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[OT] Radial arm saw vs table saw

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  • #46
    I've got both. Craftsman 10" table saw bought new 35 years ago and a Dewalt 10" RAS bought used a couple years later. If you're going to have only one, the table saw is absolutely the one to have.

    The RAS is really handy for cutting stock to length - always ready at the push of a button. I've used it a couple of times for ripping and found the experience frightening.

    My table saw is much like the Craftsman you showed, pretty lightweight but not a problem, it helps that the wheels are retractable and once in place it sits firmly on rubber pads. It's probably really a contractor's saw. I have no problem putting it upside-down in the bed of my truck to take to a job.

    That Rockwell you show is a better saw, if everything works, but if it's too big/heavy for your situation I think you'd do fine with the Craftsman (or another Craftsman, they're easy to find).

    A few years back I upgraded mine with a nice (much more precise and accurate) fence and a good miter gauge, but you'll find the stock ones are perfectly acceptable for general purpose use.

    -js
    There are no stupid questions. But there are lots of stupid answers. This is the internet.

    Location: SF Bay Area

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    • #47
      The Craftsman saw is no longer available, and I still haven't heard from the other guy. I missed out on a NIB HF table saw that was going for $50. I don't really have a lot of present or future projects that couldn't be done with just the circular saw, so I'll just keep an eye out and maybe a great bargain will pop up.
      http://pauleschoen.com/pix/PM08_P76_P54.png
      Paul , P S Technology, Inc. and MrTibbs
      USA Maryland 21030

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      • #48
        Unsubscribed.
        12" x 35" Logan 2557V lathe
        Index "Super 55" mill
        18" Vectrax vertical bandsaw
        7" x 10" Vectrax mitering bandsaw
        24" State disc sander

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        • #49
          The best saw for ripping long boards is a bandsaw with the appropriate blade. Also the safest.
          John b. SW Chicago burbs.

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          • #50
            No doubt that I would rather crosscut shelves etc from a long board using an RAS.... board fixed, saw moves= much more sensible operation.

            For other things, not the same. Although, there was an article or series in Popular mechanics or one of the other "popular XXX" magazines, where the author (who I believe was also an actor as well as a woodworker) showed how to do absolutely everything you can think of with an RAS. Anything you could do with a saw.

            Not sure I'd ever try most of them, but......
            2730

            Keep eye on ball.
            Hashim Khan

            Everything not impossible is compulsory

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            • #51
              The Wards Powercraft saw is still available for $50, but it looks pretty rough:

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              http://pauleschoen.com/pix/PM08_P76_P54.png
              Paul , P S Technology, Inc. and MrTibbs
              USA Maryland 21030

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              • #52
                If you already have a miter saw for angle and 90 deg. end cuts a table saw for ripping makes a lot more sense. A decent one, but not necessarily top of the line, can be made to do accurate work. I have a Craftsman cast iron table I bought back in about 1984 that I put a more powerful motor on and it is a fine saw as far as I am concerned. I also have a miter saw although I only recently got that. I used to do my cross cutting on the table saw. I don't see any advantage to a radial arm saw for most things.

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                • #53
                  Originally posted by MaxHeadRoom View Post
                  After owning a Radial Arms saw for over 20yrs, I would refute that.
                  My interests were in cabinet and furniture making, the radial arm offers many options the others don't.
                  To me, it all depends on the end product you wish to create.
                  All have their uses, like anything, you pick the right tool for the job, simple!
                  And if you really want to know how to use the RAS:
                  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/...radial-arm-saw

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                  • #54
                    Originally posted by PStechPaul View Post
                    Click image for larger version

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                    It seems the translator made a mistake in the name. It should be No-Way.

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                    • #55
                      Stay away from saws with built in motors. When, not if, the motor burns out the saw is worthless.

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                      • #56
                        I have the exact same lightweight table saw but under a different brand. Aluminium table and tin box so easy to move around as I don't have a dedicated woodshop. Adequate for hobbyists it is intended as a throw away site saw. The heavier saw you showed we had in the Men's Shed but they wouldn't use it owing to the exposed belt. Chucked it before I could intervene and they bought a reasonable quality one. Much nicer with heavy cast iron table but needs to stay put. The rusty version is bad 'cos the rusty guide bars will piss you off. Make a sled anyway.
                        I have a RAS but nowhere to put it as they are meant to be built in to a long table against a wall. Available cheap in UK <£100 because obsolete now the sliding miter is cheap. In the Men's Shed we use the sliding mitre ten times more than the table saw but it can't rip. You can rip planks or reduce big sheets with a skillsaw if necessary.

