Hello all, I am new to the forum, but old at making sawdust. I have been doing small woodworking projects for quite a few years,mainly because I work construction on the road and time to work on those projects has affected the size of the projects that I have worked on. After 28 years of doing this I am finally going to be able to spend some time at home and make piles of sawdust. I also have a few remodeling projects that I want to do, so I hope to draw from the knowledge of my fellow woodworkers.
Now to my question. I have a 10" delta TS and will be purchasing a set of dadoe blades. Since I have never bought or used dadoe blades, I need a little direction on what to buy and some of the ins & outs of working with them. Also need to know about table inserts to go with dadoe blades. Thanks in advance for your help, and be looking to hear from me on a regular basis.
Dado blades, haven't seen a question on those in awhile...Firstly, I'd recommend a stacked set over the wobblers, much cleaner cuts. Whether you go 6" or 8" is largely a matter of personal preference. Personally, I prefer an 8", they will run cooler and don't "grab" like a smaller set will, and carbide tipped; they'll last much longer between sharpenings. Any good set will have set up instructions included. I'm also a huge fan of DML, all my blades including my dado set are by them....
As for inserts, just get a couple of blank zero clearence inserts. They are available where ever saw blades are sold...(Delta also have them available)
A word on safety. Dado sets cause more hand injuries than any other tool. In fact, they are illegal on table saws in the UK. So always be aware of precisely where your hands are in relation to the dado head when feeding in the stock....
Ditto Dano's suggestion regarding a chipper set. Also be sure your TS can handle an 8" set before purchasing, else you'll have to opt for a 6" set.
As suggested DML is of good quality, as is Forrest and others.
I received a Freud super dado set as a gift that has performed very well for me. I like the chippers that are sized to match plywoods.
Use featherboards and hold downs when ever you can.
The only Dado set I have ever used is the "El Cheapo" Vermont American 6". I had to go with 6" because Craftsman said I had too :(
It works well and is balanced really nice. I've used it on 2" red oak on many occasions and it cut right through. Only two things I do not like about it. First the depth. Being 6" you can't go all that deep with it, I think 1 1/4" is about it. Two, the bottom of the dado you cut is pretty rough. Each blade/chipper in the stack leaves its own little groove. Not a huge problem as I have never needed the bottom of a Dado to be perfectly smooth.
I would definatly check with Delta to see if it can handle a 8" set. You wouldn't want the blade to grab the inside of your saw somewhere!!! That would be disasterous!
Just to flesh out Dano's statement by way of explaination rather than hair splitting.
It is forbidden to use a tablesaw in a commercial premises in Europe without a riving knife and crown guard fitted..the riving knife is very similar to a splitter in this country but moves up and down with the blade.
Any operation that required removal of these items constituted a breach of the regulations as a dado or moulding cut cannot be made with these in place and although the prime reason of the guards etc would be avoided "Rules is rules" and that was that!!!.
Presumably it was easier to make a blanket rule than fight cases where excuses were made that the guards had been temporarily removed for an operation that didn't need them and had not been re-fitted
Later the European Safety Council swept in a restriction so that any new equipment had to have a "CE" sticker certifying that it met all the safety regs ..one of these to prevent circumvention of the rules was to restrict the arbor length of tablesaws so that it was not possible to fit more than a single blade on the arbor..
Trying here to explain how the rules were made.. A dado operation is not more dangerous than a single blade cut but there is much more chance of the blade binding when tension is released in the wood and a kick back resulting unless a riving knife or splitter is being used.
As Dano says awareness of the blade is crucial to moulding and dadoeing situations and a good many accidents result from not heeding this. Similarly a lot of accidents take place on normal Tablesaw operations for the same reasons and in addition the issues of kick back.
In other words any operation with the tablesaw carries risk of injury if an appreciation of the dangers involved are not understood.
I have used dado blades over here and do not feel uncomfortable using them...But I make sure I use push pads and other safety devices to keep my hands well clear of the danger zone.
