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Radial arm saws? Options
Posted: Sunday, March 16, 2014 10:48:45 AM
Rank: Newbie
Groups: Member

Joined: 6/1/2006
Posts: 0
Location: Connecticut
Does anyone out there still use a radial arm saw in their classroom? They doubtless still have their uses, especially for crosscutting heavy timbers, but given their obvious safety issues, I was wondering if anybody still used one in a classroom environment?

Keith Landin
Woodshop instructor, Woodstock Academy
"Mens tua sit implementum acerrium in fabrica"
Posted: Sunday, March 16, 2014 3:05:43 PM
Rank: Newbie
Groups: Member

Joined: 8/21/2007
Posts: 0
Location: Galt, CA
I used to use a radial saw in my middle school classroom. It was difficult to clamp material to the table (I only allow students to use one hand, the other must go behind their back) and the blade freewheeled for some time after the power was turned off. Plus the radial arm saw tool up a lot of floor space (a precious commodity in my room. Last year I purchased a sliding miter saw- Ryobi brand. It has nearly the same capacity, I don't have to worry with students climb cutting (students would frequently jam the blade into the material they were cutting) it has a built in clamp for securing material to the saw for cutting and there is a built in brake that stops the saw as soon as power is turned off. There are a couple of minor conveniences that I gave up (like being able to use a dado blade) when I retired the radial arm saw, but I increased safety with students and the miter saw sits on top of a bench
Posted: Monday, March 17, 2014 10:44:13 PM
Rank: Newbie
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Joined: 8/8/2012
Posts: 0
Location: West Linn, OR
We have one right next to the wood storage room and use it primarily for cross cutting rough boards down to manageable lengths before planing and jointing. That's really the only use for it. If someone needs to make precision cuts, they use one of the miter saws, and we have a dedicated table saw for dadoes.

Posted: Thursday, March 20, 2014 11:32:51 PM
Rank: Newbie
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Joined: 2/27/2006
Posts: 0
I use the radial arm saw all the time -- we use it cut long boards down and to make final length cuts on boards less that 12" wide -- it is a great tool for that

Many years ago I also used it for cutting angles -- it was fine until - my co workers wanted to do the same and they tore up the table by not using common sense -- so I made it cross cut only --

for the intended purpose of cross cutting, I find it one of the safest tools to use.
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