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where's my table saw?
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I've always admired those dual rail saws, but never had a chance to get one. I would think they would be very accurate. but without "hands on" scrutiny it's hard to tell.
The current crop of sliding compound miter saws use the same dual rail system only much shorter and supported only on one end, so to me not as accurate?
My old discontinued DW708 is still my go to miter saw. But it weighs as much as a Volkswagen and is hard to carry around. Picking up the precise Osborn or Incra miter gauge on the table saw is far easier and faster.

Your renewed interest in a RAS, would be justified if you needed to crosscut larger, long, heavy planks 2 x 10's and such. But those would be typically out on a work site, not in your woodshop. Not saying that's all a RAS can do, definitely not. They can be very precise for shaving small amounts off smaller pieces. Mine however, says locked at 90 degrees, but I don't know how accurate the miter would be since I've never really tried it for those? There are 45 degree "jigs" one can place on the fence and make those miters while still leaving the arm at 90 degrees.
 

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There good for in the field work..I wanted one once , but as time has gone by the price had seem to increased. I think there are too many woodworkers collecting older tools like this.
 

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First heard about it years ago. I've never seen one in the wild. I've never seen a negative comment about them from owners, only good things. I'd grab it if I saw one for a good price, although I don't know what a good price would be, have to research that a bit.
 

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I bought mine, new, many years ago. I use it all the time. It's like a circular saw on tracks. Very convenient inside and outside the shop. I can cross cut about 19", but the blade remains within the board/kerf at the end of that long/wide of cut, but that's not a problem..... just let the blade stop spinning.

My left side fence has become misaligned, out of square, by about 1/32". The allen head screws, securing the left fence, need to be adjusted and I've tried. I can't seem to secure that fence back to square. I likely need to remove it completely, possibly sand the surfaces, to realign it again. The right side fence is square.

Both left & right swing, of the turret, locks in place at several different locations: 90°, 45°, 33-1/3° I think (crown molding cuts). The rack tilts to the left as far as 45°. It accommodates a 71/4" blade and 8" blade, so depth of cut is that of a typical circular saw. I think I've only replaced the motor brushes once since I've had it.... or maybe just cleaned the original brushes, I can't recall.

I used it to cut accurate corner cuts on the below cypress table.... corner's 45° angle cuts. And many other angle cuts. I wax the runner bars for smooth sliding/gliding of the saw, itself.

Is there any particular thing you want to know about it? If you're considering getting a used one, I have the owners manual, if need be.

Sonny
https://flic.kr/p/EBehN3 https://flic.kr/p/2kUaDB5
 

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More info, opinion:
I use my saw in a hobby shop and I am careful with my tools and the sawbuck is in very good shape. If you're looking at a saw that has been used on an all-day construction site, there may be some things you may want to pay close attention to, i.e., damage.
The saw itself is buffered by some somewhat hard plastic/rubber bumpers at each end of the rail it rides on. On an over-used saw, an abused saw, those bumpers may be damaged, dry rotted(?) or some other form of wear and tear. On a used saw, inspect those bumpers for damage. Also, the turret seems to be riding/spinning on/along the same hard plastic/rubber material. I can't see inside, but the feel, as the turret spins, feels the same as the saw riding on the plastic/rubber bushings. Check if the turret spins easily, smoothly. If other bushings have damage, that interior turret bushing may have damage, also. It will probably be really hard to see that turret bushing, if at all.
https://flic.kr/p/2nCUfQ8 https://flic.kr/p/2nCMWwz
There seems to be similar hard plastic/rubber on other connecting parts of the saw, for facilitating sliding along the rails. They are kinna like bushings, facilitating the sliding action of the saw along the rails. Check those plastic/rubber bushing for wear and tear. In the second pic, here, I can't see inside this casing, but there seems to be the same bushing material, inside, so test any play of the saw, in this area, if you can.
https://flic.kr/p/2nCVnTF https://flic.kr/p/2nCSXJ5
This left fence has 3 screws holding it in place, though only 2 are shown here.
https://flic.kr/p/2nCUf7Q
Sonny
 

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I bought my saw August 8, 1992. According to the parts list and pics, I can't see any plastic/rubber turret bushing I previously assumed/described, however the literature states the turret bushing is brass and there's a nut underneath the table for securing it properly (assembly instructions). Owners manual shows a pic of this, adjacent to its referenced literature.

