How to Efficiently use Stacked Dado Sets with Table Saws for Cutting Dadoes

In Woodworking projects, you will often see design plans that ask for several rabbets and dadoes. These designs have been continuing like for a long time. Earlier, Woodworkers used to cut them with the help of a specially designed plane or with a chisel.

Today however, thanks to the advent of power tools, the above mentioned methods have become obsolete. The new power tools have given to new methods of cutting rabbets and dadoes like:-

  • radial-arm saws
  • with a dado blade on table saw

Dado blades are sold in market in two distinct styles:-

  • stacked dado blades
  • wobble dado blades

Out of the two, the stacked dado blades win more votes from seasoned Woodworkers.

There are several reasons for which stacked dado blades are preferred over wobble dado blades. To start with, stacked dado set comes with two saw blades and numerous chippers that can be fit along with the two blades at the saw’s arbor. Number of chippers installed between the outer and the inner saw blades determines how wide a dado the saw will cut. If you insert more chippers, you will get a wider cut.

Unlike stacked dado set, a wobble dado set has a single blade. The blade has a collar that allows it to be set up at various angles. The angle determines the width of the cut. The angle is set steep, the cut will be wide.

How to setup stacked dado set

The instruction manual that will come with you set will tell you are the configurations that you can have and how wide cuts the saw will make. Most of the kits contain:-

  • 4x 1/8-inch kerf chippers
  • 1x 1/16-inch chipper

Each of the inner and outer blades also has a 1/8-inch kerf. Since a cut cannot be without using inner and outer blade, the minimum cut that you can achieve with the most basic stacked dado set will be of 1/4-inches.

How to safely use stacked dado sets

  • Ensure that your saw’s arbor is long enough to adjust blades before you fit stacked dado set on it
  • Ensure that the arbor nut has the space to full thread on the arbor
  • Buy a dado throat plate, or make one out of plywood when using stacked dado blades on a table saw
  • Never operate a table saw with its throat plate remove
  • Never try to use either stacked dado or wobble dado with a circular saw
  • Both the dado kits must be used either with table saws or with radial arm

Other accessories to increase the performance

If you are going to be cutting rabbets and dadoes in plywood, buy a dado kit that comes with spacers. Spacers look like thin washer and do the job of adding more space between the blades and chippers. This way you will achieve widths between 15/32-inches and 23/32-inches.

How to make Accurate Square & Angled cross cuts with a Miter Gauge

The primary role of table saw is cutting lumber i.e. making cuts along the grain of the wood. But with an accessory such as mitre gauge, you can cut lumber against the grain, these cuts are known as cross cuts.

A table saw’s blade can be angled up to 45 degrees for cutting and the miter gauge can be angled as well. Because of this, you can easily make compound cut that are often done using compound miter saw or radial arm saw.

How to make square cross-cut with a miter gauge

This is perhaps the easiest cut you can make. Here, the miter gauge is set to 90 degrees and the end of the board is cut square.

Sometimes, your miter gauge might not be accurate. If it is not accurate, the end result won’t be a proper square. Use the pro-tip below to check if you miter gauge markings are accurate.

Pro Tip: Set the gauge to 90 or 0 degrees, depending markings. Unplug the table saw and raise the blade guard. Slide the gauge in from of the stationary saw blade. Place a square of 6-inch combo square against saw blade and forward edge of the miter gauge. If the square aligns perfectly, then you saw blade is correct, if not, make proper adjustments as per reference manual.

To make cross cuts, place the miter gauge to the front of the saw blade and place a board against the flat edge of the saw table. Take a pencil to mark the spot where the cut has to be made. Make sure that the line is in line of the blade. Turn on the saw and guide the block along the miter gauge for perfect cut.

How to make angled cross cuts with a miter gauge

The procedure to making angled cross cuts with miter gauge is similar to making straight cross cuts. The difference here is that the miter gauge is set to an angle between 0 and 45 degrees. Angled cuts are slightly harder to do that straight cross cuts, hence ensure that you move the gauge a tad bit slower than normal, as faster movements could result in board slipping out of line. If you want to eliminate this risk consider using a clamp to secure the board tightly with the gauge.

How to make special cuts with jigs and miter gauge

To cut longer boards of length up to 4 feet, place a strip of wood at the face of your miter gauge. This will add stability to the board that has to be cut. Most of the miter gauges have sets of holes at their backs; use them to drive wood screws in the strip of wood to ensure that it is tightly held by the miter gauge. With this setup you can add box joint jigs to build perfectly matched box joints.

