Freud Dado Set Problem

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Forum topic by William posted 05-01-2012 02:23 AM 9325 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View William's profile


9949 posts in 2809 days

05-01-2012 02:23 AM

I have this Freud Diablo dado set.
I have been extremely happy with it for the limited use I’ve done with it. Then the other day, while removing it from the saw after cutting some three quarter inch dados, I noticed one of the teeth on a chipper was gone. It looked like it either broke off clean or was never there to begin with.
As I’ve dealt with Freud before (they’re always helpful on their products), I was well aware that, since I’d had it less than ninety days, I needed to carry it back to Home Depot from where I got it.

So I did. They exchanged it with no questions asked, and all was well.

Then I got back to my shop and started pondering the situation.
The instructions on this dado set aren’t exactly clear and I’m wondering if I’m installing the chippers correctly. If I’m not, then it may have been my own fault that the tooth was broken off the first set. So I’m hoping some of you experts out there can assist me before I use this new set.


Here is an outer blade and a chipper from my old el-cheapo set. As you can see, there is no mistake on how the chipper aligns with the outer blades because there is an opening on opposite sides of the teeth set for the chipper to go.

In the instructions with the Freud set, it says to allign the teeth of the chipper with the two open areas of the outer blade. If you look at the very first photo up there though, there is no clear open areas. There are actually twelve evenly spaced carbide teeth on each outer blade.
To compound my confusion, the chippers are not made like the ones on my el-cheapo set either, so I’m a little lost as to what to do.
In the next two photos, I will show you the only two way possible to allign the chippers with the outside blades. I need to know which one is the right way.

Here, just the teeth are between the teeth on the outer blades. With them set up this way, if a blade or chipper slips while using, the chipper tooth contacts the metal piece behind the tooth on the outer blade. Or the other way, the metal tab (not sure what this is called) in front of the chipper tooth contacts the carbide teeth on the outer blade.

In this photo, the entire chipper assembly is between the teeth of the outer blade. With this setup, if something slips, the chipper teeth and the outer blade could possible contact each other. If it slips the other way, that metal tab on the chipper will hit the backside of the outer blade teeth.

So, i’m hoping any of you have an opinion on this.
I know it may seem that I’m being paranoid, but with a hundred dollar dado set (I don’t have a large budget) I would like to feel a little more confident that I’m doing this right.

Thank you for any words of wisdom any of you can offer.


13 replies so far

View Manitario's profile


2629 posts in 2849 days

#1 posted 05-01-2012 02:47 AM

I have a similar freud dado set; I agree that the instructions are not exactly clear! I line up the chipper like you do, and I think that as long as the arbour nut is tight, the chipper shouldn’t slip, at least I haven’t lost a tooth yet…

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View geoscann's profile


258 posts in 2247 days

#2 posted 05-01-2012 02:48 AM

William i have the same sets you have. And i had the same concerns you now have, So i called freud that was useless they could not tell me. the only answer they had was just make sure the carbides teeth dont touch.
SO i guess i,am as confused as you. I really dont understand why the instruction are not more detailed.

-- BIG geo ---Occam,s razor The simplist answer is often correct

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 3890 days

#3 posted 05-01-2012 03:04 AM

I always check that the teeth are not touching other teeth, that’s common sense but I never thought about slippage, Good point I will keep that in mind next time I do a set up. Thanks

View William's profile


9949 posts in 2809 days

#4 posted 05-01-2012 03:08 AM

Thanks ya’ll.
I don’t know if slippage has taken place. I’m only trying to figure out what could have caused the problem with the missing tooth on the chipper of the first set I had.
I don’t even know for sure that it wasn’t missing when I bought it. However, I just want to make sure I’m not doing something wrong here.

I have searched the internet high and low and can’t seem to find an answer to this question.
I do make sure no teeth are touching.
I make sure the arbor but is tight.
It would be nice for some reassurance on which way is correct though.

For any of you who have the same set, do you place yours such as in the first photo? Or the second?


View StumpyNubs's profile


7578 posts in 2767 days

#5 posted 05-01-2012 03:15 AM

I have never had one slip, I would be very surprised to see one that did. Just as your regular saw blade will stall (or cause the belt to slip) rather than slip on the shaft, I don’t see a tightened dado set slipping. I think the problem was a flaw in the tooth brazing. It’s rare, but it happens. Good thing the tooth didn’t hit you when it flew off. I heard of a guy who nearly lost an eye when that happened. Safety glasses at all times!

