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Making dado's: table saw or router?

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Forum topic by Holbs posted 12-16-2015 05:50 AM 1050 views 0 times favorited 33 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Holbs

1377 posts in 1495 days


12-16-2015 05:50 AM

Topic tags/keywords: dado router table saw

Since the beginning of my venture into wood working, I’ve only been making dado’s with the use of a Freud 8” dado stack on my Bosch 4100. Wonderful results, but very time consuming to set up with the 0.004” spacers and such, test cut after test cut. I do have the Bosch 1617 plunge/fixed bases, but found it …. irritating to unclasp from the plunge and set into the Bosch router table with it’s attached fixed base.
Finally, I bought the newer Bosch MRF23EVS-RT 2.3HP router just for the Bosch router table (and my future-to-build DIY router table). For the first time, I used a router to make dado’s. WOW.. I am hooked: more control, more precision, much much faster setiup (big plus). I even made a test 24” long “exact dado jig” to help with the odd dimension plywood (I really need to make a 52” version though).
So I wondered… how do other wood workers prefer to make dado’s? I know full well that I am in-experienced of making dado’s so trying to get pro’s and con’s of either method.

-- Yes, my profile picture is of a Carpenter Bee! The name is derived from the Ancient Greek "wood-cutter"


33 replies so far

View jmartel's profile

jmartel

6574 posts in 1615 days


#1 posted 12-16-2015 06:00 AM

I prefer using the router, myself.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

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Holbs

1377 posts in 1495 days


#2 posted 12-16-2015 06:03 AM

oh.. forgot to mention, been using a up spiral bit when using plunge action or rabbets. I hope I am not breaking any trans-dimensional physic laws by using the up spiral bit, upside down :)

-- Yes, my profile picture is of a Carpenter Bee! The name is derived from the Ancient Greek "wood-cutter"

View AZWoody's profile

AZWoody

697 posts in 689 days


#3 posted 12-16-2015 06:05 AM

I like the ease of using a router for dadoes but when I have to do large panels, the tablesaw is easier for me to manage than on a router table.

I think my next major tool mod will be to put a router extension table, but on the outfeed side of my sliding table saw, essentially giving me a sliding router table.

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BurlyBob

3692 posts in 1731 days


#4 posted 12-16-2015 06:06 AM

It depends on the size of the project. I’ve done them with either one.

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Holbs

1377 posts in 1495 days


#5 posted 12-16-2015 06:07 AM

sliding router table… never heard of that. Just googled… and it’s around. who knew! I have some ideas for when it comes time to make my DIY router table… thanks woody :)

-- Yes, my profile picture is of a Carpenter Bee! The name is derived from the Ancient Greek "wood-cutter"

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

7216 posts in 2841 days


#6 posted 12-16-2015 02:15 PM

I’ve used both and think both have their place. I prefer the table saw due to the sheer mass and surface area, but with a portable you don’t really get that benefit. One advantage of a stacked dado over a router bit is the ability to dial in the width of the cutter….with a router bit, you either need a bit of exactly the correct size, or need to use a smaller bit with multiple pass, which makes accuracy a bit tougher.

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

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2198 posts in 946 days


#7 posted 12-16-2015 02:22 PM

Its about 50/50 for me.

On long boards, of course, hand held router with jig best.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

7176 posts in 2042 days


#8 posted 12-16-2015 02:24 PM

I prefer router with a rail guide:

Or, the 4100 Bosch if the panels aren’t too cumbersome.

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Holbs

1377 posts in 1495 days


#9 posted 12-16-2015 02:41 PM

oooo…. a rail guide. going to have to look into that for my Grizzly rail and Bosch 1617. Would make life a little easier.

-- Yes, my profile picture is of a Carpenter Bee! The name is derived from the Ancient Greek "wood-cutter"

View mmax's profile

mmax

177 posts in 2921 days


#10 posted 12-16-2015 02:48 PM

Router with the Festool Guide Rail.

-- Always remember you're unique, just like everyone else

View Ted Ewen's profile

Ted Ewen

187 posts in 532 days


#11 posted 12-16-2015 03:02 PM

Router because dado sets are not really an option here in Europe. I’ve got a set of guide tracks and the adaptor for my Bosch GMF 1600 router . All that remains now is the doing.

-- Show us a man who never makes a mistake and we will show a man who never makes anything. The capacity for occasional blundering is inseparable from the capacity to bring things to pass.

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716

502 posts in 382 days


#12 posted 12-16-2015 03:17 PM

Table saw: instant setup, you just move your fence to the desired position and you are set. However only straight rectangular slot can be cut. The cut also usually goes through the whole length of the material.

Router: Need to measure and mark taking the router flange size into account. Then clamp some kind if straight edge and go. Router table usually is of no use as those often are pretty small for this. A lot of setup compared to the table saw method. You are not limited to the rectangular shape. You can cut sliding dovetails, you can stop an inch from the edge, You can cut the slot or dado anywhere even across the room in the hardwood floor, etc etc.

Needless to say a router is much safer than a table saw.

-- It's nice!

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waho6o9

7176 posts in 2042 days


#13 posted 12-16-2015 03:19 PM

A little spendy but a Festool guide rail with holes opens up

a lot opportunities besides the dado cuts required :)

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716

502 posts in 382 days


#14 posted 12-16-2015 03:27 PM


Router because dado sets are not really an option here in Europe.
- Ted Ewen

Cannot you just order it from any of the US stores ? I often do the opposite and order bicycle stuff from UK to the US as it is normally cheaper.

-- It's nice!

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Ted Ewen

187 posts in 532 days


#15 posted 12-16-2015 03:34 PM

Cannot you just order it from any of the US store ? I often do the opposite and order bicycle stuff from UK to the US as it is normally cheaper.

As I understand it, no. Part of EU safety regs requires short arbors to prevent their use. Routers are much more the norm here it seems.

With the guide rails and adaptor I have there is no calculation of offset or fiddly setup (past the initial prep for the base and guide adaptor). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlMnIX9j1e4

An extra base may come in handy here if I do a lot of it.

With a table saw wouldn’t you have to switch between a cutting blade and the dado set?

-- Show us a man who never makes a mistake and we will show a man who never makes anything. The capacity for occasional blundering is inseparable from the capacity to bring things to pass.

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