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I have found a De Walt radial arm saw MOD # MBC, REL # 27 SERIAL #, 116595. All the movements are functional, except getting the saw to unlock from the arm to make a crosscut. There is a red knob on the saw handle that seems partially in & out. Is this my problem? I cannot see how this has linkage to a lock on letting the saw slide in & out on a 90 degree crosscut. I got this saw for free, what am I doing wrong? I feel have found a treasure, & would love to recondition this saw. Please help me. I don't feel inept. I have a lot of success with automotive & small engine repair. I would like to hone my skills in woodworking. Please tell me if this project is worth it or not.
 

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Smart and Cool
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I have found a De Walt radial arm saw MOD # MBC, REL # 27 SERIAL #, 116595. All the movements are functional, except getting the saw to unlock from the arm to make a crosscut. There is a red knob on the saw handle that seems partially in & out. Is this my problem? I cannot see how this has linkage to a lock on letting the saw slide in & out on a 90 degree crosscut. I got this saw for free, what am I doing wrong? I feel have found a treasure, & would love to recondition this saw. Please help me. I don't feel inept. I have a lot of success with automotive & small engine repair. I would like to hone my skills in woodworking. Please tell me if this project is worth it or not.
Trying to decipher what you are asking.

A radial arm saw traditionally makes "crosscuts".

The carriage travels back and forth on the arm.

The carriage can be locked in place along the arm, and turned to rip.

The arm can be moved to make cross cuts other than 90 degrees.

There are levers, and knobs, keep looking and working on it until you find the right combo.

Pics are priceless when it comes to soliciting help on the internet...

AND a quick google search on "dewalt mbc radial arm saw" produced a massive result with a lot of good info.
 

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where's my table saw?
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Dewalt RAS carriage lock

Like the man said no pictures, it's hard to know what you have .....
This is a video showing an older Dewalt RAS and at this point in the video he describes the carriage lock, a screw in knob and shaft that presses against a shoe which rides the arm:

https://youtu.be/xOa7MH-icaQ?t=378


There are 2 ways to lock the carriage, here's the other way:
 

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A radial arm saw is made to do so many different tasks so it has a lot of lockable joints in it. I think what you are describing is where you can lock the saw on the arm like you were going to use the saw to rip. If it has sat for a long time in that position the lock for that is probably rusted and binding it. You might remove as many covers as you can so you can access the mechanics of it. Use a lot of patience and penetrating oil and the lock should eventually release.
 

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I wonder whether the OP is confused about crosscut vs. rip cut. A radial arm saw is best at making crosscuts.

A crosscut is where you cut a board shorter. On a radial arm saw, you pull the blade towards you along the arm.

A rip cut is where you cut a board thinner. On a radial arm saw, you rotate the motor and blade 90 degrees, lock them into position to match the width of the board you want, lower the running blade slightly into the table, carefully press the wood against the fence and down on the table, then push the entire board the long way through the rotating blade. This is a dangerous cut, and you should use extreme caution. Honestly, a rip cut is much safer with a table saw or a track saw than a radial arm saw.

For rip cuts, it is important to use all the safeties you can, including the anti-kickback pawls at the end of the metal rod. It is important to use the correct blade for ripping. It is important to feed the wood in the correct direction, which varies, depending on whether you are ripping in an "out blade" or "in blade" configuration. It is important that your blade be absolutely parallel to the fence. It is important to position your body where it won't be hurt if there is a kickback. Search the internet and watch YouTube videos until you are certain that you know how to make safe rip cuts on a radial arm saw.

Having written the above, I made many rip cuts on radial arm saws, but that was in the 1980s. I was inexperienced back then, and didn't appreciate the dangers. The fact that I was not injured is due to luck more than anything else. Now I use a table saw. Thinking about that radial arm saw brings back great memories, but I would not want one today.
 
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