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Radial arm and chop saw

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Hi, All. I have a standard chop saw for cutting wood. A friend of mine is offering me an old radial arm saw for next to nothing. i am wondering if that would be useful at all to me for cutting metal? Doesn't seem like it to me (maybe I'm missing something?) but can I put a metal cutting blade on the chopsaw to use it for cutting metal or does it have to be a specific type of chopsaw? If I could do that then I could set the radial arm saw for crosscutting wood and use the chopsaw for metal. Any thoughts?

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That would ruin the saw for resale but I have used metal blades on wood chopsaws and they work great. The sparks will melt into the plastic parts.
That radial arm bigger than a chopsaw and I would try to get a small metal bandsaw if you can.
Rob

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I don't think the motor would last long. You can get metal cutting wheels (blades) that fit but I don't think the saw its self is designed for the load that it takes to cut metal for long. Typical metal chop saws use a 14" wheel and a more powerful motor that is purpose designed. Hope this helps :)

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Yeah, that's kind of what I thought. While the radial arm would be more powerful I don't think it would be great for cutting metal either. Thanks!

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I 've used a wood cutting chop saw with a metal cutting composite blade for years. I like to use the degree markings on the saw which are much better than a regular metal chop saw. A friend gave me a radial arm saw and I converted it to a metal cutting saw but didn't like it. Generally, I could cut whatever I wanted with the chop saw. The radial arm saw didn't have a very true backing and cuts didn't always come out square and the motor didn't seem powerful enough. As mentioned before, a band saw would be better. I 've used "Metal Devil" blades on my chop saw with some success, but they didn't hold up to heavy use. That was a few years ago and they might have improved and there are other metal cutting blades out there now. I really like the aluminum cutting blade by metal devil and that worked great without any flex in the blade. The cuts were right on the money.

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Just a bit of extra information on the Dewalt, I have one and love it. The big difference is that it is a slow speed motor, only 1300 RPM. They call it a cold cut saw since it doesn't generate the shower of sparks the way an abrasive cutoff saw does. The chips are still hot but until the carbide blade dulls they aren't red hot. I have a horizontal bandsaw (cheapie from HF) and the Dewalt is much much faster. I can cut 3" c-channel in about 15 seconds per cut on the Dewalt. It is surprisingly accurate as well.

I have used a radial arm saw to cut thin aluminum extrusions but wouldn't be comfortable with anything substantial. I sold my radial arm saw years ago and never regretted the decision.

Ward

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I saw a radial arm saw with a belt gringer attachemnt that was used as a poor mans surface grinder at an NWBA conference a few years back. I think that would make a hand tool.

brad

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I saw a radial arm saw with a belt gringer attachemnt that was used as a poor mans surface grinder at an NWBA conference a few years back. I think that would make a hand tool.

brad

Well, got the radial arm saw. Ended up just costing me the sweat to haul it and a little gas! It's a great 9" DeWalt from the 50's. Pretty neat. Think I'll just use it for wood for now. Thanks for the input.

Eric

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A radial arm saw climb cuts. That is where you pull the blade in the same direction as the blade is pulling itself. Climb cutting in steel by hand would be very dangerous, I would just use it for wood.

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A radial arm saw climb cuts. That is where you pull the blade in the same direction as the blade is pulling itself. Climb cutting in steel by hand would be very dangerous, I would just use it for wood.


I was thinking along the same line.

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Not if you PUSH the blade into the material. I have a 3HP 20" DeWalt that I picked up off CL here that I was looking to also use as a chop saw. Pull the saw out to the end, and lock. Clamp the material down. Turn saw on, and push the abrasive blade through the item.

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Not if you PUSH the blade into the material. I have a 3HP 20" DeWalt that I picked up off CL here that I was looking to also use as a chop saw. Pull the saw out to the end, and lock. Clamp the material down. Turn saw on, and push the abrasive blade through the item.



Good thought. Amazing how versatile the radial arm saw can be considering all the housing can angle, bevel and lock in many positions.

When you say 20", what does that measurement mean? I called mine a 9" because that's the size of the blade it takes. Does yours take a 20" blade?!? I guess at 3HP it might at that. Must be some rig!

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Yes, that means blade size. It is considered an 18"-20", I also have one with a 16" blade cap. Picked them up inexpensively, so I jumped on them.

For the 16" I traded a smaller home type RAS that I had paid $60 for. It was missing the stand, because the guy couldn't load it in his truck with the stand attached. He paid $25 for it at a military surplus retail sale, and was just going to use parts off of it.

The 20" was found on the Vegas Craigslist for $250, and included a new 18" blade. Loaded that one by myself into the back of the truck with a sheet of subflooring, and a come-along. Turns out it weighs around 800# Actually didn't take that long to load up.

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Not if you PUSH the blade into the material. I have a 3HP 20" DeWalt that I picked up off CL here that I was looking to also use as a chop saw. Pull the saw out to the end, and lock. Clamp the material down. Turn saw on, and push the abrasive blade through the item.



I cut some sawmill catwalk a few years back on my 10" dewalt radial arm saw and it was 18" wide. I could only take about one eigth inch per pass, so it took awhile. The results were great. A little deburring and the job was done.
A couple of weeks back I put a 12" abrasive disc on the same saw to cut a wide piece that wouldn't fit on the chop saw or my small cut off bandsaw. The blade guard won't fit over a 12" disc, so I set that aside. I forgot to start the cut from the front to push the blade through and that disc exploded as it tried to climb over the work piece. I was lucky to have had at least enough sense to be standing to one side when it happened. I'm grateful that I didn't get injured.
Don't do what I did.

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Yes, that means blade size. It is considered an 18"-20", I also have one with a 16" blade cap. Picked them up inexpensively, so I jumped on them.

For the 16" I traded a smaller home type RAS that I had paid $60 for. It was missing the stand, because the guy couldn't load it in his truck with the stand attached. He paid $25 for it at a military surplus retail sale, and was just going to use parts off of it.

The 20" was found on the Vegas Craigslist for $250, and included a new 18" blade. Loaded that one by myself into the back of the truck with a sheet of subflooring, and a come-along. Turns out it weighs around 800# Actually didn't take that long to load up.


Wow! What's the range of cut you can get on the 20? (18") I can cut 11" wide by about 2 1/2 deep with the 9". Sounds like you can get 8+ inches deep!

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