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Thread: Dado and Table Saw

  1. #1

    Dado and Table Saw

    Hello, I'm asking this for a friend:

    I知 looking for a new table saw and I'm between the DeWalt DW745 and Skil 3410-02. I like everything about the DeWalt other than the fact that it can稚 use a Dado set. The Skil has that trump card. Otherwise though, the DeWalt appears to be better designed, have more consistent quality, and have a much better fence.

    I知 a beginner but the ability to run a Dado for joinery purposes seems important. Do you think the Skil would actually have enough power to do this effectively? What would you choose? Is it preferable to just get the DeWalt and simply use a router table where I would have used the Dado stack?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Have you considered buying a used table saw from Craig's list? For about the same price you can usually find a Craftsman table saw with a cast iron top.

    I don't know where you are located, but this would be a decent saw. 'https://buffalo.craigslist.org/tls/d/hamburg-craftsman-table-saw/6896416048.html
    Lee Schierer
    USNA- '71
    Captain USN(Ret)

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  3. #3
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    What country is your friend located. A better location will give us better ideas. Searching Craigslst for a used saw work well in the USA. there is something similar in New Zealand. other countries IDNK.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Schierer View Post
    Have you considered buying a used table saw from Craig's list? For about the same price you can usually find a Craftsman table saw with a cast iron top.

    I don't know where you are located, but this would be a decent saw. 'https://buffalo.craigslist.org/tls/d/hamburg-craftsman-table-saw/6896416048.html
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Dufour View Post
    What country is your friend located. A better location will give us better ideas. Searching Craigslst for a used saw work well in the USA. there is something similar in New Zealand. other countries IDNK.
    The USA. I'll check out Craigslist, thanks. But assuming that he doesn't want to go this route, what are the answers to the questions about the Dado?

  5. #5
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    I wouldn't be happy with a TS that couldn't run a dado stack. On the other hand, life with a miserable fence would also make me unhappy. IMO, a used Craftsman would be a much better use of funds. Yes, there are lots of situations the you could perform the dado operations with a router (in a table), but in the long run, you'll be happier with the results from a dado stack.

  6. #6
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    I've run a 6" dado on my Bosch but benchtop saws are not made to handle the weight or stress of dado work. Once in a while is OK, but if you plan to dado often, look for a heavier saw that has the support of at least a steel base, cast iron top, and decent trunions. My Bosch doesn't have a blade height lock down and the dado will change in height without a modification. The tip speed and cut angle of a 6" are also less than ideal in comparison to a larger blade so that is another negative for regular use. Dave

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    There are other ways to cut dados, but a more important need in a table saw is to have accurately sized 3/4" X 3/8" miter slots and a good fence that locks square and parallel to the blade every time. Purchased table saw jigs almost always depend on accurate miter slots of this standard size, and a saw without a good fence is unsafe and near useless. Before buying a table saw, take the time to accurately measure the miter slots. Few low priced table saws have miter slots that are accurate, making it near impossible to use these jigs. A router and a guide will cut dados very easily. A shop made jig will allow for perfect fit dados of any size, even non-standard size woods.

    Since you rarely, if ever, need to make dados deeper than 3/4" it's best to use smaller diameter dado blades on table saws with less than 2 hp motors. Consider 6" or 8" diameter dado blade sets for these under powered saws and it will do a better job for you.

    Charley

  8. #8
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    The only rationale that I can see for getting a job site saw is if you need to move it to & from job sites regularly. There are just too many compromises. There are so many better options, new and used.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Pratt View Post
    The only rationale that I can see for getting a job site saw is if you need to move it to & from job sites regularly. There are just too many compromises. There are so many better options, new and used.
    I agree. Jobsite saws are not the best choice even for beginning woodworking. They "generally" lack in accuracy/repeatability, are not powerful despite "horsepower" claims, scream like banshees because of the universal motors, have small tables and use non-standard miter slots and are usually pretty light-weight. A good pre-owned contractors' style saw is a great alternative to a new jobsite saw.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  10. #10
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    I considered getting a jobsite saw to use for 'small work', but rejected them all because of above mentioned reasons. What I keep coming back to is early '50's Craftsman 8" saws on CL. They made several that are about the size of jobsite saws, but steel case with cast iron tops. I have seen several that looked to be very nice, and were only $100 or so.

    Caveat: These sometimes had only a 1/2" arbor, and would need a bushing....available at HF.
    Rick Potter

    DIY journeyman,
    FWW wannabe.
    AKA Village Idiot.

  11. #11
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    If you find an older saw and are considering it seriously, measure the diameter of the arbor shaft. In the 50's, many saws were made with 1/2" diameter arbors, and you don't want one of them, because 5/8" diameter is now the standard and you will have a tough time locating blades for 1/2" arbors. There were bushings available to adapt 5/8 blades for use on 1/2" saws, but they were a pain to keep in place. You also need a good fence on a saw, one that will stay parallel with the blade and lock in place and move easily. The older Delta Contractor saws of the 34-440 to 34-450 model series were very good starter saws and Delta made a lot of them. There isn't much difference between each of these models, so any one of them in good condition will be worth getting. All had 5/8" arbors, could take full dado stacks, had cast iron tables with sheet metal wings, and a specially designed dual voltage motor that produced 1.5 hp on 120 volts and a full 2 hp on 240 volts. The miter slots were accurate 3/4 X 3/8" too. The fences on most of these saws had round tube rails and weren't the greatest fence, but were fine for most work. A better fence that came on some of the later models was the Delta Unifence. If you find one of these fences, it is likely worth more used now than the rest of the saw, so buy the saw and at least save the fence when you get a better saw to put it on.

    I found a Delta 34-444 Contractor Saw for my son, cleaned it up and aligned it, and it is every bit as accurate as my Unisaw. About the only short coming of the Contractor grade saws is their total lack of saw dust control due to the open bottom and back of the cabinet. They all come with built-in legs and an after market fabric bag is available that fastens to the legs to catch what saw dust falls down from the blade, but probably about 20% will not go into the bag due to the open design of these saws. One of these Delta contractors can quite easily be found in good running condition for $150-250. One in near new condition would likely be worth a bit more. Surface rust on the table is easy to clean off, but avoid saws that have been left out in the Weather and have heavy rust pitting, unless it's free, or nearly free.

    Charley
    Last edited by Charles Lent; 05-30-2019 at 8:17 AM.

  12. #12
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    If your friend buys one of those new saws and he really gets into the hobby he値l likely be looking to buy a different saw in 6 months.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Day View Post
    If your friend buys one of those new saws and he really gets into the hobby he’ll likely be looking to buy a different saw in 6 months.
    Or much sooner... DAMHIKT!!
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  14. #14
    Brent,

    I'm sorry but neither of those saws will take you very far in your woodworking endeavor. Their issues are pretty major: accuracy, fence quality, power.

    They are really meant to be tossed in the back of a contractors pickup, not woodworking.

    I understand the budget issues when even an entry level saw will set you back almost $1K.

    I suggest you look for a used saw. A cabinet saw is the most desirable, but many contractor type saws can fill the bill.

    My rule of thumb for a beginner is you want a saw with an induction motor at least 1 1/2HP. IOW if you dont' see a motor and a belt don't buy it.

    Good luck!!

  15. #15
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    I just shake my head & laugh at all the youtubes out there that show how the guy has built this huge, elaborate work center with a crappy little job site saw at it's core. Talk about putting lipstick on a pig.

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