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Stacked Dado Set Problems

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Forum topic by jfunk posted 05-08-2012 03:59 AM 2924 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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jfunk

8 posts in 1676 days


05-08-2012 03:59 AM

Topic tags/keywords: table saw stacked dado set

I have a Craftsman stacked dado set that I bought at Sears a few years back. It appears to be a rebranded version of this Mibro 8 inch set since the picture looks exactly like mine, except for the logo. I used it once when I got it on a $100 table saw and it seemed to work OK.

The other day, I tried it out on my new saw, a Craftex CT146, which is the same as a Ridgid TS3650. However, it didn’t go well at all. I noticed the dado it cut was too wide for the stack I set up. Then I noticed that the whole thing was wobbling slightly. I took the stack off and noticed that one of the side shims had fallen into a thread and was deformed:

I used a hammer to make it reasonably flat again and tried putting the stack together again. I was trying very hard to not to let a shim fall into a thread, but it seemed to just happen every time, as I was adjusting the blades and chippers. I did this 4 or 5 times with no luck. The whole stack always wobbled when I assembled it on the arbor.

I thought that maybe the blades had somehow gotten warped, but they appear to be perfectly flat. I even tried putting each blade on by itself and there was no wobble at all. It only happens when the whole stack is on.

As per the instructions, I kept the chippers at 90 degrees from each other and ensured that the teeth were not touching. After some research, I found that older TS3650s had a faulty arbor that caused trouble with stacked dado sets, but this arbor does not seem to have that specific problem.

Worst of all, I later noticed that the threads on my arbor have become damaged:

I guess I must have managed to get a chipper stuck into a thread, since I don’t really see a shim doing that kind of damage. Luckily, the damage is localized to the area taken up by the blade stabilizer, so it doesn’t interfere with the nut, and I haven’t been able to detect any runout.

Needless to say, I’m pretty disappointed by these events. I followed all of the directions I have. I Googled endlessly and couldn’t come up with anybody having the same wobble issues as I am having. I see that lots of people seem to be able to use these Mibro sets without issues, and I see lots of people are using dado sets on the TS3650.

Obviously, I have done something wrong. The problem is that I don’t know what that is.

Did I buy the wrong dado set for this saw? Did I miss some critical step? Would I have this problem with another set? I looked into the Freud Dial-A-Width, but my arbor is not long enough for it. Should I forget about dado sets on this saw altogether and just use a router?


18 replies so far

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knotscott

7216 posts in 2841 days


#1 posted 05-08-2012 04:07 AM

How does it do without the shims?

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

View TCCcabinetmaker's profile

TCCcabinetmaker

930 posts in 1820 days


#2 posted 05-08-2012 04:10 AM

I’ve seen a thread on this subject before, can’t remember if it’s this same model of saw though.

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

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jfunk

8 posts in 1676 days


#3 posted 05-08-2012 04:11 AM

I haven’t really tried that, since the instructions seem to indicate that these shims are required between the blades and the chippers and I fear that the reason may be safety.

However, I will try it without turning it on.

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TCCcabinetmaker

930 posts in 1820 days


#4 posted 05-08-2012 04:18 AM

hmmm instructions.

Make sure the teeth are staggered and there won’t be a problem, I pretty much only use the shims to fatten the cut a shave here and there, if it is the same as the mibro set, all of your shims are not the same thickness anyways.

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

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jfunk

8 posts in 1676 days


#5 posted 05-08-2012 04:51 AM

Well, these aren’t the “normal” shims that are intended to widen the whole set. These are the ones that are marked to go between the blade and the chippers.

I just tried without them and I can see why they’re required. Without them, the teeth on the inside of the blades touch part of the chipper, even when the chipper tooth is in the blade gullet. There is no spot where a tooth isn’t touching something.

With the shims, it doesn’t touch so much, but the shims are certainly not flat. I was hoping the pressure from tightening the stack would negate that, but no such luck.

Maybe my set is just junk or defective and I never noticed the first time I used it. I wasn’t using it for precise dados then, I was just hogging away material.

I guess I’m ready to throw it out and get a new set, but I’m worried about possibly having similar problems if I do. I was thinking of either the Freud SD208, which I can pick up for $140 down the road, or the Blue Tornado one from Busy Bee that seems to get high marks and is on sale right now for $175.

