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where's my table saw?
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31,501 Posts
the can of worms has been opened

I have several of each so I can give you my thoughts.
The sliding compound miter saws are the way to go IF that's that way you chose to go.

A Radial Arm Saw is a heavier beast, ans is designed for stationary use, where as the miter saws are somewhat portable and can be shelved when not in use, as I do. My RAS gets used a lot for squaring the ends of long boards, taking a thin slice to trim a piece to length and it ALWAYS stay locked at 90 degrees to the fence. Any angle cuts are done with a miter gauge or sled on the table saw OR the SCM miter saw. The major complaint re RAS is that they won't go back to a previous setting accurately. To get around that you can make a jig to cut miters at 45 degrees on place it on the table still keeping the setting a 90 degrees. OR you can accurately set up your RAS and see how that goes. The older Deltas are favored for greater accuracy. The older Craftsman saws I have probably can be made to work accurately with some tinkering.

You are confessing to having too many hobbies and too little space so a large RAS and long table would seem to be out of the picture, but that's the way I have mine setup.

I have a 10" Bosch and a 12" Dewalt CSMS, both sliders. I don't carry the Dewalt around much but the smaller Bosch does a real fine job on everything I asked of it. If I were doing a lot of miters like frames and such I'd use my table saw and fine tune the sled for exact 45 degree cuts. For occasional miters a miter guage with a fence extension works great. I like the Incra with the positive stops for all the degree settings. The Osborne has a sliding arm that's accurate also.... around $100 or so. Small pieces need to be very well controlled on a SCMS or your fingers will show up on the floor.
A sled on the table saw is safer in my opinion...... .02 cents
 

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where's my table saw?
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31,501 Posts
one important difference ... dados

Let's assume the space requirements are similar when cutting longer boards. You have a stand for the SCMS which can be over 6 ft long, you have a table on your RAS which is 5 ft long. The front to back depth will be about the same. Pretty similar so far, however a SCMS will not accept a dado cutter. :eek: One of the best ways to make half laps is a dado cutter on the RAS. A bookshelf with dados is another good operation. A stop can be set on the fence to get perfectly spaced dados on each vertical support like this:
http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f27/shelf-spacing-made-simple-using-ras-47095/

Oh sure, you can nibble away the material, making pass after pass and achieve a dado that way, but it may not be precise in width. And you can make shelf dado using a router and guide, but for half laps, and ease of set up, I prefer a RAS with a dado cutter. The large flat table on a RAS allows for various jigs to be secured as well. You can also rotate the motor so the shaft is vertical and use the large table to make moldings with the proper cutter. One advantage is the motor on a RAS is an induction type and is more quiet than the universal AC/DC types with brushes. The newer SCMS have motor brakes with stop the blade a little sooner than a
with the motor brake, not much though as I recall.

Finally, you can find used RAS all day long on Craig's List for $200 or so and you would not find a good SCMS for that easily.
 

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where's my table saw?
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31,501 Posts
capacity

What's the cutting capability of the older craftsman saws at 90 deg?
That depends on the fence location and how high it is off the table. My fence is 2" high and that allows the blade to be protected for that thick of material and not be exposed. This is necessary because you may want to slide the work under the blade while it's turning and not bump it when you adjust your length of cut.
My saw's capacity in 3/4" thick material is 15" with that fence set up. I could get 16" if I moved the fence toward the rear of the table.
 

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where's my table saw?
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RAS table

http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/members/woodnthings-7194/albums/12-radial-arm-saw/

I made this table that extends about 40' or so to the left out of 3/4 plywood. I am right handed and pull the saw with my right hand and hold the work firm to the fence with my left. The long fence is a 1 X 2" that's about 7 ft long. I can clamp a stop to it for making identical length cutoffs. The more support on the left side, the longer the workpiece can be and have support underneath it.
The saw base has 2 angle piece that are supposed to level out the table. I simply eliminated those and attached my table directly to the frame of the base.

I screwed the fence to the one large sheet of plywood rather than making it in 2 separate pieces and weakening it. I can square the fence easier that way to the blade in the 90 degree locked position, since the arm is not adjustable.

Dust collection is a simple box at the rear of the blade hooked to one shop vac below the table and another smaller hose is hooked to a second smaller shop vac which sit on top of the table, probably overkill, but it really gets all the dust.
 
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where's my table saw?
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31,501 Posts
How far is the fence from the back? Did you dado the top to accept the fence or is it just screwed in from above?
I located the fence so the saw blade will be safely behind it when sliding a 1 1/2" thick piece along the fence for a cross cut. It is just screwed to the top, no dado, so I can move it if needed. It's actually an "L" shaped assembly of 2 pieces. I used 1 1/2" angle along the front and back of the base to support the added length to the left. I really like this system and use it fro almost all my 90 degree crosscuts. I use a 60 tooth thin kerf Freud Diablo blade designed for miter and radial saws with negative or low angle hook to the teeth.
 

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where's my table saw?
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31,501 Posts

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where's my table saw?
Joined
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31,501 Posts
there was another member with that type of arm

He complained about the slop in the carriage as it travels on the rails and it was a matter of adjusting the "cam" bolts to snug it up. After you get it cleaned and reassembled make certain to get the carriage snug on the rails enough to move freely without any play.
 

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where's my table saw?
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31,501 Posts
types of carriages

The older type here has the v groove rollers on the outside of the rails:


I think you have a newer type where there is a center rail and the rollers ride inside the housing:

The newer type is more difficult to right setup right according to the thread that was posted here.... that I can't find :furious:. I'll keep trying.
 
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