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table saw with router insert for dados?

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Forum topic by De1taE1even posted 08-13-2020 02:09 AM 289 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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De1taE1even

57 posts in 850 days


08-13-2020 02:09 AM

Hey everyone! I have a potentially stupid question. I recently bought a sawstop pcs along with the router table insert. I was brainstorming whether to install the insert on the left or right side of the table, when a mostly unrelated question popped into my head.

Does anyone use their table saw fence along with the router table to cut dados, as opposed to installing a dado stack in the saw? Seems like it’d be perfectly safe, but I haven’t seen anyone do it. I suppose installing the dado stack wouldn’t take much (if any) more time than setting up the router table, so maybe it’s a dumb idea, but I’m curious nonetheless.


13 replies so far

View DaveMills's profile

DaveMills

40 posts in 252 days


#1 posted 08-13-2020 03:03 AM

A groove, going with the grain, say in the sides of a drawer to hold the bottom, is pretty good in a router table. Whether you use the router fence or the table saw fence doesn’t matter much that I can think of.

A dado, going across the grain, isn’t going to use the fence at all, whether on the saw or on the router. Like any crosscut on the table saw, you’re most likely to be using a crosscut fence for it. And on the saw, you typically have a pretty good crosscut setup and can cut a dado in a short (say up to a couple feet) board. To do the same dado on a router table using a miter gauge, with much of the board hanging off in thin air, seems doubtful.

Usually the best answer for dados in larger boards (say the sides of a bookcase) ends up being to clamp the board and route the dado from the top.

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

1630 posts in 1441 days


#2 posted 08-13-2020 03:07 AM

Made bunches of drawer side bottom grooves with my Milwaukee router in the right side table.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

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De1taE1even

57 posts in 850 days


#3 posted 08-13-2020 03:31 AM



A groove, going with the grain, say in the sides of a drawer to hold the bottom, is pretty good in a router table. Whether you use the router fence or the table saw fence doesn t matter much that I can think of.

A dado, going across the grain, isn t going to use the fence at all, whether on the saw or on the router. Like any crosscut on the table saw, you re most likely to be using a crosscut fence for it. And on the saw, you typically have a pretty good crosscut setup and can cut a dado in a short (say up to a couple feet) board. To do the same dado on a router table using a miter gauge, with much of the board hanging off in thin air, seems doubtful.

Usually the best answer for dados in larger boards (say the sides of a bookcase) ends up being to clamp the board and route the dado from the top.

- DaveMills


Fantastic, thanks for this, all great points. Moral of the story is I need to buy a dado set either way!

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De1taE1even

57 posts in 850 days


#4 posted 08-13-2020 03:35 AM



Made bunches of drawer side bottom grooves with my Milwaukee router in the right side table.

- Madmark2


Great to hear. In certain situations I figured it could be useful, but wanted to make sure there wasn’t a safety concern I overlooked.

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Rich

5886 posts in 1442 days


#5 posted 08-13-2020 03:43 AM

For dados, I use this. You simply adjust the fence to the thickness of the board that will go in the dado and route away with a 1/2” bit and a 5/8” bushing.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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De1taE1even

57 posts in 850 days


#6 posted 08-13-2020 03:47 AM



For dados, I use this. You simply adjust the fence to the thickness of the board that will go in the dado and route away with a 1/2” bit and a 5/8” bushing.

- Rich


Very cool!

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Rich

5886 posts in 1442 days


#7 posted 08-13-2020 03:52 AM

I forgot to mention that you use the actual board to set it, so it’s pretty much foolproof, but I still keep my side rabbet plane handy just in case.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View DaveMills's profile

DaveMills

40 posts in 252 days


#8 posted 08-13-2020 01:16 PM

Fantastic, thanks for this, all great points. Moral of the story is I need to buy a dado set either way!

... and the dado brake, and the dado insert :)

When I first bought a dado stack for my sawstop, I was thinking along similar lines, that for all these dados I needed a dado blade. In actual usage though, my dado blade gets used for making various joinery like finger joints or other notches and grooves. I don’t often use it for the typical dados I thought I would cut for shelves and such.

