Can I use one dado blade?

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Forum topic by Jesse posted 03-11-2015 03:26 PM 2807 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Jesse's profile


3 posts in 1171 days

03-11-2015 03:26 PM

Topic tags/keywords: dado table saw shaker cabinet doors

I’m getting ready to cut the grooves on all the lumber to build 24 shaker style cabinet doors. I’m using 1/4” oak laminate plywood which measures 0.20”.

After some trial and error I figured out if I use a single outer blade from my Diablo dado set, I get a perfect groove with a flat bottom. If I used two, it was 0.25” and was too loose. I figured this out on a couple scraps and I’m concerned about only using that blade on all the lumber. Will it make that blade prematurely dull with too few teeth?

I tried my 40T Bosch blade I use for everything else by running the board through twice and I got a perfect width, but the bottom isn’t flat and shows a little on the end where you’ll see the tenon.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!


12 replies so far

View knotscott's profile


8013 posts in 3374 days

#1 posted 03-11-2015 03:35 PM

I’d be more concerned about the lack of any over hang on one side of the outside cutter than dulling. The outside cutters of a stacked dado are intended to work in pairs, so that there’s always some overhand of the teeth on each side. Without that, there’s much greater risk of wood rubbing on the body of the blade, and possibly causing kickback.

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

View SirIrb's profile


1239 posts in 1229 days

#2 posted 03-11-2015 03:37 PM

Since each blade on a stack dado cuts just what its thickness is it will dull at the same rate of normal stack useage.

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

View Jesse's profile


3 posts in 1171 days

#3 posted 03-11-2015 03:42 PM

That’s a good point! I’ll have to look at that. I’m very new to using a dado set. Very new as in, I’ve only done one project with it!

I might have to see if I can find an FT blade at the local Menards. My current blades are all ATB and leave grooves in the bottom.

Thanks knotscott!

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4986 posts in 2491 days

#4 posted 03-11-2015 03:47 PM

All you need is a ripping blade, they cut flat bottoms. If cutting cross grain, it pays to be carfeul trying this.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Ocelot's profile


1975 posts in 2636 days

#5 posted 03-11-2015 04:11 PM

For narrow grooves I have used a Freud rip blade with a flat tooth profile, along with a precision jig to make multiple passes. I only did that on one project, but it worked OK.

My dado set has warnings stamped on it – not to use the outside blades alone.

View bondogaposis's profile


4727 posts in 2349 days

#6 posted 03-11-2015 04:27 PM

A better set up is to use a ripping blade in two passes, if you flip the board your dado will be perfectly centered as well.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Rob's profile


704 posts in 3069 days

#7 posted 03-11-2015 04:27 PM

If you don’t want to drop a lot of money on a new blade, a couple more options are to clean up the bottoms with a router plane or cut the dadoes with your router and a straight bit.

-- Ask an expert or be the expert -

View Jesse's profile


3 posts in 1171 days

#8 posted 03-11-2015 06:03 PM

Thanks everyone! After some reading, it looks like a ripping blade is what I need.

I hadn’t noticed warnings about using the outside blades, but I bet it’s there somewhere! Thanks Ocelot!

Bondo, I was flipping them. The secong pass was only taking a sliver off though. Thanks for the info!

Rob, I’d rather buy a new blade because my router is a bit of a turd and I don’t trust it. I’ve done similar grooves with it before and ended up scrapping a few pieces. I have plans to buy a new one and build a better table for it, but just haven’t gotten there yet.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2688 days

#9 posted 03-12-2015 12:12 AM

Not all rip blades have a flat tooth design as Knottscott pointed out to me a while back. My 24 tooth Freud Diablo does not.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View HerbC's profile


1756 posts in 2857 days

#10 posted 03-12-2015 12:32 AM

If you have to buy a new blade, this one by Kempston is flat toothed and I’ve found it to be excellent. And the price was good.

Good Luck and remember…

Be Careful!


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View Ocelot's profile


1975 posts in 2636 days

#11 posted 03-12-2015 03:23 PM

Freud LU87R010 24-tooth 10-in thin kerf flat tooth. They claim 0.094” kerf. Mine cuts wider than that.

$37.99 and free ship on Amazon today.

There is also a non-thin-kerf version which might be what you want depending on what you’ll be doing.
Freud LM72R010 with 0.126 kerf is $55.99 on Amazon.


View jmartel's profile


7892 posts in 2148 days

#12 posted 03-12-2015 03:32 PM

If you’re going to buy a flat top ripping blade, buy a full kerf one. That way you have exact 1/8” cuts. I’d rather have that than 0.094”. I’m never going to use material thinner than 1/8” when putting in a dado, so that works well for me.

If for some reason I needed thinner, I would probably use my router table and a 1/16” bit.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

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