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Freud 8" Professional Dado

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  • Freud 8" Professional Dado

    Need some help from anyone who uses the Freud 8" Professional Dado.

    The dado set comes with 4 chippers (3 1/8" and one 1/16", I believe) and some shims. The shims are all different thicknesses, but I don't know how thick. The instructions on teh front of the package tell you to use various shims (a,b,c, I believe) but does not tell you which shims are which...and they aren't labled.

    Can somebody throw me a bone here? I have just avoided dados of any thickness that requires a shim and stayed with the chipppers and outerblades. However, as you can imagine, this limits my selection of dado widths.
    Brad Hatchett<br />

  • #2
    Great question, I would also like to know.

    Also, how tight should a good dado fit?



    • #3
      I don't use that dado, but I do know that plywood isn't very consistent in thickness when you are looking that close. 3/4 inch plywood is nominally 23/32 these days, but it often varies by 1/32, even across a sheet.

      For the dado set, I bet they want you to use whatever shim is required to make it work well, not betting on how thick the plywood is supposed to be.

      For how tight? Pretty tight, but not pound-it-in-with-a-big-hammer tight. You don't want to squeeze out all the glue.

      A solution I recommend... if you are installing a 3/4 inch shelf, for example, cut a 1/2 inch dado. Then trim the shelf back (approx 1/8 inch thickness on each side or if you are in a hurry, 1/4 inch on one side), perhaps using the same dado blade until the shelf fits snugly in the 1/2 inch dado. This will give you a prettier joint, and solves the problem of variance in the plywood thickness.


      • #4
        I had the same problem. I used a micrometer and wrote on them with indelible ink.

        Harbor Freight Micrometer
        <a href=\"\" target=\"_blank\"></a>


        • #5

          Similar answer that RixWorx gave only instead of the mic you may wish to invest in a 6" dial caliper which comes in very handy in the wood shop. This one with the -3 code is priced at $7.49 and since you're not going to be using the crap out of it should last even at that price!


          [ 06-11-2003, 10:31 PM: Message edited by: Cutbuff ]


          • #6
            Given variations in stock thickness, you may want to try different setups on some scrap to test fit. That's where the shims come in to play. Also, in my limited experience, I have had problems with letting the pieces sit around for a few days before assembly. The pieces must have taken on some moisture and were too tight when I got around to glue up - really worked up a sweat on that bookcase. And, don't forget a zero clearance insert for really clean dados, especially in plywood.

            Best regards,


            [ 06-13-2003, 03:51 PM: Message edited by: Henry Anthony ]


            • #7
              I have to agree. I always use scraps from the same sheet, or board, and do test cuts. Even if planing your own boards, it can vary slightly from end to end. But isn't that the fun of it all? Being smarter than what your working with and making it do what you want it to?

              I love using the dado blade on certain things. In other situations, the router table and several passes is the only way go. Live and learn, it's a wonderful life!
              John E. Adams<br /><a href=\"\" target=\"_blank\"></a>