Wobble Dado Owners Anonymous: An offshoot of the "Worst Tool" topic.

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Forum topic by Douglas Bordner posted 12-24-2007 05:23 AM 17240 views 1 time favorited 80 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Douglas Bordner

4045 posts in 4452 days

12-24-2007 05:23 AM

Topic tags/keywords: humor question wobble dado heads

I’ll start. My name is Douglas Bordner, and I’m powerless over the fact that I purchased a Craftsman “Excalibur” wobble dado.

I used it to built something that I am rather proud of. As it was something I built long ago with my first contractor’s saw (Yup, a Craftsman with an Aline-a-cut yellow plastic implant ahead of the throat), I can’t remember specifically things being so bad.

What is the part of using one of these that is so infamous? Rough cut, splintering, not crisp bottom of the cut?
You’re reminding me will help me save a hapless board from an undeserved fate.
I contemplated mounting the thing up the other day, to waste dadoes that I could clean up with a router if needed.
Would that have been a mistake (I ended up just hogging them out with the router in my table)?

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

80 replies so far

View Karson's profile


35188 posts in 4789 days

#1 posted 12-24-2007 05:32 AM

I just lied to myself. I was typing that I’ve never owned one of those sear’s blades. I am a bold face lier. I’ve owned one. Used it on a radial saw. Don’t know where it is and for that I’m glad.

I will never do that again. I am cured, I don’t know if there was 12 steps in there but I’ve learned how much I’ve sinned in buying and using.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Dusty's profile


785 posts in 4545 days

#2 posted 12-24-2007 05:35 AM

fellow lumberjocks

I confess I had one also …but I never turned the machine on!

-- Dusty

View mot's profile


4926 posts in 4425 days

#3 posted 12-24-2007 05:37 AM

I contemplated buying one, but embarrassingly enough, couldn’t figure out how it was supposed to work so I didn’t buy it.

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View RAH's profile


414 posts in 4266 days

#4 posted 12-24-2007 06:07 AM

I had a wobble blade and the raidial arm saw to go with it, sold the two as a pair. I still have and use the contractors table saw with the yellow implant. I don’t know whether to be embarrassed or insulted. A new saw is on my wish lis however my wife’s wish list is bigger.

-- Ron Central, CA

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 4716 days

#5 posted 12-24-2007 06:54 AM

I had one that came with my shopsmith… and desperately needed it for a project (mostly due to time not skill level) unfortunately i misplaced (or never took ownership of) whatever held it in place on the shopsmith’s arbor…. and since it diddn’t fit my tablesaw I ventured out to pick up a good “real” dado set. Liked the look of the ones you could dial in the width, and not fuss with shims… but as only owned (and still do) a cheap portable Delta jobby, I (to add insult to injury) had to by another wobble dado that was specifically for the short arbor on my saw (the ONLY option I could find).

The project was all made in PT, and came out quite good (considering the materials). I don’t regret the purchase for time saved. But I won’t put it to anything close to furniture grade. Shop grade stuff… but nothing going above ground.

I suppose it’s just as well I didn’t put a $200 dado set on a $70+ saw.

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4045 posts in 4452 days

#6 posted 12-24-2007 07:23 AM

No insult intended. I lugged that Craftsman from Kansas to Nebraska, and would still have it except for the fact that 1.) The wife’s wish list is for ribbons and thread and such and, 2.) She’s pretty supportive of the woodworking addiction, even an enabler (she bought me a bandsaw).
Her car never sees the inside of the garage unless it’s going to hail or a tornado is coming.

I’m even beginning to suspect that that saw is actually a Jet tool, made for Sears.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 4263 days

#7 posted 12-24-2007 11:49 AM

I’ve still got a wobbler, but only because I seldom throw anything out. It has been replaced with a decent stackable set.

View mrtrim's profile


1696 posts in 4269 days

#8 posted 12-24-2007 01:39 PM

woo hoo !!! for the first time ever i can get through a confession and have not sinned !! well unless thinking of it is a sin in which case im quite guilty.

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4045 posts in 4452 days

#9 posted 12-24-2007 01:56 PM

But what about ‘em sucks so badly?

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View mrtrim's profile


1696 posts in 4269 days

#10 posted 12-24-2007 02:08 PM

oh no . are you considering another one ? call farther karson!

View CaptnA's profile


116 posts in 4202 days

#11 posted 12-24-2007 03:07 PM

Well for me the thing was used on my Craftsman table saw. I can’t bash that saw too badly. After 20+ years it still makes a decent cut as long as I take the time to truly set the fence – but that’s another story. (I’ll take any unisaws that are on the give away list – hint hint)
The wobble head does just that. It wobbles. it starts like / and then goes to \ but in the meantime it leaves ^ this in the ‘bottom’ of the trough it hacked out. Rough sides rough bottom. Unlike the above where someone used it to clean up after the router, I tried using a router to clean up after the dado. Found that I did better with a good straight edge and a few passes with the router itself. The aggravation led to the thing finding its current home in the top of the green military surplus parts cabinet. It just seems to fit in there.
Mr Karson I’m not sure about the 12 step thing but if you’ll write them down I know there are those that could use them – I’ve still got hope about getting rid of some of the things “stashed” on shelves and in drawers…. :) hmm if I had more room…...... I could buy new tools ~

-- CaptnA - "When someone hurts you, write it in the sand so the winds of forgiveness will scatter the memory... "

View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 4394 days

#12 posted 12-24-2007 03:32 PM

Sounds like we need a contest to see who can best enshrine their wobble dados in a well deserved display case (plus gives added benefit that nobody ever tries to use them).

This has potential to turn into the “wobbly dado” award given to the crappiest things we’ve ever built.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 4263 days

#13 posted 12-24-2007 04:58 PM

Douglas – the problems with the wobble dado, like CaptnA said, are sloped sides and rough sides and bottom. The blade is held at a slight angle to the arbor, which makes it nearly impossible to acurately measure the distance between the cut and the fence. On the plus side, at any given moment you are only removing 1/8” of material, instead of removing the full width of the dado, so a wobble dado is not so likely to bog down a lower powered saw.

-- -- --

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 4328 days

#14 posted 12-24-2007 05:09 PM

Peter, I love your optimism. In my weakness (or stupidity, they look alike sometimes) I bought a wobble dado thinking that one blade was better than stacking 2,3 or 4. However, like you’ve said, the bottom and sides were less than … well less, and it was impossible to tell where the silly thing was actually going to start cutting. And yet, in your generosity you have found a “plus side” to a wobble dado. My hat’s off to you.

-- Working at Woodworking

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 4716 days

#15 posted 12-24-2007 05:30 PM

Plus – the bottom is actually an arc, not a flat cut. Ok for slipping in a 1/4 inch panel, but not ideal for wide dados… you have to either go deeper than you’d like (and add on edge banding to hide it, (and have a less than tight glue surface) or use a chisel or router to square off both sides of the groove. A good idea on paper… but a nightmare to measure accurately.

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

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