You will rarely find a much versatile saw, as a radial arm saw. But, whether you have the tiniest workshop or the biggest one, this will be your most used tool for sure after installing. In fact, a radial arm saw is extremely powerful and useful that every DIYer and professionals make sure to keep one in their workstation.
However, despite being versatile, incredibly useful, and powerful, many people are unaware of the use of a radial arm saw. You can accomplish miter cuts, crosscuts, rip cuts, and bevel cuts projects using a radial arm saw. Moreover, for cutting rabbets and dadoes, it is an ideal tool.
Let’s take a closer look at what can you do with a radial arm saw.
What is a Radial Saw Used for?
A radial arm saw offers a wide range of uses. Accomplishing different woodworking tasks is convenient when you follow safety tips. Here we will be looking at the uses of radial arm saw.
Different kinds of saws can make rip cuts, and this cut runs along the wood grain. So rip cuts are pretty convenient to make, and they are practical too.
Often, rip cuts go deeper into the wood. Moreover, the wood looks quite damaged and worn after making this cut. Obviously, this is not a matter of worry, especially when making lumbar into size. But, due to these characteristics, rip cuts are unsuitable for making furniture or other projects if you don’t smooth out them using a belt sander.
When RIP cutting using RAS, the blade needs to be turned into the 90° position, then lock it. Finally, against the rotating blade, the wood requires to be moved.
The ripping accuracy mostly relies on the type of the saw. As stated earlier, ripping wood is quite convenient using a radial arm saw. A RAS will also allow you to accomplish many projects that a table saw struggles to complete.
When you cut across the wood grain, it is known as crosscuts. A RAS is an ideal took for crosscuts.
Crosscuts are quite dissimilar to rip cuts and precise. A radial arm saw is much efficient enough in making a small cut across the wood width. Cutting a huge amount of lumbar or cutting wood into large pieces is not related to crosscuts.
If your project requirement is to make the intricate cut, crosscuts offer the best result. Also, after cutting, the wood remains in good shape and condition.
In order to perform a crosscut, you will require to position the wood length perpendicularly to the axis of the radial arm. Then, the stock needs to be placed against the fence. Next, the blade carriage needs to be pulled through the wood on the way to you.
At this point, one factor needs to keep in mind since you are pulling the blade across the wood and hence making a climb-cut. Therefore, it is highly recommended to use a blade that comes with a decent negative hook angle.
Miter cut is also known as an angled cut. More precisely, a RAS typically can cut up to 90° in one direction only. Although different building projects require miter cuts, it is also necessary for making picture frames, door frames, tables, etc.
Making simple miter cuts is convenient to do with miter cuts. The pivoted radial arm needs to be rotated to the expected angle to make miter cuts.
Generally, bevel cuts are quite similar to slanted cuts. However, bevel cuts are made along with the wood piece’s thickness, and this is the main difference between the miter cuts and bevel cuts. Bevel cuts have lots of use in the carpentry industry because it is well-known for not leaving sharp edges.
When bevel cutting, the lock needs to release first, then the blade needs to be tilted at the required bevel angle on the protracted gauge and lock it. If you want to make a compound cut, all you need to do is, swivel the RAS to the needed miter angle.
Tips When Using a Radial Arm Saw
A radial arm saw is a versatile and powerful tool, allowing its user to make accurate crosscuts. Follow the below tips to get a precise result.
- Blade guard requires special attention. Before turning the saw, make sure that the blade guard is positioned in its place securely. Similarly, the bottom of the guard should not be changed permanently, and it should be positioned at the bottom of the table.
- Ensure that the guard is easily lifted with the saw’s action and returns when it is released.
- After setting up the RAS, install the whole unit following a slight backward slope. As a result, the saw will stay in its position steadily, and sliding will also be prevented.
- Don’t start cutting until the saw reaches its peak speed.
- The speed of the cut needs to be controlled. This will give you accurate cutting results as well as working with the saw will be safer.
- Double-check the distance between the hand-holding stock and blade; this should be far enough to keep your hands safe. Also, the blade needs to be free from obstacles.
- Use a dust collection system; this will keep your surroundings clean. Also, after working, the cleaning process will be convenient.
- Don’t hurry when working with the radial arm saw.
- If your radial arm saw model consists of a riving knife, use it when ripping.
Although radial arm saw is losing its appeal to table saw and compound saw, it is still useful for the right user.
Hopefully, by reading this article, you got the answer to What Can You Do with a Radial Arm Saw. This versatile tool is powerful enough that making an accurate cut is a breeze. When working with RAS, wearing safety gear is a must to stay safe and sound.
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