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Thoughts on Rockwell Delta Radial Arm Saw?

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Forum topic by Dan658 posted 02-04-2015 05:02 AM 775 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Dan658

93 posts in 737 days


02-04-2015 05:02 AM

I’ve been considering a radial arm saw for a little while and I found this guy for $50. Any thoughts on this at all? The good, the bad, the ugly….


14 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3949 posts in 1960 days


#1 posted 02-04-2015 11:58 AM

Those are very good saws. Once tuned they remain accurate. Because of the way the arm swivels, DC is a little tricky but it can be made to work. If the saw is in serviceable condition that’s a very fair price. At the very least it deserves a look.

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

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Dan658

93 posts in 737 days


#2 posted 02-04-2015 05:43 PM



Those are very good saws. Once tuned they remain accurate. Because of the way the arm swivels, DC is a little tricky but it can be made to work. If the saw is in serviceable condition that s a very fair price. At the very least it deserves a look.

- Fred Hargis

Thanks. All the guy said is that it “works great”, but that seems to always be a matter of perspective. What do you mean when saying DC is a little tricky? Anyways, I’ll be looking at it later today and I’ll see what happens. By the way, the model is a Rockwell-Delta 900.

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Fred Hargis

3949 posts in 1960 days


#3 posted 02-04-2015 06:03 PM

With the more common RAS configuration, the arm only pivots on the column and you can put a hood right behind there and do a reasonable job collecting dust (with enough DC). With the turret arm, the space where the dust is dispersed is much wider. When the turret is rotated cutting 45º to the left, the dust is discharged to the far left side of the table, just the opposite when your cutting 45º to the right. So your hood in the back has to be much wider to catch it all. I don’t see this as a serious detriment, just different. A lot folks with the other design only swing the arm to right for miters due to restricted space when you swing it left….you don’t have that problem with a turret arm saw.

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

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Dan658

93 posts in 737 days


#4 posted 02-04-2015 07:08 PM

Ah, OK. I didn’t pick up that DC meant dust collection. Thanks again.

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Minorhero

372 posts in 2072 days


#5 posted 02-04-2015 08:05 PM

Those are solid saws. Great for crosscutting, but like all radial arm saws they are terrible at ripping. So definitely buy it, but use it for crosscutting and miters. When going to look at it, look for blade wobble when turning it on, and also look at the ways inside the arm. The carriage should move smoothly back and forth. If the ways are pitted to the point the carriage wobbles then walk away.

That looks like one of the smaller models that take a 9” blade. I could be wrong, but that is what it looks like to me. Those are great saws and have a pretty loyal following among folks that like radial arm saws.

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Dan658

93 posts in 737 days


#6 posted 02-05-2015 12:15 AM

The owner wasn’t home, but he said I could swing by and have a look anyways since its just sitting in his carport. It actually looks better than I thought. The motor sounds good with no wobble. All the levers and sliding arm are a bit stiff, but I just suspect that it needs a good cleaning and some grease. Under the arm did have some rust but didn’t appear to be too severe, so I think it’s worth giving it a shot. I was crossing my fingers for a Super 900, but it is in fact the 900 with the 9” blade. I actually like the size and plan on building it into a new workbench. I can see why they have a loyal following. It’s a pretty cool saw.

View dhazelton's profile

dhazelton

2326 posts in 1763 days


#7 posted 02-05-2015 12:39 AM

$50. Fifty bucks. JUST GET IT. The Dewalt MBFs are the ones to want because they invented the category, but the Delta works equally as well. AND IT’S ONLY FIFTY DOLLARS. GO GET IT!

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Dan658

93 posts in 737 days


#8 posted 02-05-2015 01:11 AM



$50. Fifty bucks. JUST GET IT. The Dewalt MBFs are the ones to want because they invented the category, but the Delta works equally as well. AND IT S ONLY FIFTY DOLLARS. GO GET IT!

- dhazelton

Believe me, I would have took it home today if I could have. I immediately contacted the guy after seeing it and said I’ll take it and he’s back home tomorrow. I’ve never used a RAS before, so it will give me time to watch some of those instructional/safety videos on YouTube and figure out how to prevent cutting my hand off.

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Minorhero

372 posts in 2072 days


#9 posted 02-05-2015 01:53 AM

rust in the arm is ok, you just don’t want pitting so bad it affects the carriage so it goes out of square.

A tip for building it into a bench, make sure it has a disposable table insert. It will slowly eat the table over time, so you want something like a flat surface set below the level of the bench, then a piece of mdf resting on top that will actually be what gets cut, then you can get rid of the mdf after it gets chewed up months/years later.

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JerryLH

104 posts in 778 days


#10 posted 02-05-2015 02:48 AM

I have one of these that I got from my father – it served him well.

-- Develop your character -- for it becomes your destiny. Jerry - Mannford, Ok

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3949 posts in 1960 days


#11 posted 02-05-2015 12:04 PM

A suggestion for the blade. 9” blades are hard to find, I have one I got from Ridge Carbide but I think they’ve discontinued it. But on an RAS, a negative hook blade is a lot easier to control, and gives and extremely clean cur (unless you rip on it, they don’t rip for chit…..but then, I never rip on an RAS anyway). A good choice would be the Freud LU91, in the 8.5” size. The lost 1/4” of cutting depth doesn’t amount to anything, it’s very affordable, and does a fine job. You can even get it without that hideous red coating they put on a lot of their blades.

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

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unbob

719 posts in 1370 days


#12 posted 02-05-2015 03:04 PM

I second Freds suggestion on the Freud LU91, it works good on my little DeWalt MBC.

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Dan658

93 posts in 737 days


#13 posted 02-05-2015 06:08 PM



A suggestion for the blade. 9” blades are hard to find, I have one I got from Ridge Carbide but I think they ve discontinued it. But on an RAS, a negative hook blade is a lot easier to control, and gives and extremely clean cur (unless you rip on it, they don t rip for chit…..but then, I never rip on an RAS anyway). A good choice would be the Freud LU91, in the 8.5” size. The lost 1/4” of cutting depth doesn t amount to anything, it s very affordable, and does a fine job. You can even get it without that hideous red coating they put on a lot of their blades.

- Fred Hargis

Thanks for the advice. I have no intention on ripping with it since I have my table saw. Ripping on a RAS just seems really awkward anyways. I know I’ve seen 8.5” blades around town, so I’ll keep my eye out for the LU91. How much hook angle is too much on a RAS? It has a 8.25” Freud TK304 on there now with a 15 degree angle. I assume 15 is a bit much, but I plan on getting a bigger blade anyways.

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Fred Hargis

3949 posts in 1960 days


#14 posted 02-05-2015 07:20 PM

Staying with a negative is best, but the Ridge blade I mentioned earlier that I have has a 2º positive hook, and I can use it without a problem. The negative hook reduces the “self-feeding” problem that some have with these saws.

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

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