|Review by Brad_Nailor||posted 07-04-2010 01:07 AM||4503 views||2 times favorited||26 comments|
I know this dado set has been reviewed a few times but I just wanted to put up my two cents about this set. I got it for a great price from Rockler..I paid about $70 bucks with shipping. The box it comes in is nothing to write home about…in almost every review I have read on this set, the reviewer comments on the crappy box, but then I care more about whats in the box..I can make a damn box…OK I’m getting side tracked…here is what it looks like..
So I went out and purchased another blank zero clearance insert to use with the dado set. I know alot of guys make their own from scrap..but I like the Leecraft inserts..they are well made, slicker and stiffer than MDF or plywood and fit perfectly. So the first task was to saddle up all the blades and cutters and cut the insert out. The blades all fit very snugly on the arbor but that’s a good thing…you just have to get them perfectly flat before they slide on. I ended up having to leave the washer off to get enough threads to tighten things down properly (the instructions advised doing this also..at least three full threads tightening). I clamped a board across the insert and slowly plunged the dado set up till it stopped. The insert cut perfectly…but it is a little scary hearing all those blades whirring around! So after I cut the insert I of course shoved some plywood right through the blades to see the cut quality. Here are some close up shots..
Here is a cut with and across the grain of some $50.00 a sheet HD birch ply, with a really thin veneer.
Overall, I think the cut quality is excellent. The bottom is flat with no grooves in it, the edges with the grain are perfect, and the cross grain edges are very good..a tiny bit “fuzzy” but definitely acceptable. The long horizontal crack is a plywood defect. You also see the score marks across the groove. The outside blades have an edge ground on them to help minimize tear out. These grooves were cut with the full stack of blades/chippers..and it measures 7/8” perfectly.
I then attempted to make a dado that a piece of plywood could fit into perfectly. I used a caliper to measure my ply and it was 11/16” thick. I then looked at the handy chart in the instructions and it told me to use the two outside blades, three 1/8” and one 1/16” chipper. I put this together and I could tell with my calipers that it was going to come up short..so I added a .015, and a .020 shim (a whole bunch of metal shims are included) to the stack. That gave me a perfect 11/16”. Here are some close ups of that test dado..
This was a really tight fit..not so tight I had to force it, but tight enough that it will stay together..
Again the edge quality is excellent..I purposely cut this one long across the grain and it looks great. The bottom is flat, the outside corners of the groove are nice and square, no ridges..just a really nice dado.
Overall, I give this dado set 5 stars. I have used crappy wobbles, and I have used $300.00 Amana and Forrest sets, and the Oshlun set is up their with the high end sets. I have yet to try it in hardwood, but I suspect it will perform just as well…plywood is allot fussier to dado than hardwood. I am going to test this set out in the next months..I have to build a vanity for my bathroom and I am going to be taking on a large custom closet job for a friend…so I see allot of dados in my future!