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Dad's 1960's RAS back in action

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  • Dad's 1960's RAS back in action

    Seven years since my dad gavie up his mid 60's R1150 Type A Black and Decker / Dewalt Radial arm saw it is finally back in action. I've been searching Craigslist for parts and finally found the same model available in Saint Paul. My dad's had a broken mount for the blade guard and the one I found had a bad motor but the housing and blade guard were both in good shape. For obvious reasons I didn't feel comfortable using it with the blade guard held on with a band clamp.

    I have to say I'd forgotton how much dust this thing throws out the back. It does cut nicely.


    Chr's
    __________
    An ethical man knows the right thing to do.
    A moral man does it.

  • #2
    Always good to see an old tool get new life. Even better when it has a family history.
    Don, aka Pappy,

    Wise men talk because they have something to say,
    Fools because they have to say something.
    Plato

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    • #3
      From the pictures, it looks like it is in fairly good shape with no corrosion. Just check that the carriage, in all its rotational settings, and the arm is solid with no movement after it is locked down in whatever position. Also ensure that the carriage is properly stopped from being pulled forward off the arm... on my Craftsman, there is a stop bolt at the outer end of the arm and on the RAS I bought to use for spare parts, that bolt had been removed by the previous owner.

      Don't know your experience with the RAS, but be aware of the so-called 'self-feeding' that can occur if you advance the cut to quickly. I've had by Craftsman 10" since 1974 when I bought it new, it still is my favorite stationary tool.

      CWS
      Think it Through Before You Do!

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      • #4
        A negative hook blade helps a lot to avoid self feeding. I have an old Ryobi that I use whenever my crosscut is more than my CMS can handle (about 8 inches) and within it's capacity (about 12.5 inches). This saw looks nicer and more capable.

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        • #5
          CWS,

          This is the saw I grew up with and until I got my BT3000, I thought tablesaws were unsafe. I did witness the kickback that broke the motor mount and blade guard. It is tuned up pretty well, but I think I have the bearings that the head roll on set a little to tightly. It doesn't move as smothly as it did when I was a kid. I still don't know what I'm going to use it for, but at least it isn't rusting in the corner of the shop.

          JimD,
          Finding a negative hook 8" blade took some searching but I managed to get one from Hartville tool. It will crosscut to about 13 inches and will rip about 20 inches with the fence at the far back and head rotated, but that puts the blade a couple of inches past the front edge of the table. It's more of a "Look what this can do," rather than a practical or safe function.

          Chr's
          __________
          An ethical man knows the right thing to do.
          A moral man does it.

          Comment


          • #6
            Perhaps we have similar thoughts on the RAS, as I used to look at the table saw as much more dangerous. In my case, I saw my father loose a couple of fingers on a table saw when I was 14 (that still sticks with me). My shop teacher noticed I was staying well away from the shop's table saw and when he learned why, he introduced me to the RAS. I liked it because you can clearly see the blade and both see and feel it's action. I bought my RAS in late 1973 and up until 2005, when I bought my BT3100, it has been my only stationary saw; and, still today is my absolutely favorite stationary tool.

            It's been some time since I've had to do any adjustments on the carriage, but on my Craftsman RAS, it seems that there are eccentric bolts on at least one or two of the bearings that facilitate movement along the arm rails. (I'd have to go pull the manual to refresh my memory.) The bearings themselves, may not be rotating properly and may require cleaning and/or lubrication. Challenge will be to get them properly re-installed and adjusted should you have to remove them for cleaning. That's not a terribly difficult challenge on my RAS, but you need to pay attention so the blade tracks properly and there is no movement or wobble because the bearings are not fairly tight, in their final position.

            There is of course the lock carriage lock knob which permits solid positioning of the carriage on the arm; that's mostly used to lock the carriage in a measured position on the arm for ripping. If it is not loosened or if debris has somehow gotten inside there, it can also cause the carriage to drag.

            Hopefully you still have the manual and/or remember the procedures for adjustments needed to align every thing.

            CWS
            Last edited by cwsmith; 03-23-2017, 04:14 PM.
            Think it Through Before You Do!

            Comment


            • #7
              The manual was lost long ago, but I bought a copy from the original saw company. The bearings are good, I needed to remove them to get the motor apart and one of them had a flat spot and needed replacement. When I reinstalled them, I probably set them too close/tight to the arm. There are two bearings on one side and a single one on the other and all have eccentric screws. If I back off the single sided one, it shouldn't change the parallelism of the head to the arm. If it does, I'll need square the head to the arm again and reset the 0 position on that.

              I actually prefer it to a tablesaw for same reasons you mentioned. Being able to see where it will cut when doing dadoes or half laps is one of its best features. My brother in law thinks I'm crazy and is convinced every RAS on the planet is just laying in wait to sneak into the house at night and saw up the family. I still pefer a tablesaw with two exceptions. Rip cuts under 6" wide or so that aren't convenient to do on the tracksaw. Dust collection wasn't even thought about when this was built.
              Chr's
              __________
              An ethical man knows the right thing to do.
              A moral man does it.

              Comment


              • #8
                Now that I have the BT3100 (2005... but not set up until 2007), ripping stock is considerably more pleasant and I no longer do that on the RAS. However, I did a lot of rip projects with the RAS, and I built my 18 x 25 deck, bookcases, a couple of tables and shelving for the pantry, as well as many other house projects. Today the RAS is dedicated to cross-cutting and any cross- operations like dados, angle cuts, etc. It is much more accurate than my CMS for compound angles and bevel cuts.

                Because I no longer so rips, the dust collection is much easier. While there is no lower guard on my saw (that's why it was on recall, and there was no retrofit to be had), the upper guard had a small dust port on the forward left side... perfect for blowing sawdust all over the table and it's in a rather awkward position as any dust collection hose has to drag back and force with the travel. What I did was build an open-ended box that fits right behind the blade, in a fixed position, bolted to the base. I plugged the upper-blade guard hole and now all the saw dust blows directly to the rear, where it's vacuumed out of the box.

                At first there was some blow-back that still left too much dust on the table, but i made a curtain out of a piece of thin, packaging plastic. It hangs down from the top of the dust-box and blows back into the box with the dust blast from the blade. However, as the dust bounces off the back of the box, it hits the back of the curtain where the vacuum (from the bottom of the box) suck it out and it no longer comes forward onto the table. Really simple, and it pretty much does the trick. I think part of the dust problem was because I am only using a shop vac, and that once I get it moved into the new shed, with a proper dust collector, the dust will be minimal.

                CWS
                Think it Through Before You Do!

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