cross cutting dadoes on not so long boards

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Forum topic by rg33 posted 10-14-2013 10:46 AM 935 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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83 posts in 2200 days

10-14-2013 10:46 AM

Hello All,

I’ve been following this site on and off for a few months, learning quite a bit along the way and I’m finally getting around to posting my first forum question.

Im building a simple tv stand that will have one shelf in the middle. This shelf will be glued to the sides having dadoes about halfway up. My question is as follows, is it safe to cut the dadoes (for 3/4” plywood) crosscut wise on the table saw using the fence? I understand that crosscutting is a major no-no this way and I do have a crosscut sled for all my crosscutting but I do not want to mess it up for only a handful of dadoes.
Before you think me a noob about to do something unsafe let me clarify the following, the pieces that will get the dadoes aren’t actually that much longer than they are wide: 20”X17” with the dado being put up about halfway up the 20” length. I have a stacked dado set that I just got, but wanted to get others’ inputs before I try this. Otherwise I do have a 1/2” router bit that I could use with two passes but it just seems like that would be much more of a hassle since I dont have a router table yet.



4 replies so far

View hydro's profile


208 posts in 1949 days

#1 posted 10-14-2013 11:12 AM

Since your stock is 20” long and the cut is in the middle of that dimension, or about 10” from the edge, the piece of stock between the dado head and the fence will be about 10” wide and 17” long. With a rectangle that long in relation to width, I would just set it up and run it across the dado head using the rip fence. It’s when you get a blade to fence size close to square that the possibility of kickback becomes more of a concern.

-- Minnesota Woodworkers Guild, Past President, Lifetime member.

View rg33's profile


83 posts in 2200 days

#2 posted 10-14-2013 05:21 PM

Hydro, thanks for the explanation, it makes a lot of sense the way you explained it. I posted this question in another’s forum and got interesting responses (I actually had posted this several weeks ago but because it was my first post it took a while before it got approved). In the end I opted for datoes with my router since I realized that my current table saw insert would not allow a stack of 3/4”. Based on your recommendation I think I will go for the table saw option in the future once I get a dado insert. thanks again.

View DrDirt's profile


4509 posts in 3940 days

#3 posted 10-14-2013 06:06 PM

Because you are not cutting through – just plowing teh dado -
This is one of those instances where you can use your miter gage and fence together.
the miter gage will help you to not have the board pivot from the fence.

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View MrRon's profile


5190 posts in 3441 days

#4 posted 10-15-2013 08:25 PM

Cutting a dado with the fence is OK. Drdirt; you should never use the fence and miter gauge together.

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