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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gainesboro, Tennessee, USA.
    Posts
    398

    Default Table saws / dado blades

    Hey I am going to be purchasing a table saw soon.

    I am looking to see what type of dado compatible table saws people like, or dont like.

    feedback appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,199

    Default Re: Table saws / dado blades

    I suggest you first decide what kind of dado blade/cutter you want to use, then identify a suitable saw.

    My suggestion is for a 3/4" stack dado set. Find a set you like (can afford ) and note the arbor diameter required. Then consider that your saw needs an additional 5/8" of available arbor beyond the end of the nut when a 'normal' blade is mounted, in order to have enough arbor length to fit the full 3/4" dado stack. Put those two numbers together to give you a spec that your saw needs to meet.

    Not everyone will agree with my suggestion. The 'wobble' style dado blade has its admirers at Beesource.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,100

    Default Re: Table saws / dado blades

    Almost anyone would rather have good tools - excellent tools even, but if a wobble blade is what you have access to it will do the job. If you go to the effort to make a good setup it will do a better job than a poorly set up stack set. And when you consider that the ultimate fate of most dado cuts is to have a piece of wood glued into them, then the quality of the cut doesn't have to be all that pretty. There is also this - it is a LOT quicker to change the width of cut on a wobble blade - less accurate maybe, but way quicker.

    I have a dedicated saw and a good quality stacked dado these days, but time was when I had to make due with a lot less. Built some pretty good stuff then too.

    It's a poor workman who blames his tools, but it's a snob who looks down on someone elses tools.
    Since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,100

    Default Re: Table saws / dado blades

    Kamon, If you are going to be making box joints then the bigger the dado is, the fewer cuts you have to make. If you are making frame rests then you don't really even have to have a dado blade for that - two cuts with a regular blade work fine.

    Besides the question of will the saw physically accept the blade you want to use or not the main thing is a good fence that locks firmly, accurately and reliably in place. Fences that have a system which keeps them square even when they are unlocked are quicker and easier to set.

    Induction motors are much quieter (relatively) than universal motors and last longer.

    Grasp the blade or shaft and see if it has any play - in/out up/down side to side - play is bad. Run out - wobble - is bad on any rotating parts.

    If you find an old heavy cast iron saw that doesn't make any funny noises, has a good fence and is solid everywhere it is probably better than a shiny new aluminum one from lowes.
    Since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Midland, MI
    Posts
    577

    Default Re: Table saws / dado blades

    I've got three table saws and none of them will take a 3/4" dado stack. For that matter, none of them safely accomodate the wobble style either. If I were willing to buy another saw, I would be looking for the longer arbor for sure. I can deal with a sloppy rip fence, but there isn't an easy way to add length to that arbor.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Williamsburg, va
    Posts
    60

    Default Re: Table saws / dado blades

    Could have sworn I posted about this before on Beesource, but can't find the thread...

    I completed the construction of woodenware over Christmas. I built 20 boxes, 3 telescoping covers, 3 inner covers, and 2 bottom boards. I used a jig to cut out all the handles (my modification of what I had seen from others) and a jig to square them up during assembly. I experimented with rabbet joints, but found butt joints with screws were quicker to cut and assemble and really just as (if not more) solid (I'm sure someone will argue about this...). I used deck screws I had left over from various projects. For the inner cover I used the design on beesource.com. The outer cover is based on Dadant's cover that I bought last year (it was really logical to build from a cut, wood waste, and assembly standpoint). All were primed and given 2 coats of exterior paint. I found plenty of videos and plans online to provide me everything I needed to build all of this.

    As far as the wood, you need to be smart about it. My boxes cost about $3.60 each. I found lumber at 84 Lumber for an excellent price, but it was not that close to my house (I don't own a pickup). So, I went to Home Depot and they beat the price by 10% for the longer boards. I also used scrap for the bottoms boards.

    I bought my tools at Harbor Freight (see below) . Not the most expensive or high quality set out there, but figure I can upgrade when/if needed. For the table saw I found a 25% off one item coupon also, so it was only $92. Both worked excellent for me. The saw will take a 3/4" stack with some minor modification (nothing serious).

