|Review by Peter Oxley||posted 11-07-2009 01:54 AM||10200 views||0 times favorited||12 comments|
The DadoMax makes easy, accurate router dados. Setup is easy and it makes tight-fitting dados regardless of material thickness. The DadoMax is constructed of high-quality materials, and has a large enough surface that there is no worry of the router tipping. It comes in a metal case and includes replacements parts for items that might be easily lost. The DadoMax adjusts to a variety of straightedges, and you can buy the DadoMax without a straightedge if you already have one.I only gave four stars because:
- The DadoMax slid easily on some parts of the straightedge and tended to jam on other parts – probably a slight variation in the width of the straightedge. A little wax might take care of the problem.
- The DadoMax didn’t come with any instructions. While not too difficult to figure out, an explination of setup and adjustment should be included.
- You can get the same function with comparable accuracy with a simple shop-made jig. $139 seems like an expensive replacement for the shop jig.
I was very surprised to find that there were no instructions for setup or use. I know a lot of guys don’t like to read instructions, but it seems like anything that needs setup or adjustment should come with instructions. Here’s a quick run-down for setting up and using the DadoMax:
First, adjust the DadoMax to the width of your straightedge. It should be tight enough that there is no “slop” but loose enough to slide easily. The two knobs on the left allow you to adjust the guide.
Next, adjust the spacer throat to match your router bit. Loosen the screw with the hex key that is provided, and make sure the throat is exactly the size of the diameter of your router bit when the DadoMax unit is fully closed.
Set the DadoMax to the thickness of the material using an actual piece of the material that will fit in the dado. The spacer throat is stepped so router bits of various sizes can be used. When using a ½” bit, the stock fits on the outer step as shown. For a 3/8” bit fit the stock on the middle step, and with a ¼” bit use the inner step. Set the DadoMax fairly tight using the adjustment screw, and lock it in place using the jam nut.
Mark the location of the dado on the workpiece. Place the DadoMax on the straightedge and align with the location marks. The DadoMax has three alignment marks, again depending on which router bit you are using. I’m using the longest alignment mark with the ½” bit.
Set the router on the DadoMax, and slide the router along the straightedge and back. The DadoMax will allow the router move slightly toward and away from the straightedge. On one pass press toward the straightedge and pull away from the straightedge on the return pass. The resulting dado will be a tight fit for your your material.
I didn’t have my straightedge clamped tight enough on my first dado, and it moved. The second attempt resulted in a tight dado. Be sure your clamp is tight so you don’t ruin actual parts!