Radial arm saws, where'd they go?

oklahomagreg(Oklahoma)May 28, 2005

I inherited a ryobi 8 1/4" radial arm saw model RA 200. The wooden base of it is gone and I'm needing to buy or possibly build a new one. But, I can't find radial arm saws anywhere. It seems everyone has gone to the mitre saws (I think thats them). Any ideas? I know this saw can do a lot of things if I can find out the right way to fix it. Any ideas? Thanks, Greg

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A few things happened to Radial arm saws. They were made cheaper and cheaper to lower the price. They got a bad reputation from users having accidents with them and with sliding mitre saws on the market they can do most things (not all) that a radial saw can do. They are starting to have a come back with people though. Delta makes a 12" saw that is good. For your saw keep an eye on e-bay for a used saw or parts etc. - Kris

    Bookmark   May 28, 2005 at 6:58PM
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bambooo(6 CT USA)

The radial arm got replaced by the compound miter saw, hitachi and bosch are good choices there.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2005 at 12:41AM
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davek913(Z5 Northern IN)

The above statements are both correct, and you can add the fact that a table saw can accomplish most if not all the things that a RAS can. Couple that with the fact that there are numerous options for relatively inexpensive benchtop or jobsite table saws, and there you go.

Building one wouldn't be terribly difficult. Build yourself a decent cabinet for it with say, baltic birch plywood, wide enough to accomodate the base for the unit, and at a comfortable working height. Instead of making the sides flush with the top, extend them up a couple of inches. The sides can then support the cutting surface, while the saw's base is fastened to the cabinet top.

Make the cutting surface good and thick. I'd use either one inch MDF, or two pieces of 3/4 laminated together. Cut a semi-circle out of the back edge big enough to accomodate the shaft of the saw. For a simple fence, use a stable piece of a hardwood like maple, and fasten it to the surface after calibrating the saw.

You could also add fold down extension wings for handling longer stock.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2005 at 1:50AM
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DrynDusty(z8 AZ)

I got one of the Dewalt miter saw stands that has support rollers that extend out to 96 inches. I wonder if that thing would work with the radial saw mounted on it. It's way heavier than most miter saws, and isn't so easy to horse around without help. Maybe I should leave things alone. =)

    Bookmark   May 29, 2005 at 3:08PM
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I have a copy of that same Ryobi RAS purchased new. The only thing missing is the knob that locks the carriage on the arm. It won't reach to the middle of a sheet of plywood. It seldom gets used since I have a small 10" miter saw that weighs about 25#. I have replaced cutting surface a few times since the original was some type of particle board.
I have used it for ripping, since I do not have a table saw.
I also did use a router bit in the collet on the other end of the motor (with the blade removed) to rout some grooves.
All of my crosscutting is either with the miter saw or a circular saw.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2005 at 3:52PM
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newjerseybt(5b NE PA)

Nothing like an old radial arm saw. I have a Dewalt from about 1956 with the jigsaw attachment. My Dad replaced the motor bearings once. This sucker is HEAVY and built like a tank. I dragged it 100 miles to my new home in PA because I
love that old saw.

I saw one exactly like it in Ward Cleaver's old garage.
(Leave it to Beaver)

    Bookmark   May 30, 2005 at 12:18PM
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Sears still sells one..

