Last night I spent a couple agrravating hours trying to zero in on 15/32"
with my Freud 208 stacked dado, but eventually gave up. Unplug the saw,
take out the insert, take off the arbor nut, blade, chippers, struggle with
the little brass(?) shims, remove/add as necessary replace, test cut, get
irritated, repeat, and repeat, and repeat.
Today I see someone recommended a set like LV has:
"cutouts" in them to make it easier to add/remove the shims at least. So,
before I place my order for a set, can I just cut a similar cut out in my
brass shims with some tin snips to get the same effect, or will the very act
skew the shim width out of tolerance?
My second thoughts on the matter. You notice that these shims are being
applied with a pair of tweezers. That will be a hassle. IMHO you still
want to remove a blade and then put the shim on. Having problems with
removing the shim because it slips down into the threads of the arbor? Get
a magnetic set that will not slip down in to the threads and stick to the
blade when you remove the blade. No need to take shims off separately with
out a blade or chipper coming off at the same time. The shims will come off
with the blades.
I'm a little confused. How could it take you so long? I'd figure at
the most three or four setups, and maybe 30 or 40 minutes.
In any event, frustrating is frustrating regardless of what insult the
clock adds to it. On the bright side, once you have the correct
combination of blades and shims, write it down and the next time it's a
one shot deal.
If you're trying to adjust the width on a trial and error basis, that's
can be a problem. Start out undersize on your first setup, plow a test
then put a micrometer on the dado and subtract that amount from the
mic'd thickness of the piece fitting into the dado. Find a shim or
combination of shims that is a couple or few thousandths greater than
that difference, install them (not as a group - alternate with
chippers/blades) and you'll be good to go.
In one of the mags I get suggested:
Make the dado slightly oversized
Put your stock in the dado
Fill in gap with extra shims
However many extra shims fit is the number you need to remove
I can usually get it right on the second test cut this way.
I have those shims; I've found you need a LONG pair of tweezers and it
can be tricky even then.
What I did, is take a piece of scrap, and use every combination of
dado blades to make a series of grooves. I measured the grooves with
dial calipers and marked each one with the measurement. That is my
starting point and I only have to do that once
When it is time to make a dado, I measure the stock to go in the dado
with the same dial caliper to determine what the shims need to be, and
I often hit the mark on the first try.
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