1969 Craftsman Radial Arm Saw


I had a later model a decade ago.  I bought this one from a coworker.  $20 for the saw, another $20 for the base.  The base was living on their porch, and had a fair amount of rust.  I used a wire wheel on an angle grinder to remove the rust, and most of the paint.  The saw looked like it had never been cleaned.  I used an air hose to remove dust from the surface, and also blew out the motor housing.  It was then lubricated and wiped down.  Still has some corrosion, but nothing that affects the performance.  I added a new blade and wooden deck.  It works great!  Not bad for a $40 investment.

Emerson Electric, the original manufacturer, has a recall notice on these saws.  They usually send a new blade guard, and wooden deck upon request.  But this one is so old, they only offer to give $100 for the returned motor.  So if I decide I don't like it, I can actually make money on the deal!

I know there are a lot of reports of people getting injured, but I attribute most of that to urban legends.  The rest on a few uninformed users that had the motor creep on them.  Because of the rotation of the blade, the motor will try to pull itself into the material being cut.  If you KNOW this, keep a little tension on the handle, and feed the saw slowly.  Also, be aware of the possibility of the saw moving towards you if the blade is lowered into the deck while running.  Keep your fingers out of the path of the blade, and you can't get cut.  I've never had any issues with my last saw, don't expect any with this one.


The last owner apparently used this to cut metal, based on the type of blade was on the saw.

The date code is 969.  I believe that means it was built in September 1969.

Once all the rust was removed with the wire wheel, acetone was used to remove any reside, then a coat of rust preventative paint, followed by a coat of hammered black enamel.

I bolted the base to a piece of plywood, and put 4 locking caster wheels underneath.

All cleaned up, ready to use.  The original power switch is functional, but won't last much longer.  I added a separate safety switch to the left support leg.  It can be bumped with the knee to switch off, allowing the hands to remain on the handle, and piece of lumber being cut.


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Last updated 11/25/13    All rights reserved.