Stacked dado question

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by Jim584 posted 11-09-2013 04:31 AM 1269 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Jim584's profile


26 posts in 1717 days

11-09-2013 04:31 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I have an 8” stacked dado cutter that I bought new from menards about a year ago, I have used it very little. Today I built a box joint jig for my tablesaw and encountered a few alignment issues. While figuring out the alignment issues I noticed that my dado stack looked off. I have it set up for 3/8ths and if I measure where the chipper blade is it measures 3/8ths but if I turn the blade a quarter turn where there is just a gap between the outer blades it measures just over a 1/4 inch. Is this normal with a dado stack or do I have more serious issues?
I don’t have alot of experience with dado cutters and must admit that I am a little gun shy with it anyway let alone with this discrepancy.

-- Just getting started.

17 replies so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

29386 posts in 2362 days

#1 posted 11-09-2013 05:13 AM

You have something wrong. It should be the same all the way around. Yes they are nasty and kick out lots of stuff. Follow directions and use caution. Wear safety glasses.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View ajosephg's profile


1880 posts in 3585 days

#2 posted 11-09-2013 05:21 AM

Make sure you have the chippers so their teeth don’t touch the teeth of the outer blades.

(If that is what you did, there is a strong possibility that you damaged the teeth that touched each other.)

-- Joe

View realcowtown_eric's profile


609 posts in 1961 days

#3 posted 11-09-2013 05:54 AM

If yer using thin shims, they sometimes drop into the grooves of the arbour and prevent the blades from lining up correctly. frustrating.


-- Real_cowtown_eric

View pintodeluxe's profile


5702 posts in 2837 days

#4 posted 11-09-2013 07:01 AM

1+ Joe’s comment. Make sure the adjacent blades are staggered so the teeth don’t touch.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View patron's profile


13606 posts in 3365 days

#5 posted 11-09-2013 07:42 AM

it’s the edge of the teeth that count
they stick over on both sides of the blade
whether full blade or chippers
the bodies are thiner
and since all are staggered from each other
the bodies need to be snug together
the offset of the teeth is done so the blades don’t touch the wood
and bind or heat up

i always try a scrap first
and see just what is what
then adjust accordingly
maybe shims
and raising the blades for the depth of cut

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Jim584's profile


26 posts in 1717 days

#6 posted 11-09-2013 12:32 PM

I set the cutter teeth in the gullet between the teeth of the side blades, I’m starting to think one of the outside blades is bent.

-- Just getting started.

View knotscott's profile


8056 posts in 3400 days

#7 posted 11-09-2013 12:49 PM

To help clarify for me…..are you measuring the width of the blade body or the width where the teeth are? If it’s carbide tipped, the teeth should overhang the body a little bit, which makes the kerf of the cut slightly wider than the blade body. If it’s not carbide tipped, it won’t stay sharp very long.

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

View mtenterprises's profile


933 posts in 2717 days

#8 posted 11-09-2013 12:58 PM

I find it hard to believe you would have a bent blade it takes a whole lot to bend a blade. If you are using shims DO NOT USE metal shims because they can get caught in the arbor threads and cause blade wobble. Instead use paper or tag board (poster board) when these things get caught in the threads the just crush or get cut off instead of jamming up.

-- See pictures on Flickr - And visit my Facebook page -

View PaulDoug's profile


1550 posts in 1728 days

#9 posted 11-09-2013 03:10 PM

I’d take the blades off and make sure there isn’t something suck between them and they are all pressed together nicely before fastening them with the nut. A bent blade would be very rare indeed and would have come that way, I don’t think you could have done it. It is possible I suppose. It is also possible, if it carbide they could have put the wrong tip on in one spot but I don’t know how.

Mike, the using poster board is interesting. Never read that before. The metal shims are a problem, so much so I don’t use them unless absolutely necessary. I’d rather cut a thinner dado and make multiple passed then fuss with the metal shims.

-- “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

View MrRon's profile


4793 posts in 3267 days

#10 posted 11-09-2013 05:40 PM

Get a set of magnetic shims. They will stay put and not fall down into the threads. Also make sure your outside blades are facing the right way. They are left and right with the teeth facing out. Not sure if they are all that way, but mine are.

View DylanC's profile


204 posts in 2698 days

#11 posted 11-09-2013 07:03 PM

IMO, Menards is one step up from Harbor Freight as far as tools are concerned. If the blades are “Tool Shop” or PerforMAX, Masterforce, or some other store brand, I would check them out very carefully before using them.

-- Dylan C ...Seems like all ever I make is sawdust...

View mtenterprises's profile


933 posts in 2717 days

#12 posted 11-10-2013 11:27 AM

If you all haven’t figured it out as yet I go way back in woodworking and I remember some “bright guy” suggesting metal shims back in the 70s in tips in a magazine. I thought it was a great idea, you know make a set and you’re done. Well, the first time I tried them I thought my table saw was going to explode. Threw them all away and went back to the recommended paper/tag-board shims. Besides with paper you can make some odd width dados, even real tight fitting ones. I have thought about those magnetic one a few times though.

-- See pictures on Flickr - And visit my Facebook page -

View PaulDoug's profile


1550 posts in 1728 days

#13 posted 11-10-2013 02:49 PM

This thread is the first I’ve read about magnet shims. Sounds good, but wouldn’t you have a difficult time putting them on. They would want to attach to everything metal including the arbor bolt. If you attach them to the blades first you would have to have them perfectly aligned to get them on the bolt. Guess I had better go find more info on them.

-- “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

View joeyinsouthaustin's profile


1294 posts in 2096 days

#14 posted 11-10-2013 03:14 PM

PaulDoug I use the magnetic shims as well. You can get them from Forrest They are not really strong enough to start sticking to everything, just the blade as you set them up. It is very convenient, and they stay in position nicely. I will give this one warning. They don’t last long with heavy use. I buy a set about every two years. This may have to do with some of the blade dressings and cleaners I use on the blades, but I have always used them, so I don’t know if they last longer without. They are however convienient enough that I re order gladly, and hardly touch any of the plastic shims that came with other dado sets.

Edit: And to clarify your question, you do “stick” them to the blades first, and there they stay.

-- Who is John Galt?

View Jim584's profile


26 posts in 1717 days

#15 posted 11-11-2013 01:26 AM

It must be the shims, when I take the stack off the arbor the shims are hungs up in the threads. I think i’ll try the poster board idea. Thanks to all who replied.

-- Just getting started.

showing 1 through 15 of 17 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics