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Discussion Starter #1
I picked up an old craftsman radial saw off Craigslist and have thoroughly read the instruction manual and alignment procedures; however, it seems that the arm is stuck in the 90 degree position and will not swing for miter cuts. The release mechanism is the knob in the front, but turning it all the way in or out makes no difference. All of the other components work correctly, and according to the manual im not missing anything. I see no obvious restrictions to its movement either. Has anyone encountered this before?
 

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Old Methane Gas Cloud
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A picture would help.

If the RAS is similar to the one that I had, the knob on the arm only needs to be turned 1/4 turn. There should be a lever behind the knob. Put the heel of your hand on the knob and squeeze the lever. This releases the detent and allows the arm to pivot.

BTW - The knob is used to lock the detent in position and nothing else.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It is exactly as you described, only nothing happens when I pull the latch. The detent is not releasing.
 

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where's my table saw?
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it could be seized up

Try this. Unscrew the round knob "fully" ...several turns CCW.
Then as rrich said. place the palm of your hand in the center of the round knob and squeeze it, pulling the release lever toward you.
That should pull the shaft inside the arm out of the detent at the column's slot. Let it go suddenly and try again.
If that doesn't work, remove the cap on top of the arm and squirt some PBBlaster or penetrating solvent at the slot and the wedge and let it sit for a while...1 or 2 hours.
Then try the release again and if that doesn't work either, gently bump the arm with the palm of your free hand to loosen the wedge while holding the release lever out.
If that doesn't work call us back on the toll free number. wwt.com :smile:

See if the saw has a round ....chrome? knob like this one:



or this one:
 

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I've seen a few saws that were welded so they couldn't make anything but square cuts. You might inspect the post for evidence of a weld.
 

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I've had a few like the picture that cabinetman showed. One of them I got free was locked like you said. I had to take off the aluminum cover and found out that it was rusted shut near the back where the release mechanism is. I wound up tearing the whole thing down and rebuilding it, but I'd try the suggestion from woodnthings first.
 

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Old Methane Gas Cloud
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OMG - I must be a really, really old Phart! Those pictures are of models that are so much more modern than my long gone RAS. :laughing:
 

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puffessional Scrabbleist
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I had a similar problem with a similar saw and it turned out to be a detent pin down in the post. This was the late seventies early eighties. This was when Sears had a decent repair center and repaired it under warranty. I usually repair my own stuff but the fix took some time and was difficult. When fixed the bill would have been way more than the saw cost originally. I gave it to my son-in-law and is now buried in what once was their garage. I don't like radial arm saws. They scare me. I saw one skip over a piece of firewood once and come back to cut the user's palm almost through to the back of the hand. I prefer
TonyM
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I got it! It ended up being a bigger hammer situation. I had already tried pulling the latch fairly hard several times with no success, but this time I squeezed the ever living*sh##*out of it and it came loose with a LOUD click and shook the table. My guess is it hadnt been moved in at least a couple years. I feel a little dumb, thank you all for the suggestions.
 

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I got it! It ended up being a bigger hammer situation. I had already tried pulling the latch fairly hard several times with no success, but this time I squeezed the ever living*sh##*out of it and it came loose with a LOUD click and shook the table. My guess is it hadnt been moved in at least a couple years. I feel a little dumb, thank you all for the suggestions.
Some people don't move their saw. once they get them dialed in to make square cuts they leave them that way and use jigs for angle cuts.
 

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+1. My 60s vintage c-man RAS stays put and stays at 90 all the time.
 
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