Any tips for a used Radial Saw - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 04-27-2009, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
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Question Any tips for a used Radial Saw

I’ve been looking for a radial arm saw. My family doesn’t want me to buy anymore tools because I’ll be 60 this year and they pretty much got me buried already. I bought a brand new Craftsman 12 inch radial saw in 1970 with ALL the accessories, but had to sell it all for $150 in 1973 to pay my rent while in college waiting for my GI bill check to come in.
I never got another radial saw. My neighbor was going to sell me his saw about 5 yrs ago, but died suddenly before I could give him the money and his wife didn’t know anything about our deal. I finally decided to just buy a new one, but was taken back because of the price. I figured it must be an omen or something. I’ve done without one all these years, but only because of my miter saw. The miter saw has its limitations and I can’t tell you how many times I needed a Radial Saw.
I’ve always been pretty lucky on eyeballing things up for accurate cuts, but I’ve been thinking that maybe I should have a Laser Trac since my eyes aren’t so good any more. Sears has one on sale for $712 and I defiantly am not paying that much. Anybody have any tips on looking for a used Radial Saw?

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post #2 of 22 Old 04-27-2009, 01:14 PM
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Sleeper,

Look around this site for recent posts on Radial Arm Saws (RAS's). Several people have been fixing them up lately and you can find recommendations for the table, blade, fence, lubrication, etc.

I don't know your location, but around here there are used Craftsman RAS's for sale used on Craigslist in the + or - $100 range all the time. Some people just want to clear out their garages and are unloading little-used tools for cheap.

One suggestion would be to look for one that qualifies for the blade guard recall. Sears (Emerson) had a recall that affected 1000's of these saws. If you get one that is covered by the recall they will send you a better guard assembly and a new table top. Take a look at http://www.radialarmsawrecall.com/

As far as the laser guide is concerned, you can buy kits to retrofit lasers, but I haven't tried one and have no idea how well they work. I'm sure that someone else on this site can give a report.

Good luck,
Bill
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post #3 of 22 Old 04-27-2009, 01:42 PM
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At the risk of stepping on someone toes, I do have an opinion. I would stay away from the Craftsman unless you find one of the old Model 100's. Before I get jumped on, I know there are some good ones out there. Problem is there is lot junk out there too and it's not always easy to tell which is which.

Many of the Craftsman were value engineered to the point they didn't hold up. I had one that could not be repaired. You had to replace the whole arm to fix it's problem and it would not cut a straight line, literally!

I had another that if you held a gun to it's head it couldn't make an angle cut and return to 90 degrees. I was constantly readjusting it. And I rebuild old machines so it's not like I don't know how to adjust one. It was just poorly designed, they both were.

So my advice is check it out EXTREMELY close before buying if you look at a Craftsman. I know there are good ones out there, I just never want another one.

So if it were me, I would be watching for a old DeWalt. Check it to make sure the arm and bearing surfaces are not worn out and most anything else can be repaired. They are far superior the newer Craftsman. I have a 1946 model that I rebuilt and I wouldn't consider parting with.
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post #4 of 22 Old 04-27-2009, 06:36 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice, I found a DeWalt 7740 RAS FOR $125, but it looks a little beat up.
Thereís also a Craftsman 2.5 HP 10" RAS loaded with 3 drawer roll away tool box with a lot of accessories for $400. I donít know what model it is but it looks pretty nice.

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post #5 of 22 Old 04-27-2009, 07:03 PM
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Kudzu has a good point. Like the Craftsman table saws, it makes sense that there are good Craftsman RAS's and bad.

The RAS's involved in the recall were Emersons so they can be identified by their model number. Did Emerson make both good and bad ones? From what I've read on this site, the Emerson table saws are generally the better ones. Would this be the same with the RAS's?

I'll bet Knotscott would know.

Bill
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post #6 of 22 Old 04-27-2009, 08:40 PM Thread Starter
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The Craftsman RAS has a KS48DD-174 motor which I think is an Emerson on a model 113 23100 RAS according to a Google search. I checked out the http://www.radialarmsawrecall.com/ site and the RAS is not listed.
I’m very tempted to go for the Craftsman because of the accessories. I don’t know if I need all the accessories. I have owned most of the accessories listed and I remember that some such as the molding set was a little scary.


