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Dialing in a dado stack on the primary attempt


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It appears to me there are only a few bargains on the earth of woodworking. Energy and hand instruments, supplies, and provides all appear to be costly. And the additional you go into the rabbit gap of woodworking, the costlier it will get. Even a single handplane with a really slender utility can value a whole lot of {dollars}. However there may be one merchandise that’s comparatively cheap and has a reasonably big selection of makes use of—the dado stack. I believe it’s the first joinery device any woodworker can buy. For between $100 and $200 you should buy a reasonably good dado stack and get to work slicing grooves, tenons, dadoes, bridle joints, lap joints, and so forth. With these joints and a few creativity, many alternative cupboard and furnishings items may be constructed.  

Trendy dado stacks are comparatively low cost, particularly contemplating how a lot use you may get from one. I may construct a complete set of kitchen cupboards together with the doorways, drawers, and containers with a dado stack and tablesaw. I may additionally construct numerous very nice freestanding furnishings reminiscent of chests of drawers, sideboards, and cabinets.  

Dadoes help with alignment when gluing up a piece with numerous components, and create a joint that’s actually sturdy sufficient for many cupboard tasks. Better of all, they’re adjustable in width from lower than 1/4 in. to greater than 3/4 in.

A board with grooves of various sizes cut in it.
I make a board with the assorted sizes my dado stack can minimize. That is completed with out shims. 

There may be one down facet to utilizing a dado stack, particularly if you’ll use it for a lot of different-size components: the setup. A dado joint should be considerably tight to be efficient. Meaning some quantity of adjustment is required. Usually that is completed by way of shims which are added between the assorted cutters that make up the stack. The issue with including or eradicating shims is that it’s each time consuming and annoying. One trick is to make a take a look at board that has a couple of totally different dadoes minimize in it and is marked with which mixture of chippers was used. To make use of the board merely discover the dado that’s barely smaller than your workpiece. Measure each the workpiece and the dado with calipers. Then add the right amount of shims to the stack and also you’re able to go. For probably the most half I nail setup the primary time utilizing this technique. 

I measure my workpiece and word its thickness.

Subsequent, I discover the most important dado my piece WON’T slot in.

Measure the dimensions and take word.

I perform a little math and discover the closest shim association to make up the distinction. On this case I used to be spot on.

Based mostly on my take a look at dado board and measurements, here’s what I would like to chop the proper dado. Each outdoors cutters, a 1/8-in. chipper, a 1/16-in. chipper, and the 2 shims.

That may be a fairly darn good match. Nailed it on the primary attempt…. Or did I dado it on the primary attempt?

I notice for a lot of, the dado stack is a well known entity. I needed to say it for these new to woodworking, or those that possibly haven’t given one a attempt. When in comparison with lots of the widespread handheld joinery instruments, such because the Festool Domino, a dado stack can do a lot of the identical work at a fraction of the worth. 

Professional tip: Larger isn’t at all times higher in relation to a dado stack. If you’ll be doing a stopped dado the smaller diameter of a 6-in. dado stack means much less cleanup. 

So at present, mighty dado stack, I salute you. That’s it for this one. Thanks for studying. 


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