    Many will advise searching Craig's List for the saw - you can do this, but I found that my time visiting and inspecting and a bit of haggling was not worth it. I concur, if you can find an old, heavy duty table it would be well worth it. I had to double check to make sure everything was square on this saw before cutting.

    You can see pictures of what I finished and work in progress items here: https://plus.google.com/+DonaldCole_Hampton_Roads

    Stacked Dado Set: http://www.harborfreight.com/8-inch-...l#.UxZWZ_ldXps

    Table Saw: http://www.harborfreight.com/10-in-1...l#.UxZTufldXps

    They do have a wobble dado at Harbor Freight - http://www.harborfreight.com/7-1-4-q...l#.UxZWZvldXps
    2 years / 11 hives / Zone 7A

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,199

    Default Re: Table saws / dado blades

    I am guessing that this is the earlier thread that Davacoles is referring to ....

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...trance-Reducer
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
    Posts
    2,887

    Default Re: Table saws / dado blades

    Quote Originally Posted by Kamon Reynolds View Post
    Hey I am going to be purchasing a table saw soon.

    I am looking to see what type of dado compatible table saws people like, or dont like.

    feedback appreciated!
    I really liked my Powermatic 2000, but most are not going to be willing to spend 4 k on a table saw. Jet and grizzly both make decent entry level saws. Some of the higher end Deltas are nice too. Look into getting a lightly used saw and it will save you a ton of money.




    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post

    Not everyone will agree with my suggestion. The 'wobble' style dado blade has its admirers at Beesource.
    I never considered a wobble dado until one came free with a radial arm saw I bought. I threw it on for kicks and giggles and now know I should have never written it off. It cuts much cleaner then a stack. And the term wobble is kinda miss-leading. The blade doesn't wobble at all, it is simply mounted on the arbor at a slight angle so when it spins it gives the impression of wobbling. They are also very convenient when wanting to change width of cut.. Instead of removing or adding blades you simply turn a dial and it adjusts the angle of the blade.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Union County, Ky, USA
    Posts
    215

    Default Re: Table saws / dado blades

    I think it will be hard to find a good saw to take the whole stack in a dado set. I have an old Craftsman saw that has plenty of room to hold the whole set and then some. I think it is from the 50's or so. Some of the newer ones will struggle to hold that wobble blade too. The hub on that wobble blade is fairly wide, so check into that before you get your stuff. Personally, I would find myself a good saw that I wanted and just kinda live with the widest stacked dado set I could get on it. I may even squeeze that last blade on there without the backup washer, too

    My dad uses that wobble blade on a year 2000 or so Ridgid brand table saw. He likes it, because it is easy to change the width of the cut. I prefer the stacked because the wobble doesnt give a very good cut. It doesnt so much tear out as it just isnt a consistent height cut. Those teeth at the angle will leave different height cuts. Now, thats on his dado, and I am sure there are different quality of wobble blades that may not do that. But, if you are only building bee boxes, it would probably be just fine.

    If you are just building bee boxes, you wont be changing the width of that cut any way. To get a good consistent setup from swapping blades out, that stacked set is easier to do. You just throw the same blades on that you did last time & bam, its set.

    I like my stack dado as you probably can see. I bought one from Lowes. It was a little over 100 bucks, Freud I believe. I think it is a 7/8" wide not 3/4". Its a nice heavy duty set that if you want to use for something else, you will be able too. I would be sick if I hit a piece of metal with it. It would be trashed. You can buy three of those wobble blades for the price of a good stack set. So, I just watch it really good, kinda like your fingers when you are sawing

    Rob

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Livingston county,Michigan,USA
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Table saws / dado blades

    Buy more saw than you think you need. You can thank me later.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Crestview, Florida
    Posts
    82

    Default Re: Table saws / dado blades

    Buy more saw than you think you need. You can thank me later.
    I agree... I got myself one for Christmas, a good deal I thought, until I realized the arbor was too short for a dado blade.

