Problem Adjusting Radial Arm Saw

sunnycoJune 12, 2011

At least I think that's the problem...

I have been cutting melamine shelving. I bought a new blade. When I cut, I am smelling smoke, and getting scorch marks on the cut surface, especially on the right side. I used a metal... I don't know what it's called, but a metal triangle and a l-shaped square thing to try to get the blade lined up in every direction, but it seems to be worse.

Yesterday, the motor started losing power, and shut off. The reset button got it back on this morning, but it still sounds like it is struggling, especially toward the last third of a cut, and if I back out, and attempt the cut again, it does not line up perfectly.

Also, I don't know how many cuts you can make on this stuff before the blade starts to wear out. I have cut about 25-30 12" shelves, and with this problem I am having, I suspect I am not making things any better.

I would consult the instruction manual, but we have rats in our shed, and they shredded about 80% of it. <_>I am getting so frustrated, and can't believe I will not be able to finish this project this weekend. Also, breathing smoke from melamine shelving can't be a healthy thing to do. :(

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What kind of blade did you buy, and is it the right way round?
You could have the blade backwards, which would explain the smoke and burning out the saw.
Or the blade could be inappropriate for the material. Don't get me started on how much I hate melamine particle board!

    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 11:21AM
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I bought a blade labelled for... I can't remember what it said, but it is fairly fine-toothed, and was the right one. It's on the right way. Arrows are pointing in the proper direction and all...

I am not real crazy about it, but for cheap, and for what I needed it for, it was the thing.

The burn marks are almost solely on the right hand board after I cut. This leads me to think something is rubbing there that should not be, but no luck figuring it out.

I finally just got sick of messing with it, and took my boards to Home Depot to get them cut. While the guy was cutting them, he scanned an old bar code left on one, and told me I didn't have to pay for the cuts, because I bought them there. I bought them in 1997!

    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 1:51PM
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Carbide tipped blades would be much better than steel blades. It sounds like what you have is a plywood blade. More teeth sometimes contributes more to burning (and the resultant warping of the blade) more than smooth cutting. I'd still go with a carbide.

Two happy days of my life: when I bought a RAS and when I sold it. It was a crapsman and would never stay in alignment and it scared the bejeebers out of me.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 2:31PM
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A steel blade, like a plywood blade, is good for about 4 feet of cutting on P-board. Must use carbide.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 6:30PM
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"I am not real crazy about it, but for cheap, and for what I needed it for, it was the thing."
You can't expect good results from cheap tools. Your blade probably warped during the cut. The warping was due to getting overheated, which was due to making a demanding cut with a dull blade.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2011 at 4:46PM
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Haha! Reading this now, I can certainly see why you thought I was talking about the saw, but I was actually referring to mongrel's statement that he/she hates melamine particle board. The blade wasn't cheap, but the product I was cutting was. :)

    Bookmark   June 13, 2011 at 5:41PM
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