How do I bevel rip on a Radial Arm Saw? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 08-01-2020, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
rrando
 
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Question How do I bevel rip on a Radial Arm Saw?

New member here: I would like to rip a 15 degree bevel on a 2x6, using my radial arm saw (I do not own a table saw). I know this can be done, and I know how to rip, but I have always ripped at 90 degrees. Can someone walk me through the basic setup? For example, looking at the feed end, should the bevel be like this:

fence | wood \ bevel

or this:

fence | wood / bevel

or should I try to tilt the wood using a strip of wood temporarily tacked to an edge, and if so,
which edge (closer to or farther from the blade).
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post #2 of 14 Old 08-01-2020, 04:48 PM
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I know I’ll get push back from the radial arm folks but I strongly advise against any kind of ripping in a radial arm.

I’m guessing you don’t have a table saw, a circular saw and straight guide is much safer!
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post #3 of 14 Old 08-01-2020, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrRobert View Post
Iím guessing you donít have a table saw, a circular saw and straight guide is much safer!
Thanks for the suggestion to use my circular saw, but I want the most accurate cut I can make without a table saw and without having to make a guide. I am very careful using my radial arm saw, especially for ripping. As with any power tool, knowing how to use it safely (and doing so) is paramount. I am asking the community for best practices.
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post #4 of 14 Old 08-01-2020, 05:33 PM
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My first serious woodworking power tool was a DeWalt RAS that I bought new in 1976. Since it was the only real tool I owned I cut everything on it - rip, bevel rip, crosscut, miters, compound miters, dados, etc., I even put a chuck on the end of the motor shaft (opposite the blade) and turned bridge pins for a guitar I was repairing.

I never had any issues using the RAS for these things but I followed all safety procedures. I want to say that I tilted it away from the fence when doing any sort of a bevel rip but that was a LONG time ago so don't count this as gospel.

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post #5 of 14 Old 08-01-2020, 05:52 PM
where's my table saw?
 
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A RAS is Ok, and can be safe!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rrando View Post
Thanks for the suggestion to use my circular saw, but I want the most accurate cut I can make without a table saw and without having to make a guide. I am very careful using my radial arm saw, especially for ripping. As with any power tool, knowing how to use it safely (and doing so) is paramount. I am asking the community for best practices.

https://youtu.be/C2BBY0h_foY?t=1801

First, you need to rotate the carriage so the blade is 90 degrees to the arm.
Second, you need to unlock the bevel adjustment to set it at your desired angle and then relock it. Check it with a bevel gauge and verify it. The blade should be on the side of the table closest to you, not inside by the fence. The rear end of the motor will be higher than the front, where the blade is. This is so you don't trap the stock between the tilted blade and the fence.

Third, you need to understand which direction you MUST feed the stock into the blade. The sharp points of the teeth will be coming at the work, trying to lift it off the table. To easily prevent this, rotate the blade guard/cover around so the nose just touches the stock... barely. This will prevent "lift off"!
This is all done with the saw UNPLUGGED!
This also done with the arm elevated so the blade is not touching the table ....yet!
Once you are happy with all the new adjustments and they are all securely LOCKED, then plug the saw back in and turn it on. Be ready to shut it off if there are any weird sounds.


Now for the fun part. You MUST have a straight and flat workpiece!
The straight edge will ride along the fence as you feed the stock into the blade and you MUST keep it in contact with the fence the entire length of the cut. You MUST use a push stick to feed it the last 5" or 6" until it's completely cut.


Focus on the cutting progress and that the piece is always registered against the fence and you will do just fine.



This video is a pretty good one. Others are not as safe in my opinion:




Now, for the "scary" part ...dados!

https://youtu.be/C2BBY0h_foY?t=2166

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #6 of 14 Old 08-02-2020, 08:33 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the detailed instructions. I'll be printing this out to refer to when I make rip cuts.
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post #7 of 14 Old 08-02-2020, 03:20 PM
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people go absolutely app-sheet over radial arms saws.
yes, you can do what you want, safely - following the 'directions'


when ripping, you must feed the work 'against' the blade rotation - and yes - this tends to 'lift' the work piece.
now that you know that, 'fixing' the situation is not difficult.
if you don't know it needs 'fixing' - that can create problems.


