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Thread: radial arm saw for metalwork?

  1. #1
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    radial arm saw for metalwork?

    hi,

    i recently received a craftsman radial arm saw - not sure exactly what model, hp, or amperage - it takes a 10" cutting blade and it dates from probably the late 70s, early 80s. it was used for amateur carpentry for its working life, but it's been sitting unused in an unheated barn for at least 17 years.

    i recently have taken up welding, and i'm wondering if this machine has any usefulness for cutting metal. if so, what type of blade should i put on for cutting mainly mild steel, etc. also, would it be better to get (and is it possible to get [and where do i get]) a metal table/fence for it?

    or would it be more valuable, as is, to some carpenter somewhere on craigslist, and with those monies i could get a better chop/miter/saw?

    thanks.

  2. #2
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    Re: radial arm saw for metalwork?

    I think it would be dangerous to use with metal, (there dangerous with lumber) the cheap ones the arm is not that stout,
    and can flex and the way the saw turns it is pulling in to the material being cut, if you can control the cut or feed rate, so if can not bit and over run then maybe,
    when I first started in construction I bought a low cost arm saw and nearly took my arm off, when it flexed and crawled up over the lumber I was attempting to cut,

    I ended up getting a 12" commercial Dewalt and that was a much safer saw, but for portability I bought a miter saw, and it sits on the arm saw, and the arm saw gets used less than 5% of the time for cross cutting,

    OK, Wood working equipment, normally does not subitute well for metal working, the sparks and other will normally tear up the wood working tools,

    As low cost as some chop (abrasive blade) I would not even consider using the arm saw for metal work, not that I am a fan of Harbor Freight, but one can get one as low cost as $74 http://www.harborfreight.com/catalog...ult?q=chop+saw

    for $150 one can get a good name brand saw,

    so I would suggest the selling of the arm saw if you want, and get a saw or cutting tool designed for cutting metal,



    but

  3. #3
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    Re: radial arm saw for metalwork?

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  4. #4
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    Re: radial arm saw for metalwork?

    I agree with Farmerboy. Your best bet would be to clean that saw up and sell it and use the funds to buy something dedicated for use with metal.


    It can be done, but I doubt the cost will be worth the hassle. At best you end up with a 2nd rate saw that can be very dangerous. At a bare minimum figure the motor assembly is scrap. Wood saws run at too high an RPM to use carbide blades on steel. You'll need to significantly reduce the motor speed and the way most of these saws are built, that isn't really practical without changing out the motor. Going with an abrasive blade instead is usually very hard on wood saws that were never designed to ingest all the metal and blade grit. I've seen standard chop saws died a horrible death in just one day when someone thought this might be a good idea. Also all the hot sparks don't play well with plastic parts.
    .



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  5. #5
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    Re: radial arm saw for metalwork?

    My vote is to sell on CL and buy something else.

    I have an evolution chop saw that I really like. It's the multi cutter so I can thrown anything in and it will cut. Might be worth a look. They also make handheld circular saws that hare handy for certain situations.
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Evolution-RA...item566442dc21
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Evolution-Xt...item2c91e1a3c0

    Another saw worth looking at is a porta band. These are really useful for cutting metal. They also make a mini if you mainly cut small stuff. I ran across a plumber using one on a job the other day and it was a pretty nice setup for cutting smaller material. Cordless available as well.
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Milwaukee-De...item5b03fef4a3

  6. #6
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    Re: radial arm saw for metalwork?

    They will work, best with lighter material, angle, strap & rod. Would be best to sell it and get a metal saw. In the mean time if you want to try it, get an abrasive blade on it and bring the motor forward, place the metal behind the motor and push the blade back through the material.
    If you think a radial saw bites forward into wood, you ain't seen nothing yet until you see how it will bite into metal as it comes forward and stalls the motor.

  7. #7
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    Re: radial arm saw for metalwork?

    My mom's cousin is missing most of his left hand due to a radial arm saw incident, it grabbed the wood, his hand and tried to keep going, fortunately it hit the stops before it got any more of him. Absolutely the most dangerous saw in the shop.

  8. #8
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    Re: radial arm saw for metalwork?

    Thanks everyone. Watch on cl for a radial arm saw if you need one.

  9. #9
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    Re: radial arm saw for metalwork?

    Quote Originally Posted by natedaag View Post
    Thanks everyone. Watch on cl for a radial arm saw if you need one.
    Wise decision !!!

  10. #10
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    Re: radial arm saw for metalwork?

    But, but, but.......................LOL
    Now I lay me down to sleep, by the bed a Colt I do keep.
    Should I wake and find you inside, a coroner van is your next ride.

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