Looking for a SAFE way to rip thin strips on a Radial Arm Saw

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Forum topic by parkerdude posted 03-29-2009 07:13 AM 2709 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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182 posts in 3686 days

03-29-2009 07:13 AM

Topic tags/keywords: radial arm saw

The title kind of sums it up. I’ve got an old Craftsman RA saw that’s in very good shape and is my primary power saw, (I’m mostly a hand tool guy).

I’m making several utility cabinets from birch plywood and I’d like to edge band all of the exposed edges for durability.

Does anyone have a safe solution to rip 1/4 X 3/4” thin strips?

Thanks for your help everyone,

I like this forum.


-- dust control

10 replies so far

View Mike Lingenfelter's profile

Mike Lingenfelter

503 posts in 4348 days

#1 posted 03-30-2009 05:09 AM

I only tried to rip once on a RA saw, and it will be the last time I will try that again. Let alone trying to rip thin strips. Some lumber yards sell 1/4×3/4 stock, I would look for that.

View ajosephg's profile


1880 posts in 3795 days

#2 posted 03-30-2009 05:48 AM

Or – do you have a buddy with a TS?

-- Joe

View oldskoolmodder's profile


801 posts in 3914 days

#3 posted 03-30-2009 06:06 AM

A roll of edge banding costs less than $10. Well worth the cost of trying and probably not succeeding with using the RAS for cutting small stock that size.

-- Respect your shop tools and they will respect you - Ric

View whit's profile


246 posts in 4211 days

#4 posted 03-30-2009 06:32 AM


The problem with using the RAS for this type of cut is the usable bit ends up between the blade and the fence or you spend a lot of time relocating the trolly. The easiest way to do this on a RAS, to quote ‘mater from CARS is “to not to”. ;)

Where are you located? Maybe there’s a ‘jock near you with a table saw.


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

View Sawdust2's profile


1466 posts in 4322 days

#5 posted 03-30-2009 12:56 PM

I’m not very smart. I have tried to rip on my RAS.
Twice I got hit with kickback.
Both did damage to things in the shop, both knocked me on my ass and left me bruised.
There is NO safe way to rip on a RAS. There is just luck.
I no longer have a RAS.


-- No piece is cut too short. It was meant for a smaller project.

View Al Killian's profile

Al Killian

273 posts in 3987 days

#6 posted 03-31-2009 07:40 AM

First you will need a blade meant for the RAS. Second you will need a few holddowns. Once the holdowns are set up so the blade does not grab and lift the wood you can slowly feed it thru with a long scrap block. I feed mine from the left side of the machine.

-- Owner of custom millwork shop

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 4002 days

#7 posted 03-31-2009 02:06 PM

i think rocker has thicker edgebanding that you can order. but if i were you id just find a buddy with a table saw or your local lumberyard might have a tablesaw which they would rip a few strips for you

View DBC's profile


14 posts in 3661 days

#8 posted 03-31-2009 02:43 PM

Just two days ago I was giving a Sears 10” radial arm saw. In Excellant shape. A friend gave it to him. He has had a high end cabinet shop for at least 25+ years.

He has one in his shop already.

His words were this saw is free to you if “YOU LOCK IT AT 90 or 45 DEGRESS AND DON’T USE IT ANY OTHER WAY NO MATER WHAT ANY BOOK SAY’S TO USE IT ANY OTHER WAY” Every piece of equipment has its purpose and that is the purpose for that saw. A long stroke cut off. Period.

I have not used it yet but thought I would pass on the advise I was given.

LOL, Dino

-- Luthier, Cad Draftsman, Bass Guitar Builder/Player.

View marcb's profile


768 posts in 3907 days

#9 posted 03-31-2009 03:30 PM

Plenty of people out there use a RAS for ripping. It can be done and done safely. But the RAS needs to be adjusted well in all directions.

The unit also needs to have the safety devices installed, antikickback pawls etc.

View DBC's profile


14 posts in 3661 days

#10 posted 03-31-2009 04:57 PM


I believe you are correct !

My advisor new I do not have experience with a RAS and was only thinking of my safety with a tool that can cause great person harm. As can most of the tools of this Hobby/Profession.

I apologize to all if I spoke out of line,


-- Luthier, Cad Draftsman, Bass Guitar Builder/Player.

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