The Quick Buyer’s Guide to Band Saws

Do you know which tool is preferred by most of the Woodworkers for cutting precise curves in wood?

It is a band saw.

But that is not the only reason why a band saw is so popular.

Apart from cutting curves, a band saw can be used to:-

  • cut precise tenons
  • chop out small rabbets
  • rip apart small pieces of stock
  • re-saw thin strips from larger blocks of wood

Band saws come in several types, size and options.

Which one should you get?

Well, this guide is designed to help you find the answer.

Types of band saws

Band saws come in two major variants:-

  • cabinet models that stand on the floor
  • mounting models that have to mounted on a stand or a bench top before they can be used

Since mounting band saws are smaller in size and much less in cost, they are best suited for hobbyist Woodworkers. People who are professional Woodworkers opt for cabinet models.

As far quality in cuts goes, a lot depends on the operator than on the machine. While cabinet models have much larger motor and stronger frame, which result in consistent cutting, there is no proof that you can get the same result from a mounted band saw.

Features of band saws

When looking to buy a new band saw, focus on two main features:-

  • depth of the cut
  • throat of the band saw

Depth of the cut

It is the distance between the upper blade guides of the saw and the table. This feature is important because it tells about the thickness of the wood stock that the band saw can cut. For example, if a band saw has 6 inches depth of cut, it can cut 6 inch thick wood stock.

If you are going to be cutting wood stocks more than 6 inches in thickness, consider buying a band saw that comes with an optional riser. This optional riser allows you to increase depth of cut, while keeping the cost of the band saw low.

The throat

It is the distance between the vertical frame of the body and the blade. This distance determines how wide cuts are the band saw capable of making. The throat of a typical cabinet band saw measures from 12 to 14 inches, however, if you want wider cuts, you can go for the premium 18-inch band saws.

Motor size

Entry level band saws that are aimed at hobby Woodworkers generally have ¾ to 1 HP motor, while band saws for professionals have larger motors with speed variations. This variable speeds in mostly a gimmick because in Woodworking, speed doesn’t matter. Variable speed is generally a necessity for people looking to cut hard plastics/metals.

Additional features to consider

  • band saw should have steel, aluminium, or cast-iron table
  • the table should tilt by at least 45 degrees for angles cuts
  • table should be at least 16×16 inches

Tips for Beginners: How to fold Band Saw Blades & Avoid Wood Burns

Band saws are one of the most versatile machineries in the Woodworking industry. Blades available for band saws come in all shapes and sizes thus making it equipped to tackle most of the Woodworking projects with amazing efficiency.

If you are going to work on a lot of projects simultaneously, you will encounter the problem of storing blades. Blades of band saws are quite long and thus storing them in their default state requires a lot of space, but there is cute little trick that you can use to reduce the space i.e. you can fold them in three loops.

Below you will find a detailed procedure on how to fold band saw blades for easy storage:-

Safety instructions

  • Put on a full sleeves shirt and wear leather gloves – If you are a newbie, there are good chances that the blade is jump out the loop in first few attempts and can cause a cut. By wearing this gear, chances of getting hurt lessen.
  • Wear safety goggles – While the chances of the blade letting loose and hitting your eye is very slim, it is would foolish to take it still.

Steps to follow while folding the blades

  1. Remove all the stuff from your work table. Place the blade on the table with cutting side pointed up.
  2. Lift front edge of the blade, get below it and reach for the opposite side. Set the far side below the near side and make three loops till you get a shape that looks like a three-leafed clover.
  3. This is the tricky part. Hold the clover with one hand and grab the far side of the one of the two loops you made. Steady for the clover that hand and move your other hand to the far side of loop opposite.
  4. Lift and twist the two loops towards your body
  5. Use pressure to twist the closed loop and allow them to come together, thus creating three loops of equal size
  6. Adjust the shape of three loops and use some cables to tie them

How to avoid Saw Burns

Another tip you can use is removal of saw blade burns. Sometimes while working with oak wood, you may end up getting band saw burns of the wood, which do not look good.

While there are some ways to get rid of them, it is better to cut in a way that you avoid getting them in the first place.

The steps to be followed are:-

  • check the saw blade for sharpness, cleanliness and freeness of pitch – This is to ensure that the blade is not dull, because if the blade is dull, then the stock would move from blade slowly, resulting in burns.
  • check alignment of blade – if the blade is not parallel to the fence, a burn can occur
  • check if splitter is parallel to the fence – splitter is located just behind the blade. Ensure that is in line with the blade and parallel to the fence