Radial arm saw uses is being done mainly to cut rip cut, crosscut, do simple and compound miters, dado, mold or shape, and rabbet to long and wide lumber or timber.
Radial arm saw uses may amaze a person. It is a great option for the worker because of its versatility. This power tool is great and very helpful and handy. A radial arm tool is said to be an all-purpose tool.
What is a Radial arm saw?
A radial arm saw is a cutting machine. It consists of a circular saw mounted on a sliding horizontal arm. In the radial arm saw an electric motor directly drives a circular saw blade which is held by a yoke. The yoke is slid along the horizontal arm, which is some distance above a horizontal rectangle surface. A high-quality radial machine is carefully made having track arm ways and mechanism of locking and have a smoothly running motor. Except for vertical slope, the saw tilts on every axes.
By releasing the bevel lock usually at the front of the motor and reading the desired angle off a protractor gauge the blade of the radial-arm saw can be tilted for cutting angles. It can also rotate right and left for mitering, and with the miter clamp releasing the yoke of the blade and motor housing can be turned around a full ninety degrees to right or left so that the radial arm saw can be used to rip boards. For ripping, like operations, the saw is fixed in place and the stock is pushed through the blade. The motor and blade can also be raised or lowered for precise work.
Most radial-arm saws use ten-inch blades. Typically, these blade of the radial arm saw can cut the items or goods up to three inches thick and can crosscut pieces more than a foot wide.
Before the invention and use of radial arm saw, table saw and hand saw were very common. Those were used to crosscut timbers or lumbers. Keeping the table saw steady the piece of stock was used to push to cut which was very awkward but the table saw used to cut stock easily. While using Radial arm saw, the stock remain static while the blade is pulled through it.
- 1 The invention of the radial arm saw
- 2 Different between Radial arm saw and Table saw
- 3 How to use a Radial arm saw
- 4 Precautions for using Radial arm saw:
- 5 Some demerits of using radial arm saw are stated below
- 6 Now let us talk about the Radial arm saw uses.
- 7 Uses of a radial arm saw:
The invention of the radial arm saw
It is invented by Raymond De Walt in 1922. For cutting long pieces of stock, the use of radial arm saw was as the primary tool until the introduction of the power miter saw in the 1970s.
The radial arm saw has a clear origin. Raymond De Walt invented it. He was from Leola, Pennsylvania. He first applied for patents in 1923, which were being issued in 1925. Raymond De Walt and others created other variant saw from the original radial arm saw, but De Walt’s original design was most successful of all. It was sold under the nickname Wonder Worker
During the late 1970s, the radial arm saw began to replace by compound miter saw. Those miter saw was only able to be used for miter cuts and crosscuts, as they were unable to do rip cuts.
For an inexperienced person, the radial arm saw is less safe but when used properly it is less dangerous. The radial arm saw can cut safely any miters necessary for picture and door frames, can rip timber or lumber precisely and can cut grooves and variant dadoes. The radial arm saw can safely make cuts just like a compound miter saw, as well as it can make lots of variant cuts including more complex cuts.
Different between Radial arm saw and Table saw
The Radial arm saw is an alternative to a table saw in home shops. As both machines can make crosscut, rip cut, do simple and complex miters, dodoes, rabbets, can make shape or mold. But the table saw need more space and clearance to the side in front and back in a shop. Whilst radial arm saw needs less space or clearance in the shop as it only needs space in the one side.
The table saw needs to be placed in the center of a shop whereas the radial arm saw can be placed against the wall of the shop which can be said as its ideal placing.
The radial arm saw can be used as a shaper, a disk or drum sander, a grinder, a surface planer, a router, a horizontal boring machine and even as a power unit for a lathe by adding some accessories. On the other hand, a table saw’s uses are limited to shaper and disk sander only.
How to use a Radial arm saw
First of all, some precaution should be taken into care.
1. As radial arm saws can make loud noises and work will be done from close distant, so hearing protection is necessary
2. As working with wood or tools may hurt eyes unconsciously or wood may jump to eyes to eyes protection is needed
3. Long and loose hair can get pulled into the saw, so it must be pulled back tightly
4. Loose clothes can also cause problems. So it is good to avoid wearing them
Setting the table
1. Make sure the height of the table is set correctly
2. To save yourself from hassle, bring the table low enough to set the angle of the radial arm saw for cutting
As radial arm saws manufactured in the 1960s used stamped sheet metal parts and are machined to loose tolerance, therefore without adjusting they are not precise for doing accurate work
First of all, the owner’s manual is to be read carefully and thoroughly and instructions to be understood properly before using a radial arm saw. Then the following things are needed to be checked:
1. Check if all the knobs are locked in the accurate position.
2. Check if the starting point of the radial arm saw is completely behind the fence or not. This keeps lumber or timber coming away from in contact with the blade before intended.
Owner or Operator must do some adjustment to get accurate cut, like:
- To make the blade of the radial arm saw 90 degrees to the table the tilt of the motor is to be set.
