Radial Arm Saw Adjustment help.

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Forum topic by Tim Washburn posted 10-14-2013 10:46 AM 1113 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Tim Washburn

5 posts in 1897 days

10-14-2013 10:46 AM

Hi Everyone, my name is Tim and this is my first post. Have only read posts until now.

I am a “hobby woodworker” and recently moved into a new house which has a big garage, so I am setting up a woodshop. My dad used to do quite a bit of woodworking when I was a kid, and I have always liked doing it as a hobby.

I have an older Craftsman RAS (I love the RAS, my dad has one, and they are really nice for cross/miter cuts, and extra work space on the table when not in use) The model of the RAS is 113.198111. I bought the saw in rough condition for only 50 dollars, ordered the refurb kit from craftsman, took the saw apart down to the nuts and bolts (so I am pretty familiar with the workings of the saw)...cleaned everything up, and reassembled it. It’s looking pretty nice now and runs perfect. I did all of the adjustments in order from the manual, but I have one problem.

When I move the saw to say…45 degrees, then back to 0, there is alot of free movement at the 0 degree mark. It is almost impossible to perfectly square the saw back up to the fence by using the keyed spot in the pillar. I can use the gauge and get it pretty close, but not exact. Is there a way to tighten up the space on the column in which the arm swings around so when it comes back to 0, it’s a tighter fit?

6 replies so far

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13640 posts in 3541 days

#1 posted 10-14-2013 08:32 PM

maybe epoxy some metal shims in the slot
either side or both
if you don’t find another better way
sounds like the slot
or the key is worn
from many previous movings
maybe check the key
and get another
if that one is to worn

welcome to LJ’s

i have an RAS too
but leave it set at 90*
make jigs or fixtures for any other cuts
so the slot is never chewed up
and the back fence doesn’t disintegrate into little pieces
and the table is always nice and flat
without a big hollow
where the blade gouges it out there

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

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5849 posts in 3785 days

#2 posted 10-14-2013 09:25 PM

If the saw was okay before you took it apart ,I’d get it looked at to see if it has been rebuilt correctly.It would appear that obviously something is wrong and needs to be tightened up or redone. Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View JustJoe's profile


1554 posts in 2238 days

#3 posted 10-14-2013 09:38 PM

I have my old craftsman RAS apart right now. There is slop in one of the 45 settings for the same reason – the groove in that front part has been worn bigger. I guess it’s years of someone getting it “close enough” to 45 and then releasing the spring-lever, forcing the steel spring to expand and rub against the side of the pot-metal front part. If you can see or measure to which side of the groove the most wear is at, then I agree that a shim should do the trick. Might be able to superglue it against the side of the groove.
On my saw, the other three non-90 settings are still tight, so I guess that 45 to the left was just someone’s favorite in years gone by. I have it apart because I needed to set it for something other than the preset and found it wouldn’t lock in place. The two brakepads that are in that front piece seem to be worn down and I have to find a place that sells what looks like 1/2” asbestos dowel so I can make a new pair.

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Tim Washburn

5 posts in 1897 days

#4 posted 10-17-2013 02:21 PM

Thanks for the replies, guys.


I just want to confirm, the column lock for the miter is on the top of the column, right? Mine is a cast metal piece that is allen screwed to the top of the pillar. It isn’t worn away at all I didn’t think, but maybe the female part that accepts the notches is, and I didn’t notice for some reason. Do you know if the female part is actually cast into the arm of the saw, or is it another part?


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1554 posts in 2238 days

#5 posted 10-17-2013 03:46 PM

Tim – Sorry for leading you astray, I was talking about the head tilt, you were taking about the arm turn.

I had that problem too. If you’ve got the same problem, it could be frustrating to get it fixed.

On the back of the RAS at the bottom of the column where it goes into the pillar do you have this thing?

If so, and if you tightened everything else up top that you were supposed to, then that is probably where the slop is. If you loosen the set screws on both sides of it you can pull out this mechanism: On the pic above I’ve already loosened the screws and pulled it out about 1/4”.

This little piece of cr@p gave me so much grief. If you look on the left you’ll see a tapered tenon. That tenon goes in the slot on the column. In the middle of that tenon (can’t see in the pic) is a little plastic piece. It is made to rub against the bottom of the slot. On the middle of the right side (also can’t see in the pic) is a recessed set screw that takes (on mine) a regular screwdriver and is used to tighten that plastic piece.
The trick to the entire assembly is getting everything tight enough to eliminate side-side movement – hard to do when that end i tapered like it is, and still loose enough to move up/down when you crank it.

Here’s how I did it once my patience was gone.

1. loosened the two set screws on the side.
2. unscrewed the setscrew that pushes that plastic piece – all the way until just before it fell out.
3. put the whole assembly in the hole and lined up the slot.
4. pushed it in as far as it would go.
5. took a big leather mallet and smacked the small piece into the hole as hard as I could while simultaneously tightening one of the side set screws.
6. repeated step 5 a few times until I was sure that the metal piece was as tight in the hole as it would go.
7. fully tightened both side set-screws so there was no way that little b@st@rd was backing out of the hole.
8. took the screwdriver and then tightened that screw on the back, pushing that little plastic piece into the bottom of the slot, as tight as I could.

When I did it I was a bit frustrated. In hindsight, instead of banging on it the way I did there is probably a way that a good sized c-clamp or even a regular clamp could be used to press the mechanism tightly into place and hold it while you tightened the set-screws.
And if it just won’t tighten one way, you can try flipping it 180 degrees, because the tenon may have worn unevenly.

Good Luck.

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5192 posts in 3443 days

#6 posted 10-18-2013 12:34 AM

Sears RAS’s always had that indexing problem. I had a Craftsman 12” RAS many years ago and that was the one thing that was a problem. I hyave a Dewalt RAS now, but I keep it set for 90° cuts only. Since you have it apart, check the index collar and the indexing pin. You might be able to get a new one made that will index better.

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