unusual mechanism for radial arm saw

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Forum topic by cobnashine posted 12-16-2014 04:23 PM 916 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4 posts in 685 days

12-16-2014 04:23 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Many years ago I was working in the Shell Oil Refinery in Martinez, California. They had a shop for lumber projects, such as outdoor stairs, fences, other stuff built with very large pressure treated timbers. This shop was little more than a shed, one wall open to the elements, but what caught my eye was an enormous radial arm saw, 16 inch blade (maybe 14 inch) and the mechanism that permitted the motor and blade to extend was a pair of massive hinges, one vertical, the other horizontal. Wish I’d photographed it. Now one can purchase the Bosch GCM12SD “gliding” miter saw, which uses the same principal as this ancient but magnificent radial arm saw.

Has anyone out there had any experience with this saw? Sure would be nice to know the name of the manufacturer. Like to find some pictures. Thinking of using the same principal to keep the jaws of a workbench leg vise parallel.

-- Hank in Pennsylania

6 replies so far

View Steve Peterson's profile

Steve Peterson

317 posts in 2499 days

#1 posted 12-16-2014 10:31 PM

I have the Bosch and really like it. It is one of the few sliders that fit on a narrow workbench along a wall.

Good idea about the workbench vise.

-- Steve

View hairy's profile


2374 posts in 2949 days

#2 posted 12-17-2014 01:36 AM

You might be talking about a turret radial arm saw.

Here’s an example.

-- stay thirsty my friends...

View Minorhero's profile


372 posts in 2021 days

#3 posted 12-17-2014 01:51 AM

Are you talking about a swing saw? (tiny version)

cause if so, its a piece of equipment so terrifying that even radial arm saw proponents like myself won’t go anywhere near one. ;P

View cobnashine's profile


4 posts in 685 days

#4 posted 12-17-2014 02:00 AM

Didn’t know of the existence of the swing saw, Minorhero. That does look terrifying. Did manage to find an image of the beast I had in mind: Spida Saw, made in New Zealand. Other manufacturers make something similar. Here’s one picture.

-- Hank in Pennsylania

View runswithscissors's profile


2127 posts in 1441 days

#5 posted 12-17-2014 07:55 AM

So it looks like Bosch didn’t invent that configuration.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View emart's profile


416 posts in 2044 days

#6 posted 12-17-2014 08:14 AM

Apparently they are called truss saws. A very unusual design I would think all the extra moving parts would make keeping them tuned a nightmare

-- tools are only as good as the hands that hold them

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