We are a small 2-3 man shop doing face frame residential kitchens, etc. about 2 kitchens a month. We have a 40 year old 12" radial arm (Craftsman, I know, I know) that we have used for all of our rough crosscutting, parts cutting, and occasional dadoing. It is quickly heading to the scrap pile unfortunately.
What are you using for crosscutting? rough prep, face frame parts, etc.
We have looked at 12" sliding miter saws, and except for the learning curve getting used to the ergonomics, I think they would work fine for rough cutting and frame parts. I can do without cross dados as we seldom do this anymore (used to cut a lot of tenons). Recommendations would be appreciated as to cost, use, brands, etc. Thanks
I still cut all my box parts on the table saw. To me it's much more accurate than my panel saw although it's a pain lifting the 3/4 stuff onto the table. Once you make one rip it's not that bad. I rip the lengths I need to 23.25, then crosscut to whatever height I'm using. I use rip fence for all cuts and everything is identical with no measuring. All of my face frame parts are cut with a Bosch 12" Slider. I rip on table saw and sand edges through wide belt first.
I still use dadoes for reference mostly. I dado in the bottom shelf and top and rabbet in the 1/2" backs. There is no worry of measurement or alignment when all parts are cut and dadoed. The boxes go together very fast. Not sure where your located but I have a nice 12" Original RAS that I never use and would sell cheap.
For most 90 degree crosscutting I use a jump saw with a shop made digital fence. That works great for everything up to about 10 1/2" wide (currently only a 16" version), after that it goes to the vertical panel saw. If we have to cut angles we have a Bosch 12" dual slide compound miter saw or a track saw.
I still use a Craftsman radial arm for
rough cutting, it's done just fine.
For final finish cross cutting like cabinet
frames I really like my Dewalt 12"
chop saw. A 12" fine cut blade leaves
the ends really nice.
I can split a pencil line on it.
It's not a slider, I think that's what makes
it so solid.
I use a older dewalt non slider 12" miter with a chopmaster blade on it. Set up some stop blocks and there is no rough cutting.
For everything under 30" long I use my tablesaw and a incra sled.
I make all my 5pc door parts like this.
I thought about trying to cut these parts on my cnc, but I can't see how that wouldn't be a waste of time unless I had a different machine that actually cut all the profiles.
I have always been interested in those radial arm saws but have never even touched one.
I do all my cross cutting on a 12Ē Makita slider, not a bad saw but there are things I donít like about it. That said itís cut thousands of feet for me. My next miter saw will be a Bosch glide most likely.
As far as radia arm saws go, I just donít like them. All it takes is a little bind and they try to climb. The last cut I tried to make on the one I had I thought the saw was goin to break the track and go zinging across the floor. It was on a perfectly straight board, no twist, warp, or bow. When the saw cut it into it looked like a pretzel. It was literally like cutting a rubber band. I gave the saw to someone that evening. With a miter say (slider) you can pull it out to the end and cut back, much safer. Just my two pennyís worth.
We use a pnuematic upcut (aka, jump) saw to cut everything to rough lengths before jointing, ripping, planing, S4S in the molder, ect. They're fast, safe, and mine will cut 13"+ in width with it's 18" blade. You do need 3 phase power for these machines.
I don't understand why you need to "rough" crosscut. Seems like a wasted step to me. We rip, S4S, and crosscut to finished length on either a jump saw or a sliding mitersaw both with a Tigerfence. Not saying everyone should do it our way but I have not had a problem. Inset, frameless or face frame overly, all have worked fine. We make all of our own doors, about 100 per month.
I forgot to mention, I bought both of my jump saws at auctions, one for $50, the other for $250. Both needed some work but not anything near what a new one costs. With a couple of good quality blades you can rough cut 8/4 oak or maple really fast or slow it down for fine cutting face frame parts with hardly any blowout or fiber tearing. I just finished up a job with almost 90 cabinets and was able to cut all the frame parts in just a few hours, the same for al the door stile and rails. Almost 100 drawers, even with some 11" wide, all done on a jump saw. Very fast, accurate, and way safer than a radial arm saw.
There are three categories I can provide for you. Slide saws, electronic saws, cnc routers. Of course, depending on your current production, it is up to you if you can choose among them. The factory's products, technical protection, service in place, you can look at the strength of this factory,
After consultation, make a decision.
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