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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Radial Arm Saw

I forget when I bought my Sears Craftsman Radial Arm Saw.   Easily over 25 years ago.  I had lent my DeWalt Radial Arm out to some contractor and missed having one, so I bought what was a state of the art model at the time.
For some reason, Radial Arm Saws have fallen from popularity.   The rap on them is that they are dangerous, but every power tool, and especially stationary saws are dangerous.   As experienced as I am, I am always a little fearful when I switch on the power and the blade starts spinning, and I'm sure that this is a healthy emotion.
The other frequent criticism is that the RAS is notorious for slop and inaccurate cuts.  I never had this problem.... until today

The Radial Arm is the best option for making dado cuts in my opinion and as I was setting up the dado blades today in gearing up for the grandkids bunk beds, I noticed a lot of slop in the swivel of the power head.
So I downloaded a manual for the Sears Model off of the web and quickly found out how to make the adjustment to eliminate the problem.   How cool is it that the Internet was not even invented when I bought this saw, and now I can instanteously get any information that I need to fix the tool.!!! 
The radial arm is unsurpassed for making accurate repetitive crosscuts, when it is aligned correctly, while the table saw is my tool of choice for making accurate and safe rip and panel cuts.  The luxury of having each of these tools in my shop is a blessing that I should be more thankful for.
The radial arm saw should be good for another 25 or so.


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