NEW QUESTION:
Anyone have any info on a Craftsman Electronic RAS # 113.198210?

JohnnyB
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Last edited by Sleeper; 04-27-2009 at 09:20 PM. Reason: ADDED QUESTION:
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post #7 of 22 Old 04-28-2009, 01:41 AM
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I own that exact saw the Craftsman professional laser trac that is on sale for $712. I am still trying to get it set up. I baught mine like 1 1/2 years ago on sale $499 but I was still buiding my shop. It was to good a deal to pass up. I know it has a feed motor control which keeps the saw from pulling into your work piece. If the motor to move the saw forward fails then it can't be moved forward at all. I am building cabinets to mount the saw in between (not using the stand) and I'm making like a 10' table and fence for it. Also plan on putting a router and horizontal router in the same table.

Last edited by rrbrown; 04-28-2009 at 01:47 AM.
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post #8 of 22 Old 04-28-2009, 05:23 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rrbrown View Post
I own that exact saw the Craftsman professional laser trac that is on sale for $712. I am still trying to get it set up. I baught mine like 1 1/2 years ago on sale $499 but I was still buiding my shop. It was to good a deal to pass up. I know it has a feed motor control which keeps the saw from pulling into your work piece. If the motor to move the saw forward fails then it can't be moved forward at all. I am building cabinets to mount the saw in between (not using the stand) and I'm making like a 10' table and fence for it. Also plan on putting a router and horizontal router in the same table.
Now, I would have paid that much for a new saw. So, if you bought yours on sale for $499 1 1/2 years ago and it's on sale now for $712, whats it going to be next year?
If I remember right, I think I paid about $200 or maybe $250 for my 12" RAS not on sale 40 years ago.

I like the router idea, I hope you post some photos when you get it done. I don't think I've ever seen a horizontal router.

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post #9 of 22 Old 04-28-2009, 09:13 AM
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I think the sale price was probably more but I had a coupon from the Craftsman club for additional discount if I'm not mistaken. I buy allot of stuff that way. I bought a 20" drill press from Harbor Freight with a 1 1/2 hp motor reg price $479 sale price $399 then had a 20% of coupon made it right at $300. I Couldn't pass it up, and its made just like the Shop Fox model and extremely close to the Grizzley( all 3 or made in China). I don't buy allot from HF but this seemed and has been good. If your not a craftsman club member you may want to join and watch day between now and fathers day I bet you can get it considerably less then $712.


This is basically what I’m trying to build into the table for a horizontal router. Its good for moldings, raised panels and anything that is usually stood on edge on a regular router table.
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Last edited by rrbrown; 04-28-2009 at 09:16 AM.
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post #10 of 22 Old 04-28-2009, 10:09 AM
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Hi Sleeper

I regularly see older radial arm saws advertised at $100 to $200, so if you can find a nice solid used one buying a new one at $712 doesn't make a lot of sense. I have a 10 inch Craftsman saw that I bought new in the seventies, and it has served me well.
I do not know how well lasers work on a radial arm saw, but my new 12 inch cross sliding compound miter saw has a twin laser system that is absolutely wonderful. So, I would expect that one on a radial arm saw should work well also. If you find a good older saw you can buy a laser kit to install onto it.

Gerry
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post #11 of 22 Old 04-28-2009, 07:32 PM Thread Starter
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So thatís what a horizontal router looks like, pretty cool. That works perfect next to a RAS.
I found a Craftsman Electronic RAS # 113.198210 for $140 locally, but I canít find any info on it such as if its junk or not. I did read a similar thread at another forum where someone said they preferred the Electronic saw, but I would like to hear more.
Mostly I read that everyone thought a RAS is not a necessary tool, but I donít know how many times I just wanted to notch a long board and thought how easy it would be to just lay some boards down on a table and pull the saw across. I make a lot of dado and also tenon cuts. I usually do it with my router or my circular saw because its too hard keeping long pieces square on the table saw.

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post #12 of 22 Old 04-28-2009, 09:09 PM
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Sleeper wrote: <<Mostly I read that everyone thought a RAS is not a necessary tool, but I donít know how many times I just wanted to notch a long board and thought how easy it would be to just lay some boards down on a table and pull the saw across. I make a lot of dado and also tenon cuts.>>

I concur. Once the RAS is set up accurately, it's a snap to crosscut with it.

