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Thread: Request from Mr. Sawdust Family - Please share

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Eastern Iowa

    Request from Mr. Sawdust Family - Please share

    Preface - Decades ago Dewalt pioneered the use of the radial arm saw. It was promoted as a do it all home workshop tool. Turn it this way to do this, flip it that way to do that, pull it to make that cut, add these accessories to do these kind of things... While touted as a simple machine that any homeowner would be crazy not to have, it could actually be complicated in its set-up and use. To this end, Dewalt enlisted a group of salesmen that would travel the country, demonstrating the saws and providing instruction in its use.

    Most famous among these was Wally Kunkle. Nicknamed Mr. Sawdust, he is regarded as the father of the radial arm explosion after WWII. His Mr. Sawdust table may be the most copied design for the RAS and his book, “How to Master the Radial Arm Saw” is considered to be the bible for many dedicated RAS users.

    Despite his death many years ago, his family continues to sell his book from the family home. His son is just reopening a woodworking school featuring, among other tools, the RAS.

    Below is a post from Wally’s family, placed on the Dewalt Radial Arm Saw group on Delphi Forums.


    I've had a number of requests lately from customers who have bought a copy of "How to Master the Radial Arm Saw" as to whether there are any videos of Mr. Sawdust's demonstrations or teaching classes. My answer is, so

    I know that back in the early days when my dad was introducing the DeWalt and demonstrating at shows and various locations there were some 'movies' made. (That's what they were called back then-lol) Perhaps they are archived somewhere out there.
    I also believe there may be videos out there taken by students in his classes at the Mr.Sawdust school on Chester NJ.

    I'm hoping that this might be shared here and on other woodworking forums to perhaps locate some-if they exist.
    Just an idea! Sure would like to find some!
    If anyone here comes across someone who has one please contact me:

    Comments made here are my own and, according to my children, do not reflect the opinions of any other person... anywhere, anytime.

  2. #2
    I didnt know about the radial arm saw or his table plans. All I'd seen was old ads where he hawked tablesaw blades for Forrest in magazines from the early 80's.

    Wish I could be of some help to his family.

    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Northwest Indiana
    Good family, excellent book, and a great resource. Hoping somebody comes up with some movies for them. My table is 3 or 4 years old and hasn't moved. Plus--since the table was not on the 1958 GWI i bought, Wally's book provided valuable info on how the leveling process should go--and it was spot on!!

    A few years back, i wanted to gift a copy of the Mr. Sawdust book to Arlin Eastman who is a disabled veteran who teaches wood turning to fellow vets as a therapy to those suffering from PTSD. I couldn't figure out how to do it from their web store, so i sent Mary a message. They would have no part of me buying a copy--but they did eventually let me cover the shipping if i recall correctly. It is an honor to work with them!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Tucson, Arizona
    Thanks for sharing this. I had never heard of "Mr. Sawdust" - but after visiting the website and sampling the book, perhaps I will place an order. This is great stuff!

    Mr. Sawdust.jpg Download Sample (Chapter 1) pdf.jpg

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Exeter, CA
    I bought an old DeWalt RAS a couple of years ago that I totally restored. Bought the Mr Sawdust book, great read and very informative. I will even call it a "must read" if your going to use a RAS safely! Once you understand the dynamics and "quirks" of the RAS, that is why it does what it does, you can then use it safely. As I also have two bandsaws, a unisaw and chopsaw, I just use it for crosscuts and dados, which it really excels at. I'm glad I have it and its always a pleasure to use.... Like a shaper, you really need to understand how to use it safely before you start. Randy

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Landenberg, Pa
    The book is wonderful. If you are a RAS enthusiast, it is a must-own, and it supports the family of the late Mr. Sawdust.

    I will be putting a classic RAS on the classifieds soon, set up according to the Mr. Sawdust RAS bible.

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