Written by Marloes

How do you set up a radial arm saw?

You have found exactly the radial arm saw that you were looking for and cannot wait to get your hands out of it. Whether you are going to make furniture from scaffolding wood or lay a beautiful new laminate floor, you will get the job done with your radial arm saw. But before the sharpening sound of the saw blade that you lower into the workpiece, you must set the radial arm saw. In this way you prevent making sloppy cuts and the associated frustration. In this article you can read how to set the radial arm saw exactly to your wishes.

1. Place the radial arm saw stably

Stable placement radial arm saw

It doesn't matter if you put the radial arm saw on the workbench in the shed, or if you fold it back in after use to take it to the next job. As long as the sawing machine is properly aligned before you start cutting. Use a square bracket to place the saw at right angles, or at a right angle, to the surface. If necessary, screw or clamp the radial arm saw to the work surface. If the saw head is straight, not tilted to the left or right, the angle scale must indicate exactly 0 degrees. Only then will you know for sure that the saw head is exactly perpendicular to the workplace. If this is not the case, adjust the pointer until it is at 0 degrees.

2. Adjust the saw blade

Adjusting the saw blade for the saw

You have selected the correct saw blade for the type of sawing that you are going to perform. Consider the rule: the more teeth on the saw blade, the finer the cut. Now it is important to set the ideal depth. This depends on the thickness of the material that you are going to machine: for sawing laminate of 9 millimeters thick to size, the saw head must be adjusted differently than when you shorten a pine beam of 50 millimeters. Adjust the saw blade so that there are at least 3 to 5 teeth in the material during sawing. You then make beautiful, clean cuts and it is the safest way to work. With more teeth, the material can burn and that would be a shame.

3. Make sure the laser guide is positioned correctly

Set the laser guide radial arm saw

A laser guide is a very nice extra function of a radial arm saw, which helps you to neatly follow the planned sawing line with the saw blade. But then it must be perfectly adjusted. Do this only after the trimming machine has been properly set up; Do not assume that the laser is already in good condition when you remove the radial arm saw from the package. If you use the laser as a reference point to set the radial arm saw, you will probably start to skew. If the radial arm saw is perfectly square, you position the laser guide so that it marks the sawing line correctly.

4. Sawing without clutter

Dust extraction radial arm saw

You can't prevent sawdust and dust being released when using a radial arm saw. But luckily most radial arm saws are equipped with a dust bag and/or a connection to secure your vacuum cleaner hose. Keep in mind that with some radial arm saws, a vacuum cleaner adapter is needed to connect your (construction) vacuum. Once properly secured, a large part of the sawing waste is disposed of before it has the chance to spread through the room.

5. Set the correct cutting angle

Set the cutting angle for the radial arm saw

The radial arm saw is now stable and in the right place, the saw blade has been adjusted, the laser line shows the perfect saw line and the dust bag or vacuum cleaner is firmly attached. Then it is now time to use the radial arm saw that you bought it for: saw! But achieving the desired result stands or falls by setting the right cutting angle. You do this by turning the saw head until the scale indicates the required angle. Usually you first have to loosen a locking screw for this. If you want to miter the saw, tilt the saw head to the left or right to the desired angle. Here too, a screw must first be loosened. Be sure to tighten it properly when you turn the saw blade to prevent unwanted swiveling.


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