I had to make a 7/8" dado today. Since my dado set only goes up to 13/16" I
put a 1/2" dado assembly in my TS and cut a groove. I moved the fence 3/8"
and cut a second grove. It only took one adjustment to be perfect.
It was faster and easier than most dados I have cut, where you have to fuss
with the spacers.
Is there a downside to this method I am not seeing? If not, I will do all
my dados this way.
Only downside I've found is the minimal scar left by the scoring blade
in the dado. As few people see the inside cut of a dado after assembly
(one hopes!), not a real issue. I often just use a 1/4 dado set up
'cause I've cut a ZC insert to match that size and just bump the fence
as you did. Sometimes tho' those little magnetic spacers save thge day
with off-size ply. Heck, some of that stuff isn't even a reasonable
metric size to 2 decimal positions! I mean like 18.7 mm! That's close
to 47/64 but not quite at it. It's sure not 23/32.
Beware the lazy man, he'll find a better way (Lazarus Long)
Some people nibble with their rip blade. If you had an underpowered saw,
(or a couple of dropped cutters that had blown their carbide) you'd do it
that way a lot. Got a nice Freud set three years ago to replace the kid's
I usually have some left over Starboard
, which is a staple building product in the marine industry, laying
around. I use strips of it for all sorts of things, including fence
shims. I rip it to the right size, then scrape or plane until smooth.
It's stable, nothing sticks to it, and it's slick as snot so the boards
slide much easier.
newbie to woodworking question ...
I have been using a router and a simple homemade dado jig to do my dados.
With the jig (commonly found in many router jig articles) there is no
measuring, no worring about undersize or oversize wood or bits, and the dado
always matches the width of the piece you are joining first time.
but, like I said ... new to woodworking ... what am I missing?
You're not. I use my router to cut dados as well and I've never had any
difficulties. Many here prefer dado blades and have stated that they make
for a faster dado if you're cutting a lot of them, but for my needs I've
never found the router to be lacking. Like you, I cut my dado to fit the
piece that's going into it and I don't worry about whether it's 1/2" or
15/32" or 31/64" or whatever. Simple jig, coupla passes and I'm off and
running. Maybe not the most elegant approach, but quite effective.
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