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  • #16
    I have that Rigid portable saw that sskloss1 has, also with a sled, and two full sized table saws in a big table. Small tables and short fences are a real challenge for plywood, possible with a few roller stands and a trained helper, but not recommended. I would suggest an 8' aluminum angle, clamps and a skill saw for cutting sheet goods to manageable pieces before using a small table saw. I like sleds. Panel saws can work.
    I don't have anything good to say about radial arm saws.

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    • #17
      Come to think of it , I doubt radial arm saws being that dangerous , because they are
      used at most lumber yards ( even Home Depot )
      I ' m sure the operators are taught ( as my Dad taught me ) to stand to one side
      while cutting !

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      • #18
        My first saw was a radial arm saw and I wouldn't recommend one for cabinet work. They have limited capacity and ripping is problematic.

        I have a Bosch contractor saw with its optional outfeed attachments. I do use roller stands for larger pieces. I built my own jig for breaking down large panels with a circular saw and built a cross cut sled for square cuts. It works well for me. I use a big shop vac with a dust deputy which is pretty good but not as good as a real dust collection system.

        You can build your own outfeed tables for any saw. I have a good friend who is a now retired home contractor and a really fine woodworker. After trying to cut off one of his fingers he replaced his saw with a Sawstop saw which if you have the money is worth doing. Even though he has always had full size table saws he has always had really large custom outfeed tables so he can easily cut sheet goods. Google "DIY outfeed table" images.

        Ron



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        The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it. - Neil deGrasse Tyson
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjuGCJJUGsg

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        • #19
          +1 I have the same saw as Ron
          John H

          Synergy Horn, SLS-85, BMR-3L, Mini-TL, BR-2, Titan OB, B452, Udique, Vultus, Latus1, Seriatim, Aperivox,Pencil Tower

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          • #20
            Originally posted by hitsware2 View Post
            Come to think of it , I doubt radial arm saws being that dangerous , because they are
            used at most lumber yards ( even Home Depot )
            They have a well earned reputation for being nasty buggers. They're not a problem if the wood is all clamped down, but who does that? I'd say only band saws are more dangerous.
            www.billfitzmaurice.com
            www.billfitzmaurice.info/forum

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            • #21
              I inherited a late 60's Craftsman radial arm saw that was in mint condition. I never found it useful since I already have a good table saw and a compound miter saw. It was just taking up space. I tried hard to sell it on Craigslist but nobody wanted it. I ended up selling it a the next door neighbor's garage sale for $25.
              Craig

              The lowest possible F3 box alignment is not always the best alignment.

              Designing and building speaker projects are like playing with adult Lego Blocks for me.

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              • #22
                I bought a used radial arm saw first and gave it away 10 years later. Very limited usefulness. Agree that a cheap craftsman or delta contractor saw with a good aftermarket fence and some DIY outfeed tables is an inexpensive joy. Combined with a makita or dewalt mitre saw and you have the foundation of a very nice shop. The mitre saw will do most of the crosscuts that a radial arm saw will do with much higher accuracy.

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                • #23
                  Random thoughts:
                  Cabinet saws are a nice luxury (large work surface, heavy/stable, tend to have good fence, powerful, able to tie into dust collection, can use 1/8" blades)
                  Dust collection does make a difference (yes large sawdust falls to the bottom, but sucking up the fine dust is desirable as well)
                  If your saw is kicking up more dust out the top than the bottom, adjust your fence to be parallel to the blade
                  A 120V 1-1.5HP dust collector is plenty powerful for one tool at a time home shop

                  If you're going to use it for more than speakers (furniture) try and find a cabinet saw, otherwise, do what your budget dictates. Whatever you do, make sure the fence is straight (crazy that many are not) and consistently locks down to the same angle (consistent parallelism to the blade, no matter where you lock it down), a bad fence on a nice saw is a lot worse than a good fence on a junk saw.
                  Copy of Lou C's speaker pages: http://www.rob-elder.com/LouC/speakers.html

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by billfitzmaurice View Post
                    They have a well earned reputation for being nasty buggers. They're not a problem if the wood is all clamped down, but who does that? I'd say only band saws are more dangerous.
                    No way Bill, a bandsaw is way more safer than a radial arm saw. 1/2 exposed 10 inch circular blade spinning at 3,600 rpm, 9,500 fpm heading toward you, vs. a 3/4 inch, 2-inch exposed stationary blade at 1000 fpm?
                    John H

                    Synergy Horn, SLS-85, BMR-3L, Mini-TL, BR-2, Titan OB, B452, Udique, Vultus, Latus1, Seriatim, Aperivox,Pencil Tower

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by jhollander View Post

                      No way Bill, a bandsaw is way more safer than a radial arm saw. 1/2 exposed 10 inch circular blade spinning at 3,600 rpm, 9,500 fpm heading toward you, vs. a 3/4 inch, 2-inch exposed stationary blade at 1000 fpm?
                      Reminds me, pro tip, always put the blade guard back on the return side of the band saw after changing blades so you don't buzz your elbow
                      Copy of Lou C's speaker pages: http://www.rob-elder.com/LouC/speakers.html

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                      • #26
                        For doing any type of non-straight-line cuts a jigsaw is a must have imo. I can't think of many projects that I've done that didn't require at least a few cuts that couldn't be done on a table saw, miter, radial arm saw and the like. Of course to get perfectly measured straight lines, I would agree that the table saw is a good first upgrade. And when you do have to cut something small or round make sure to pencil the lines first.
                        Screw it, let’s do it. Richard Branson

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                        • #27
                          Watch this.

                          Shingle sawyer - YouTube

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                          • #28
                            Lots of good advice here. My 2 cents:

                            Like Bill, I inherited a delta saw with a mule fence. A good fence is crucial. However, there is no replacement for a good crosscut sled and there's lots of info available on how to make one.

                            Safety should be a priority. Use board buddies and or feather boards. If no riving knife, add a zero clearance throat plate and microjig separator.

                            I also added a router table to the extension on my saw. Best advice if doing this is spend the money on a good metal plate like incra. Don't buy a phenolic one, too much flex. I would Also look for a router with above table adjustment like a Triton, saves buying a lift and saves your back.

                            Dust collection is always tricky. Cyclone separator is a must and easy to DIY one on a standard collector. Get a good filter so the collector doesn't act as a dust pump. And I built a fine air purifier that I run in my garage after a session to remove fine particles. Most of all, get a good respirator and get it fitted properly.

                            Carbon13

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                            • #29
                              Thank you Carbon13. I have looked at and thought about my options and I am going to stick with a more portable jobsite saw. It is just a lot less hassle for me. I know it won’t ever be a precision tool but I am going to spend the time to adjust it well, make a crosscut sled, perhaps a higher end miter. I will also make sure to get some of the mentioned board buddies, zero clearance plate etc.

                              As far as the saws I am leaning toward the dewalt now. I have tinkered with them all. I wish the sawstop contractor saw was a little less $ as I would spend more but $1,399 vs $500 is a lot. Of course it wouldn’t seem that way after and accident.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by jhollander View Post

                                No way Bill, a bandsaw is way more safer than a radial arm saw.
                                Emergency room statistics will dispute that. With a radial arm the main danger is kick back, with a band saw the main danger is the loss of a finger or two. In both cases operator error is the root cause of course, but one is far more likely to screw up with a band saw by holding the work with your hands and getting fingers where they shouldn't be. On that I bet the most dangerous band saws aren't the big production versions, but small hobbyist types, where the parts being cut are small and one is most likely to cut their fingernails a wee bit too short.
                                www.billfitzmaurice.com
                                www.billfitzmaurice.info/forum

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