Help! Dado Cut Drift on Table Saw

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Forum topic by Ezra posted 05-10-2010 04:20 PM 2029 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Ezra's profile


52 posts in 3683 days

05-10-2010 04:20 PM

Topic tags/keywords: dado blade safety

Goodmorning Jocks: Over the weekend I was working on a basic cabinet for my mothers computer printers. While cutting 3/4 dadoes about 1/4 deep in plywood I had trouble with the cut drifting towards the end of the cut as the blade exited the plywood. The back corner of the plywood started pulling from the fence creating a wide swervy dado cut. Can anyone help me out in regards to what I may be doing wrong. I want to avoid learning the hard way about using the wrong technique. The piece of plywood was about 20 inches wide and 30 inches tall. I have a ridgid contracter saw with freud stacked dado blades. I was using a gripper to push down the plywood over the blade and guided the plywood forward and towards the fence with my left hand.

-- Ezra in Brew City

7 replies so far

View PurpLev's profile


8535 posts in 3643 days

#1 posted 05-10-2010 05:02 PM

I assume chippers and blades are ALL facing towards the front of the TS right?

have you checked for fence/blade to be parallel? that would be my 2nd guess.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Viking's profile


880 posts in 3190 days

#2 posted 05-10-2010 05:09 PM


If Sharon’s advice above does not sort this out, you might use a feather board to keep your plywood pushed against the fence.

Good Luck!

-- Rick Gustafson - Lost Creek Ranch - Colorado County, Texas

View Chris 's profile


1879 posts in 3986 days

#3 posted 05-10-2010 05:16 PM

My thinking is similar to Sharon’s and Ricks. Check that your blade is parallel to the miter slot and your fence is parallel to the blade and use a feather board.

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View doyoulikegumwood's profile


384 posts in 3987 days

#4 posted 05-10-2010 05:18 PM

my guess would be that your fence and blade are not parallel to one another.

for now i would adjust your fence to get the cuts needed dun, but you are going to want to tune your trunnions up eventually.

-- I buy tools so i can make more money,so ican buy more tools so I can work more, to make more money, so I can buy more tool, so I can work more

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 3186 days

#5 posted 05-10-2010 05:19 PM

20” is a large piece, I have made a dado cross cut sled for larger
parts on the table saw and I have toggle clamps to hold them in place on the sled.

an alternative:

For large parts many people will use their router instead.

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View GregD's profile


788 posts in 3131 days

#6 posted 05-10-2010 05:40 PM

I get this problem from poor outfeed support. Ideally the outfeed support would be a flat, uniformly smooth table that supports the entire workpiece (and cutoff, if you are ripping) throughout the cut. When my outfeed support is not so good simply pushing the work off the TS and onto the support(s) will pull the work away from the rip fence either at the infeed or outfeed end. Even a sticky spot on an otherwise perfect outfeed table could do this, as can an outfeed table that does not support the full width of the work as it exits the TS top. And generally when the outfeed support is pulling the work the most, the leverage you have the least leverage to keep the work against the fence.

I found that cuts on larger pieces got a lot easier when I switched from a contractor’s saw with sheet metal wings (that had high spots at the corners, even), to a saw with cast iron wings and a smooth/flat table extension, so even the quality of the saw top can make a difference.

-- Greg D.

View Ezra's profile


52 posts in 3683 days

#7 posted 05-10-2010 07:46 PM

Thanks for the feedback everyone. I will check my saw for parallelism again because it has been a while since I have put the dial indicator up to it, but based on my rips I think the fence is still right on. GregD I have a sneaky suspicion that your analysis is correct because the beginning part of the dado went perfect because the work was completely support on the cast iron saw top and wing, but it wasn’t until it started hitting my outfeed table did it start drifting a bit. I plan on making a dado jig for my router shortly as that seems to be an easier rout to go especially with a larger panel.

-- Ezra in Brew City

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