RAS for dadoes

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Forum topic by Danpaddles posted 10-17-2013 04:48 PM 1316 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Danpaddles's profile


573 posts in 2549 days

10-17-2013 04:48 PM

Just used my new (very old) Dewalt Radial Arm Saw to cut dadoes for the first time. I had about 18 to cut, of varying sizes. What a pleasure to be able to look down to line up my marks. Way easier than looking around to the edge when everything is upside down on the table saw.

With those blades mounted, it takes forever to spin down though. Just now came in for lunch, I wonder if it will stop spinning by the time I am done eating!

-- Dan V. in Indy

10 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5234 posts in 2730 days

#1 posted 10-17-2013 05:53 PM

It’s the schizzle, no doubt about it. Just one of the RAS many talents, despite the cries of the naysayers. If you’re regular blade is spinning fora long time, say more than 30-45 seconds, you likely need bearings. Pretty easy to do, and cheap.

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

View unbob's profile


810 posts in 2140 days

#2 posted 10-17-2013 10:03 PM

The old DeWalts had an electric motor brake as an extra cost option.
Most often any discussion on the RAS heads right to Craftsman versions, and those related problems keep the naysayers energized.
I find for myself, the quality old saws do a fine job of cutting dado, even blade stack width adjustment is easier then a TS.

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

6348 posts in 3431 days

#3 posted 10-17-2013 10:51 PM

I’ve got a 1984-85 Craftsman RAS that I bought new back then…..I’ve done a lot of different type of cuts on that machine (except ripping long boards…never)....I’ve made more than my share of rabbits and dados on this thing…’s great for doing that, cause you can see everything that is going on…..Only drawback is that you can’t use the blade guard on dado blades….So be careful in the shop using this way…....!!!!!!!!!!!

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....!!

View Woodmaster1's profile


1089 posts in 2824 days

#4 posted 10-17-2013 11:03 PM

I used my dewalt RAS for dados did a nice job. Now I use my router with a jig.

View Quanter50's profile


278 posts in 2533 days

#5 posted 10-17-2013 11:13 PM

Yes, If the blade spins forever, that’s actually indicative of the bearings in need of replacement.

View Danpaddles's profile


573 posts in 2549 days

#6 posted 10-18-2013 03:38 AM

Guess I better check into bearings. kinda the opposite of what you’d think; worn out saw wouldn’t run down for long. I guess new bearings would be tighter.

Yup, now I get to learn how to replace bearings. Soon as I finish the ….. 20 or 30 projects I have going right now. Art sale end of Nov. My first.

I have plenty of routers, and have made a number of jigs. Would still go that route for a bookshelf, I guess. But for these music stands, it is like, make three cuts in one place, then make different cuts in other parts. If you know what I mean. A jig would have to be VERY flexible.

-- Dan V. in Indy

View Nicky's profile


695 posts in 4328 days

#7 posted 10-18-2013 04:14 AM

I really love my new/old RAS. Delta/Rockwell 105. I normally keep a dado blade installed. I also like the idea of being able to see the line. I’ve just bought a Frued blade, 60 tooth, negative hook (-6deg). Sized some rough lumber last week end. This type of blade makes a real difference (I use this type of blade on my dewalt scms). Feeding the blade into the stock is smooth.

I had a craftsman POS for many years. I was constantly tuning it up.

Strange comments about the bearings. Mine will spin for minutes after I turn it off. It does have a hand brake. I thought this was a good sign.

-- Nicky

View realcowtown_eric's profile


617 posts in 2174 days

#8 posted 10-18-2013 04:51 AM

properly set up, a RAS for dados is good. Trubble is getting it properly set up.
Fence has to be square to the blade, table has to be parallel and square to the to the beam travel, blade has to be parallel to the beam, beam bearings have to be good (they do wear out sooner than you’d expect). You can get it dialied in fairly quickly, once yer used to the idea, but move it a tad, drop a chunk of timber on it, and yer back to square one.

as for taking a long time to wind down to a stop, with a dado blade, there is substantially more inertia than expected.

I woulda kept mine except that it took up a lot of bench space, and most good quality chop saws have that capability now, maybe not for dado blades, but doing same with repetitive cuts. and can be toted around without having to worry about re-dialing it in.

And RAS.s are a hard sell. most of the used tool resellers I know of won’t touch them.

Dan, if you got a lot of routers, you can cut dados and rabbits with the rabbit bits. For myself I do that a lot on site, simply grinding off the bearing teat so that I can do larger rabbets and clamping a wood fence on the router base.

After I sold my crapsman RAS-after many listings on KJ I finally listed it as a 10” CT saw blade with a free radial arm saw and sold it immediately. I ended up buyung a used 8” ryobi RAS which I fitted out with a diamond blade and used a router speed control to use it to mitre some split face traventine tiles. worked like a charm with.

-- Real_cowtown_eric

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5234 posts in 2730 days

#9 posted 10-18-2013 11:51 AM

Replacing the bearings on those motors is actually quite easy, you may need a way to pull and press the bearings off/on, but otherwise it’s on the order of a one hour job….not counting the motor dismounting and retuning needed after it’s reinstalled.

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

View joeyinsouthaustin's profile


1294 posts in 2309 days

#10 posted 10-18-2013 05:19 PM

I have router attachment for mine. Best of both worlds!!

-- Who is John Galt?

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