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Thread: Dewalt RAS advice

  1. #1
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    Dewalt RAS advice

    Hello Guys
    I've been thinking an old radial arm saw would be very handy for wide crosscuts in the shop, or maybe out on the cold side near the major lumber storage for rough cutting to length.
    I've noticed positive comments on the old Dewalt machines (and some not so positive). What is the difference between the Dewalt 740 and 770 models? I see a couple in the local classifieds, $200-350.
    What should I look for when inspecting one for purchase?
    Any comments or advice would be very welcome.
    Thanks
    Peter

  2. #2
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    A subject near and dear to my heart. The best ones (and any of them can be worn or worn out) is the older cast iron models. They had the smaller hobbiest/home shop saws. like the MB and MF(?). Then the bigger industrial models the G* series. Those are the ones that are really well built.

    I am not familiar with the model you mentioned. I have heard the numbers several times. One of the best ways to ID the better models it where the crank hand is. If it is on the front of the base of the saw or on the top of the column at the back that is better models. The location is no important, that is just ID's the models that were "improved"

    As for RAS in general some love them and some hate them. I grew up with one and I prefer one. They can do a lot of things, not just cross cuts. Even so mine is a cross cut machine 97% of the time.
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  3. #3
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    Like Jeff, I grew up using a RAS. I bought my own, a DeWalt 770, after I got married and used it quite often. I inherited my dad's DeWalt 740 and I still own both saws. I only have the 740 set up right now. Other than color I don't know of any differences in the two saws. When properly set up they are very accurate. My first project was a set of stereo speakers out of Walnut. 45 miters that fit perfect without any adjustment. I still have those speakers and the miters are as solid now as the day I made them nearly 40 years ago.

    I use mine for cross cutting mostly now, but I do use it for dado work. I just feel much more comfortable pulling the blade through the wood than pushing the wood through the blade.

    I don't think you'll go wrong getting either model and once set up properly it should give you years of service.

    Karl

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the good tips guys.
    I'm going to have a look at a couple of these machines in the next week or so.
    Chuck, that looks like a good one, but it would be a bit of a run, maybe 12-14hours each way. Hey, maybe Larry could bring it here on his tour!
    I'll let you know what happens.
    Peter

  5. #5
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    I got some more details on one of these Dewalt units.
    Does 2 hp, 120 v sound right? I assume these are not universal motors.
    There's also reference to "manual brake" in the description.

    Peter

  6. #6
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    Peter I had an old DeWalt in the past. I believe it was a 2 1/4 horse. The only way the brake worked on mine was when I changed the wiring to run on 220v. When you turn the switch off it stopped PDQ When it was wired 110v it worked OK but took a bit to wind up to speed. You can still get pdf manuals online if you do a Google search.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Rideout View Post
    Thanks for the good tips guys.
    I'm going to have a look at a couple of these machines in the next week or so.
    Chuck, that looks like a good one, but it would be a bit of a run, maybe 12-14hours each way. Hey, maybe Larry could bring it here on his tour!
    I'll let you know what happens.
    Peter
    if i knew where yu were and i was enroute near it or you i would be glad to.. the one chuck shows does look like new.. the last one i had was green and i traded it off it was a 9" solide as rock but i didnt know what ihad at the time or i wouldnt have trded it ..i use it for crosscut only.. and your idea of having it for rough cuttin is my main use of it..
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
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  8. #8
    I have an older 770 Dewalt RAS and would not trade it to anyone. I am slowly reverting to hand tool only status, but this is one of the power tools I will have a hard time stepping away from. It's my go to machine 90% of the time. Crosscuts, rips, angles, compound miters, circles...what's not to love?

    I can't help you with price or shopping as I used mine for years before it was actually mine. My Uncle had it in his shop but he was scared of it and it went unused. So Whenever I needed to whack off a board from off the sawmill, I would use the saw. Finally he just asked me if I wanted it. Knowing its unused history and beefy construction, I would have paid him more but when he said $100 bucks, I paid him on the spot.

    I can't tell you the difference between the 740 and the 770, but from experience I know you cannot go wrong with the 770. Good luck on your quest for one.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

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