Dado Question

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Forum topic by bobbytre posted 06-25-2011 10:37 PM 2036 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3 posts in 3603 days

06-25-2011 10:37 PM

Alright guys, I know better than to stack regular saw blades but I’m having a big problem. I want to cut a dado, but I have a 5-1/2” saw. Which means I need to find a 5-1/2” dado blade set, but I’ve had no luck on the internet, Home Depot, or Lowes (maybe they’re just out of stock?). I’m to the point of being ready to make 100 passes to get a dado so please help me! Does anyone know where I can get a 5-1/2” dado blade set, decent price or not?

12 replies so far

View knotscott's profile


8417 posts in 4451 days

#1 posted 06-25-2011 10:51 PM

There are some disadvantages relative to a stacked dado set, but you can stack regular blades if they’re exactly the same model blade, provided the arbor is long enough to accommodate them. You need to be careful to stagger the teeth so they don’t touch.

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

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 4144 days

#2 posted 06-25-2011 11:26 PM

My brother has a small (4”?) wobble dado cutter made by DeWalt (I think) that he uses in his benchtop TS. It’s a PITA to set up, but once you’ve done that it works pretty well.

I suspect that your biggest problem will be getting the right diameter arbor hole.

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View WilsonCreations's profile


105 posts in 3607 days

#3 posted 06-25-2011 11:31 PM

Can you cut it with a router? It will still be multiple passes but it should work.

-- Wilson

View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 3760 days

#4 posted 06-25-2011 11:50 PM

router (assume you are cross-cutting in which case I sandwich the board tightly and secure a guide of 1/4” parallel to the cut, left side of the cut). Or carefully notch it out with your table saw and use a chisel to clean out the middle or take multiple passes on your table saw. I refuse to use “wobbles” after seeing them in use and watching parts fall off the saw (I can’t imagine what it does to the guts).

View bobbytre's profile


3 posts in 3603 days

#5 posted 06-26-2011 02:49 PM

Thank you all for the quick responses!

With regards to stacking identical blades, if I weren’t concerned about wasting stock I might try that in the future, but since I don’t know how it’ll turn out that’s just a little beyond my risk tolerance for the moment, thanks!

I’ll try a wobbler if it fits, whats a PITA? (kinda new to all this)

Could cut it with a router if I had one, and nope, I do not have a table saw, though I know I need one… badly.

View Spotcheck's profile


36 posts in 3602 days

#6 posted 06-26-2011 03:31 PM

Bobbytre: not exactly clear on your situation.

Not clear on what you need to cut – “100 passes to get a dado”? Doesn’t sound like anything I’ve ever done.

Sounds like you are planning to use a hand-held circular saw?

PITA = [a] a pocket made of bread, or [b] Pain In The {rear-end}

View bobbytre's profile


3 posts in 3603 days

#7 posted 06-26-2011 03:39 PM

the 100 passes was just a dramatization of what I expect to do, but it will be a lot of work without a stacked dado blade set. BUT, yes I am planning on using a hand-held circular saw (wish I had a table saw). I’ve seen some pretty good cuts with hand held saws, so long as they’re using a dado blade set.

View Spotcheck's profile


36 posts in 3602 days

#8 posted 06-26-2011 08:53 PM

OK – gotcha.

If I was in your situation – in it again, because that’s where I was before I could afford a good TS – I’d think of a couple methods [and I used both a number of times for bookshelves, shop cabinets, etc.]:

Assume a 1/8” thick blade [the saw “kerf], and a 3/4” wide dado. Get/make 2 straight edges. Then, get or make a 5/8” wide chunk of stuff [plywood, MDF, whatever]. Clamp one straightedge on the work piece. Put the second straightedge against it, and clamp that one. Run your singel sawblade to make the first kerf. Unclamp the 2d straightedge, offset it with the 5/8” spacer, and clamp it again. Run the saw again. Now you have 2 parallel kerfs that are 3/4” apart on the outside. By eye/hand, you can pertty easily make a couple-three passes in between them. Then take a chisel and just whack out those little strips that remain. You don’t have to have a perfectly dead-flat bottom, but you can chisel it as flat as you want.

Second method: Get a Porter Cable 690 router with a fixed base. You don’t have to get the plunge base. You don’t have to get the variable speed model. I have 3 PC 690 routers, and one of them is what I just described, and is > 12 years old, and will surely still be running for The Sale of the Century when my wife sells off my stuff after I cash out. Amazon has them for $110. You can check out ebay or craigslist, but these things aren’t discounted much on the used market, so new makes sense to me. They are simply bulletproof, and will do almost everything the occasional hobbyist needs.. Use a down cut spiral bit to minimize tearout, and make a few passes, taking maximum 3/16” per pass. The wider bits get pricey, so you might want a smaller diameter bit, and the 2 straightedge and offset strip approach described above. This will cost you more than a dado set, but you will do so much more over the years with the router than you will ever do with a dado set.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5350 posts in 5036 days

#9 posted 06-26-2011 10:36 PM

If you use a dado setup on a hand held circuler saw LOOK OUT!
That’s a sure fire way to hurt yourself badly. Ever heard of kick back?
Take two side cuts and clean out the middles with a chisel.

-- [email protected]

View Pick's profile


30 posts in 4108 days

#10 posted 06-26-2011 11:42 PM

Sorry bobby, but the man in the video was using nothing but a standard circular saw blade. Bill White is very much correct in saying that a dado set in a hand-held saw is a recipe for disaster. Watch the video again, and just do what he did. It’s safer.

View DLCW's profile


530 posts in 3730 days

#11 posted 06-27-2011 12:20 AM

You can take multiple passes with the blade you have, then chisel out the waste to create your dado. I did that a lot until I could afford a dado blade. No purchase required.

-- Don, Diamond Lake Custom Woodworks - - "If you make something idiot proof, all they do is make a better idiot"

View auggy53's profile


159 posts in 3755 days

#12 posted 06-27-2011 06:04 AM

i cant imagine using a wobble blade in my hand held saw. i think i would be looking for a cheap router. maybe a used or pawn shop deal.

-- rick

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