I have been truly spoiled for a long time. We had a real pro shop and had
the best of everything. I am now starting a little shop in my garage and
now, money is tight. Having lost the Forrest Dado deal at Amazon, I am
looking for a dado. I will probably use it for solid and hardwood ply. What
do you guys suggest for a lower cost dado.
The various sets in the Freud range have served well. I bought the low-end
SD208, when I first started, $89 or so at the Borg, and have had no reason
to upgrade. My neighbor has the SD508(?) Dial-a-dado, which he has offered
to loan, but it hasn't been worth the walk across the street.
I've been using the dado set from Ridge Carbide for some time now, and I'm
completely satisfied with it. The cut quality is slightly better than the
Forrest Dado King, and it's about 2/3 of the price.
Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
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In a recent comparison (Wood magazine I think) the Freud SD508 and
Forrest SD were virtually tied, except in that the Forrest carbide was
a little harder & would be a good choice for production work where it
would not have to be sharpened as often.
Based on this (and being a hobbyist) I bought the Freud (Amazon for
about $160 on sale/coupons) and it has been excellent - way better than
the adjustable Sears dado that I used for almost 10 years.
Wood Magazine, June 2002, had a special issue reviewing dado sets. The
SD208 received TOP VALUE honors. That is the one that I purchased and
I have been reasonabnly happy with it. I, too, would have preferred
the Forrest dadoking for $150 of course.
Please pardon my ignorance. I have been following this thread because I made
a mistake a couple of years ago and bought a (cheap) Vermont American 6"
dado set. It is OK when doing dados for shelves in cabinets but I have been
working on a box joint setup cutting through birch plywood and I get tearout
even with a backer board. It looks like Freud makes a winner but I'm trying
to understand why one would get an 8" dado set rather than 6". Is it only
the depth of the dado that is the difference? In my experience so far, I
haven't run across an application where I need any more depth. There isn't
much price difference so I would guess that depth is the only difference but
would like to hear back on this.
I bought a frued dado set when I first needed to cut a dado and was
never pleased with it. I'd get tear out on plywood plus I'd get
unparrellel cuts on hardwood. This last June, Tool Crib had a Fathers
Day sale where you'd get $50 off any purchase on an item if it normally
sold for over $200. I bought the Forrest Dado King for $229, normally
$279. After using the Dado King I wonder now why I spent all that money
on the frued blade and it doesn't perform like the Dado King. I
understand that the Dado King is made with C-4 carbide and has a -5
degree hook in the blade.
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A dado sled is simply a crosscut sled that has had it's groove
enlarged by being used to cut at least one dado. <G>
Even with a 3/4" kerf, the sled is still perfectly usable for normal
crosscutting. The regular saw kerf tends to be taller in the fence
nearest the operator, so you can still use a slot to line up the work.
One side of the kerf won't change, no matter how wide the slot ends
up. Which side will depend on if you have a right or left tilt saw.
Not shown in any of the photos is an example of adding a block clamped
in place as a stop. Think of the pictured hold down block, but placed
against the end of the board.
I have the SD208 and it is a good value dado and best for plywood.
The 508 & 608 adjustable are upgrades and nearly the same except for
the 608's adjustable dial. For hardwood, I would recommend the SD308
"safety" dado. It cuts hardwood dados without blowing out the exit
side of the dado. Almost all of the recommended low and midrange
dados are negative hook teeth anymore. Fine and targeted for plywood,
but the positive hook SD 308 is faster and smoother for hardwoods.
Want to save money, use a nice sharp flush cut router bit with the guide
bearing on top. I have designed a jig that is self squaring and cuts dados
to fit the board that will go into it perfectly with no measuring for the
width of the dado.
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