for your cut, the board 90' edge goes against the fence
the saw head get tilted like " \ " for the rip cut.
move the blade guard / kick back paws right down to barely clear the board surface.


for double sure accuracy, first rip the stock at 90 degrees to width plus 1/8" - 1/16' width
then " \ " angle rip to about 1/2 blade kerf width. this ensures any lift up error is dimensionally minimal.
do a final " \ " half-kerf width pass for accuracy.


used a radial arm saw 1976 - 2003 with great success - it does require attention to detail....
but it can be done . . . and well done . . .
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post #8 of 14 Old 08-02-2020, 09:08 PM
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You can make a perfect sled for cuts comparable to a table saw in ten minutes for $5 in materials. I am very careful in my shop. As careful as I am, in my last shop the 3" hole likely still exists in the concrete block where my radial arm saw had different ideas. How careful you are does not matter. Right tool for the right job. I have an excellent cabinet saw with a large roller outfeed table as well as 60" rip capacity. I still use a circular saw and sled for better accuracy on certain cuts with sheet goods.
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post #9 of 14 Old 08-02-2020, 09:11 PM
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Better you than me!
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post #10 of 14 Old 08-02-2020, 11:05 PM
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I did it back in 1976 - on a cheezy Black and Decker home-grade radial arm saw. I bevelled the top of two intermediate support beams for the rafters to run over. Obviously it was not fine work, but it turned out OK. The roof is still standing.

Retired engineer-bureaucrat in Oakland, CA. Been working with wood since the 1960's. From the 50's if you count the scrap woodpile on the farm!
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post #11 of 14 Old 08-03-2020, 01:34 AM
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I had a RAS from 1971 to about 2001. A Craftsman top of the line 10 inch.

Your first problem is that with an "In" rip you won't be able to get a push stick / push pad under the motor. You will have to do an "Out" rip. That means you'll be feeding from the right side. I may have the In / Out terminology wrong, but come on it has been close to 20 years.

Next you need to really protect yourself from lift and kick back. Lower your antikick back pawls to the appropriate height to stop any backward movement. I would make 2 "Z" shaped hold down devices to clear the fence and almost ride on the 2x6. Screw these devices into the wood behind the fence, before and after the cut. Alternatively you could make a high fence and attach a hold down lip at the appropriate height.

I KNOW that people are going to scream about this. You want accuracy so I am suggesting a trapped bevel cut. Raise the motor so that the blade is 15į from perpendicular. You will have to make sure to wax your left side table. The out feed table for this cut must be co-planer with the saw table. Also make sure that the out feed table is clean of any debris your 2x6 slides easily in a test without the saw running.

I have ripped an aluminum threshold this way. (Over 6 feet.)

One more thing. Way back, Sears sold the RAS as a do almost anything tool. And truthfully, yes the RAS could do almost anything. Unfortunately a very important concept was left out in that marketing ploy. The word safely was not used. Please be careful and pre-do all the operations with the blade raised and power off. Just for practice and to see if you forgot anything in your preparations.

And as has been said previously:

Better you than me.

Rich
Just a dumb old paper boy from Brooklyn, NY
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post #12 of 14 Old 08-03-2020, 05:17 AM
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I ripped a lot of wood in 45 years with my RAS (some was pretty scarey), but don't any more. With a good circular saw and a straight edge you get a good cut with 2x lumber, it's not like it's finished lumber . If you decide to do it with the RAS make sure you use a rip blade.
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post #13 of 14 Old 08-04-2020, 05:22 AM
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I just wanted to add when I did rip on the RAS I never stood directly behind the stock, I had one kickback that put a large dent in our freezer 8 ft away, can't imagine what it would have done to me.
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post #14 of 14 Old 08-04-2020, 08:00 AM
where's my table saw?
 
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Which piece kickedback?

Quote:
Originally Posted by redeared View Post
I just wanted to add when I did rip on the RAS I never stood directly behind the stock, I had one kickback that put a large dent in our freezer 8 ft away, can't imagine what it would have done to me.

Which piece hit the freezer, the piece riding on the fence OR the cutoff? I'm betting it was the piece riding along the fence and that it was curved, not straight. Otherwise, there's no good reason for it to kickback that I know of.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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