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July 06, 2004  |  Old saw  |  8802 hit(s)

As part of my garage cleanup, I need to Do Something with an old Sears radial-arm saw I have. I got it years ago from a friend who didn't want it any more. I've actually used it only a couple of times. Frankly, the thing kind of scares me. Not only do all the lights in the house dim when you flip the switch and start that big 10" blade to spinning, but there's something a little nerve-wracking about pulling a blade on a 1 HP motor toward your midsection.

A more practical reason I haven't used it much is that I don't have a proper table and fence. (If you don't know what that is, it's not important ... it's just missing some stuff.) I got onto the Web today to see what I might do to find or make a table for it. Not much luck on the table front, but I did stumble across this: "CPSC, Emerson Tool Co. Announce Recall of Craftsman® Radial Arm Saws Sold by Sears, Roebuck and Co." They continue:

CPSC and Emerson have received about 300 reports of injuries while using these saws. Injuries include hand and finger amputations; lacerated hands, arms and fingers; fractured hands and fingers; and facial injuries.

"Hand and finger amputations"!? "Facial injuries"!? Ok, so the notion of doing something with the saw takes on, mmm, a new dimension.

Options? Emerson, the manufacturer, makes a blade guard that can be retrofitted. Enter your model number, please ... <think, think> ... nope, not for the model I have. Further options? Well, it looks like you can send in the "carriage" -- the motor with the blade assembly -- and get $100 from the company.

Shoot, that actually sounds like an ok deal. It's more than the saw is probably worth on the open market. I'll give them a call tomorrow to see if this offer is still good. The recall was in 2000, but the website (http://radialarmsawrecall.com/) is still up, so we'll see. I can imagine how much fun it would be to ship 50 pounds' worth of saw motor somewhere. Hope I don't drop it on my fingers in the process.