Kreg Owners' Community

Views: 1203

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Interesting article, although rather brief. I was hoping for more info on when to choose between the two for tricky cuts. If I had to choose only one it would definitely go with a table saw. The variety of cuts available on the table saw, especially with sleds and jigs, is amazing. Even cutting a perfect circle is a quick and easy task on a table saw.

I suppose it really depends on the projects you mostly plan on doing. I could see if you are just starting out and were planning on basic projects with dimensional lumber and using the rip cut for panels you can still get quite a bit done.

Onno

The article is only two paragraphs.

It describes the basics between the two.

It wasn't intended to be in-depth, for both type saws.

 

The table saw vs the radial arm saw is a good topic for discussion. I have owned both for several years and can say the there is a use in the wood shop for a radial arm saw.  I have it near the front of the shop where all lumber that enters passes by it on its way into the shop.  I use the radial saw to rough cut the lumber down into lengths that are easily managed on the table saw.  Although I own a miter saw and a chop saw I perfer to use the radial as it has a larger table that makes the lumber easier to cut.  I also perfer to use the radial as on my miter saw I keep a sharp and high priced blade that I perfer to keep for making high percission miter cuts and not run rough lumber through the blade.  Once I begin building cabinets or furniture most of the work is then done on the table saw.

Another use that I have for the radial arm saw is making moldings.  I have a molding head that I install on the radial saw and in the head I install different profile to cut moldings.  This allows me to make several profile when I use it in the rip positon.  In the cross cut position I install a dado blade and make several feet of dental moldings and other molding that require a series of cross cut type action using either a dado blade of a molding cutter.

When it comes to safety the radial arm saw is the most dangerous saw of the two.  The reason is that you do not have to stick your finger or hand into the radial arm saw blade. 

That saw seeks flesh to cut and when you least expect it.  This is because the blade in not alway in the locked position and has to be free in order to cross cut lumber.  Because of this and, the least little bump with either lumber or your hand while positioning the lumber on the table and even viberation on the saw and it is a run away blade headed straight towards anything in the path of the blades travel.

I have been working wood many years and have been lucky becasue I practice safety and think everything through before I do it. Fortunately I still have all my fingers and have never been cut by a saw blade or other power equiptment.

I stated above about the radial arm saw if the most dangerous of the the two saws.  I am living proof of this shortly after begining woodworking.  I was cross cutting some lumber stock into shorter lengths and was in the process of placing lumber on the table.  For unknown reason the saw carriage rapidy came across the lumber

 missing my fingers by fracions of an inch and slambed into its forward stop.  From what I still believe today is that it was because of the saw blade grabbing ahold of the lumber as I was placing it on the table. Since there was on hand holding the saw carriage in the rearward positon it was free to do as it wanted and this was towards the front of the saw where my hands were. If you thing that a radial arm saw will not climb on top of lumber, please think again.

This taught me a lesson and I fixed this saw problem by attaching two springs to the saw carriage to keep the carriage in its back position and required a pull of the hand to make the cross cut.  It was a new top of the line 10 inch craftsman saw with all the attachments except the one that It needed.  Something to keep the saw carriage in it's back position and prevent it from moving forward without being pulled forward.  Within a few months of this incident Craftsman came out with a spring loaded reel attachement that attached to the right side of the saw carriage that returned the carrigage to the rear position and held it there until pulled froward by the opeartor.  I am here to tell you that if you own a radial saw and that unless you have done something to hold the carriage in its rear position to prevent its accidental movement forward, then you are flirting with danger.

It could be as simple as a bungie cord attached to the carriage  and fastened to the frame is a manner that it will return and hold that carriage may save you from injury and or loss of a hand or fingers.  i was just lucky or I would have lost some fingers or my hand.

Radials like all saws are dangerous in ways you least expect.  Otherwise the radial has its place in the shop.

Jay,

A great and informative read.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, insights and the potential hazards.

Jay you mentioned saw shooting across table My DeWalt did same thing but no more I fixed it by getting a spring and tied it off on carriage to back so saw so when I finish cutting  I can let go and it returns to back of feed arm.

