For starters many saw blades centers are not flat. They may be hollow
ground and you would end up distorting the blades. Most are not designed to
crosscut and leave a smooth bottom unless your are using a rip blade and are
going with the grain. A good dado set is precision matched so that the
bottoms of the cuts will be even. This is not likely to happen with common
blades and especially if one of the blades has ever been sharpened.
Accuracy for one. With the combination of blades you can get most any
thickness and easily adjust with shims for a few thousandths if need be. It
is easy to compensate for the undersized plywood.
hey are also made to work together as a set. Blades may vary a bit from one
manufacturer to another so just grabbing blades at random would not give
What looked to a youngster like a stack of regular blades, was probably a
stack of, you guessed it, stack dado blades. Even 40 years ago.
O'course you could stack 6 Forrest blades to do a 3/4" dado and it would
only set you back $600.
I always thought the answer was chip removal and also the fact that the
inside chippers only have two teeth set on opposite ends which allows for
setting them inside the teeth of the outside blades.
Dumber question yet is the 8" Delta dado stack. One of the outer blades
says "this side out". That's it. Does it mean facing out, which would work
if I put next to the inside arbor plate which somehow translates to "this
side in"? Or does it mean that the blade goes next to the arbor nut,
("out" from my perspective) but then it has to be positioned such that the
"this side out" is actually facing in.
Who's on first, etc.
Look at the tips of the outer blades (not the chippers) you should have
one side that some teeth are pointed toward the outer side of the blade if
you look at the other blade the teeth should be pointed to the opposite
side. this is how you figure out which is the left and the right side
Thanks Chris...now take me one step further!!! Left vs. right on the teeth
I can do...now what do I do with that information??? LOL
So we come to a common point of reference, on the arbor nut side do I want
teeth pointing in or out (or up or down or north/south or east/west or
horizontal/vertical)...better yet, there is a washer welded onto each outer
blade around the arbor hole...do they face towards the chippers or towards
the arbor washers? (I could make a case for either way...towards the
chippers to act as a shim, towards the arbor washers to stabilize the
blades). Have actually tried them both ways and can't see much difference
other than the latter seems to make for too tight of a dado but perfect if I
add one or two of the cardboard shims that came with it.
you want the 'flat side' of the teeth towards the other blade(s) installed,
and the 'angled out' side of the teeth 'away from' the other blade(s).
If you put _just_ the two outer blades together, with no chippers, you should
have a combination that looks like a 'normal' blade.
What you call the washer is probably a 'stiffener', and should be on the
outside of the blade pack. i.e. on the side away from the other blade(s).
If in doubt, _read_the_directions_. It is simply *amazing* what one can find
out by doing that.
<SNIP> If in doubt, _read_the_directions_. It is simply *amazing* what one
out by doing that.
I ALWAYS DO...problem here is there weren't any...NADA...ZIP...ZILCH...all I
got for the $99 was 2 blades, a handful of chippers and some cardboard shims
in a cheap piece of plastic.
Let's take this one more step. The chippers have usually two or four teeth.
You put four of them together between the outer blades to make the thickness
you want. here do you place the teeth of each. One in back of the other?
Stagger them? Put some distance between them? Does not matter at all?
Assuming the chippers are perfectly made, (balanced), it wouldn't
matter as the rotational forces of the chipper(s) would place even
load on the arbor/bearings as they spin.
However, that would be a bad assumption. Nothing's perfect, and since
I don't have a several-hundred-dollar set of dado blades, I assume
mine are less perfect than others. ;>
I stagger them as best I can so that there is even distribution of
weight about the arbor. I get little, if any, vibration using this
method. (I've never done it any other way, so I don't know that I'd
get any vibration jamming all the chipper blades' teeth right next to
each other, either.)
Given the option, staggering is preferable. It makes for a more even load
on the saw bearings.
A 'staggered' setup does not necessarily imply a uniform set of offsets as
you go from one side to the other. sometimes there are benefits to be had
if the 'angularly adjacent' teeth are not on physically adjacent chippers.
The extreme case, 2-tooth chippers, with several of them set together,
would result in a big 'chomp' as they all come in contact with the wood
and "no" chomp, while the leading/descending tooth has cleared the (nearest
the user part of the) piece, but the trailing/ascending tooth has not yet
contacted the (farthest from the user part of the) piece.
"This side out" means outside of the stack. Given that and the teeth facing
the correct direction, means you got it right. "This side out" would be
meaningless if it meant outside on the arbor, since there are left and right
hand arbors out there.l
I was confused by that too. I came to the conclusion that the printed
side should face the arbor. That gets the orientation of the teeth right
as well as the little spacer disks that they have fixed on the inside of
the outer blades.
Actually with this set you would go wrong. There are round discs attached
to the side of each outer blade. They are not thock enough to eb
stiffeners but are just shims that are permamnently affixed to the
blades. If you reverse the blades these shims would be on the outside of
the set and you would not get cuts in any of the standard sizes.
Sorry, but that still sounds like a no brainier to me. I tried to put it
gently ... let me put it another way ... and not directed at you personally,
Despite the fact that I've never seen a set that didn't come with specific
instructions, and even supposing that these instructions were somehow MIA,
then a good case can be made that anyone incapable of NOT being able to
figure that out, or incapable of figuring out how to use all the blades and
chippers in any Dado set, would highly likely be better off NOT using one in
the first place without personal, hands-on instruction from someone who
IOW, dado sets, of any ilk, are not to be taken lightly ... if you don't
understand their use, don't rely on second hand information, get firsthand
Swingman...I thought you were leaving the group?
It isn't a "no brainer" and the instructions were not MIA...it was a new
pack and there were none that I recall but then again I ditched the cheap
plastic factory "storage case" after a few uses in favor of a home-made wood
box that gives me easy access to the parts, keeps them from banging against
each other, doesn't take 20 minutes to get them all back in when I am done
plus it holds the dado TS insert so everything is in one place.
I'll ignore your previous comment about chippers sandwiched between the two
outer blades. I concluded that must have been a personal reminder from you
to you. Do what ya gotta do I guess. Read it often and don't forget your
From what I've gleaned from the left/right in/out up/down posts, I think the
answer is the round disks attached on the outer blades face in towards the
chippers. That's the way I've always positioned them but have been getting
less than stellar results and was wondering whether the blade orientation
was wrong. Thanks to all for clarifying.
You will definitely need to pay more attention than that when you're using a
table saw with a dado set.
Anyone who has to ask, on a public forum, how to assemble and use a dado
set, and in particular ask a question of that basic a nature, would do well
to get some experienced, hands on guidance, in person, before attempting to
use one. You're spinning way too much metal to be guessing.
You "think"??! ... sorry, that ain't gonna cut it around that much spinning
metal. If you don't know for sure, don't ... until you do.
But yes ... that answer _is_ pretty much the definition of a "no brainer".
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