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View William's profile


9949 posts in 2809 days

#6 posted 05-01-2012 03:25 AM

Thanks Stumpy. I have a hard time believeing that anything slipped myself. I think I’m being paranoid about this. It is realy worrying me though. It’s amazing to me that I can’t find a better answer to this nowhere on the internet.
I tried calling Freud as well. While they were trying to be helpful, I don’t think they understood, so they just kept repeating the instructions to me. Since I always save my tool instructions in a special filing cabinet drawer, I had those.

The instructions say to align the chippers with the two open spots on the outer blades. If you look though, there are twleve evenly spaced open places on the outer blades, allowing for six possible correct placements. Then it doesn’t make it clear if the teeth go between the teech and the tab behind the chipper teeth go behind the next tooth, or if the chipper tooth and the tab behind them go betweem the two outer blade teeth.

Either one way or the other is wrong. Or maybe I’m being overly paranoid and both ways are correct.


View Dan's profile


3630 posts in 2847 days

#7 posted 05-01-2012 03:45 AM

I have that very same set and all I do is make sure that the teeth on the chippers are not touching the ones on the blades. I have never had any problems. Maybe you just had a blade with a default?

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View boxcarmarty's profile


16038 posts in 2327 days

#8 posted 05-01-2012 09:32 AM

William, As long as your outside or chippers teeth aren’t touching the blade next to it, you are good to go. Also, Make sure your outside blades are on correctly. (right and left)

-- My mind is like lighting, one brilliant flash, then its gone.....

View davidroberts's profile


1027 posts in 3452 days

#9 posted 05-02-2012 12:14 AM

You probably got your answer, but I kinda got confused with the actual question. Home from work so my attention level is lacking. My apoliogies. If the question is where to set the teeth relative to each other my comment is the teeth on the chipper blades should never line up with each other o with the inside and outside blades, across the dado set. Stagger the teeth a little apart from each other always. This may take a minute or two, but that is how a standard dado set (not a wobble set) is designed to use. Those large spaces between the teeth of the inner and outer blades is exactly where you want the chipper teeth to be. And if you only use the inside and outside blades, then one set of teeth will go in the space of the other. If the question is what is the best place to set the teeth in case there is slippage and one tooth may hit another. my comment is the arbor nut is reverse threaded so it tightens up fast. There should be no slippage, else, Freud, Forrest, Oshan, even Craftsman would have installed a system of slots and tabs long ago to keep the chipper blades where you put them. Notice that the blades are not polished shiny. They are milled a little rough to produce friction between the blades. I’ve never had a set to slip, that I noticed, ever. That’s my $0.02.

-- Better woodworking through old hand tools.

View William's profile


9949 posts in 2809 days

#10 posted 05-02-2012 01:33 AM

Thank you all.

David Roberts,
You just brought up a very interesting position. It just so happens that the chipper blades on this Diablo set are polished shiny. They are slicker than owl $#!+ on a hot rock. I’m wondering if it would be a good idea to roughen them up a bit close to the center where everything makes contact.

All that being said, from ya’ll responses, I agree with some of you that maybe I just had a bad set to begin with. I may do as I said and roughen up those chippers with some course sandpaper, but other than that I guess all I can do is give them a whirl and hope for the best.


View fussy's profile


980 posts in 3017 days

#11 posted 05-02-2012 02:53 AM


1) Simply align as stated above so the teeth don’t touch.
1) Check all body parts (yours) for foreign objcts; eg. carbide teeth. You may not have noticed.
3) $#!+ on a hot rock is anything but slick as the moisture in said $#!+ quickly evaporates leaving a dry, crusty,
rather rough remainder. Green snot on a slick waxed brass doorknob, however, remains disgustingly slick for quite a while.
4) How muck difference do you notice between the Freud and the HF set. Enough for the difference in cost?

Hope you’re well. You are putting the rest of us to shame in the shop.


-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

View William's profile


9949 posts in 2809 days

#12 posted 05-02-2012 03:01 AM

1. I have been doing that. I do know that the teeth should never touch. That was the reason for my concern. Short of simply accepting that I had a bad set to begin with, I cannot for the life of me figure out why the first set had a missing tooth.
2. I always do that on anything.
3. I like my old saying, until I read your about the snot on the door knob. I’m going to have to steal that one.
4. It depends on what you need the dado set for. The HF set actually seems to cut easier. I think this is because it has more carbide teeth than the freud set. More teeth I think equals easier cutting. However, the HF set did not by no means leave flat bottoms. If I needed flat bottoms, I was having to run the dado set, then clean it up with a block of wood with sandpaper wrapped around it. This became annoying very quickly. So yes, if you want to have the ability to expect flat bottom dados, I think the Freud set is worth the money.


View Roger's profile


20923 posts in 2771 days

#13 posted 05-02-2012 09:36 PM

Everything that Stumps said

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

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