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I just bought an old Craftsman Radial Arm Saw and want to know what sort of things I should do to prolong its life. It has a ball bearing motor, so i am wondering if I should lube it, should I lube the slide rail and pivots? There is some minor surface rust on the neck, should I hit this with steel wool then lube?

What type of lube do you recommend? Pic is attached to my pix here:

https://kregjig.ning.com/photo/my-new-toy-1?context=user

 

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The Craftsman tool That were made to last. See if you can get a manual that will tell  you where to lubricate .I always take a air hose and blow the whole exterior and inside the motor ( NOT TOO MUCH PRESSURE ) I do this to all my power tools.

Besides lube I would check out brushes and replace ,most likely they are short and also get a short rubber 90 degree hose ant get the sawdust blowing out the side instead of you face. Last I would get a nice table for it.Other than that it looks like your ready to make some nice projects

 

Hmmm, that one looks like it came from the era that Craftsman made tools. Looks like a good blade cleaning/replacement is in order. As has been pointed out probably motor brushes. Some of the motor bearings may have oiler holes which just use a light oil and just a couple of drops at that. For lubing the slide I'd use a dry graphite spray, I get from NAPA. Kind of a mess to use, need to protect from overspray or clean up right away but it doesn't attract or hold dust and dirt and lasts a looong time.

Thanks guys, I did go through the manual. It says the following are NOT to be lubed: the carriage ball bearings. The motor Bearings (these are sealed ball bearings and require no added lubrication). Between the radial arm cap and the radial arm.

I am not sure what is what other than the motor bearings.... have to read the manual and memorize it I guess.

 

It goes on to say to "Periodically Lubricate These Points: Use SAE No. 10-30 Auto Engine Oil and refer to the Parts List for Locations.

Then it goes on to point out a few places to lube.

I am not sure about using motor oil on it since there have been major advances in lubrication technology in the past several years.

Then it does go on to CAUTION: Excessive oil at any location will attract dust particles and sawdust.

You have to love these old manuals.

According to the manual, I could buy accessories to go with this thing to attach to the non blade side of the motor to turn it into a router/drill press/sander. Kind of like an early Shop Smith.

I know most motors these days would have access ports built into the side of the motor housing for the brushes... an old motor like this... would I have to tear the motor down to replace the brushes? Take it to a Starter and Alternator rebuild business to get new brushes?

That is one beautiful old saw. Invest in a good blade for RAS not the same as a table saw.
You need to see if you can get the new blade gaurd and DO NOT use oil on the carrage rails it fill collect dust and push your saw out of square use a dry lube or wax.
Craftsman years  ago had a recall and it concerned the guard.You might want to check I think it was really cheap if any thing at all
To keep sawdust from blowing at operator use a rubber elbow. this can be obtained at a auto parts store. Measure OD of sawdust discharge port. buy a radiator hose of proper ID to match OD with a 90 degree bend in hose. A good fiction fit will allow to position discharge direction.
Good idea on the radiator hose Ed - Seems like I'm always trying to figure out how to rig a vacuum adapter and there's a whole plethora of those things out there. Thanks for the tip

Ed Manly said:
To keep sawdust from blowing at operator use a rubber elbow. this can be obtained at a auto parts store. Measure OD of sawdust discharge port. buy a radiator hose of proper ID to match OD with a 90 degree bend in hose. A good fiction fit will allow to position discharge direction.

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