Cuting dados on the DeWALT dw745 table saw

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Project by htl posted 03-09-2016 04:07 PM 9511 views 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I made a mistake when I bought my Dewalt table saw.
I bought the cheapest one they have and don’t get me wrong it’s a great saw[out standing fence] but the one I got isn’t able to use a full dado set. For $65 more I wouldn’t have had this problem.
When I bought it I thought I wouldn’t need it but sure enough 6 months later I found my mistake so here’s how I get around it.
This also works for those who aren’t going to be making many dado cuts and don’t want or need to buy a set.
I build toys and all my cuts are on mostly really small parts 3/4 and under.
I also do a lot of re sawing for those small parts.
So what I use are 7 1/2” saw blades.
You can get a 60 tooth blade for $20 that cut’s wood like butter and leaves out standing edges, nearly no sanding edges.

The 40 tooth work nearly as smoothly and works better for the resawing they have a thicker blade…

Now back to the dado cuts.
So what I’m doing is stacking 2,3 or more saw blades at a time to get my wide cuts.

My miter saw uses the same size blade so I end up with old dull blades laying around so by saving them I have the blades needed for dadoing.
If they’re not the same size you will have groves in your dados, sometimes this doesn’t matter.

The trick is buying all the same size blades so it pays to buy the same brand saw blades.

As you can see these blades don’t match, one a 60 tooth a 40 tooth and another brand that just happened to be close to the same size 40 tooth.

What you see here is I just made one cut flipped the part over and saw it again, this makes a perfectly centered grove.
Making this dado cut shown would have taken 6 passes with the saw but with my 3 blade set up I did it in two.

Not a bad looking bottom that just a little sanding will fix.

I might also add that these blades let your saw work much easier and when re sawing their thinner so can get more parts out of your lumber.
This has worked great for me over the last year, your mileage my vary.

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

7 comments so far

View dbockel2's profile


107 posts in 1223 days

#1 posted 03-09-2016 05:22 PM

How do you space the blades so that they don’t grind against each other and ruin them over time?

View pintodeluxe's profile


5861 posts in 3086 days

#2 posted 03-09-2016 06:53 PM

Looks like you have enough arbor length to run a pair of dado blades (no chippers) much the same as you are doing now. You might need to remove the washer.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View htl's profile


4471 posts in 1432 days

#3 posted 03-09-2016 09:37 PM

dbockel2 This is not a full time solution just a quick get er done for the few times I need a dado, plus it’s why I say use old blades. The teeth can be staggered tween the other set of teeth.
I’ve read of wood workers using playing cards and what not to space out the blades but not needed here.
To set up your dado set to do this in one step in many cases would take much longer than this simple trick.

I know many have the big bucks for all those $50-$100 and more dado blades but for twice a year use it won’t hurt my old used up blades.
Remember one thing your not setting the blades up to cut an exact size in my case the center waste didn’t matter.
In my case I needed to leave in 3/16” so set the saw to leave 3/16”,make first cut then flip it over make other 3/16 cut then move the fence a tad to clean out the middle if needed.

There’s a hundred ways to do any thing this is a cheap fat way to get er done.
As I said earlier I could have done it with one blade and would have set it up the same as I did here for the first two cuts but then it would have taken me 4 more to clear out the middle.

When I was making my excavator I needed to cut groves in walnut to make my tracks I was needing to move the saw I don’t remember but it was like 6 to ten times, if I would have had the extra blades at that time I could have saved a bunch a time and been safer because of not having to make so many cuts.

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

View TheRock's profile


19 posts in 2529 days

#4 posted 03-10-2016 06:22 AM

I have one of those saws and wish I had bought the more expensive unit.
Nice job with the work around.

-- TheRock

View Cathie Zimmerman's profile

Cathie Zimmerman

103 posts in 1086 days

#5 posted 03-10-2016 07:07 AM

Great work around. I was curious how that would work!

View htl's profile


4471 posts in 1432 days

#6 posted 03-10-2016 02:05 PM

I’ve been using the Circular-Saw blades so long that it sounds like my saw is struggling when using the 10” blades.
The only time I use a 10” blade is when I need the greater depth of the 10” blade for resawing, most other times it’s the 40 tooth dewalt blade.
I should add that I’m making small parts not cutting 2by4 oak lumber 8ft. long or anything like that.

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

View htl's profile


4471 posts in 1432 days

#7 posted 03-11-2016 10:36 PM


Looks like you have enough arbor length to run a pair of dado blades (no chippers) much the same as you are doing now. You might need to remove the washer.

- pintodeluxe

pintodeluxe I think it’s Dewalt that makes a two blade grover set that makes perfectly flat 1/4 & 3/8 cuts by switching the blades around. Been tempter to get it but just don’t do that many dados to spend $50 on the set.

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

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