That is exactly what I did to fix the hazzard.  I almost lost some fingers and since that I have continually advised several in cabinet shops to do this.  It is a simple fix and should be done.

Jens Jensen said:

Jay you mentioned saw shooting across table My DeWalt did same thing but no more I fixed it by getting a spring and tied it off on carriage to back so saw so when I finish cutting  I can let go and it returns to back of feed arm.

I have the Ryobi Radial arm saw and there is a cable release on the blade housing that have a slow feed out rate that is controlled by a trigger on the pull handle. So basically the blade can only come out slowly if you are pulling the trigger. Else is stays put.

I have a love hate relationship with mine though. It is great when it is perfectly square on all the axis (mine rotates on 4 axis) but setup is a mission and a half. That is when a large chop saw is a bit easier. 

Thanks Jay for the helpful information.

     The best post I EVER read!! Thank GOD for Jay taking his time to help others and provide real world advice,that you won't find in any trade magazine article. That post should appear in every trade magazine, world wide. Thanks for your outstanding post.                         Dave

Jay Boutwell said:

The table saw vs the radial arm saw is a good topic for discussion. I have owned both for several years and can say the there is a use in the wood shop for a radial arm saw.  I have it near the front of the shop where all lumber that enters passes by it on its way into the shop.  I use the radial saw to rough cut the lumber down into lengths that are easily managed on the table saw.  Although I own a miter saw and a chop saw I perfer to use the radial as it has a larger table that makes the lumber easier to cut.  I also perfer to use the radial as on my miter saw I keep a sharp and high priced blade that I perfer to keep for making high percission miter cuts and not run rough lumber through the blade.  Once I begin building cabinets or furniture most of the work is then done on the table saw.

Another use that I have for the radial arm saw is making moldings.  I have a molding head that I install on the radial saw and in the head I install different profile to cut moldings.  This allows me to make several profile when I use it in the rip positon.  In the cross cut position I install a dado blade and make several feet of dental moldings and other molding that require a series of cross cut type action using either a dado blade of a molding cutter.

When it comes to safety the radial arm saw is the most dangerous saw of the two.  The reason is that you do not have to stick your finger or hand into the radial arm saw blade. 

That saw seeks flesh to cut and when you least expect it.  This is because the blade in not alway in the locked position and has to be free in order to cross cut lumber.  Because of this and, the least little bump with either lumber or your hand while positioning the lumber on the table and even viberation on the saw and it is a run away blade headed straight towards anything in the path of the blades travel.

I have been working wood many years and have been lucky becasue I practice safety and think everything through before I do it. Fortunately I still have all my fingers and have never been cut by a saw blade or other power equiptment.

I stated above about the radial arm saw if the most dangerous of the the two saws.  I am living proof of this shortly after begining woodworking.  I was cross cutting some lumber stock into shorter lengths and was in the process of placing lumber on the table.  For unknown reason the saw carriage rapidy came across the lumber

 missing my fingers by fracions of an inch and slambed into its forward stop.  From what I still believe today is that it was because of the saw blade grabbing ahold of the lumber as I was placing it on the table. Since there was on hand holding the saw carriage in the rearward positon it was free to do as it wanted and this was towards the front of the saw where my hands were. If you thing that a radial arm saw will not climb on top of lumber, please think again.

This taught me a lesson and I fixed this saw problem by attaching two springs to the saw carriage to keep the carriage in its back position and required a pull of the hand to make the cross cut.  It was a new top of the line 10 inch craftsman saw with all the attachments except the one that It needed.  Something to keep the saw carriage in it's back position and prevent it from moving forward without being pulled forward.  Within a few months of this incident Craftsman came out with a spring loaded reel attachement that attached to the right side of the saw carriage that returned the carrigage to the rear position and held it there until pulled froward by the opeartor.  I am here to tell you that if you own a radial saw and that unless you have done something to hold the carriage in its rear position to prevent its accidental movement forward, then you are flirting with danger.