Here is a link that might be useful: saw

    Bookmark   May 30, 2005 at 4:19PM
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Most shops that sell woodworking tools offer metal bases for saws, drill presses, etc. You could purchase one of these and easily adapt it to fit your Ryobi. Expect to spend from $35 to $75, plus a little hardware. Sears has a "multi-purpose work stand" for $50. You could also attach the saw to 3/4" plywood with a 2X4 lengthwise on the bottom to clamp into a B&D WorkMate; I use my small drill press and bench grinder in this type mount.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2005 at 12:00PM
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Don't mess with a homemade RAS - those are much trickier to design properly than a rip or table saw. There are still good quality ones being sold into the professional market - nothing like them for accurate cutting-up of large pieces. You can often find good ones secondhand at a good bargain - but beware of Craftsman. I've got an old Craftsman RAS which has stood up very well to light use - but an old Rockwell/Delta or DeWalt is very much better.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2005 at 3:20AM
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I agree with the sliding miters replacing them. I have had the DeWalt 12" sliding compound for a few years and love it. I had a Sears radial arm ten to fifteen years ago and it was good for construction cutting, but forget about accuracy. I would go through a 8 or 10 step process of adjusting the alignment, and by the time you got to the last step, the first step was out of line again. It was one Sears had with a digital readout. That failed three times under warranty. Sears also had to replace the motor and entire saw wiring under warranty. I finally gave up on the digital readout and used a square.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2005 at 10:23AM
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I've got a really old AMT radial saw that cuts dang accurate. I don't use it much, but it comes in handy for making precise cuts. I traded a new homelite weedeater (that I won in a free drawing) for the saw.
Not a bad trade huh?

    Bookmark   June 30, 2005 at 6:54PM
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RYOBI RA-200 and RA-202 Radial arm saws have been recalled effective 06/2006 due to cracking of the blade attachment housing and falling during use (OUCH). There is no fix. they will offer you $75 for certain parts, this was done by Comsumer Products Safety Commission, I too have one and love the saw. yea I know the new sliding miter saws are supposed to be better, and so are Plasma TVs ,But ---
I have also build the table top several times Loosely 4 pieces partical board , works great

Here is a link that might be useful: Artical on recall

    Bookmark   October 29, 2006 at 4:21PM
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maineman(z5a ME)

Back in the late 60's, Rockwell made an interesting double-arm radial saw. That arrangement let the saw blade travel in any direction, with the end of the first arm serving as the pivot point for the second arm on which the saw travelled. I imagine it had serious rigidity and accuracy problems, but other than that it looked to be quite versatile, and could function as a kind of inverted table saw.

I would have bought one, only I couldn't "scare up" the money at the time. Maybe that was a good thing, because I still have all my fingers to type this message.


P.S. OklahomaGreg, you probably should try to get that $75 from the recall on your RA-200. If that saw drops a spinning blade on the table, you will need to think fast, because it's going to come at you, or someone nearby.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2006 at 10:29PM
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I have the RA200 as well and saw the recall in July. I use a Delta 10" CMS (non-sliding) that handles all of my crosscutting needs. You cannot get parts for it anyway, so the $75 offer is what is available.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2006 at 11:09PM
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I have one RYOBI Radial Arm saw BRAND-NEW and never used - in factory carton - bought it around '89 but never had the workshop to set it up.
Would be happy to sell it to a happy home - if anybody has interest, drop me an email.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2006 at 12:25AM
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tom_nwnj(z6 NJ)

This is an old thread, but I thought I would add to it.

A friend/builder gave me his old Craftsman 10" RAS many years ago. It looks like the one in this link. I already had a Delta TS, so I never thought much about it.

About 10 years ago, I was installing a bluestone walk. I bought a couple of the masonary blades for the RAS, and used it to cut all the stones. I figured I would just kill that saw right there, with all that dust, then dump it. The saw just kept going.

I am building a deck now (ipe). I started using the RAS (bolted into a long workbench), to make all the cuts on the dimensional lumber, and serious dadoes on the rail posts. Wow, once you get the saw zeroed in, everything is dead on. And with heavy lumber like that, it is a pleasure to work with.

I would never buy one of these things for $500+, but if you can get one cheap enough, and you have the room, it is a great tool to have.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 6:48AM
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maineman(z5a ME)

Radial arm saws haven't really gone away, although they are don't show up in stores much anyway. There are a lot of radial arm saws available on the Internet. Back in the early '70s Rockwell had some interesting double-arm radial saws that I didn't have the money to buy at the time.

