Learning the hard way

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Blog entry by dalec posted 04-11-2008 05:46 PM 4366 reads 0 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I had an accident with my dado blade yesterday. I set up the dado to cut a test. As it turned out, I did not tighten down the retaining nut tight enough, so when I ran my short test cut, I heard this unusal sound and thought I had the blade too high and lowered it and made another cut. Once I was done with the test dado cut, I noticed the dado cut had several ridges in the bottom. I then looked at the dado blade and saw that the chippers had shifted and on closer inspection, the chippers had collided with the left side outer blade and several carbide teeth were sheared off or damaged. Fortunately the only damage was to the dado set.

I guess I am in the market for another dado set.

With my regular combination blade, I have been turning the nut to firm up against the blade and then giving it a good firm tap. This seems to work with a single blade. I used the same with the dado turning ensuring none of the teeth are touching and the chippers are at 90 degrees to each other, but this is tightening method is not very precise and I may not have gotten it as tight as usual. Given the number of blades in a dado set, there are more chance of not seating the blades parallel and tightly, so tightening the nut as usual may have only shifted the blades over and not tighten as much as necessary.

What is your process for mounting and tightening your single blades and dado blades?


16 comments so far

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3411 days

#1 posted 04-11-2008 06:50 PM

The thing is make sure that all the blades are tight up against each other when you snug the nut.
Make certain that the first blade if tight against the arbor flange. It can slip off when putting on
the chippers.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View motthunter's profile


2142 posts in 3222 days

#2 posted 04-11-2008 07:01 PM

I had a guest in my shop do the same thing once. Thank god it was my cheaper dado set. I snug each as I go and after tightening the nut, give it all a wiggle to see if all is good. Never hurts to double check.

-- making sawdust....

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 3245 days

#3 posted 04-11-2008 07:17 PM

Ditto Gary’s remarks. Once the stack is set then I tighten it down.

My condolences on your dado set. They can be repaired but you are the best judge of whether it it worth it or not.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View DocK16's profile


1178 posts in 3510 days

#4 posted 04-11-2008 07:42 PM

Glad you weren’t hurt. My recommendation for replacement; Freud Adjustable Dado.

-- Common sense is so rare anymore when you do see it, it looks like pure genius.

View dalec's profile


613 posts in 3311 days

#5 posted 04-11-2008 07:58 PM

I agree now that I have had this experience. I was a bit down after doing this, but in hindsight, I am glad I did not do it someone else’s dado set and of course no injury. So it turned out to be a just a hard lesson learned.


View Chris 's profile


1877 posts in 3414 days

#6 posted 04-11-2008 10:02 PM

Ok…. The possibilities of injury there a just wee bit scary! Seriously, thanks for the reminder.

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View Josh's profile


119 posts in 3361 days

#7 posted 04-11-2008 11:04 PM

After changing my blade i flip the saw on and off. I like to check and make sure the blade is running true, and then I’ll recheck the nut to make sure it is still nice and tight.

View doyoulikegumwood's profile


384 posts in 3415 days

#8 posted 04-11-2008 11:11 PM

im still crying for your dado :((

-- I buy tools so i can make more money,so ican buy more tools so I can work more, to make more money, so I can buy more tool, so I can work more

View Ad Marketing Guy - Bill's profile

Ad Marketing Guy - Bill

314 posts in 3221 days

#9 posted 04-11-2008 11:53 PM

Unfortunately, the best way to achieve a new respect for tools and machine. Thank God blades can be replaced much easier than fingers.

-- Bill - - Ad-Marketing Guy, Ramsey NJ

View dalec's profile


613 posts in 3311 days

#10 posted 04-12-2008 01:00 AM

I found two web sites that sell replacement blades for my Freud SD208. I ended up damaging three (3) 1/8” chippers and the left outside blade, leaving only the right outside blade and the 1/16” chipper in working order. The best price I have found for replacing the damaged blades is $62.00 without shipping cost.

I have began thinking, I might be ahead getting a new dado set or maybe upgrade to a different set – no firm decision as yet. I will have to save a while anyway.


View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3167 days

#11 posted 04-12-2008 03:17 AM

Depending how many tips you have missing, and the worth of the dado set you have, it might be worthwhile to check Forrest Manf. They will replace tips as needed with their sharpening service.

View dalec's profile


613 posts in 3311 days

#12 posted 04-12-2008 04:10 AM

Thanks Tmuli for the link to Forrest repair services.

I have three option that I can assess.


View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3316 days

#13 posted 04-12-2008 12:58 PM

to add to what folks have already said

the outside blades usaully have a “this side out” printed on them and no “2” teeth should touch each other. rather having the chippers at 90 degrees to each other to balance the wieght on the arbour…....does that make sense?

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View juniorjock's profile


1930 posts in 3188 days

#14 posted 04-12-2008 03:37 PM

One thing I’ve noticed on my set of Grizzly dado blades is that sometimes the shims fall down in the threads on the arbor. The blades weren’t stacking up against each other like they should have until I tightened the nut. When I removed the blades I noticed that a couple of the shims had small pieces missing from the center hole. Has anyone else had this problem? If so, how do you solve it? It’s hard to come up with something that won’t add thickness to the dado set.

View dalec's profile


613 posts in 3311 days

#15 posted 04-13-2008 07:08 PM

The way I have set up my dado has been to firm up the left side outerblade against the leftside flange, then adding wing chippers alternately at 90 degrees to each chipper and checking to be sure no tips do not touch and interspersing shims between the blades as needed.

I believe my error was not tighting the retaining nut tight enough. I had trouble loosening the retaining nut from a previous work session and ended up slightly damaging the retaining nut. So with that experience, I think I subconsciously tried not to over tightened the nut when mounting the dado set. I thought I made sure all the blades were seated firmly against the left side and then tightened down the retaining nut. But things went awry anyway.

On Juniorjock’s topic,

I am such a novice, that I will leave it to other more experienced LJ’s to comment. I suggest that you may want to start a new forum thread with your topic so your topic is isolated to your specific question. I would be interested in reading what other LJ’s have to offer on your topic.


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