It could be as simple as a bungie cord attached to the carriage  and fastened to the frame is a manner that it will return and hold that carriage may save you from injury and or loss of a hand or fingers.  i was just lucky or I would have lost some fingers or my hand.

Radials like all saws are dangerous in ways you least expect.  Otherwise the radial has its place in the shop.

If your radial arm saw is self feeding or comes out of alignment easily, I would say it is likely a model manufactured after about 1960, and you should scrap it.

The radial arm saw, as originally designed by Mr. DeWalt in the early half of the 20th century, is an engineering marvel and an unequalled ally in the woodshop. 

After AMF sold DeWalt to Black and Decker, they cheapened the original DeWalt radial arm saw design in order to maximize profits. B&D replaced solid, heavy, cast iron arm and yoke assemblies with lightweight stamped metal, which in turn lead to increased vibration, decreased accuracy, and even operator injuries. Craftsman, rockwell, etc. all followed suit, and the saw's bad reputation was cemented in the mass market. If you have a Craftsman model, I think there is an ongoing recall for them you can take advantage of.

Check your local craigslist for a DeWalt radial arm saw. Look for one that has a rounded top. It will likely need some TLC, but these things were built like tanks, and many have been brought back to life after sitting in old barns for decades, and they are well worth the effort. Here is the process a guy went through restoring his:

DeWalt MBF 9" RAS Restoration

Make sure you get a negative hook blade as well. Forrest makes the best blades and dado sets around in my experience. Ask for the 8" Mr. Sawdust blade.

A properly adjusted DeWalt radial arm saw will not self feed, and is a machine easily capable of working wood to .001"!

If you have any more questions, I'd be happy to answer what I can. You can also check over at the very active DeWalt Radial Arm Saw forum:

DeWalt Radial Arm Saw Forum

You should also check out Mr. Sawdust, he was a man employed by DeWalt/AMF in the 40's-50's who travelled around hosting workshops on proper operation of the DeWalt saws. He published this book before his death, and it is the bible for DeWalt RAS enthusiasts. You can read a chapter free, and learn a little more about the saw, here:

Mr. Sawdust sample chapter

Regards,

Jason

Old Florida Woodworks

Thanks Jason,

for your inputs.

Good info.

The issue I discussed did not have any problem with self feeding until it hit the wood, and then it was more that self feeding, it was like a run a way train.  I was moving some lumber on the table and the saw carriage slid ahead and hit the wood.  The problem was the carriage is free moving and out of control without the operator's hand on the handle.  That is what makes all radial arm saws dangerous.

I have always used Forrest brand blades and am aware of the hazzard of having the wrong tooth configeration on the radial arm saw.  At the time this happened I had a forrest radial arm saw blade installed with a negative tooth blade. That is the only type I use on the radial when cross cutting wood.

Shortly after this happened I visited 2 other friends who were cabinet makers and finish carpentars in my area of which had the dewalt radial saw as they had started much earlier that I, and dewalt saws were the top of the line.  The also told me of having the same experience as I and this is why I modified the saw and put springs on the carriage that held the saw carriage in the back position until it was pulled foward intentionally by the operator.   As I mentioned shortly afterward this Craftsman offered a reel like spring to prevent the saw carriage from moving ahead accidently.  I know it was also offered to other saw brands including dewalt because one of the cabinet makers went and got one for his saw which was a dewalt.  My problem was solved with the addition of two springs, one on each side of the carriage that provided spring tension on the carriage pulling it to the rear and keeping it there until pulled intentionally to make a cut.  

I'm attaching a photo of the same safety device that Craftsman distributed and not it is on a dewalt radial arm saw.  Don't get me wrong I not putting down dewalt or any other saw.  Dewalt as I said earlier were the elite saw however I have no issue with my Craftsman either as it cuts accurately.  I'm just saying that all radial arm saws have the potential danger of the carriage moving on its own and is a dangerous threat to the unsuspecting operator.  My method it one way of curring that threat.  I never want to hear of anyone losing a hand or fingers becasue on not knowing about this threat.  Although  I have several years working with power  saws but I will admit I am "scared to death of a saw" and that is why I respect what they can do when operated safely and also most improtant what they can do if not operated safely.  
 
