Shop Smith Dado set

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Forum topic by MrWizard posted 01-02-2014 05:50 PM 3899 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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145 posts in 3857 days

01-02-2014 05:50 PM

Hello Lumber Jocks First off Happy New Year to all. My question concerns the use of Dado blades. I have a shop smith but have never used Dado blades before. I am interested in doing some projects for Lincoln logs, and work up to doing some cabinetry somewhere down the road. Can I use an Off Market brand on the unit? Any advise of do’s and dont’s would be helpful.

5 replies so far

View JustJoe's profile


1554 posts in 3091 days

#1 posted 01-02-2014 06:15 PM

You need the molder/dado arbor and the dado insert for the tablesaw top. What you put on that arbor is up to you as long as it’s not too big for the shopsmith. I think the max size is 6”. The brand doesn’t matter as long as it’s got the 5/8 hole to fit that shopsmith arbor.

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View DrDirt's profile


4615 posts in 4795 days

#2 posted 01-02-2014 06:53 PM

Ditto to JustJoe – - also avoid the single blade “wobble” type and get a stacking set with shims.

The wobbler takes many test cuts to get the width you wand and tends to make a dish shaped cut, rather than perfectly flat bottoms. Not an issue for the lincoln logs… but for better fits down the road it would cause you to drink. (or at least cuss a lot more)

Some of the tricks to using lower quality sets are to put blue painters tape at the cut line to help avoid chipout at the surface especially with the realy thin surface veneer of hardwood ply…esp Oak!

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

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145 posts in 3857 days

#3 posted 01-04-2014 01:59 AM

Thanks for the feedback gents, I have never heard of a “wobbler” set up. Stacking set & Shims, is what I read about. I am truly looking forward to getting into “Joinery”, making pieces old school without screws or hardware that we use today. Again down the road after I get some good basics under my belt.

View SST's profile


790 posts in 5248 days

#4 posted 01-10-2014 05:58 PM

If you’re going to use a non Shopsmith dado on a Shopsmith, You’ll need a 5/8” dado arbor to mount the blade. This arbor is a little longer than the regular arbor to allow for the Stack of blades. I have used budget dados & after I dropped & damaged one, I decided to watch ebay for a used high end set. I ended up with a 6” Freud super dado set that retails new for about $175. I paid about $35 for it. Deals are out there. Carbide blades don’t dull easily & as long as a geed set is not damaged, you can have a better setup at a reasonable price. I can crosscut plywood with no table insert for support with no chip out. It’s an amazing set.

As to size, no bigger than 6” on a shopsmith. Cheaper that way & you don’t need it anyway. You can cut better than a 1 1/2” deep dado with it & who needs even that deep a cut???

The Shopsmith dado table insert is pretty useless. You’re better off getting a piece of hardboaud or the correct thickness plexiglass & making a blank, then lowering it over the blade to cut a zero clearance insert.

-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

12314 posts in 4481 days

#5 posted 01-10-2014 06:50 PM

I use an 8” on my Shopsmith with no trouble. I would rather have a 6” but I wanted a Tenryu and, at the time, the 8”was all they had. As stated before, an 8” is not needed.
You can easily make a dozen or so table inserts to accommodate any width dado. Just use the existing plate as a pattern.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

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