Bought a jig and it seems to work much better than my home-made one.
Got out my old Craftsman dado set and cut a few quarter inch ones.
Those saws were made BC (before carbide) are OK for regular dados but
the cutter blades are not flat. The outer 1" is thinner than the body
on each side. So a quarter inch dado in end grain is really a quarter
inch with a thin strip of wood left in the center.
Hope triumphed over common sense and I bought a wobble dado blade.
Sure enough it wobbles and the dados it makes look like little arched
doorways. Not good for box joints.
I sent it back and bought a stacked dado set from HF. Set up the two
cutters and ran a few test cuts. This time the cut looked like an "M"
with a shallow top. I checked the blades and the carbide inserts were
not all ground alike. Some had a flat top and some were canted. It
appeared that the teeth were ground by an opium addict with a dremel
tool and a diamond blade.
So plan D calls for a real set of dado blades I guess. Still learning
at 72 that saving money is not cheap.
When it comes to simple box joints in reasonably thin material (<= 3/4")
I've always found that a router table beats a table saw. Setup is faster
and you don't have to fiddle with shims and spacers to achieve the proper
slot width as you do with a dado blade.
As you found out, the ATB "set" (alternate top bevel) of many
woodworking table saw blades is not conducive to finger joints, or
dadao/groove where a flat bottom is required.
What you had yet to learn was how to buy a table saw blade for a
particular job ... Dave now has you set up with the right tool for the
Which jig did you get?
I feel better now, mines still in the box too. I took it out & played
with it, then decided no playing until I get moved into the new
addition and have everything put away. How have medicare so going
tomorrow to get my leg fixed and hopefully be able to stand for more
then 1/2 hr.
First I got the WoodSmith kit, made the jig and it works so-so. Then I
bought the aluminum one (WoodSmith) and like it a lot. The ATB on
the HF saw is more RTB (random top bevel). Some flat, some with the
bevel on one side, none that I could see had a bevel on the other side.
Try to remember that feeling of satisfaction you got the moment you
fitted those box joints together and saw they were perfect.
It doesn't come often in life, but when it does, that moment is to be
I made some first attempts at box joints today.
Dismal failure. While operator error was primary, the jig I was
using wasn't friendly to the beginner.
I recalled this thread.
Just ordered an iBox and Freud Box Joint set.
I'm only 50, but trying to learn the same lesson.
(In my case, that a cheap router table is, well, cheap. But it is
okay for fence work.)
|Drew Lawson | If you're not part of the solution |
| | you're part of the precipitate. |
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