View Axis39's profile

Axis39

345 posts in 450 days


#9 posted 08-13-2020 01:28 PM

I tend to sue my dado stack more often then my router for a couple of reasons…

1) It’s faster – plowing out material on a router can tax the machine and the bit a lot faster than using a dado stack on a table saw.

2) It’s cleaner – for the shop air and general dustiness, not the cut itself. Although the dust collection on my router table, through the fence, is surprisingly good, I haven’t hooked up my DC to the box I built around my router under the table yet… I need to grab some 45’s next time I’m at a place that has 4” DSW els.

3) It’s a little quieter – not much, but a bit… and in a different frequency range.

4) It’s safer – especially if you are cutting the dado or groove in one cut. The router bit can have a tendency to grab the workpiece when it is captured like that. The workpiece on the table saw seems to be a little easier to keep in control.

But, a routed dado or groove can have a few advantages. the first one that comes to mind is that the cut itself is usually cleaner.

So, depending on what I’m doing and where on the finished piece the groove/dado will be decides my approach.

-- John F. SoCal transplant, chewer uppper of good wood

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De1taE1even

57 posts in 850 days


#10 posted 08-13-2020 02:09 PM


... and the dado brake, and the dado insert :)

When I first bought a dado stack for my sawstop, I was thinking along similar lines, that for all these dados I needed a dado blade. In actual usage though, my dado blade gets used for making various joinery like finger joints or other notches and grooves. I don t often use it for the typical dados I thought I would cut for shelves and such.

- DaveMills


Good point, I still haven’t watched a video on how annoying it is to swap a dado stack into the sawstop, but I’ve been meaning to. I also agree about your typical dados comment. I was using the term ‘dado’ in a pretty broad context. Basically, I was looking at the saw at my local Woodcraft, it had the router insert on the right side, and the fence happened to be positioned over near it and I was like, “Hey, that could work…”

One thing I don’t think I’d ever do is crucial joinery, something like a dovetail, unless the piece I’m cutting is DEAD staight, like mdf. The slightest warp in the piece and cutting a dovetail across the table is going to lift the piece slightly and ruin the groove. Best to use a hand-held router from the top on that one, I’d think. But I’m pretty inexperienced on that, so I could be very wrong.

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De1taE1even

57 posts in 850 days


#11 posted 08-13-2020 02:25 PM



I tend to sue my dado stack more often then my router for a couple of reasons…

1) It s faster – plowing out material on a router can tax the machine and the bit a lot faster than using a dado stack on a table saw.

2) It s cleaner – for the shop air and general dustiness, not the cut itself. Although the dust collection on my router table, through the fence, is surprisingly good, I haven t hooked up my DC to the box I built around my router under the table yet… I need to grab some 45 s next time I m at a place that has 4” DSW els.

3) It s a little quieter – not much, but a bit… and in a different frequency range.

4) It s safer – especially if you are cutting the dado or groove in one cut. The router bit can have a tendency to grab the workpiece when it is captured like that. The workpiece on the table saw seems to be a little easier to keep in control.

But, a routed dado or groove can have a few advantages. the first one that comes to mind is that the cut itself is usually cleaner.

So, depending on what I m doing and where on the finished piece the groove/dado will be decides my approach.

- Axis39


All great points, I definitely agree. I have a fair bit of experience with routing in general, but this will be my first table. I’ll still try to pick the right tool for the job, but I’m definitely excited, between the saw, router table, and dado stack (that I haven’t bought yet, but will). I’m quickly running out of excuses for shoddy craftsmanship…

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6424 posts in 3346 days


#12 posted 08-13-2020 02:50 PM

Good point, I still haven t watched a video on how annoying it is to swap a dado stack into the sawstop, but I ve been meaning to.

I don’t think it’s annoying, but it does take a minute or 2 to changes the cartridge….but you’ll probably spend more time trying to get the dado width to where you want it.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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De1taE1even

57 posts in 850 days


#13 posted 08-13-2020 02:58 PM


Good point, I still haven t watched a video on how annoying it is to swap a dado stack into the sawstop, but I ve been meaning to.

I don t think it s annoying, but it does take a minute or 2 to changes the cartridge….but you ll probably spend more time trying to get the dado width to where you want it.

- Fred Hargis

Too bad I don’t have the shop space, I could keep my Delta 36-725 around just for dados… :D

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