Dado Stack spacers and arbor diameter

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Forum topic by Erik07 posted 03-01-2021 03:18 PM 214 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Erik07's profile


12 posts in 55 days

03-01-2021 03:18 PM

Hey Everyone,

I have a Diablo dado stack which I always have problems with (deep bat ears, tear-out for example). I plan to replace it eventually, but need to live with it for now.

Spacers- when I install these, they tend to catch on the arbor threads. The thinner spacers are way worse and actually pinch between the chippers and the arbor, wedging everything together. This makes me especially nervous since the nut feels “squishy” when tightening everything down. I don’t feel the nut run out of threads and then tighten down, it just keeps going to some extent. Is there any way of dealing with this?

Arbor diameter- the threads on the arbor appear to be a hair smaller than the unthreaded portion where a single blade would sit. Is this common?


3 replies so far

View bilyo's profile


1345 posts in 2154 days

#1 posted 03-01-2021 03:28 PM

The is a common problem with spacers. I have seen magnetic spacers advertised that theoretically could solve the problem as they would stay centered (after you put them on that way). I can’t vouch for their effectiveness.

As for your arbor question, I don’t know.

View AlanWS's profile


133 posts in 4609 days

#2 posted 03-01-2021 03:40 PM

The problem of dado shims slipping into the arbor threads is common, and accounts for the utility of magnetic shims that stick to the plates. Bilyo beat me to mention of them, but I can attest to their effectiveness.

Other than that, placing shims next to one another (rather than between chippers) so you can work them out of the threads together helps. If the shim gets munged near the hole, cut that part out. It’s important that it be flat, but not that it cover the entire surface near the arbor. Some people even use shims with a slot rather than a hole, so they can be put between plates without removing them from the arbor. If the shim is flat, a drop of oil may make it stick to the plate. Oil, unlike other things, will squeeze out of the way as you tighten.

I don’t think arbor thread diameter should vary.

-- Alan in Wisconsin

View Bill1974's profile


171 posts in 4037 days

#3 posted 03-01-2021 03:52 PM

A light coat of oil or paste wax on the shim also helps it stick in place. This works on the Dewalt dado set I have. If the blade or chipper surface isn’t smooth it does not work to well and it also works better on the thinner shims than the thicker ones.

I haven’t seem any slippage yet. If a shim is not staying in place I’ll but a dab of paste wax, not coat the entire shim. thicker shim more wax and same goes for rougher surface.

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