Cutting a 1 inch wide dado

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I have to cut a 1" dado for a miter track using my table saw. My 6" stacked dado head cutter set will only cut to just over 3/4" wide. My table saw has a good fence but not a world class fence so I don't want to just assume I can cut a 3/4" dado, bump the fence over 1/4", and everything will come out nicely. Does anyone have any tricks to get this cut to come out accurately other than measure measure measure?
TIA.
Dick Snyder
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Dick Snyder wrote:

dado set and the desired final dado size between the stock and the fence. 3/4" dado set plus 1/4" shim puts the right edge of the dado where it will be, remove the shim and the left edge of the dado is cut, 1" away from the right. Joe
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Dick Snyder said:

Not really, other than the alternative of using a router with a 1" bit and a good straight edge (in several light passes).
Greg G.
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1, 1" dado? Just sneak up on it.

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Measure measure, then measure. Use a piece of scrap to check the measurements. Run the scrap through, then at the same 3/4", run the good piece. Move the fence. Then use the scrap to check the setup.
Mark your piece so you know where the cut is supposed to be. You don't want to move the fence the wrong way. Of course, I've never done that myself, but I've heard stories of others doing it. Yeah, th at is, I've read about others, not me though. Ed
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What about doing a 1/4" dado on one side of the total, then another 1/4" on the other side. Then just clean out the middle with a 1/2" stack.
-- -Jim
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How about clamping a 1/4" (plywood?) spacer to the fence for the first pass and removing it for the second pass.
Bill Leonhardt
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I like the ideas already posted about using a 1/4" filler strip clamped the fence, then removing it. I'd use 1/4" MDF instead of plywood, though.
On the other hand, here's the golden opportunity to buy the pair of Lie-Nielson Side Rabbet planes to widen the Dado. :-)
Bob
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On Wed, 20 Oct 2004 14:58:34 -0400, "Dick Snyder"

I had a 1 1/32" one I had to cut last week - the shim method already mentioned worked great. I took some 1/4" plywood (which was really 0.200") and taped Playing Cards to the back until I got to a shim that was 1/4" + 1/32nd" wide.
Cut one pass with shim against fence, then remove shim and cut second pass. Voila' a 1 1/32" wide dado.
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On Wed, 20 Oct 2004 14:58:34 -0400, "Dick Snyder"

You could use a 1/4" ply or MDF clamped to your fence. Run a test piece, remove the ply, and run through again to get a 1" dado. If not perfect make minor fence adjustments and run another test. This way you have your fence all set and the ply works like a simple jig to give you a perfect and repeatable 1" dado on your good stock.
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Rip a piece of wood thicker (taller) than the piece you are dadoing down to 1/4" width. Set dado for 3/4". Run first cut through the saw. Clamp your 1/4" spacer to your fence. Run your piece through the saw again. I'd try this on some scrap of the same thickness first, and do any fine tuning of the spacer needed before making the actual cuts.
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First the good news. The 1/4" shim worked great. Now the bad news: The surface of the miter table has high pressure laminate on it (formica). The dados chipped the edges of the hpl. I probably should have taped them or used a router instead. Fortunately this will spoil the functionality of the piece but it looks crappy. What would you have done - tape or router or.....??
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On Wed, 20 Oct 2004 20:57:24 -0400, "Dick Snyder"

A newly-sharpened composite blade designed for cutting laminates will leave a sharp edge. I used a new blade and got a very clean cut. In fact, the result Formica edge can easily cut the skin.
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Maybe I don't understand a composite blade. I had to cut a dado. I thought a composite blade was the width of a normal saw blade (about 1/8" inch or less).
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On Wed, 20 Oct 2004 21:39:39 -0400, "Dick Snyder"

The easiest method is to use the spacer such that the composite blade cuts the edges of the dado. That's all you would do to the test piece, but on the cut made to your table move the fence for 6 increment passes. No dado blade used in this case.
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I can't recall which magazine I read, but taping the surface with plastic electrical tape before the cut will prevent a ragged edge. I had not tried this and it sounds logical, but I'd be interested if anyone tried this method with good results.
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The Forrest Dado King is the only Dado blade I know of that might have a chance at cutting it cleanly. Its a dicy proposition. I think I would try a test cut to see if it worked. Otherwise, I'd cut a smaller Dado and widen it with a router on both sides.
I wonder of manual scoring prior to cutting would help? The really high priced table saws that are supposed to handle this well have motor driven scoring blades that cut ahead of the main blade/dado.
Bob
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On Wed, 20 Oct 2004 20:57:24 -0400, "Dick Snyder"

You forgot to SCORE the top first. Several of us mentioned it. (Scoring is marking the cut edge with a razor/knife blade.)
Tape helps when you use the table saw, and scoring helps both tablesaw and router cuts.
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The best way I've found to prevent chipping and tear-out on the trailing edge is to clamp or otherwise attach a piece of scrap wood to the trailing edge of the board so that the dado blade goes through the board, then through the scrap. This way the scrap suffers the tear-out instead of the board you're working on.
Scoring the laminate with a utility knife may help too.

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It's the teeth coming DOWN toward the table that tear up the edge, assuming your saw blade and fence are paralel. Try this: Set up for first cut but have the blade 1/16 high. Make a scoring cut. Without moving the fence, raise the blade for your final cut and make it. Then add or remove your spacer from the fence and do the same two cuts, scoring and final. Should prevent chipping.
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