|Review by vipond33||posted 07-07-2013 04:35 PM||4011 views||0 times favorited||19 comments|
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,
Fine Woodworking’s verdict on the cut quality.
-- firstname.lastname@example.org : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.