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View Rdub's profile

should I get a dado blade

by Rdub
posted 11-28-2016 03:27 PM


20 replies so far

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

8418 posts in 4453 days


#1 posted 11-28-2016 03:49 PM

Everyone’s preferences are different, but I find that I like the added mass and power of using a stacked dado on the table saw vs a router…..though both have their pluses.

Those are both decent options at that price point, but I’d opt for the Delta/DeWalt 7670 over either…cleaner cuts, great carrying case. It’s worth a few extra bucks IMO.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Cooler's profile

Cooler

299 posts in 1920 days


#2 posted 11-28-2016 04:55 PM

I like a stacked dado. The fence on the saw is very handy for that work, and with shims I get perfectly fitting dados.

When making shelves I will cut the dados in double-width material and saw it apart for lefts and rights. It guarantees alignment left to right and gives a larger contact area with the fence.

A dado head with a negative hook angle will make cleaner cuts in plywood and melamine covered particle board, and will work in a radial arm saw. I have both and I usually use the negative hook angle set.

Order shims for a very accurate setup. They did not come with my Freud dados.

The smaller stack (6”) will cause less strain on your motor and it is rare that you need more than a small amount of depth for dados.

Just a side-bar the old time book that I learned table saw usage from distinguished dados from grooves. Only those cut cross grain on solid lumber were dados; the rest were grooves. I still use that distinction but I get some strange looks for using “grooves” on occasion.

-- This post is a hand-crafted natural product. Slight variations in spelling and grammar should not be viewed as flaws or defects, but rather as an integral characteristic of the creative process.

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

17534 posts in 2216 days


#3 posted 11-28-2016 05:28 PM

I have the Freud SD208 set and I like it. It does come with shims and a carrying case and a handy guide on what combination of chippers and shims to use for common widths. At the price point, I would recommend it. I have no experience with any other dado stack to compare it to though.

That being said, unless I have a lot of identical cuts, or heavy cuts, to make I still find myself using the router table more often than the dado set. Router setup is just faster for me.

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View Cooler's profile

Cooler

299 posts in 1920 days


#4 posted 11-28-2016 05:36 PM



I have the Freud SD208 set and I like it. It does come with shims and a carrying case and a handy guide on what combination of chippers and shims to use for common widths. At the price point, I would recommend it. I have no experience with any other dado stack to compare it to though.

That being said, unless I have a lot of identical cuts, or heavy cuts, to make I still find myself using the router table more often than the dado set. Router setup is just faster for me.

- HokieKen

Dado setup can be time consuming. Mostly I am setting up for 3/4” ply. And I can get very close on my initial setup but big box plywood is not always the same thickness so shimming is inevitable and that takes time, sometimes 3 or 4 tries before I get it where I want it.

And then I have to make sure that all the stock is the same thickness. I bought some melamine covered particle board from Lowes. I picked two sheets from the same lot and was rudely surprised when one set of shelves was too tight. I reduced the thickness at the ends by standing the shelves up vertically and setting my table saw blade at 3/8” depth and taking a skim cut—maybe 0.005” or 0.008”, just barely the thickness of the melamine. It was much easier than going back and re-stacking the dado head for the thicker boards.

-- This post is a hand-crafted natural product. Slight variations in spelling and grammar should not be viewed as flaws or defects, but rather as an integral characteristic of the creative process.

View Carloz's profile

Carloz

1147 posts in 1669 days


#5 posted 11-29-2016 02:39 PM

Hokiekem,
Yes the blade setup for random plywood width is time consuming, however with a router you do not have a choice at all. Router bits come in preset width with very limited selection. You have to do double pass, but you can do it on the table saw and easier.
Where router does beat dado stack is the cleaness of the bottom of the cut. Mine are very rough.

View WhyMe's profile

WhyMe

1379 posts in 2638 days


#6 posted 11-29-2016 02:54 PM

I have a 6” and a 8” dado and I like using the 6” better. It just seems to run better on the saw, not as much load.

View MT_Stringer's profile

MT_Stringer

3183 posts in 4308 days


#7 posted 11-29-2016 03:13 PM

i use a router and an exact width dado jig. I am assembling the last three of 16 kitchen cabinets. All dadoes fit nicely. No fuss, no muss.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View Cooler's profile

Cooler

299 posts in 1920 days


#8 posted 11-29-2016 05:14 PM



Hokiekem,

Where router does beat dado stack is the cleaness of the bottom of the cut. Mine are very rough.

- Carloz

Mine are rough if I am cutting plywood and I hit the glue surface; not bad otherwise. But what difference does it make? It is completely hidden anyway?

-- This post is a hand-crafted natural product. Slight variations in spelling and grammar should not be viewed as flaws or defects, but rather as an integral characteristic of the creative process.

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

6371 posts in 3890 days


#9 posted 11-29-2016 06:03 PM

I use dado sets often, and I think the fundamental action of cutting grooves with a tablesaw is better than with a router. A spinning router bit can make a straight cut , but it wants to veer off course given a chance. The dado head spins in-line with the groove, and makes really consistent cuts.

