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Freud's Dado - Freud's Dodo

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Review by vipond33 posted 07-07-2013 04:35 PM 2798 views 0 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Freud's Dado - Freud's Dodo No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

It’s pretty safe to say I love Freud tooling. And I love it in spite of being trapped into using it.
I should explain.

We primarily run Freud tooling in our shop simply because my boss signed up to be an occasional demonstrator for them at hobbyist shows. His compensation for this task (and it is a task if you put yourself into it) is that he receives dealer discount on any order, always.

It would be easy to dislike their stuff if I had no choice (as the tooling manager of a small shop), but almost all of their gear is a treat. We run about 50 of their blades and maybe 80 router and shaper cutters.
Some of their blades shine, best in class, including the glue line rip and the atb fusion (but IMO only when used for cross cutting solid wood). There are many others just as good and their router bits are mostly high zoot.

Sadly, their premium dado set is an exception
It’s not that it doesn’t cut well or is deficient in engineering or manufacture, the accuracy and build of the bits involved is mildly astonishing. But it screws up royally because of a simple faulty design parameter. There is insufficient projection of the carbide tips relative to the plate. When this is the case, resin or burnt wood fibers collect just back of the teeth, forcing drag and heating. Recently, a difficult dado cut took so much effort and took so long that a glue line released because of the heat.

The plate is simply too heavy. A standard full kerf blade from them is normally .087” on the plate and .126” on the tips yielding 39 thousandths clearance. Our new dado set measures .115” on the plate and .132” on the tips giving a scant 17 thousandths. That’s just .085 on the outside where it counts.
The problem is exacerbated after repeated grindings. Our old sets have tips that are down to .122” and this must be so because of the back angles. Build up is instant on them for they are now essentially flush to the body.

Why they would beef up the plate is beyond me.

1. It is only 8” in diameter, smaller is stiffer to begin with
2. It is always stacked with other things that stiffen it further
3. The cuts are never approaching 3” high where you would need that extra strength
4. It is not like a dedicated rip blade that must have a heavy body so as not to deflect when not fully engaged in the cut.

A dado cut is almost always buried, one of the most difficult jobs for any saw blade as it never leaves the material and is constantly rubbing.
Generous relief angles with plenty of clearance would seem to fill out the design brief and they probably do from other manufacturers.
The only way for us to deal with the problem is to use a blade cutting lubricant like Bostik’s DriCote and repeatedly scrape off the gunk.

For occasional use with high maintenance it’s a beaut, but I think we’ll buy outside the family next time round.

We have three examples for your viewing pleasure, for this is not a recent thing,

http://www.freudtools.com/p-313-super-dado-sets.aspx

Fine Woodworking’s verdict on the cut quality.
http://www.finewoodworking.com/tool-guide/product-finder/freud-inc-dado-head-sd508.aspx

-- gene@toronto.ontario.canada : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.




View vipond33's profile

vipond33

1405 posts in 1182 days



19 comments so far

View DocSavage45's profile

DocSavage45

5098 posts in 1527 days


#1 posted 07-07-2013 05:11 PM

Are these dado sets in constant use? Have you compared them to other dado sets for similar faults? How well does the lubricant improve the cut quality.

Thanks. :>)

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View ChuckV's profile

ChuckV

2436 posts in 2212 days


#2 posted 07-07-2013 05:15 PM

Gene,

This is a very interesting and well written review based on significant use.

It got me curious, so I measured one of the outside blades from my Forrest Dado King. Mine are not new, but have never been sharpened. The plate is .112” and the tips are .138”, giving a clearance of .026”.

-- “That it will never come again / Is what makes life so sweet. ” ― Emily Dickinson

View vipond33's profile

vipond33

1405 posts in 1182 days


#3 posted 07-07-2013 05:26 PM

Doc: These dado sets are in serious daily use.
I have no comparison with others.
DriCote works wonderfully on any cutting tool. We spray the planer and jointer knives with it when processing resinous wood. It does not improve the cut quality, just maintains it a high level.
Forrest looks good Chuck, but oh what a price. $300 in Canada.

-- gene@toronto.ontario.canada : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

View DocSavage45's profile

DocSavage45

5098 posts in 1527 days


#4 posted 07-07-2013 05:41 PM

Thanks!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11663 posts in 2373 days


#5 posted 07-07-2013 05:43 PM

Hi Gene,
Have you ever given your results to the Freud R&D team to let them know of your issues with the product ?
I’m sure they would appreciate the professional feedback.
I recently purchased the 8” set off of Craigslist, but haven’t used it yet. Thanks for the heads-up and the tip about the lube : ) Excellent review, my friend.

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

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DocSavage45

5098 posts in 1527 days


#6 posted 07-07-2013 05:44 PM

Gene,

checked out Dry Coat on Amazon. It’s a rust preventative? Is there another Dry Coat product? I’m thinking that this might be harmful to some woods?

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View vipond33's profile

vipond33

1405 posts in 1182 days


#7 posted 07-07-2013 06:01 PM

Doc: That would be DriCote, by Bostik, not raincoat.
Dusty: We’re talking flea beseeching the elephant here. When Fine Woodworking says it’s the best set out there Freud is smiling & probably thinks their work is done. Never the less I will try.

-- gene@toronto.ontario.canada : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

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DocSavage45

5098 posts in 1527 days


#8 posted 07-07-2013 06:34 PM

Spelling makes all the difference. LOL!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11663 posts in 2373 days


#9 posted 07-07-2013 06:36 PM

I bet you’ll get a gold star for your efforts , Gene : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Scott Oldre's profile

Scott Oldre

391 posts in 2116 days


#10 posted 07-07-2013 10:52 PM

I have a dado set from CMT and absolutely love the cut quality, on solid or ply wood. I’m just a hobbyist, but when I need the set it never lets me down and the only time I build up crap behind the cutter is when I use it on things like treated wood, which is just occassionally.

I’d buy the set again in a heartbeat. I don’t have any other CMT stuff to compare the company with.

Thanks for the review Gene.

-- Scott, Irmo SC

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

11215 posts in 1375 days


#11 posted 07-08-2013 12:40 AM

Good information Gene. I had been considering this set because I love my Freud box cutter set. Think I’ll just continue with the multiple pass technique for wider dados.

Thanks for saving me some $

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Andygulfcoast's profile

Andygulfcoast

21 posts in 522 days


#12 posted 07-08-2013 02:39 AM

I have the 6” super dado set. Would the smaller diameter help?

View vipond33's profile

vipond33

1405 posts in 1182 days


#13 posted 07-08-2013 03:54 AM

Andy: Probably not though dimensions do change within the range. Put a caliper on it and see what it says, though your finger tips will likely tell the story.

-- gene@toronto.ontario.canada : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

View Bill1225's profile

Bill1225

125 posts in 1084 days


#14 posted 07-08-2013 01:43 PM

I have freuds non safety dado and its doesn’t have the kick back shoulders and doesn’t get nearly as gummed up and has a good feed rate

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2169 posts in 1535 days


#15 posted 07-08-2013 06:01 PM

Thanks Gene. So refreshing after so many, “I’ve always used and it has been fine.”

Kindly,

Lee

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

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