Bill
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post #13 of 22 Old 04-29-2009, 09:12 AM
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There are tasks that are easier done on a table saw, and tasks that are easier done with a radial arm saw. I wouldn't be with out either of them.

Gerry
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post #14 of 22 Old 04-29-2009, 02:03 PM
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I bought my Sears RAS back in the 70ís as well. I have always considered it a good framing tool because it just never seemed to cut the same 90* cut twice the same. The stop is so inaccurate I have to get out the square if I am working on a project with tight tolerances. I do love it for cutting notches in long boards when building rafters and many framing jobs. Last year I thought I bent the blade when a chunk got sucked up into the guard. The new blade I put in still has some wobble in it so I suspect something more has happened to the arbor than I first thought. After 30 years of remodeling jobs I think I have recovered my investment very well though. I still think a sliding miter these days has taken its place but I still have mine in the corner for those special times.
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post #15 of 22 Old 04-29-2009, 05:24 PM Thread Starter
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I bought my Sears RAS back in the 70’s as well. I have always considered it a good framing tool because it just never seemed to cut the same 90* cut twice the same. The stop is so inaccurate I have to get out the square if I am working on a project with tight tolerances.
You sparked some old memories! I remember constantly adjusting my old 12” Craftsman and I got pretty good at it, but it still was a pain. The thing about the Craftsman is that I liked the looks of them and it didn’t take up too much space.
I don’t have a sliding miter saw and don't know too much about them. Can you adjust the height for making dado cuts? That’s what I’m really after.
I grew up in my uncle’s stair shop where they had 2 DeWalt’s and a Comet set up for different tasks. They where big and heavy looking. I spent a lot of time there sweeping up saw dust every day and I don’t believe I ever saw anyone ever adjusting a saw.
I see a few 10” DeWalt’s for over $300. There is a 12" Comet Professional for $150, which is in my price range and not bad looking, but it may be too much saw for me at this point. There is another DeWalt in my price range but no photo and a bit of a drive to pick it up.
I just got to get over the Craftsman look. If I don’t buy a RAS soon, I probably will never buy one.

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post #16 of 22 Old 04-30-2009, 01:54 AM
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I had a dewalt RAS before huricane Katrina, During that next year Wood or Popular Woodworking had an article about the best tools ever: guess what one of the 5 were my Dewalt RAS. It was a solid saw but I'm not sure where to get parts for it now Dewalt doesn't carry anything for them anymore. You might want to look into that before you get something you can't get parts to fix it up with.
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post #17 of 22 Old 04-30-2009, 04:53 AM
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Iíve been looking for a radial arm saw. My family doesnít want me to buy anymore tools because Iíll be 60 this year and they pretty much got me buried already.
My reply to that would be Tough Excrement! I ain't dead yet and I ain't gonna start dying just to make it easier for family to get rid of my stuff. You guys can work it out when I'm gone.

Sorry, had to rant.
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post #18 of 22 Old 04-30-2009, 08:37 AM
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Your seeing why I not a fan of Craftsman RAS. Mine would not stay at 90 either. It was fine for framing but not for furniture making and I guess it depends on what you want to do with it.

Here is what I have now and love it!

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post #19 of 22 Old 04-30-2009, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
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Your seeing why I not a fan of Craftsman RAS. Mine would not stay at 90 either. It was fine for framing but not for furniture making and I guess it depends on what you want to do with it.
Now that’s a nice saw! I could go for that. I have seen a couple DeWalts on Craigslist similar to that except they are in real bad shape for $115.
There are two Black & Decker Table Mount’s that have caught my eye. I don’t know what model they are but one looks really clean for $60. I have never heard much about Black & Decker’s but for $60, I could give it a good workout to find out.
Anybody have a Black & Decker?

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post #20 of 22 Old 05-01-2009, 08:48 AM
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Now thatís a nice saw! I could go for that. I have seen a couple DeWalts on Craigslist similar to that except they are in real bad shape for $115.
Might not be your thing but this one was not in real good shape when I got it. I did a lot of work to it. If I found a DeWalt for $115 and it was all there and not just worn out, I would jump on it. Spend a couple of weeks taking it apart, cleaning, painting and putting it back together.

Here is a before, it doesn't look too bad though.

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