For plywood joinery, the inexpensive sets are fine. I used a Diablo set for years, and it cut perfectly in finish plywood. I’ve had it sharpened and it keeps on going. For hardwood joinery like cutting tenons, I prefer a set with more teeth. If you get a set with 24 teeth outer blades, and 4 teeth on the chippers you will notice less tearout with hardwood joinery. I use an Infinity set for that type of work.

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

View 000's profile

000

2859 posts in 1976 days


#10 posted 11-29-2016 06:14 PM

If you want to rout your dado’s you can buy different size cutters for different thicknesses of material.
I do a lot of dado’s so I have quite a collection of different sizes, so it’s worth it for me to use these?.
If your not doing many, I would get a nice stacked dado blade instead.

View Gaffneylumber's profile

Gaffneylumber

111 posts in 1906 days


#11 posted 11-29-2016 06:19 PM

I have the Oshlun 6” and like them a lot. I’m sure the freud’s are great too. Setup time in a router can be annoying so I like the dados personally.

-- Grayson - South Carolina

View MT_Stringer's profile

MT_Stringer

3183 posts in 4308 days


#12 posted 11-29-2016 08:01 PM

Shop made one time use exact width dado jig for upper cabinet sides (one dado on each end). All I have to do is unscrew one piece and readjust it for a different thickness next time. Works like a charm. I clamped it to the work table, inserted a cabinet piece, cut the dado, flip to the other end, repeat. Done deal!. Clean well fitting dado.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View Rdub's profile

Rdub

6 posts in 1622 days


#13 posted 11-29-2016 08:44 PM

Thanks for all the responses so quickly, I am still debating so I think I will stick with my router for now and keep saving so I can buy a better set maybe the Delta/DeWalt 7670. In the meantime I will make the jig as in MT_Stringer’s post, it’s a real good way to get them done, thanks for the post MT.

View MT_Stringer's profile

MT_Stringer

3183 posts in 4308 days


#14 posted 11-29-2016 09:13 PM



Thanks for all the responses so quickly, I am still debating so I think I will stick with my router for now and keep saving so I can buy a better set maybe the Delta/DeWalt 7670. In the meantime I will make the jig as in MT_Stringer s post, it s a real good way to get them done, thanks for the post MT.

- Rdub

What you don’t see is there is a stop block under the right side of the jig which will position the end of the cabinet side perfectly every time.

Good luck.
Mike

With the stop in place, your dadoes will be consistent.

Note that I use a 1/2 inch pattern bit and make two passes to create a 1/4 inch deep dado.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View dalepage's profile

dalepage

387 posts in 1918 days


#15 posted 11-29-2016 09:25 PM

Don’t buy the 6-inch! I use a sled for my dadoes and when you add the thickness of the sled, you may not be able to get a deep enough dado in your stock.

I don’t use a dado blade often, but if it’ll go on the sled, it’s sure easier than setting up a cut with the router and a straight edge.

-- Dale

View Cooler's profile

Cooler

299 posts in 1920 days


#16 posted 11-29-2016 09:29 PM

Or get your neighbor to sell you his Craftsman radial arm saw for $90.00 and use that (worked for me—he even helped carry it to my basement.).

-- This post is a hand-crafted natural product. Slight variations in spelling and grammar should not be viewed as flaws or defects, but rather as an integral characteristic of the creative process.

View mike02130's profile

mike02130

170 posts in 1750 days


#17 posted 11-29-2016 09:36 PM

I think you answered your question. Buy tools as you need them till you don’t need anymore then buy more tools and tailor your projects to them.

-- Google first, search forums second, ask questions later.

View Cooler's profile

Cooler

299 posts in 1920 days


#18 posted 11-29-2016 09:39 PM

I’ve only ever bought tools so I can complete a project. If you think that will save you money, you’re nuts. I have so much stuff now I could compete with HomeDepot if I wanted to liquidate.

-- This post is a hand-crafted natural product. Slight variations in spelling and grammar should not be viewed as flaws or defects, but rather as an integral characteristic of the creative process.

View WhyMe's profile

WhyMe

1379 posts in 2638 days


#19 posted 11-29-2016 09:40 PM


Don t buy the 6-inch! I use a sled for my dadoes and when you add the thickness of the sled, you may not be able to get a deep enough dado in your stock.

I don t use a dado blade often, but if it ll go on the sled, it s sure easier than setting up a cut with the router and a straight edge.

- dalepage

I use a 6” with a sled and can make a max depth dado of 1”, but typically I only cut dados of about 1/2” deep, so the 6” blade has not been an issue for me. I do have a 8” if I need a deeper dado.

View jmalcolm001's profile

jmalcolm001

21 posts in 1829 days


#20 posted 11-29-2016 10:59 PM

I have the Oshlun 8-inch, 40 tooth stacked dado, and it works great. I generally use the stacked dado for 3/4” wide dados or if the piece is too large to easily do on router table or if I am doing a lot of repetitive cuts. Otherwise I use the router. I find that the stacked dado generally leaves a cleaner cut than the router, especially in birch plywood. I don’t find much difference in setup times.

-- Jerry

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