Table saw dilemma

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Forum topic by Orlando posted 12-04-2013 04:08 PM 11961 views 1 time favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Orlando's profile


9 posts in 1659 days

12-04-2013 04:08 PM

Hello…somewhat new to woodworking and need help with table saw issue. I will be using the saw for random projects and making woodenware for bee hives.

I purchased a kobalt 10in table.saw due to pricepoint/features. The manual says you can use dado blades but need a throat plate which Lowes does not sell or manufacture (crazy). A DIY plate seems very hard to make due to 1/8” thickness and there is nowhere to rest a deeper plate….also no aftermarket plates being made by Leecraft, etc. So basically, the saw has a feature which I want but cant use due to 1 piece.

Is there a way to make dado cuts with a TS without the throat plate…i.e. a dado sled? All the TS sled vids I saw, the TS had a plate in place.

Do.I bring the saw back and get something else? this would suck due to price. If so what saw?

Any advice appreciated

15 replies so far

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1835 posts in 1992 days

#1 posted 12-04-2013 04:13 PM

I had a skilsaw table saw that was similar (before I got my craftsman contractor saw). I could run a half inch dado on it and could not find a throat plate for mine. My solution was to make a sled and I ran it with the throat plate off, just please be careful. I’m not sure of the runner sizes that you have on that. So if the runners are non standard size and have tabs, then make it so the runners go on the outside of the saw. It should work. If this is too much trouble, you can do dados with a router (if you have one, if not they make a good christmas present, or birthday or whatever). Hope this helps.

And welcome to Lumberjocks

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View Orlando's profile


9 posts in 1659 days

#2 posted 12-04-2013 04:47 PM

If I kept the saw and also picked up a router..what kind of setup would I need (table? etc)... within reason of course.

View verdesardog's profile


161 posts in 2634 days

#3 posted 12-04-2013 04:48 PM

In your case I would use a router to make the dados. Or you could make your own plates with 1/8 plywood, I have made several zero clearance plates for my saw. Just rough cut with a jig saw then use your OEM plate as a jig and a bearing guided router bit for the final cut.

install the home made plate with the saw blade down, raise the blade with the saw running to cut a zero clearance opening in your wood plate. It’s best to add something under the back of the plate to keep it from pulling up in the rear…..glue a block under the plate that will contact the underside of the table.

-- .. heyoka ..

View Orlando's profile


9 posts in 1659 days

#4 posted 12-04-2013 06:46 PM

Will 1/8” ply be safe?

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 2993 days

#5 posted 12-04-2013 07:00 PM

1/8” ply would not be safe in my opinion. However, It could be backed up with more layers of something thicker and stronger if the backing is kept a small distance away from the edge.

I made my own zero clearance throat plate for my hybrid table saw (Craftsman 21833, same as Ridgid 4512), from 1/8” aluminum plate. Cut it out with a jigsaw, sanded it to exact size, mounted it on saw with blade fully retracted. Then clamped a sheet of plywood over the top and then raised the blade after turning it on.

Don’t see why the same procedure would not work with a dado blade. If the thought of raising a running dado blade into a sheet of aluminum makes you uneasy, just use the regular blade to mark the location then trim it out with a jig saw; a little at a time.

View Shoedawg's profile


13 posts in 1657 days

#6 posted 12-04-2013 07:15 PM


I was in the same dilemma as you were. I was working on a project that required numerous dado’s, and wanted to used my TS. Thing is my TS only can only support a 1/2” dado set. So I went with a router and made a dado jig. Worked great. Jig was made with some scrap I had laying around.

View Craftsman70's profile


244 posts in 2147 days

#7 posted 12-04-2013 07:25 PM

I second making a dado jig and using a router.

View dbray45's profile


3320 posts in 2799 days

#8 posted 12-04-2013 07:35 PM

I used 1/8” Masonite for a Craftsman saw I had – make about 4 of them – after you make the first one that works.

If that isn’t strong enough use a sled over it.

-- David in Damascus, MD

View Orlando's profile


9 posts in 1659 days

#9 posted 12-04-2013 07:46 PM

Is a router jig universal or doyou make a new jig for each type of cut you willbe making? Does having the jig negate the need for a router table?

How did you cut the masonite?

tks so much

View kdc68's profile


2657 posts in 2299 days

#10 posted 12-04-2013 07:47 PM

I had an old craftsman that came with a dado insert, but the slot was an inch wide. I made 3 zero clearance dado inserts one each for 1/4”, 1/2’”, and 3/4” slots. I used the insert that came with the saw as a pattern and traced it out on some 1/2” poplar. After I roughed them out to shape, I used the original insert again and adhered it to the poplar blank with double sided tape. I took that over to the router table and with a flush cut pattern bit, I made the poplar flush to the original insert. The thickness of the original insert was about an 1/8”, so then I used a rabbeting bit and made a rabbet about 3/8” by 3/8”. This left me with an 1/8” lip that when it was placed in the table saw top opening it sat flush…..This would also work for zero clearance inserts with your favorite rip and crosscut blades

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View pintodeluxe's profile


5702 posts in 2836 days

#11 posted 12-04-2013 07:48 PM

I had an old craftsman saw with similar limitations. I made thin zero clearance inserts for it. They had odd shapes, and back bevels – really weird. It worked for a while, but the arbor bolt wasn’t quite long enough to fit a 3/4” dado set. Ultimately I sold it in favor of a Jet contractors saw that was built for woodworking.
Now I make my own ZCI’s from MDF and red formica.

I agree that a router can be useful for dados and grooves. However, I wouldn’t want to be without my dado set on the tablesaw for cutting tenons.
A router table is a great tool, and I use mine all the time. Add one as you can, but in the meantime a handheld router can do a lot. I use Emmerson straightedge clamps, as well as a shop made exact width dado guide. The guides are reusable.

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

View Shoedawg's profile


13 posts in 1657 days

#12 posted 12-04-2013 08:09 PM


“Is a router jig universal or doyou make a new jig for each type of cut you willbe making? Does having the jig negate the need for a router table”

This jig here I made is adjustable, but must be used with my plunger router base and a 3/4 straight bit. I can make the dado any size I want (the size depends on how adjustable you make the jig). The first jig I posted is a set size, this jig here accommodates the size I may need.

There are a ton of videos that show you how to create one.

View Orlando's profile


9 posts in 1659 days

#13 posted 12-05-2013 04:46 AM

Thanks all…alot of good stuff to chew on.

I figured for the price of a different table saw, I can keep the one I have and use the price diff to get a router and table as well… looking at a Dewalt DW616 and a Skil table ???

View ohtimberwolf's profile


813 posts in 2375 days

#14 posted 12-06-2013 12:19 AM

Orlando, if you decide to make a zero insert be sure to hold the thing down with your table saw fence when you go to raise the blade through the wood. Keep the fence close but away from where the blade comes up through the blank. If you don’t secure it you may regret it.

-- Just a barn cat, now gone to cat heaven.

View Shoedawg's profile


13 posts in 1657 days

#15 posted 12-06-2013 02:18 PM

Orlando, I own a Craftsmans router and table. I got a combo package (table and saw) at Sears.

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