Tool School: Radial Arm Saws
If for some unknown reason you had to pick only one stationary power tool for your workshop, a radial arm saw would be the wise choice. No other stationary power tool can perform as many chores. Woodworking consists of six basic cuts; crosscutting, bevel crosscutting, ripping, bevel ripping, mitering and bevel mitering. The radial arm saw will make all of these cuts efficiently and precisely. With attachments and accessories the radial arm saw can also be used as a boring machine, router, sander (either drum or disk) and buffer/polisher. It can also do jointing and shaping chores, as well as make dadoes. Radial arm saws are available in several different sizes, and the size refers to the size of blade the saw will accept. Common sizes include a 10- or 12-inch model, with the 10-inch model the most popular choice for most home workshops.
Radial Arm Saw
Making a locker shelf with a radial arm saw is a very easy project and great for the beginning student. A locker shelf can help you organize your locker better and get more storage space. A radial arm saw can help you cut one set, or help you cut many locker shelves. A radial arm saw will be helpful if you are making many units, but it is very important to follow all of the safety procedures. Use goggles and glasses while using this piece of machinery in case there are bits of flying debris and keep your fingers away from the blade.
Radial Saws tend to be one of the most under-appreciated of woodworking machines which is disheartening, considering how versatile they are in the range of operations and tasks they are able to perform. While they may be on the pricier end of the scale, and they do tend to be both heavy and not typically fit to carry around easily. As a result, they are used mostly in professional shops where portability isn’t a priority.That said, the variety of operations that a radial arm saw can perform from ripping to cutting bevels or miters, dadoes and rabbets, forming mouldings and in some instances, serving as router guides; is nothing short of amazing. However, like any tool there are trade-offs which come hand in hand with its versatility: difficulty in setting up cuts (as opposed to a compound miter) taking a longer time to rip stock (table saws rip faster). That said, the radial-arm saw is able to perform both these tasks, albeit a little slower than other tools, but again, it is a small price to pay.
Radial Arm Saws
A radial arm saw basically consists of a motor (rather like a handheld circular saw) suspended from a long arm, in a yoke, which allows multiple degrees of rotation for the motor assembly. The motor assembly connects to the overhead arm by a carriage assembly that traverses the arm’s length when manually pulled by the operator. All parts of this assembly may be locked into particular positions as desired by the user. To achieve a simple 90 degree cross cut the saw is pulled from back to front, through a slot in the fence. To make a rip cut the motor head is rotated 90 degrees and positioned outside the fence parallel to it.
Radial saws are circular saws that cut downward, either with or against the wood grain (rip or crosscut). Radial saws have features that make them more versatile than table saws. The saw arm can be raised and lowered and swung from side to side to adjust the depth and horizontal angle of the cut. The blade can also be replaced with shaping cutters, disks, or drum sanders and other accessories. For crosscutting, the operator pushes the wood away from himself or herself against a fence. For rip cuts, the blade is set parallel to the fence, and the stock is pushed through. The saw blade rotates upward toward the operator, who feeds the stock in the opposite direction of the blade movement.
Projects for Radial Arm Saws
A radial arm saw is basically a circular saw that has been mounted on an overhead, or radial, arm affixed to a table. The arm can be adjusted for miter cuts, or raised and lowered for precise depth cutting. Additionally, the saw can be set at a bevel just as though it were a circular saw, allowing the user to make compound miter cuts. The possibilities of what you can do with a radial arm saw are endless, and the adjustable nature of the saw makes it an excellent choice for making a lot of small, precise cuts.
How to use Radial Saws
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