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Finding the 90 degree setting for a Sears Craftsman Radial arm saw

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Forum topic by KBC posted 12-29-2008 09:29 AM 5888 views 1 time favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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KBC

34 posts in 2214 days


12-29-2008 09:29 AM

The model isn’t all that old but the unit just isn’t staying at the 0 degree set.The factory setting(when you pull the lever on the top forward and release at the apparent 90 degree setting) it is off by almost 1/8 inch from the fence to full cut.

Does anyone know how to fine tune the setting for this saw?

I’ll be posting pictures later today(Dec 29)

Thanks in advance.

-- Ken, Northern Illinois,kbcmtndewman40@yahoo.com


11 replies so far

View whit's profile

whit

246 posts in 2730 days


#1 posted 12-29-2008 03:01 PM

Ken,

What’s the model number on the saw? On mine there are 3 set screws at the top of the column on the back side of the arm that release the head to pivot on the column. Once the arm is set at 0 deg, it holds pretty well provided the screws are tightened appropriately. I’ve found that it’s better to tighten each one a little bit rather than cranking down on one at a time which may make the head move a bit.

You indicate that it won’t stay at 0 degrees. Have you been able to get it set properly and it changes or you’ve never been able to get it to 0? If you’ve set it and it moves, there may be indentations on the column where the set screws contact it and it’s moving it back into those rather than staying where you put it – path of least resistance and all that. You may also find that your saw has a preference for going to 0 from one side or the other. Have you tried going to a full stop from both sides to see if one of them does, in fact put the arm at 0 degrees? If so, there may be some slop in the index plate at the top of the column for your 90 degree set.

The problem you’re dealing with now is the bane of the radial arm saw. They work great when they’re aligned but getting them that way is a real pain in the . . . ear.

Good luck.

Whit

-- Even if to be nothing more than a bad example, everything serves a purpose. cippotus

View KBC's profile

KBC

34 posts in 2214 days


#2 posted 12-29-2008 06:56 PM

Saw

Side view

Under side of arm

Top of arm

-- Ken, Northern Illinois,kbcmtndewman40@yahoo.com

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 2639 days


#3 posted 12-29-2008 08:21 PM

FYI – Your pictures are not “showing up” when I open your blog.

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View KBC's profile

KBC

34 posts in 2214 days


#4 posted 12-29-2008 11:19 PM

Hmm, they are opening for me,I can’t see the problem on my end,sorry, I would like any advice I can get about adjusting the saw.

-- Ken, Northern Illinois,kbcmtndewman40@yahoo.com

View whit's profile

whit

246 posts in 2730 days


#5 posted 12-30-2008 12:55 AM

Ken,

Looks like the only photo you’re missing is the back of the arm where it connects to the post. This saw looks very similar to mine. Check the backside of the arm. There should be a small slot that provides access to 3 setscrews. That’s where you need to make the adjustment.

Check the model number, too. You can go to www.craftsman.com and order a manual from them.

Whit

-- Even if to be nothing more than a bad example, everything serves a purpose. cippotus

View KBC's profile

KBC

34 posts in 2214 days


#6 posted 12-30-2008 01:14 AM

The back of the unit is solid plastic,that’s why I didn’t add the pic.

I am thinking(again…got to stop the stuff!) the 2 bolts which show in the front of the arm have to be accessible from the rear,I am thinking the 2 screws on the top need removed to be able to remove the rear plastic cover.

Fingers (and eyes) crossed.

Thanks for the info every one,will re post and tell all( or replace the saw!!!:( )

-- Ken, Northern Illinois,kbcmtndewman40@yahoo.com

View ChicoWoodnut's profile

ChicoWoodnut

904 posts in 2569 days


#7 posted 12-30-2008 04:02 AM

Get the manual. Setting up a RAS is not an easy task. Missing one step can make the saw inaccurate and sometimes dangerous.

The steps go something like this.

  1. Adjust the plane of the table so the arm is parallel over its entire surface.
  2. Use a good framing square against the fence to adjust the arm so the carriage travels at 90 degrees to the fence.
  3. Adjust the carriage so the blade is not toed out left or right (front to back).
  4. Adjust the carriage so the blade is 90 to the table top to bottom.

Every saw has different methods of achieving this but the order is the same.

Be gentle with the saw. You don’t want to knock it out of whack after spending an hour aligning it ;)

-- Scott - Chico California http://chicowoodnut.home.comcast.net

View KBC's profile

KBC

34 posts in 2214 days


#8 posted 12-30-2008 06:40 PM

OK,I took the back off( after I found the slot I also found screws,unnoticed at first glimpse..hmmm) and the 3 set screws(Allen sets) just peaked out asking for adjustments!( Just as you said whit!)

It took all of 3 minutes to do the fine tuning.

The system is 90 degrees by 90 degrees and is even back to the correct marks for measurement from the blade(I have marked the fence for quick reference)

Thanks for all the advice,,now I could probably help another person do their unit as well..ahh, the great minds in LJ’s site have done it again!

-- Ken, Northern Illinois,kbcmtndewman40@yahoo.com

View whit's profile

whit

246 posts in 2730 days


#9 posted 12-31-2008 03:32 AM

Great, Ken. Now that you’ve done that, you’ll probably want to go back and check caster and camber of the gimbal. They shouldn’t have changed but with the radial arm saw and all of its various adjustments, changing one can (and often will) change the others. If they’re not all true, you can end up with an out-of-alignment blade that will either make really crappy cuts or bind up and all sorts of nasty things can happen – particularly if you use the saw for both cross-cutting and ripping.

The cool thing is, with a bit of practice, you can get the alignment process down to about an hour. ;)

-- Even if to be nothing more than a bad example, everything serves a purpose. cippotus

View parkerdude's profile

parkerdude

167 posts in 2205 days


#10 posted 01-16-2009 09:41 PM

Hey KBC,

I have a 20 year old Craftsman radial arm saw too, I can’t find the link that I found to download the manual in “pdf” format. I do have it on my hard-drive and I can forward it to you if you’d like. The file is 2.8Mb, so I’m not sure what the file size limit is but it should go.

Let me know..

later,

parkerdude

-- dust control

View KBC's profile

KBC

34 posts in 2214 days


#11 posted 01-17-2009 01:28 AM

Thanks parkerdude,I have found the set screws and finally I am making 90 degree cuts again(the allen head screws were hidden in the rear of the main post,it took longer to write in to the site than it did to adjust the saw to it’s proper setting.

Thanks for responding,I think I have it!!

Ken

-- Ken, Northern Illinois,kbcmtndewman40@yahoo.com

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