• We invite you to join UKWorkshop.
    Members can turn off viewing Ads!

Anyone used a radial arm saw for ripping lengths of timber

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

RobinBHM

Established Member
Joined
17 Sep 2011
Messages
6,692
Reaction score
1,173
Location
Wst Sussex
Avoid avoid avoid

radial arm saws don’t have the rigidity, they can easily move and cause the work to bind and get thrown back.

obv Wadkin BRA is a dif beast
 

bobcat

Established Member
Joined
3 Jan 2008
Messages
34
Reaction score
1
Location
Devon
sadly i agree i modded mine to take alater 1725 gaurd and that includes a riving knife and an anti kickback pawl, with pressure roller mine als will take a full dadostack which i have also used in the rip position, also when setting the table up you need to cut an inverted cove into the table so the blade sits lower than the work, and as for a face full of dust tilt the gaurd down on the entry point and use a good extractor, also remember there are two rip positions in rip and out rip, i suggest anyone buying a r.a.s reads wally kunkel a.k.a mr sawdust book How to master the radial arm saw
 

baldkev

Established Member
Joined
29 Apr 2020
Messages
1,122
Reaction score
505
Location
devon
Ive got an elu ( saw as dewalt 1251 ) and i would only use it fir crosscuts. I like it, set it squarely and locked everything off and thats how it'll stay. Another member made an additional 45° fence for his, so he didnt need to adjust the saw itself.... i keep meaning to do that
 

Droogs

Is that chisel shar ... Ow
Joined
14 Mar 2013
Messages
5,085
Reaction score
2,013
Location
Edinburgh
You guys may find this old Dewalt film entertaining
 

Sandyn

Established Member
Joined
19 Jul 2020
Messages
1,256
Reaction score
924
Location
Scotland
I've been using a DeWalt RAS for ripping for probably about 30-35 years and only had one serious kickback when I first started using it. I didn't realise what the kickback device was for. It does have a riving knife.
When I read other threads on here and comments about how some people use table saws in youtube videos...how dangerous they can be if not used properly, I don't think a RAS is more dangerous than a table saw if used properly. I don't think it's more dangerous than any other big machine I have in the workshop.
 

Droogs

Is that chisel shar ... Ow
Joined
14 Mar 2013
Messages
5,085
Reaction score
2,013
Location
Edinburgh
This one gives some good info


This one shows you how to do it safely
 
Last edited:

Cooper

Established Member
Joined
27 Jul 2016
Messages
276
Reaction score
271
Location
Bromley Kent
My first job in 1973, after Art school, was in the design department of Toy Works in Bideford, at the time the largest manufacturer of wooden toys in the country. We had a a massive mill available but to make the prototype doll's houses and garages which had lots of short small section pieces with notches and miters I had to use an over arm Dewalt. I regularly had the change the fence at the back and the chipboard bed as they got chewed up. I used it to rip timber into sections and crosss cut the notches and miters, holding the wood against the fence with my fingers. Nearly 50 years later I still get into a cold sweat thinking about it. When ripping it wasn't unknown for the timber to be launched at high speed across the studio even with carfully made wooden guides pressing it against the fence. We never stood inline.
Those were the days!!
Martin
 

Alasdair

Established Member
Joined
8 Jan 2022
Messages
78
Reaction score
11
Location
inverness
Just replaced the bed on mine as it was MDF and due to damp workshop was starting to swell. I actually used an old 1" blockboard desk top. It is perfectly flat and slightly larger than the original bed. Going to give it a coat of mat varnish to seal it. Just need to get some new blades and I am set up.
Alasdair
 

guineafowl21

Established Member
Joined
28 Oct 2015
Messages
583
Reaction score
161
Location
Inverness
Just replaced the bed on mine as it was MDF and due to damp workshop was starting to swell. I actually used an old 1" blockboard desk top. It is perfectly flat and slightly larger than the original bed. Going to give it a coat of mat varnish to seal it. Just need to get some new blades and I am set up.
Alasdair
Blades should have 0 or slightly negative rake for safest crosscutting.
 

Craig22

Established Member
Joined
15 Aug 2021
Messages
106
Reaction score
46
Location
Abingdon
I have a three-phase round arm Wadkin BRA. Although I have a rare riving knife (for some reason best known to eBay I bought two of them!). But I have only ever used it for crosscutting, with a negative rake Atkinson Walker blade. I've set it up for a precise 90 degree cut, since that is mostly what I need it for. I recently put 10cm thick oak through it, 40cm cross cut - and it went through it like cutting butter, absolutely no hint of lack of control. It is a hell of a good machine. You need some decent dust extraction though.

Anyone need a Wadkin riving knife? I have a spare one looking for a home.
 

hlvd

Established Member
Joined
21 Aug 2021
Messages
98
Reaction score
54
Location
Anglesey
I have a Dewalt radial arm saw which according to the manual can be used for ripping lengths of timber. Is this safe as theres no riving knife. There is what looks like an anti kickback piece of metaI that can be lowered to the surface of the timber but I have tried it and the first piece went ok to begin with then shot accross the shed and nearly went through the wall. I may be doing something wrong. Only reason I am using it is my bench saw is too big for smaller work. Would it be safer to invest in a small bench saw?
Any tips or advice welcome
Alasdair
I wouldn’t advise it, possible but dangerous.
 

Alasdair

Established Member
Joined
8 Jan 2022
Messages
78
Reaction score
11
Location
inverness
Ha Ha just forund the riving knife. It was taped to the underside of the base frame. It had never been fitted. Should it be fitted for cross cutting? If not I think I will leave it there and just use the saw for cross cut. Definitely looking for a small bench saw for smaller work once I get myself organised.
Alasdair
 

hlvd

Established Member
Joined
21 Aug 2021
Messages
98
Reaction score
54
Location
Anglesey
Ha Ha just forund the riving knife. It was taped to the underside of the base frame. It had never been fitted. Should it be fitted for cross cutting? If not I think I will leave it there and just use the saw for cross cut. Definitely looking for a small bench saw for smaller work once I get myself organised.
Alasdair
I’m sure the riving knife has a place to retract back up into the guard.
The problem with radial arm saws are that they don’t like being moved, and can easily get out of square.
We’ve one at work and I have to square it up every now and then and ours never even moves from 90 degrees.
 

yetloh

Established Member
Joined
1 Dec 2008
Messages
1,417
Reaction score
34
Location
Sussex
If you want a basic chop saw for not a lot of money ( about £180 now £150 when I bought mine) I can recommend the bottom of the range Makita - nicely made, accurate and holds its adjustment well. It doesn't slide so cutting capacity isn't huge but if you want a decent slider it will be quite a lot more money. Dust extraction through the port on the guard is rubbish, but then, they all are. A ply box around the back connected to decent extraction sorts that.

Jim
 

Latest posts

Top