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Thread: Freud Dial-a-Dado thoughts?

  1. #1
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    Freud Dial-a-Dado thoughts?

    I'm in the market for a new dado stack. My Oshlun has been just fine for most tasks and I'm still happy with the value but I'd like cleaner bottoms. The Freud adjustable width dado set (SD608) has caught my eye, especially if it can really eliminate shimming. As it stands right now, I typically avoid trying to bother getting the correct width in one cut, instead opting to use a "standard" dado width such as 1/4" or 1/2" and using an incremental fence to get to the exact width with multiple passes.

    Just thought if I was willing to spend the bucks for a premium dado set, I might consider this one. How has it worked for you? Also interested in hearing if the Sawstop arbor is a major limitation to the max. width of the stack. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Good question. I see the ads on the back of mags and wonder myself. I've always thought those types were junk, but those were older craftsman or something.

  3. #3
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    I have it and its nice not to have those shims. Still takes some time to change out the various blades to get the width you want, but no shimming and clean cuts.

  4. #4
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    I have had one since they first came available. This is not a dado set like the old wobble sets....It works just like a conventional dado set. There is a chart with the set that tells which chippers to use with a given dado width. From there make a test cut and fine tune. I merely loosen the arbor nut, and reach in to turn the adjustment ring...each click is .004 of an inch. Much faster and easier than messing with shims! You can dial in your desired width in two or three tries.

  5. #5
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    It's much better than the old wobble units but not as good as the stocked units in my opinion. But to each his own.

  6. #6
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    I had one a few years back and liked it but it really requires a long arbor shaft to take advantage of the full width set. I also thought it wasn't as easy as you would think to set the width with the dial.

    Mike

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Riddle View Post
    It's much better than the old wobble units but not as good as the stocked units in my opinion. But to each his own.
    Rich, Isn't the Dial-A-Dado a "stacked" blade dado set? Specifically, what is it that you didn't care for? I also am looking to purchase a new dado and have been kind of intrigued with the Dial-A-Doo. Just trying to learn what I can before I anti up. Appreciate any info you care to share. Thanks, Vince

  8. #8
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    I like my Freud Dial-A-Dado set. It works as well as any set. The only thing is that it takes up a little more arbor length.

  9. #9
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    I too like my Freud SD608 adjustable dado set. It's a stacked type dado blade, but instead of shims for fine width adjustment, you just have to loosen the arbor nut and turn the big knob on the end blade to make slight adjustments to increase the dado width. From memory, each click of the big knob is .004" so you can increase the width of the dado very accurately after making the first test cut without using shims. After the adjustment, just tighten the arbor nut and make another test cut. If you calculated correctly the width of the dado will now be within .004" of your desired dado width. Just determine the needed increase in dado width and calculate how many .004" increments are required to increase the width to reach the desired width, then turn the knob that many clicks. Make a second test cut and it should be within .004" of the perfect width (if you counted the clicks correctly). The "click is actually a detent, so you should be able to "feel them" and get it right, even in a noisy environment.

    It will work on both a right or left tilt saw, by unbolting the adjustment knob assembly from the end blade and moving it to the opposite side of the blade. I wouldn't want to have to do this often, like if using the dado blade on both a left and a right tilt saw, but it's easy enough to do when first setting up the dado blade for whichever saw that you have. Yes, the adjustment knob assembly takes more arbor width, but I have no problems using it at it's max width on my Unisaw. I once used it on a friend's table saw and the arbor of his saw was too short to use the blade with all of the chippers at it's full width, but we were cutting a 1/2" dado width and using less chippers, so it worked fine for us.

    Charley

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Goetzke View Post
    I had one a few years back and liked it but it really requires a long arbor shaft to take advantage of the full width set. I also thought it wasn't as easy as you would think to set the width with the dial.

    Mike
    I have it and agree with all Mike says. I have a Ridgid TS3650 contractor style saw and I can not put the full stack on the arbor. At most I get 9/16" so that I have a warm and fuzzy feeling that there is enough thread thru the arbor nut. Also, you wouldn't think something off a couple thousands would be unacceptable in woodworking, but there have been a couple times when 1 click took the fit on the dado from too tight to too loose. Overall though I like the stack though.
    Brian

    "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger or more complicated...it takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." - E.F. Schumacher

  11. #11
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    Thanks for all the feedback. If anyone with a Sawstop PCS and the D-A-D can chime in I'd really love to know what the max. width I can get is. 9/16" wouldn't be enough...gotta be able to get in the 3/4"ish range to make it worthwhile for me. I suppose I can contact Freud...

  12. #12
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    What disappoints me about this dado set, and all the others on the market, is that they can't make a dado that fits today's "quarter-inch" plywood. The plywood I'm getting is now .19" or so. I have not found a dado set which will get this small.

  13. #13
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    Nov 2014
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    I have used the Freud Dial set a bunch over the last several weeks on a large project. I will probably never used my old shimmed set again. My old right tilt Uni-saw has enough arbor for the set but for a 13/16" dado it takes the whole arbor. So much quicker than taking the outer blade off and experimenting with shims. I never have to settle for less than the perfect fit again. The smallest dado I have done is for 6mm Baltic Birch ply so I can't address if you need smaller.

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