The arm-on-an-arm design gave you a lot of flexibility in how you tracked the saw path on the work surface. I had assumed that double-arm radial saws had disappeared from the marketplace, but now I see that Amazon offers several of them, but at much higher prices. I guess it isn't in the cards for me to get a double-arm radial saw. I like to rationalize that those old double-arm Rockwell saws probably weren't very accurate.


    Bookmark   May 31, 2008 at 2:13PM
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You wont get mine away from me even if it is a 25 year old craftman. Steve

    Bookmark   May 31, 2008 at 5:51PM
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The $999 Delta on the link looks a lot like my 1972 Craftsman 10" radial arm saw. It must have cost about $300 back then, can't say I remember, must be in my records if anyone is interested :>) I can look it up.

There was a safety recall on mine which I didn't take advantage of, as I recall it was a small amount and required I destroy the saw..don't remember what was required to prove it was never going to be used again. I decided to keep it. I also have a nice Craftsman table saw which is better from some types of cuts.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 10:15PM
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Jerry, check on that recall again. It may still be on. Mine is about that age & they sent me replacements for the front, center & back MDF top. Also a new handle & safety guard for the blade. Looks & runs like new again.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2008 at 11:30PM
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Thanks, that's different than the recall I checked on a couple of years back. At that time they wanted the saw taken out of service, no interest in modifying it to make it safer.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 1:09PM
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I checked the recall site for Model 113.29450, and there is no modification/repair kit for that saw. That's about what I got last time, but I did get (last time) an offer to "buy" my saw if I'd destroy it. $100 I think, I decided to keep, it has worked well these 35 some years I've owned it. Whatever the danger, I've escaped any injury....keep doing what I'm doing seems to be good advice.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 5:11PM
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Yeah, it was a safety issue, after all. You aren't an amateur with that saw by now, so just do what you've always done & BE SAFE! Go for it.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2008 at 10:38AM
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I just bought a craftsman radial arm saw at a garage sale for 25.00. I was told that everything worked, but when I got it home and turned it on, nothing happened. I took the top cover off the arm and found that all three wires from the motor were unplugged. Does anybody have any idea how they connect. There are two pins on the relay switch that are empty but I don't see a place for the third wire. I hate to just use the trial and error method from fear of burning the motor up. Any help would be appreciated.

P.S. I tried to find an owners manual online but didn't have any luck. I found several for sale but I didn't want to wait until next month to get this saw running.


email: drpatton1951@yahoo.com

    Bookmark   October 7, 2008 at 11:38AM
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drpatton1951, I went out & looked @ my craftsman. It's too chilly for me right now, so I'll try again in a few days to check out the wiring for you. I CAN tell you that the owner's manual doesn't show the wiring; just plug it in & it runs. Doesn't work on your machine though, huh?

I dug out my new replacement guard kit manual, too. It says it fits 113.19760, 113.19761, 113.19762,113.199410 & 113.199450 (the 450 is a 410 with legs.) If yours is one of these, call 800.325.1184 & see if they still have these FREE kits.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2008 at 4:17PM
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Does anyone know how to repair the mechanism that raises and lowers the blade?

    Bookmark   March 5, 2009 at 7:12PM
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Forgot to state: Model 10 Delta Deluxe Radial arm saw, Model 33-990. The elevating column does not raise or lower when turning the elevator crank handle clockwise or counter clockwise.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2009 at 8:51PM
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Yes, I am trying to reactivate my craftsman radial arm saw after many years of storage, but I can't get the crank to elevate the column either. It may be seized by inactivity. Help or advice?

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 9:57PM
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I think that PB Penetrating Catalyst works better than WD-40 and Liquid Wrench for unsticking frozen metal parts.