- The arm is to be rotated and set 90 degrees to the table’s fence
While using the saw, the vibration may slightly change the settings of the saw. That’s why the saw needs to checked occasionally.
Measuring the materials
Make the correct measurement before starting to work. Use a protractor to get the marks of the angles accurately. An incorrect measurement may force to recut as a radial arm saw will cut precisely
Now start cutting
Lower the blade of the saw slowly to the starting cut position keeping the blade running to get accurate cut needed. The saw is to be pulled through the wood until the cut has been made entirely. If the raw is needed to be raised to reset the angle, make sure to raise the saw using handle otherwise it may cause damage to the saw for not guiding the saw to return back to its position.
Remember to read the manuals or instruction if any doubt is created or a problem is faced.
Precautions for using Radial arm saw:
Special care is to be taken while using a radial arm saw:
1. A blade with a very low hook angle makes the radial arm saw safer. A 10-degree positive hook blade is considered as a universal blade with a “triple chip profile” as on the radial arm saw this blade works well on. But if the saw climbs with this blade, adjusting and tightening is needed to be done on the yoke roller bearings. A dull blade uses enough forces to grab lumber or timber to kick it through a wall. Whereas a new blade has less tendency to grab.
2. When ripping blade guards are necessary above and below the blade of the radial arm saw. Do not turn on the saw without using the blade guard.
3. Make sure the riving knife is on the saw while using it. Do not remove the riving knife as this may make the saw more dangerous.
4. Ripping is tough, so it can be dangerous if not done carefully and properly.
5. While using molding or dado head, shaper guard is to be used.
6. Radial arm saw can become more flexible after adding some accessories or chucks for shaping.
7. Don’t forget to wear safety goggles to avoid eye damages which can occur because of throw out loose stock.
8. Use ear protection to avoid noises.
Some demerits of using radial arm saw are stated below
1. The radial arm saw tends to self-feed into works because of the direction of the blade rotation of saw. This issue can be eliminated using a negative hook blade.
2. Compare to a typical contractor type table saw, which also takes the same space as a radial arm saw; a radial arm saw is more expensive.
3. For miter cuts, the radial arm saw is replaced by power compound miter saw.
4. If you are cutting through wood, it is less convenient.
5. It tends to cut the table while lowering the saw for through cuts.
Now let us talk about the Radial arm saw uses.
In comparison to the demerits of the radial arm saw, its merits are more. That’s why it is used for the following purposes.
Uses of a radial arm saw:
Radial arm saw uses is being done mainly to tear, cut slope or bevels or miters that is joint that forms a corner; usually both sides are beveled at a 45-degree angle to form a 90-degree corner or dadoes, which is a rectangular groove cut into a board so that another piece can fit into it and rabbets or cleft, form moldings, and in some cases, even serve as a guide for a router.
Nothing can replace the radial arm saw for crosscutting broader or wider stock and rough boards. If properly adjusted dadoes can be cut very accurately with the radial arm saw.
The radial-arm saw can function as a drum or disk sander, router, or drill press when equipped with optional blades and accessories. For some models of the radial arm saw, planer and jointer heads are also available. To determine what options are available for the saw, check the manual or consult with the manufacturer
The radial arm saw can be used for crosscutting wide and thick materials. While crosscutting using radial arm saw, depth of the blade is to be set just below the table’s surface. After the motor of the saw is up to speed lower the blade to the cutting position to avoid cutting grooves into the top of the table. The stock is always to be held securely against the fence. To avoid the blade of the saw from leaning forward towards the operator while pulling them towards the operator through the stock always keep the pressure on the handle.
A radial arm saw most often cuts 90 degrees to the length of a piece and sometimes angle is 45 degrees. Safest procedure for cutting accurately is to make a test cut.
For crosscutting dadoes and rabbets, no other tool is more perfect other than radial arm saw. Install the dado set by raising the blade a bit high away from the table then reattached the blade guard. When the setup is done, now cutting can be started. Longer pieces of lumber or timber can be cut and three or four pieces can be cut at a time.
Another function of radial arm saw is rip cutting the stock like timber or panels radial arm saw has to rip position, in-rip, and out-rip. In in-rip position blade end of the motor is placed closer to the fence and in out-rip position end of the blade of the motor is placed nearer to the front edge of the table.
Miters and bevels
Miters of up to 60 degrees to both either left or right can be cut using the radial arm saw or up to 90 degrees of bevels can be cut, but only in one direction. So, the radial arm saw can cut more complex and compound angles than a compound miter saw.
The radial arm saw can also be used for grinding. If the grinder is not available at home then this saw is very handy for grinding.
Some other uses:
1. Radial arm saw can be used to saw blades.
2. It can be used as a horizontal drill press.
3. It can be used as a molder.
So, in short, Radial arm saw is used for crosscutting, rip cutting, grinding, molding, used for miters and bevels and so more. But most important of all while using a radial arm saw one must be very careful and take precautions stated above. And of course manuals or instruction given with the saw should be read and followed accordingly.