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                        • #57
                          If you buy a table saw, be sure and get a 10" saw, the 8" saws are very limited when cutting 2" lumber. next make sure it is a tilting arbor, not a tilting table, next buy carbide tipped blades. Then enjoy your projects.
                          _____________________________________________

                          I would rather have tools that I never use, than not have a tool I need.
                          Oregon Coast

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                          • #58
                            Radial Arm Saw vs. Table Saw, I have used both.

                            Radial Arm Saw is good for work with dimensional lumber (2x4, 2x6, 4x4, etc.) but unless you build a set of supports around it, it is almost useless for 4' x 8' sheets of plywood or other large sheets. Another disadvantage of the RAS is it is hard to maintain accuracy. I found that the RAS had to be bolted down to ONE and ONLY ONE position on the floor. Then you had to do all the adjustments to bring it into accuracy. If it moved even a fraction of an inch on the floor, all those adjustments went out the window and trying to put it back into that original position was just about impossible. My present shop does not have the room for this.

                            Table Saw is good for work on smaller sizes of lumber. If you want to cross cut a ten foot length of dimensional lumber you are better off grabbing a hand held circular saw and using a guide. And again, 4' x 8' sheets of plywood are awkward and somewhat dangerour, at best. Again, you can add extensions but they take up shop space. I once saw a table saw in a professional cabinet shop which had about four feet or permanent tables on two sides and about eight feet in the rear. A sheet of plywood could be cut any way with ease. But that saw with it's added tables would completely fill my garage shop. On the plus side, the accuracy of a table saw does not change if it is moved around.

                            I also do some wood projects and have what, for me, is a good solution. I have an inexpensive table saw. It is light and I can easily move it around the shop. It is my "go to" saw for small wood parts and stock. It is also rip dimensional lumber with some care.

                            For a long time I have cut plywood with a couple of saw horses, a long straight edge, and a hand held circular saw. This worked fairly well, but was not ideal. And I had to set up outside the shop, on the driveway. While looking for a hand held circular saw with good sawdust control, I came across the Grizzly TRACK SAW. Not only does it have excellent dust control (with a shop vac) but it runs on track sections which can be connected for eight foot + cuts that are dead straight. Since the track prevents the saw from straying both left and right, it is a much better system than just using a straight edge to guide the saw. It is now my "go to" saw for plywood. I do still need those saw horses.

                            I still have a couple of hand held, circular saws but I do 99% of my wood cutting with the table saw and the track saw. And storage space in the shop is minimal. I highly recommend this combination.

                            And if you want a fast way to cut dimensional lumber, look at chop/cutoff saws. They will do 90% of what a RAS will do and they will maintain their accuracy when moved.
                            Last edited by Paul Alciatore; 06-16-2021, 05:54 PM.
                            Paul A.
                            SE Texas

                            And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
                            You will find that it has discrete steps.

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                            • #59
                              Originally posted by Paul Alciatore View Post
                              ......................... Another disadvantage of the RAS is it is hard to maintain accuracy. I found that the RAS had to be bolted down to ONE and ONLY ONE position on the floor. Then you had to do all the adjustments to bring it into accuracy. If it moved even a fraction of an inch on the floor, all those adjustments went out the window and trying to put it back into that original position was just about impossible. My present shop does not have the room for this.

                              ................
                              Puzzling statement. Evidently your saw had a 4 leg support connected to the base. If the saw is attached to a support that is not flexible, then the problem you complain of is small to non-existent.

                              Mine is attached to a generally cubical steel base, which essentially does not distort. It has not been a problem when moved.
                              2730

                              Keep eye on ball.
                              Hashim Khan

                              Everything not impossible is compulsory

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                              • #60
                                Originally posted by lugnut View Post
                                If you buy a table saw, be sure and get a 10" saw, the 8" saws are very limited when cutting 2" lumber. next make sure it is a tilting arbor, not a tilting table, next buy carbide tipped blades. Then enjoy your projects.
                                A tilting table table saw ???????? I've never seen one.

                                JL.....

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