Sonny
 

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My saw is a later model than the one you pictured in your original post. My saw is accurate and is in good shape. A used saw may need some tweaking to get everything clean and in good alignment, with no play in/along the rails, and in good shape. A used saw may have some wear and tear and need some work to be in good shape for accurate cuts. I would suspect a very used & abused saw may have worn bushings, the somewhat soft rubber-like material that ride the rails. If this bushing (below pic) were worn, the knob allows for adjusting its grasp. This knob also locks the saw, so it doesn't move, when need be (transporting).
https://flic.kr/p/2nCVnTF
In the below pic, I suppose there is a bushing inside the saw housing that allows for the saw to ride the rail smoothly. I would think that as long as the rail is smooth, with no significant rust, then the inside bushing would be in good shape. A rusted rail would need to be cleaned and polished/waxed. Whatever bushing material is inside that housing, there should not be any play in its snugness to the rail. That bushing allows for smooth riding along the rail. This would be one area I would inspect closely, to see if there is any significant play in this snugness.
https://flic.kr/p/2nCSXJ5
The turret swings left and right for angle cuts and the rack tilts to 45° for bevel and crown molding cuts. The turret clicks & indexes in place at several (notched?) positions and a knob is tightened to secure/lock it in place. Things to inspect on a used saw..... On a used/abused saw, those "notches" or indexing places may be worn, disallowing the saw to accurately index in place at an exact angle... the worn? index being off angle by half a degree (or less) because of play in the "notch", maybe? Probably though, since you can set and lock the turret angle at any angle you want, it may no be so important that the indexes are worn... you can manually set the turret angle where ever you want, as long as the lock knob secures it in the place you want. Is a saw's lock knobs in good shape, for securing appropriately?

For those rack tilted bevel cuts, the depth of cut is, of course, not as deep as a perpendicular (blade) cut, i.e., similarly as the reduced depth of a circular saw's bevel cuts. Probably the only other thing I can think of is, whether the saw's armature or armature bearings have some play, as to accuracy of cuts. Inspect the saw, itself. On an abused saw, test any function with a new blade.... an old abused blade may be warped/bent.

The fences have rulers (pic in previous post). A mis-measure may be indicative of thin kerf vs thicker kerf blade, so be careful with blade thicknesses relative to fence ruler, though rarely a significant matter.

Sonny
 

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On an abused saw - if the saw had ever been dropped, somehow, the rails may be bent or out of alignment relative to the turret or base/table/fences. Not sure how you can tell if the rails are bent even slightly, unless making multiple test cuts on both left and right of blade and ruling out other possible issues.
 

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precursor to the chop saws, my neighbor owns one that i've used. very handy for crown molding, download the cut charts for flat cutting crown. imo very accurate, especially for the distance it'll cut and yes it tilts to one side only. the sawbuck is very heavy compared to a chopsaw, but it'll cut a 2x12 well past 45°
 

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Could you put a long straight edge across the rails? Maybe a 4 foot level would be long enough and straight enough?
A 4' level won't work. The rail supports, front & back, disallows anything longer that about 2'. For misalignment of rails relative to the table/base/fences, a framing square may be most appropriate... other than left & right of blade test-cuts. Once THAT misalignment is proven, then determining the cause, whether bent rails or something else, would be the search..... I would think.

Sonny
 

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A 4' level won't work. The rail supports, front & back, disallows anything longer that about 2'. For misalignment of rails relative to the table/base/fences, a framing square may be most appropriate... other than left & right of blade test-cuts. Once THAT misalignment is proven, then determining the cause, whether bent rails or something else, would be the search..... I would think.

Sonny
My bad. I read "rails" but my brain thought "fences." I suppose removing the rails and rolling them on a known flat surface would be a good way to tell of they were bent. Even a slight variation would show. Maybe not so easy to remove them, and not something you can do when checking out one to buy. Definitely something I would do if I was going through a saw after buying one. But that doesn't address if other parts could be causing a misalignment of the rails.
 
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