|Review by Gord Graff||posted 06-26-2010 07:06 PM||5254 views||3 times favorited||8 comments|
- Craftex Blue Tornado Dado Set for Plywood & Melamine
- Brand: Craftex | Category: Saw Blades
The Craftex Blue Tornado Dado Set
Cutting dadoes and rabbets in sheet material such as veneer coated plywood or particleboard or melamine coated particleboard is a routine procedure in woodworking. What isn’t so routine is cutting splinter free dadoes and rabbets in this type of material but now that’s a thing of the past with the Craftex Blue Tornado 8” CBTO17 dado set. The Craftex Blue Tornado line of saw blades, router bits and shaper cutters is exclusive to Busy Bee Tools in Canada and contain all of the features found in “top of the line” woodworking cutting products without the premium price tag that goes along with such products. (See product features below)
The CBTO17 dado set I tested was specifically designed for use with veneer coated plywood (or particleboard) and melamine coated particleboard. Blue Tornado claims a splinter free cut in either materials…………….that’s a bold claim and I was eager to find out whether or not this dado set could meet this claim.
In my shop I have several pieces of what have to be some of the worst plywood and melamine sheet material I have ever worked with. These materials (maple plywood, oak plywood and melamine coated particleboard) will chip out when cut with even the best blades and cutters I own……………………..this stuff is just, bad material.
So I thought that if the Craftex Blue Tornado dado set could cut these materials with a minimum of tear out, I’d be very happy. Little did I know at the start of this test that this dado set would far exceed my expectations.
This dado set comes in a well made wooden box that is foam filled to keep this set well protected against the bumps and bangs that may occur in a shop setting.
The set includes instructions, 2-24 teeth outside cutters, 6-chippers and a set of stainless steel shims. The two outside cutters feature an anti kickback design with plenty of C4 tungsten carbide. The outside cutters are clearly marked and identify this set for cutting plywood and melamine. This set will cut dadoes ranging in width from 1/4” to 15/16”.
The chippers that come with this set are all made with six wings providing a very smooth, flat bottom cut. Each tooth on these cutters features the same C4 tungsten carbide as found on the outside cutters and there is plenty of it, sharpened to a mirror finish with a razor sharp cutting edge. The six chippers sizes are clearly etched into each cutter. (4 X 1/8” chippers, 1 X 1/16” chipper & 1 X 1/32” chipper)
The set of stainless steel shims that are included with this dado set are 3 1/8” in diameter and their sizes are clearly marked on each shim. The shim set (5 shims) consists of 1X.020” , 2X .007” & 2X .005”. These stainless steel shims along with the different sized chippers allow the user to easily match the width of any material ranging from 1/4” to 15/16” and the stainless steel shims won’t break, tear or distort in use like some plastic shims.
The test was conducted with some of the worst veneer products I’ve ever come across. These materials were poorly made and no matter what method I used to cut splinter free dadoes across the grain of this material I always ended up with the same results…………….splintered edges. So what better material to test the claim of a splinter free cut? If the Blue Tornado dado set can cut these materials with a minimum of tear out, then I would have gone onto a better quality of samples and used them for the test. At that point in time I would have concluded that this dado set cut extremely well in good or better quality plywoods and melamines. But as you’ll see by the pictures below, this dado set performed flawlessly in the poorest material that I have ever worked with.
These are pictures of typical tear out that I experienced with my best dado set cutting across the grain of maple veneered plywood, oak veneered plywood and melamine coated particleboard.
As you can see in the picture below, cutting along the grain yields a clean cut with my favorite dado set but cutting this material across the grain ends in tear out.
Comparing all three materials and the cuts produced by the Blue Tornado dado set versus my favorite dado set the results are very clear. The Blue Tornado dado set does deliver on its claim of cutting splinter free dadoes in plywoods and melamines.
This test was performed on a 3HP cabinet grade table saw without the use of a zero clearance throat plate. The Craftex Blue Tornado CBTO17 dado set clearly and effortlessly meets and exceeds its claims of cutting splinter free dadoes in plywoods and melamines. The shoulders on the cuts produced by the Blue Tornado were sharp and square with no burning or splintering. The bottom of the cut was dead flat with no valleys or ridges which makes for stronger joinery. The stainless steel shims and the three different size chippers (1/8” 1/16” 1/32” ) allow for sizing dadoes of every conceivable size between 1/4” to 15/16”
And I specifically stacked the odds against this dado set by not using a zero clearance throat plate. This dado set is all that it claims to be and so much more……………………
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