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knotscott

7216 posts in 2841 days


#6 posted 05-08-2012 05:02 AM

The Blue Tornado set is made by Leitz. I’ve got a Blue Tornado general purpose blade that’s well made for the price….never tried their dado set, but the design looks good, and Gord Graff (the reviewer) is well respected.

Do your arbor threads need repairing or are they ok?

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

View TCCcabinetmaker's profile

TCCcabinetmaker

930 posts in 1820 days


#7 posted 05-08-2012 05:05 AM

it’s not the same as the mibro set then, which is less expensive to start with then, I am pretty sure alot of craftsman blades are probably manufactured by the same company that makes the avanti blades, which I do like their mid line blades, the shiny ones… but I’ve never tried their dado set, I have the mibro set, and they work well enough.

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

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jfunk

8 posts in 1676 days


#8 posted 05-08-2012 05:18 AM

Well, here is what my set looks like:

It looks exactly like the photo here except with a Craftsman logo:

http://www.amazon.com/Mibro-416371-8-Inch-Stacking-Blade/dp/B000HE87VI

However, pictures on the Mibro site look a little different, so maybe there was a redesign or something.

I’m definitely leaning towards throwing the set out and getting the Blue Tornado one at this point. I’m only worried about running into future trouble. If this was all caused by my own stupidity I’d like to avoid that in the future.

As for my arbor, it seems to be OK when using a normal blade, since the damage is somewhere in the area of the blade stabilizer. If I get a replacement though, I worry that I’ll just ruin that one too…

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TCCcabinetmaker

930 posts in 1820 days


#9 posted 05-08-2012 05:24 AM

the box looks the same, the teeth don’t.

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

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jfunk

8 posts in 1676 days


#10 posted 05-08-2012 05:52 AM

I can’t see the difference in the teeth from the picture:

The markings on the “required” shims and the blades are near-identical though. To not touch the chippers without the shims, the teeth would have to be flat on the inside. Mine are certainly not.

I’m just going to assume that I bought a junk/defective set. I emailed Busy Bee about a replacement arbor and I’ll probably pick up their dado set, too.

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TCCcabinetmaker

930 posts in 1820 days


#11 posted 05-08-2012 06:21 AM

only the carbide needs to be in the gullet…. let’s change our terminology a little because I think our terminologies are differing here.

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

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jfunk

8 posts in 1676 days


#12 posted 05-08-2012 07:38 AM

Yes, I did have the carbide tooth of the chipper in the gullet of the blade. However, without the shim, the carbide tooth of the blade touches the metal of the chipper behind the tooth. The chipper will rock back and forth, with the blade teeth as fulcrums. Considering this, and the fact that the instructions say to always use the two shims with the diagrams (it mentions the other shims later for fine-tuning), it really seems that this is by design.

View mtenterprises's profile

mtenterprises

933 posts in 2158 days


#13 posted 05-08-2012 11:40 AM

Just a quick note from an old woodworker using old tools. On my old dado set I use paper or card stock shims if they get caught in the threads it just cuts the paper and can be tightened down. I tried metal shims once and had that problem and just tossed them out. Try making some shims first before tossing the set out. Also try holding the shim in place on one blade with 1 drop of glue.
Always remember what my Uncle Ray, who only made it through the 4th grade, said, “If you think about a problem long enough you’ll figure it out.” Great advice but sometimes I have thought about things for years before I figured them out.

-- See pictures on Flickr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/44216106@N07/ And visit my Facebook page - facebook.com/MTEnterprises

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Sawkerf

1730 posts in 2534 days


#14 posted 05-08-2012 01:12 PM

Whether they’re required for proper tooth clearance, or optional for adjusting the width of the dado, metal shims can cause problems with making a dado stack. Since they’re so thin, they can slip into the arbor threads when you’re making your stack and prevent the chippers and blades from closing up completely. This can cause the stack to wobble and can play hell with the cut as well as foul the arbor threads.

I discovered this when I got my first stacking dado cutter. I made my stack, tightened the arbor nut, and – when I started the saw – thought the whole thing was about to launch itself into orbit. When I took it apart, I saw a slight crease at one of the shim holes.

I ditched my metal shims for a set of magnetic shims and haven’t had a problem since then. The magnetic shims stick to the blade (or chipper) and don’t try to slip down where they can get into the arbor thread.

-- Adversity doesn't build character...................it reveals it.

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TCCcabinetmaker

930 posts in 1820 days


#15 posted 05-08-2012 03:20 PM

What you’re describing is not an issue with the mibro set, ie they ain’t the same.

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

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