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Thread: Is a RAS a necessary Shop Component?

  1. #61
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Beaufort, SC
    Well, I'll pile on and get called for unnecesary roughness. Years ago I had a Craftsman RAS. An absolutely useless POS. Abandoned it after several years of non use. Truly abandoned it. Moved to new home and just left it behind. I own two SCMS, along with the other sundry WW tools. Bandsaw, PM66, shaper, planer etc,etc. About a year ago, in a weak moment, I purchased an old Delta 9inch RAS at auction for $45.00. I took the time, with Mr. Sawdust's assistance, to tune it properly, and replaced the table per Mr. Kunkle's design. What a pleasure to use. Dead on accurate and totally repeatable on all cuts. I have not used either SCMS since. Do you need a RAS? Probably not. Would you use one if it were tuned properly, and you took the time to learn its capabilities? I expect so. I like mine.

  2. #62
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Portsmouth, VA
    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk Poore View Post
    Don't look if you really don't want to know.

    Oh, and this one's a little less conventional:


    Wow, thats my saw. I'm not sure how less conventional it is, I just painted it something other than delta gray. The wooden bits are due to having to replace some missing arms with bolts and wanting to make them less obtrusive.

    But back to the original question, do you need one? Probably not. But if you get your hands on one of the better models such as one of these older Deltas or a Dewalt, you will be pleasantly surprised to how well it works and how accurate it can be. Sliding miter saws are similar, but their construction is mostly aluminum tubing, lightweight castings and plastic. I doubt you would see one of those machines in anything close to serviceable condition in 50 years (which is how old my delta is). But ours is a throwaway society and most folks dont want to pay for the workmanship and materials that go into one of these saws if they were built new today

    I had one of the old sears saws, was a POS and I sold it about ten years ago. Had a 12" PC CMS mounted where the RAS is now for a while, but I never really liked it all that much. It was replaced by a Dewalt MBF which I bought for 25 bucks and rebuilt. That was a sweet little saw but was a bit underpowered at 3/4 hp. This Delta is a 30C from the early 60's with a full 2hp motor. It spins a 10" blade and could spin 12" if it had a different blade shroud. I am much more inclined to want to use this saw than I was the CMS, even for small piece work that could be done on the TS. And as somebody else mentioned, dust collection is much better since the dust stream mostly goes straight back from the blade.

    Here is the predecessor of the 30C, an MBF:

    And speaking of unconventional, here is one of Kirk's machines in a less than traditional paint scheme:

  3. #63
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    O'Fallon IL
    I'll have you know, Bob, that as near as I could determine during the restoration, that jointer was originally that color red. Maybe not with the black & yellow highlights, but red it definitely was.

    who needs to put up a more current shot of the jointer with the motor in place, etc...

  4. #64
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Lewisville, NC
    Blog Entries


    Ditto exactly what Charlie V said, had one and that's enough. Had means past tense. Maybe the 12" $2,000.00 jobs are accurate. My TS, BS, HP, MP, DP, all work great.
    David Woodruff

    If you don't know where you're going, it doesn't matter how you get there.

  5. #65
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Pensacola Fl.
    Might as well put in my 2 cents also, every one else has. For me it is a luxury. I have a Original Saw 12" that can cross cut 24". I love it for squaring up panels, cutting doors to final size (cabinet doors). And when I put a dado blade on and used with my bench with adj stops on the rail, I can cut dados on cabinet panels all day long with ease and very accurate.
    Do I need it, no, but neither do I need the 10' panel saw on one of the walls in the shop either, but is sure makes working in the shop more fun and easer. Nor, the 3 shapers, nor the ................ I think you get the picture. But it is always more fun to play when you have more toys to play with.

  6. #66
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Bloomington, IL
    16" Delta RAS owner here. It is a luxary for sure. It will crosscuts 29" and I use it square up panels and use it with a dado stack to remove the waste from my V-inlays before sanding. It has really come in handy many times making signs. I really like using it. It is a beast that stays exactly where you put it in every sense. If you have never used a big industrial one it is quite an experience the first time you fire one up. The next time you eat a 16" pizza imagine that is teh blade on your RAS. Crazy part is I have found Freud and Forrest blades for it cheaper than for my tablesaw Thanks amazon.

    Glad its my shop I am responsible for - I only have to make me happy.

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