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Radial Arm Saws

   

The Radial Arm Saw

 Radial Arm Saw. A work horse some believe to have out lived their usefulness. There are still people who would prefer an arm saw to a table saw. In fact I used to be in this camp, as it's what I learned on.

 
 
 
 

The first machine I bought was a radial arm saw. ( I was 14 at the time, and really caught hell, from my father, as I didn't ask him if I could buy one). As the only machinery I had, I used it often. It was a 10" Craftsman saw, with cast iron tracks. It was a very good saw. As soon as I had it I starting producing vanities for my father's plumbing business, so my father got over his initial anger. I ended up leaving him this saw, when I moved out several years later.

Later, I bought a 12", man eating Craftsman saw, which I paid about $ 50.00 for. It seems as though, after the previous owner had used it to shorten several of his fingers, he no longer felt the need to have it.

I found that machine in the newspaper and even though I figured the price listed was a typo, I called about it. No typo! When I went to the gentleman' s house to check it out, I noticed a few things. Number one, the blade guard was nowhere in sight! Now I'm aware the most of us don't use the blade guards on a table saw, but I had never seen a radial saw without one. Especially a 3 HP, 12" behemoth. The second problem I noticed was the blade was in backwards. Must be new technique. The third thing which seemed a little out of place, was the 4" diameter logs, laying on the saw table.

Now, this gentleman was obviously a professional, and insisted on demonstrating how good this saw was. This guy's elbow was brushing up against the spinning blade, while he was pointing out the adjustment levers. I have never been so scared in my life. I begged him to stop, as I had already owned a smaller version, and was quite familiar with it. He finally shut of the saw , bringing me great relief.

I had to ask about his mishap, regarding the nail less fingers. Seems he was rough cutting his firewood (logs), and it got away from him. (some people should have to take a test, prior to selling them a saw like that).

While I no longer have this saw, as we've converted to sliding miter saws, simply to save space in the shop, I still consider replacing it from time to time.

 

       

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