I am looking for my next piece of equipment for my shop. I currently have a 10 inch table saw, a joiner, planer, bandsaw, a small jig saw, belt sander, spindle sander and a table top drill press. Would a radial arm saw be a good addition? Or something else?
Sounds like you're pretty well equipped, I too have a shop full of tools, and I love my RAS, I use it alot, the 2 tools I use the most are the TS and RAS. Alot of guy's have their compound miter saws set up to achieve the same results. Some other thoughts, have you looked at the performax or delta drum sanders, do you have a good DC system, how about air cleaner.
The radial arm saw is a good tool, but you need to be very alert when working with it. You can create crown molding for furniture with it, that cant be done on any other tool except for a modling machine designed for cutting curved pieces. Im talking about the crown you would see on a grandfather clock, not the flat stuff that is up against the ceiling. What you want to look for in a Radial arm saw is a good solid table, cast iron swing arm and base. Stay away from any that use sheet metal for anything other than the part the legs attach to. The critical part of the saw is the arm the carriage rides on, if it isnt made of cast iron, it can twist and make cutting a real nightmare. I have a crafts man from the late 70's that is built like that, it took me the longest time to get it aligned, but it has yet to lose it over the past 10 years and it has been moved around and shipped to my new house, and it is still 100% aligned. I heard that later years were redesigned and were garbage, so I dont know what they are like now. I also dont know who else makes good models, but you want one with at least a 10" blade and a strong motor.
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