How to Install and Use Dado Blades on Table Saw?

Last modified on September 17, 2022
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dado blade

In carpentry, a dado is an excellent way to join two pieces of stock together. A dado is a groove carved into one piece of wood that allows another piece of wood to fit snugly into the groove created. If you’re making a bookshelf out of 3/4-inch stock, you might cut 3/4-inch-wide dado grooves into the shelf uprights before gluing in the permanent shelves. The basic dado can be made in a variety of ways, but they always have slots for attaching adjoining parts.
Woodworking joints such as dadoes are very beneficial for making cabinets or bookcases.

How to Set Up and Use a Dado Stack 

To cut dadoes on a table saw, you must use a stacked dado set or stack. There are specific table saws that accept dado blades. An 8 inch dado set/stack has two 8-inch-diameter, 1/6-inch-kerf saw blades and a number of chippers in between. By removing or adding chippers, you can get any width of dado. It is possible to make more than one pass through the saw. Here is a great video to cut setup the dado blade and cut dadoes.

A “wobble” dado set is an alternative. A single saw blade is mounted on an adjustable spindle in this arrangement. The dado’s width can be altered by adjusting the spindle’s blade angle. In spite of the fact that these are significantly less expensive than a stacked dado set, the results are typically poor. Wobble blades’ safety is also in issue. To get the most out of a stacked dado set, save your money for a high-quality one, or use a different tool.

Table saws and some radial arm saws are the only machines that should be equipped with a stacked dado set. The use of stacked dado head cutting sets on hand-held circular saws is not recommended due to the high risk of injury involved.

To avoid weakening the stock, do not cut a dado slot deeper than one-third of the way through it. Make a dado cut that is no deeper than a quarter inch while working with material that is 3/4 inch thick.

A “blind” or “stopped” dado joint necessitates only a partial length or width of stock to be used when making dados. In this scenario, a router table is usually the appropriate tool for the job.

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