Jason Watkins said:

If your radial arm saw is self feeding or comes out of alignment easily, I would say it is likely a model manufactured after about 1960, and you should scrap it.

The radial arm saw, as originally designed by Mr. DeWalt in the early half of the 20th century, is an engineering marvel and an unequalled ally in the woodshop. 

After AMF sold DeWalt to Black and Decker, they cheapened the original DeWalt radial arm saw design in order to maximize profits. B&D replaced solid, heavy, cast iron arm and yoke assemblies with lightweight stamped metal, which in turn lead to increased vibration, decreased accuracy, and even operator injuries. Craftsman, rockwell, etc. all followed suit, and the saw's bad reputation was cemented in the mass market. If you have a Craftsman model, I think there is an ongoing recall for them you can take advantage of.

Check your local craigslist for a DeWalt radial arm saw. Look for one that has a rounded top. It will likely need some TLC, but these things were built like tanks, and many have been brought back to life after sitting in old barns for decades, and they are well worth the effort. Here is the process a guy went through restoring his:

DeWalt MBF 9" RAS Restoration

Make sure you get a negative hook blade as well. Forrest makes the best blades and dado sets around in my experience. Ask for the 8" Mr. Sawdust blade.

A properly adjusted DeWalt radial arm saw will not self feed, and is a machine easily capable of working wood to .001"!

If you have any more questions, I'd be happy to answer what I can. You can also check over at the very active DeWalt Radial Arm Saw forum:

DeWalt Radial Arm Saw Forum

You should also check out Mr. Sawdust, he was a man employed by DeWalt/AMF in the 40's-50's who travelled around hosting workshops on proper operation of the DeWalt saws. He published this book before his death, and it is the bible for DeWalt RAS enthusiasts. You can read a chapter free, and learn a little more about the saw, here:

Mr. Sawdust sample chapter

Regards,

Jason

Old Florida Woodworks

Reply to Discussion

RSS

Need Help?

For Technical Support, please call 800-447-8638 or send a message. Reps are available Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm CST. 

Popular Posts & Projects 

Videos

  • Add Videos
  • View All

Forum

Back with Kreg 3 Replies

After being disappointed with my Kreg Foreman I sold it and got a Porter Cable 560. It was a decent jig and performed with decent results. Then a friend who is also a Kreg dealer told me about the K5.i bought one and set it up. I must say it's…Continue

Started by DaveTinley in Beginners' Zone. Last reply by KregCS on Wednesday.

spam 3 Replies

Did anybody get bs email from Timothy White about Your surname? He said he got my name from here.Continue

Started by Timothy Spoon in Beginners' Zone. Last reply by KregRep Apr 4.

Product Reviews

K5 Review

I really like the k5 it is faster to change from different size of screws. I hesitated to update because of some of the reviews about the dust collection hook up. That to me one of the improvements it works perfect no dust to cleanup .…

Continue

Posted by Gary roofner on April 5, 2019 at 10:02am

Merry Christmas r3

 Hi all Santa left me one under the tree the elf thar made it must have had a bad morning because one gray tab is metric and the other one is imperial help Santa what do I do

thanks Eric 

Posted by Eric Kershaw on January 8, 2019 at 6:27pm — 1 Comment

Kreg Project Center Work Station

The Kreg Project Center is great by itself, but 2 KPC's are better than 1 when you want to set up a 12 ft. work station in a couple minutes.…

Continue

Posted by Glenn Revheim on April 5, 2018 at 5:57am — 5 Comments

Festool Domino 500

The first thing I will do is set price aside and focus on the tool and why I bought the Domino. 

      I have orders for a few dining tables and chairs.  I have made one prototype chair, while I have all the tools to make angled…

Continue

Posted by justin waldron on April 2, 2018 at 5:46am — 2 Comments

© 2019   Created by KregRep.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Service

_