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Radial Arm Saw Dilemma

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Forum topic by TheDane posted 1856 days ago 1030 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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TheDane

3659 posts in 2268 days


1856 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: radial arm saw dewalt

I think is the kind of dilemma a LumberJock likes to have.

A friend of mine is re-arranging his shop to make room for a new lathe and bigger bandsaw. He decided to get rid of some older tools that he gets little or no use out of, including his DeWalt Radial Arm Saw. He thinks it was built in the late 50’s, but that is just a WAG.

He has offered to give it to me … all I have to do is haul it away. He says it is in working condition, but the table is pretty badly chewed up.

So, you’re asking “What’s the dilemma?”

The problem is, I know next to nothing about RAS tools, having only seen them on TV and in woodworking videos. I haven’t gone out to see it yet, so I don’t have model number or any details on condition.

So I am wondering what kind of grief I might be letting myself in for.

Any advice?

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"


9 replies so far

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SCOTSMAN

5281 posts in 2190 days


#1 posted 1856 days ago

Wait it’s for free and your worrying about it.In Scotland we don’t work that way LOL if you don’t like it sell it LOL now seriously RAS saws are great just watch that it has a guard likely hood is it will not so please make one.If your anxious get a book on ras saws or download Dewalts from their site.Have fun Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

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patron

12977 posts in 1946 days


#2 posted 1856 days ago

free is GOOD !
we just did the reviews for sidestedmcgee and his ras this morning ,
its further down the pulse page read it .
if you dont want it you can GIVE it to me !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2697 posts in 1891 days


#3 posted 1856 days ago

I agree, what’s the dilemma. If you have room for it, take it. A lot of guys don’t use RAS’s. I always have, and woud hate to do without one.
That said, if it needs a lot of repair, it might not be worth it. Check it out before you decide.

-- She thought I hung the moon--now she just thinks I did it wrong

View CutNRun's profile

CutNRun

122 posts in 2451 days


#4 posted 1856 days ago

There should be a serial number plate either on the base or the column. This will have the model number and the saw’s serial number on it. If it is a round topped arm, it will be older than the newer flat topped models.

-- CutNRun - So much wood, so many trails, so little time

View CaptainSkully's profile

CaptainSkully

1190 posts in 2163 days


#5 posted 1856 days ago

I loved having a radial arm saw. It lets you make dadoe’s from the top so you can line stuff up better. It allows you to work with large pieces since you’re moving the tool, not the piece. If you have even the barest of space in your shop, I’d grab it and refurb it. If you’re not happy with it after that, there’s always CraigsList.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View tenontim's profile

tenontim

2131 posts in 2349 days


#6 posted 1856 days ago

The table top on radial arm saws needs to be replaced periodically anyway, so it’s not like it was abused. The first stationary power tool I ever bought was a RAS. I sold it a long time ago and have been looking for one ever since. I’ve been offered some older, small blade sized saws, so I’m holding out for a good old one. Hope yours is a good one. You’ll be surprised how handy they are, once you know what you can do with it.

View davidroberts's profile

davidroberts

1002 posts in 2091 days


#7 posted 1856 days ago

a 1950s dewalt RAS, i don’t care which model, is a real find. just visit OWWM to see what i mean. you can buy Mr. Sawdust RAS book for about $25 and learn more than you ever wanted to know about RAS tables and techniques. if you don’t pick it up by the weekend, i’ll be very disappointed ;>)

-- God is great, wood is good. Let us thank Him for wood......and old hand tools.

View jerryz's profile

jerryz

164 posts in 1884 days


#8 posted 1856 days ago

If the top is badly mangled you can easily replace it with 2 pieces of MDF that tou can get at your big store, glue them both together to obtain your desired thickness.
Use the old one as a template to drill the necessary holes and you are in business.
Leveling it is not a difficult task and the procedure should be prety much universal for that type of saws.
I own 2 RAS the first one I bought it new in 1999 in Italy, a DeWalt, it is still over there, my second one is a used Craftsman that I purchased here in the US, it is the fancy model with electronic display and motorized height adjustment.
Don’t ask how much I paid for the first one, it was expensive however I love them both.
The have their uses and advantages.
If you are getting free, I would not hesitate one minute to grab it.

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

3659 posts in 2268 days


#9 posted 1856 days ago

Good advice … I appreciate the feedback. Guess I will run out to his place and take a look!

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

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