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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 1185 views 0 times favorited 33 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Holbs

1675 posts in 1746 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.

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter


33 replies so far

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jmartel

7240 posts in 1867 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

1675 posts in 1746 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 :)

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter

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AZWoody

895 posts in 941 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

4665 posts in 1983 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

1675 posts in 1746 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 :)

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter

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knotscott

7693 posts in 3093 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....

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rwe2156

2606 posts in 1198 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!!

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waho6o9

7918 posts in 2294 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

1675 posts in 1746 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.

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter

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mmax

177 posts in 3173 days


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

Router with the Festool Guide Rail.

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

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Ted Ewen

187 posts in 784 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 634 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

7918 posts in 2294 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 634 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 784 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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