


#9 posted 350 days ago

FTR, mine’s the OEM color and has not been painted. and i don’t EVER move the arm for miter cuts. IMHE. these saws do not like to be moved around much and usually don’t respond well to moving the radial arm. just passing on my personal experience. for non-90° cuts, i use jigs so the arm stays put.

but i’d be curious to see how your key switch operates as it looks to be considerably smaller than mine and later models.

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

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Todd1561

20 posts in 1297 days


#10 posted 350 days ago

I hear what you’re saying about keeping the saw at dead 90 degrees, that’s why I only plan to use it for rough crosscutting to length or for work where it’s easier to move the saw rather than the workpiece. It can also be handy to have the blade visible from above unlike a TS.

Here are some shots of the key system. You can tell how long it’s been since the key was removed based on all that tarnish!

Todd

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toolie

1723 posts in 1232 days


#11 posted 350 days ago

wow!! thanks. that’s really cool to see. a real “key” so it’s locked when the key’s not in the switch. learned something new about a RAS that’s older than mine. it’s a good day!

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

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

11099 posts in 1709 days


#12 posted 350 days ago

I use my Craftsman RAS for dados only. I have a Craftsman wobble dado on it and it has been working for 40 Years….........Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View roofner's profile

roofner

95 posts in 886 days


#13 posted 349 days ago

No retro kit for it . But they will buy it back for $100. You want it as a remembrance.

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Grandpa

3054 posts in 1279 days


#14 posted 349 days ago

Bearings are the easiest thing to find. Sears never made a bearing since they manufacture nothing to my knowledge. They do spec out what is used and normally that is something that can be bought off the shelf. This keeps the cost down. We have a bearing supply store in our little town and you can take your old bearing to them and get a new one. They just match them up and you are on the way for $10.95 or some such cost. When you get that saw cleaned up and ready get a good blade made for RAS. I recently got a new McFeely’s catalog and they have a section for RAS only. The thing to look for is a negative hook angle. This keeps them from climbing up on the wood you are trying to cut. Good luck with your project.

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QDROBob

1 post in 135 days


#15 posted 44 days ago

I have also inherited a model 113.29003 from my father. It has a manual brake on the opposite end shaft where the shaft cap s/be. To install a chuck, the brake must be removed, but manual does not even list the brake and I have not been able to figure it out. Any tips?

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