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Accidents with Dado cutters???

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Forum topic by ondablade posted 12-19-2009 03:49 AM 4939 views 0 times favorited 33 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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ondablade

105 posts in 1884 days


12-19-2009 03:49 AM

As you guys probably know stacked dado cutters are while not illegal frowned upon as being unsafe in Europe. While you can in one or two places buy a dado cutter for private use, it seems that it’s not legal to sell a saw with a long enough spindle to take a dado. It is on the other hand possible to buy a saw set up for and to use carbide insert type grooving cutter. One maker even offers an aftermarket spindle extension for this purpose.

We get lots of pronouncements on this topic on UK forums since Norm hit the airwaves over here, but little hard fact.

What is the experience in the US with widespread use of stacked dado cutters? Do the modern examples tend to lead to accidents? Were the older ones risky in some way? What sort of accidents typically arise?

ian

-- Late awakener....


33 replies so far

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patron

13101 posts in 2027 days


#1 posted 12-19-2009 04:12 AM

i have never heard of any specific accidents to dado blades ,
but in use i know that when you turn on the saw ,
the sound alone wakes you up instantly ,
making you more aware of what is going on .
they tend to require more control , as the blades are in
the wood , not through the wood .
they push it back to you more ,
as apposed to cutting down into it .
much more friction to the cut .
personally those profile cutters scare me much more ,
than a good set of dado cutters .

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

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JAGWAH

929 posts in 1770 days


#2 posted 12-19-2009 04:13 AM

In my 35 years I have never heard of a stack dado set up being any more dangerous than juat the single blade itself. I would agree that there are some tablesaws not of a good enough quality or power to use one. Here a few table saws don’t have a long enough arbor just for that purpose.

Woodworking is inherently dangerous and requires a stout heart and alert mind at all times.

I’d be curious to see statistics that say the stack dado is a dangerous accessorie.

Sez~ Bob with big scar on left thumb.

-- ~Just A Guy With A Hammer~

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matt garcia

1832 posts in 2358 days


#3 posted 12-19-2009 04:37 AM

I use my 6” Forrest Dado King frequently, nothing but stellar results!!

-- Matt Garcia Wannabe Period Furniture Maker, Houston TX

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JJohnston

1586 posts in 1977 days


#4 posted 12-19-2009 04:42 AM

I think I read it right here on LJ: the problem with dado stacks is not “safety”, it’s that the additional mass is incompatible with the blade brakes required on European saws.

-- "Sometimes even now, when I'm feeling lonely and beat, I drift back in time, and I find my feet...Down on Main Street." - Bob Seger

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Julian

880 posts in 2211 days


#5 posted 12-19-2009 05:18 AM

JJohnston has it right. It’s all because of the blade brake. Dado blades aren’t used for through cuts so I always feel that as long as your hands are either on push blocks or far away from the blade, you’re fine. I have yet to have a kickback from using a dado blade, but have had a few using regular blades.

-- Julian, Park Forest, IL

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RetiredCoastie

999 posts in 1869 days


#6 posted 12-19-2009 06:01 AM

I’ve never heard of anyone being injured by a dado blade, I’m sure it has happened. I would hate to see them outlawed, they have their place and are safe as long as you observe basic safety precautions. Don’t blame the tool, blame the user!

-- www.thepatriotwoodworker.com Proud Supporter of Homes For Our Troops

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JAGWAH

929 posts in 1770 days


#7 posted 12-19-2009 07:28 AM

Coastie
I agree. If dado blades are outlawed then only outlaws will have dado blades.

-- ~Just A Guy With A Hammer~

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LesB

1069 posts in 2129 days


#8 posted 12-19-2009 09:31 AM

That brings up another question. Does the Saw Stop saw handle stacked dado blaces with it’s electronic blade stop?

-- Les B, Oregon

View Derek Lyons's profile

Derek Lyons

584 posts in 2254 days


#9 posted 12-19-2009 10:05 AM

Saw Stop does handle dado blades, but you have to install a special cartridge when you install a dado blade.

-- Derek, Bremerton WA --

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rustedknuckles

160 posts in 2438 days


#10 posted 12-19-2009 10:44 AM

You’ll have to pry my Dado stack from my cold dead fingers.

-- Dave- New Brunswick

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knotscott

5512 posts in 2062 days


#11 posted 12-19-2009 02:52 PM

I’ve used several dado stacks on my saws many, many times over the yeas with no issues whatsoever. The blade sits very low, and there’s always a lot of wood between my hands and the blade, not to mention push blocks. No more dangerous than a router IMHO.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Robert Herring's profile

Robert Herring

38 posts in 2066 days


#12 posted 12-19-2009 04:07 PM

I lost parts of 3 fingers last year using a dado stack. It was user error and not the blades. Somehow the piece rose up and as I went to push it back down, the wood shot out and my hand replaced it. Lesson learned. I still use dado stacks but my attention is never swayed. I have told everyone I know to never interupt me while I’m using any power tool. They just have to wait until the tool is off. Again, it was user error, not the tool.

-- Robert M. Herring

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Moron

4666 posts in 2579 days


#13 posted 12-19-2009 04:22 PM

I once saw a fella using dadoes and he forgot to but the nut and bushing against the dados, on the arbor.

The TS suddenly made screaming sounds as the blades dug their way through the piece being milled….......everybody hit the floor. I also witnessed a guy cut a few hundred yards os dadoes before he realized the blades were on backwards.

I assume both parties are still looking for their left socks.

Safety First.

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

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poopiekat

3671 posts in 2420 days


#14 posted 12-19-2009 04:29 PM

I recall one incident at a workplace long ago…that there was a kickback while someone did a 3/8” by 1” dado in hardwood; looking at the blade set, all the chippers were lined up straight across. Whether this person failed to stagger them, or the set simply wasn’t fastened tight enough, nobody knows. With the 2 ancient Unisaws this shop owned, most users in that shop were in the habit of tightening the arbor-nut finger tight, expecting the momentum of start-up to finish the tightening job. With single blades, sure enough you’d need a wrench to loosen them afterwards, but maybe it was not a good idea to tighten that way on a stack set.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

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TraumaJacques

433 posts in 2187 days


#15 posted 12-19-2009 04:40 PM

By nature a dado set minimize the amount of cuts one must do to perform the job needed. It therefore also reduces the odds of accidents. One must keep in mind that if all safety features are used plus zero clearance throat plate and sacrificial fences for rip or cross cuts (do I even have to add arbour washer and nuts?) a dado set is just as safe as a regular blade. Personally I am more afraid of my router table than a dado set.

-- All bleeding will eventually stop.

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