    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 8:37AM
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Yesterday I googled "Ryobi RA-200 RAS" and was surprised to hear of its recall. I was searching for a picture of the unit so I could list it 'for sale' on Craigslist. I contacted Ryobi and they offered $75 for the motor when I ship it back to them (they pay for the shipping). That's fine with me - I'd expected less from selling it. Since Ryobi doesn't want the other parts of the unit, I figured I'd dismantle it and dispose of it - saving whatever parts that could be usable elsewhere (I'm an old Yankee). My neighbor suggested I turn it into an "upside down" router table - by mounting my router where the motor/saw was. So I'm doing that. While I have a traditional router table, having the workpiece 'right side up' - so I can see what I'm doing - seems to me a good use of an old tool. 'Thought I'd share... Good luck, and Your Mileage May Vary.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ryobi RA-200 Recall

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 2:55PM
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I still use my Ryobi RA 200. I love this saw! There were only 5 instances of the motor housing breaking, I think some 150,000 units were sold. Not a figure to alarm me. If anyone has one for sale please let me know.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 11:11PM
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I have a old wards 12" radial arm saw made in the late 60's or early 70's. I gave 150 bucks for it at estate sale with no table. My wife thought I was nuts (well she maybe right, but not for buying this saw). I made table out of 2" by 4" using the saw screwed to my work bench. That was 15 years ago. the saw is still working good and no slop. I had friend that had a 90's craftman, compared to my wards it was a cheap piece of crap. Stick it into 4 by 4's it would blow relay or linked fuse due to it having to pull too much amps for the cheap wiring in the motor. My saw will rip right through them with ease. Needless to say his was junked long ago. I can't believe the price of these now days. I wouldn't take $500 bucks for mine.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2011 at 12:16PM
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My mid 1970s 10" Craftsman RAS is hard to beat on framing, major repair and small garage jobs. We d/n have as many interested skilled craftsmen with the new technologies and schools not teaching the skills etc.

1. I mounted the saw on a medium duty utility stand with locking swivel wheels.

2. I added 2 raised wheels above the saw's table's rear to easily load and unload the saw on job sites.

3. Traveling is hard on adjustments but it works good for framing, paneling, cabinets, Combo Jobs, Etc.

4. I reduced the table for easy garage storage with cars. When needed use a folding work-table as a helper.

5. In my opinion, it has been the most worthwhile versatile saw for getting a variety of jobs done. Loger

PS. The nice deck inserted in the text is a good demo of old and new technology. My best luck here using Photobucket's free version is to post links. I know I'm not missing easy attachment options as in some other sites and e-mails?? Is Optional Link URL: and Name of the Link: the options to inserting graphics in the text in this site?

    Bookmark   January 31, 2011 at 4:53PM
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are you asking how to post pictures? search how to post pictures. Wall2q has post on how to.

I just copy the HTML code and paste it where I want the picture

    Bookmark   January 31, 2011 at 7:45PM
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Posted is a pic or link to my 10" Craftsman RAS that has given many years of good service (since the mid 1970s).

This is also my effort to try and post graphics vs a link. From the preview (unless the actual post will be different, it will appear as the usual link (which I can live with). loger


    Bookmark   February 1, 2011 at 12:02PM
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I saw the picture posted by Loger, being interested in the cart idea and I noticed that Loger is using the original blade guard.

There is a FREE replacement guard kit for Craftsman RAS's which includes three table pieces, blade guard, anti-kickback pawls, riving knife and instructions. If not for the blade guard, get it for the free table! I believe they will pay you $75 for the motor if a retrofit kit is not available.

Also, Amazon sells a laser guide that sits on the side of the blade where the washer is for $20. It's great for aligning the saw as well as cutting.

Finally, eBay sells the manuals on CD plus bearing or bearing/rail kits. If I had bought the manual, I probably would not have needed the bearings, but I don't know that for sure.

Anyhow, my 1977 RAS is dead accurate and the travel is smooth as silk.

Here is a link that might be useful: Radial Arm Saw Recall

    Bookmark   March 20, 2011 at 8:40PM
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