    Check Craigslist, sometimes you can find one of the older Craftsman cast iron table saw for a good price... If I have a choice I'd have a belt driven one before I bought one with a straight shaft out of the motor.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Myrtle Beach SC
    Posts
    106

    Default Re: Table saws / dado blades

    I tried the harbor freight saw and the one I got was junk. Took it back. I just recently bought a skil table saw. 100 times better but double the price. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    For the rabbits I will use a router I bought at an auction. So I do onto have to change the blades. But I can not find lumber at a cheap price. How do I get a price sheet from 84 lumber so I can get hoe depot to beat the price? Hoe depot seems to be very expensive for building materials.
    "For those who have fought for it, freedom has a flavor those protected will never taste"

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
    Posts
    2,887

    Default Re: Table saws / dado blades

    HD is very expensive on everything... It is the wal-mart model. Come in cheap until you drive the competition out, then jack all the prices up.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Bardstown, KY
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Table saws / dado blades

    Davacoles, what did you have to modify to get the 3/4 stack to work on your table saw?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Williamsburg, va
    Posts
    60

    Default Re: Table saws / dado blades

    Quote Originally Posted by Tiny Barn Farm View Post
    Davacoles, what did you have to modify to get the 3/4 stack to work on your table saw?
    Well, first off the user manual does not advise this. Read it here.

    This is what I did. First, remove the inner flang (pg 9 of manual). I put a thin washer in its place.

    Next, you need to widen the width of the opening of the dado insert. I did this by using my Dremel to grind it down wider. This was fairly quick and easy, it just took a bunch if back and forth passes.

    After that just stack and load the dado set.

    I'm presuming those who know a lot more about table saws and woodworking will have something to say about doing this - please be kind... It worked for me and I didn't have any issues.
    2 years / 11 hives / Zone 7A

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
    Posts
    2,887

    Default Re: Table saws / dado blades

    Bottom line is that entry level table saws are not designed to be used with wide dado stacks. That is why they have short arbors. If you look at the specs for quality cabinet saws you will see that their arbors are longer and the saw is designed to take wide dado stacks.

    I suspect that one day somebody will get injured using a dado on a saw they bought at home depot and they will sue, HD and other box stores will then stop selling dados, because they do not sell the saws they are meant to go on.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,382

    Default Re: Table saws / dado blades

    Watch craigslist. You can usually find contractor style saws by Delta, Powermatic, Jet, Craftsman, and others for sale from $200-$500 range. These are the ones where the motor hangs out the back. The are far better than the table top saws where the blade is on the motor shaft (and that's different from a 3000 pound Tannewitz where the blade is on the motor shaft). There are also numerous Delta/Rockwell Unisaws and Powermatic 66 for those that want a lifetime saw. I see these from $200 to $2500 (yep, a $200 Unisaw the other day). 3 phase isn't a show stopper anymore. The saws go cheaper and a VFD will let you run them on single phase power.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
    Posts
    2,887

    Default Re: Table saws / dado blades

    I had a 66 that was three phase; a 50.00 phase converter fixed that. Worked great, but I sold it last time I moved as it was too big and heavy to haul around.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gallatin, Montana, USA
    Posts
    80

    Default Re: Table saws / dado blades

    When it comes to table saws and dado blades, the higher the horsepower the better, especially if you are cutting box joints in hive bodies.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Terre Haute, Indiana USA
    Posts
    128

    Default Re: Table saws / dado blades

    I had an old Craftsman for 20 years, that I replaced last year with a PM66, 1958 model, $350. I can not believe how much nicer it is to use. 3 hp, quiet, smooth, accurate and 3 phase. VFD was $60. Big hp is great for running dados. I use a wobble, but hate adjusting it to get the right width. I bought the harbor freight 44 tooth stacked dado and it is very good. $60 but print the 20% off coupon, and pay $48.

    http://www.harborfreight.com/8-inch-...l#.UxwBio4o5pU
    Last edited by Hautions11; 03-08-2014 at 10:54 PM.

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