I know Dano was not trying to make out the dado, specifically, to be dangerous and I'm not trying to give it a clean bill of health.. it carries slightly different risks... one thing I have not done is made cuts deeper than about 1/2" at a time and my feeling is that the deeper you go in one pass the more risky the task becomes.
What do you think about this Dano ..you've probably got a a hundred times the experience that I have with this type of cut ?
What do I think about this? Well, firstly, you are correct in that I was not making an indictment against the use of dado sets on table saws. I was merely pointing out that they do cause more hand injuries than any other tool...and just expressing a caution.
My guess is this is the result of the set being "blind" as it were and complacency sets in...Awareness is vital to workshop safety, regardless of the tool being used, to be sure. On electrical powered equipment, especially the table saw, there is a phenomena that occurs over a relatively short period of time where one's senses actually become dulled, almost placed in a trance (there is a term for this, can't seem to recall it offhand, I do recall discussing it here a few years back). This condition can be heightened through the use of ear protectors, particularly ear muffs, some brands worse than others. Too much protection can actually be a bad thing. The muffeled sounds accompanied by the low level vibration frequencies can, infact, put one in a trance. A dado set has a completely different sound, lower frequency, than a single blade does, making this even more "serious".
Having said that, I do use muffs and during milling operations, especially during long, repetative runs, I eliminate this phenomena by going no more than an hour without some sort of break.
As someone mentioned; feather boards and holdowns are a must. I'm always fully aware of where my hands are in addition to having a very hard and fast rule that under no circumstances was I to be interuppted during any milling operation...
As to depth of cut in a single pass, I'd aggree that no more than a half inch is a good rule of thumb. I believe that wood species has a bearing on this. On flat sawn Oak, for example, I make two passes for a 1/2" deep dado. Might seem a little conservative, but, the Oaks can have surprises inside. For grooves and rabetts, I always make the cuts with the grain
So, in essence, I think there are several factors that contribute to these hand injuries. Fear of an operation or tool can be just as dangerous as overconfidence, too. I do think that being totally aware of what's going on is vital to shop safety and if one feels uncomfortable about a specific operation, then don't perform it. At the very least, one should think it through and perform a "dry run" or three.
As I have mentioned here before, my great uncle (who lit my woodworking fire) was the head safety engineer for the Oldsmobile Division from the late '40s to the early 70s, he instilled in me a very healthy respect for shop safety, which is alive and well to this day. I've witnessed a few horrific accidents in my time but am very happy to report that I've never been injured...
Moulding heads are a different story; they scare the hell out of me and I feel they have no business, whatsoever, of being used on a table saw and won't go near a saw that has one being used. The RPMS are just way too high, IMO. I've seen what a router bit can do and can only imagine what kind of damage an improperly secured cutter could bring...
Any who, those are some of my thoughts. I think there should be more discussions on shop safety and this is one good opportunity, IMHO.
Thanks a lot for all the info, especially from the safety standpoint.I would be hard to operate tools with the absence of a digit or maybe even worse injuries. Knowledge and respect of any tool, power or other wise is job one. I now have a better understanding of dado blades and the safety issues surrounding them. Because of the feedback that I have received in this forum, I now will have a better idea of what could be lurking in the dark.
"If it an't fun,don't do it, but do the fun stuff safe"
>As to depth of cut in a single pass, I'd aggree that no more
>than a half inch is a good rule of thumb. I believe that
>wood species has a bearing on this. On flat sawn Oak, for
>example, I make two passes for a 1/2" deep dado. Might seem
>a little conservative, but, the Oaks can have surprises
>inside. For grooves and rabetts, I always make the
>cuts with the grain
Being a relative newbie, and prefering to work with oak, what types of "surprises" are you referring to? I recently purchased a stacked dado set and haven't used it on a project yet, so I'd appreciate the "heads-up". Thanks.