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Old 03-24-2011, 10:36 AM   #1
scott37300
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Default Rebuilding a craftsman radial arm saw

I few years back I bought a radial arm saw from a builder for very cheap. The saw was in rough shape, legs were bent and welded extra supports on them, table was shot, it was rusted and caked full of sawdust everywhere so most of the angle adjustments were locked frozen, and the height adjustment nut was stripped out so it didn't go up and down like it should. Basically all the saw did was slide in and out to cut wood, everything else wasn't working. Then I didn't have room for it so it sat in storage.

I finally got it out of storage and started to clean it up a little, I was just going to try and clean the saw dust up and see if I could get some of the adjustments working again. I was doing some research trying to find an owners manual and came across the recall for these saw's guard. I filled out the form and a week later I had a box at my door with a whole new guard, table, fence, and some other pieces. So I decided if I was going to put a new top on it I might as well do a really good cleaning of this saw and get it working the best I can.

The first thing I did was to cut the legs off and the extra support the PO had welded onto it. My plans are someday to build it into a bunch, so no legs will be needed. Don't have the room right now but the legs were shot anyway and not really safe to use. Then I started to tear everything down and finally got it totally apart and in many pieces. The frame is in rough shape but in workable condition. Not sure if I want to sand blast it and repaint it or just leave it and call it good, it has some rust on it. Think I'm just going to leave it for now and maybe this summer when the snow is gone I will take it apart again and blast it and paint it.

Here's some pictures for now.

ras4.jpg

ras5.jpg

ras6.jpg

ras11.jpg

ras7.jpg

ras8.jpg

ras9.jpg

Last edited by scott37300; 03-24-2011 at 11:13 AM.
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Old 03-24-2011, 10:45 AM   #2
Wrenches of Death
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Default Re: Rebuilding a craftsman radial arm saw

Any of you guys that own an older Craftsman radial arm saw need to check out this site:

http://www.radialarmsawrecall.com/

They sent me my retrofit kit years ago. I like the new guard, and the free new table was great too!

WoD
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Old 03-24-2011, 10:54 AM   #3
scott37300
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Default Re: Rebuilding a craftsman radial arm saw

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrenches of Death View Post
Any of you guys that own an older Craftsman radial arm saw need to check out this site:

http://www.radialarmsawrecall.com/

They sent me my retrofit kit years ago. I like the new guard, and the free new table was great too!

WoD
Yep I got mine also and posted about it on here a couple months ago. I wasn't going to do a full tear down and rebuild but after getting a nice top for free I figured I would stick more time into it!
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Old 03-24-2011, 11:17 AM   #4
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Default Re: Rebuilding a craftsman radial arm saw

The only part that I need to order is a plate with a nut on it, mine is stripped out. This plate raises the whole arm up and down on a big jack screw. So without it I can't raise or lower the saw blade height. Sears still lists it as available and is only 10.49 so will have to order one of those. There are some other plastic parts that were damaged but are no longer available so will just live without them. They aren't functional at all, just some covers. Also need a couple of 608 bearings for the slidding of the saw head. Was glad that it mostly needed a cleaning and not a bunch of broken parts, didn't want to stick a bunch of money into it.

Right now I am cleaning each piece in the parts cleaner and getting all the saw dust off of it and going over everything. I will order the couple parts I need and then start putting everything back together.

Nothing like APmech's radial drill press rebuild but it still feels good to give this thing a new life!
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Old 03-24-2011, 12:36 PM   #5
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Default Re: Rebuilding a craftsman radial arm saw

I bought a old Craftsman years ago that was in rough shape, it was all metal. I bought all the parts and rebuilt the saw. It was better than what they were selling new. My advise is rebiuld it and enjoy.
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Old 03-24-2011, 07:34 PM   #6
scott37300
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Default Re: Rebuilding a craftsman radial arm saw

Quote:
Originally Posted by 34 Ply View Post
I bought a old Craftsman years ago that was in rough shape, it was all metal. I bought all the parts and rebuilt the saw. It was better than what they were selling new. My advise is rebiuld it and enjoy.
Mine is pretty much all metal besides two little covers, one on top of the round column that raises up and down and one on the front of the arm. Not a big deal to me if they aren't there. It won't be as pretty as the new ones but it will cut as good if not better!

Anyone have advice on cleaning surface rust off machined surfaces, the round column that slides up and down for height adjustment?
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Old 03-24-2011, 08:06 PM   #7
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Default Re: Rebuilding a craftsman radial arm saw

I'm rebuilding mine as well. Basically, mine was the complete opposite. Every joint had play it in or wobbled. I also ordered new track bearings (#15 on the diagram) and tightened up just about every joint in the manual. It's better, but still isn't perfect.

On mine, there is a small amount of play in the upper arm (as if you were cutting a miter), enough to move the arm almost 1/8in left to right at max extension. Not only does this make cross cutting plywood inaccurate, it leads to a dangerous condition when ripping.

The PO had the saw suspended from a double 3/4 ply table. It's a bad idea, trust me. Basically the top warped due to the weight of the saw. This caused dados to be wavy depth wise. It must have it's own supports. Build a 2x4 table and lag bolt it down (don't forget leveling feet). On top of that, the PO had an oak fence that wasn't straight and true.

I also got the recall kit. The new guard is good and does a better job at controlling the dust, but my home made dust collector still works better.

I'm using MDF with a laminate surface for the new top with 3 dados cut in the top for a fence. It's a perfect fit for more mdf 3/4 and i'm sure that it's straight and true. Before using your RAS, ensure that it's as straight as you can get it.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Radi...An-Easier-Way/

My saw also has a bit of play in the yoke indexing peg. I'm considering this mod as well.
http://www.instructables.com/id/Sear...ndexing-Holes/

Lastly, there are two accessories that are worth wild. Bench Buddies (the one without kickback protection) http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0000223VJ

and a laser guide for 5/8s arbor, http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002PMV4UQ

Self adhesive accurate tape measure for the fence (i'm not sure how useful this will be)
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002QZ4VC

And finally, a great book on RASs. It shows a lot of interesting techniques and methods for doing unique cuts and shaping, as well as a number of great ways to loose limbs.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0806962801

Last edited by spyhunter; 03-24-2011 at 08:11 PM.
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Old 03-24-2011, 09:12 PM   #8
scott37300
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Default Re: Rebuilding a craftsman radial arm saw

Thanks for all the links. Mine was all frozen up from saw dust and probably was left outside sometimes being that it was used by a construction company and had a decent amount of rust on it. I'm hoping that when I clean it all up that I don't have worn out parts and play like you did. Guess I'll find out after I put this back together.
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Old 03-24-2011, 09:33 PM   #9
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Default Re: Rebuilding a craftsman radial arm saw

Not exactly for the craftsman ras, but an interesting site and good book. Had a 16" dewalt ras. I went to extreme when rebuilding the table, used a laser level to adjust the bolts for a truely flat table. Made the base out of hard maple covered with a sacrifical plywood top.
http://mrsawdust.com/

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