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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm new to woodworking, more of hobby right now. Created a wonderful garden fence and got hooked.

My question is regarding dado and table saws. My goal is to build a reclaimed wood counter top for a kitchen island (roughly 3 X 4 feet). I want to join it with half lap joints. I bought a 6" dado set, and yet to get the table saw. My concern is the specs on certain saws. I'm not looking to get a $500+ saw, more around the $200-300 range.
When looking at the specs regarding dado on the box, it says "up to 1/2 inch, up to 5/8 inch dado, etc." What exactly does that mean? My dado blade is 6". Does this mean 1/2 inch depth (which is no good, I think 1 inch would be better for the 2 X 4 wood I'm planning to use). People at the store were rather useless.
Thanks!
 

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Sawdust Creator
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It is the thickness of the cut they are referring too. I doubt you'll find a cheap table saw that will do more than half inch. Even most 1000 dollar saws only do 13/16 or 7/8.
 

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Sawdust Creator
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You could edge glue and for additional strength use a doweling jig.
 

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Cutting a dado 1" deep is going to be a challenge for the saws in your price range; actually depending on how wide you go it might be a challenge for a whole lot of more expensive saws as well. Plan on doing it in multiple steps.
 

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5/8" is often the size of the motor shaft. Some dado sets come with 5/8" holes but a cylindrical sleeve you can slip over a 1/2" shaft for 5/8" holes.

The OTHER critical thing to know is how long the motor shaft is. The specs should say if it will support a 3/4" wide dado set. If it doesn't say it, then ask tech support to be sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys.

I might jump up to a better saw, but are 1/2 inch dado cuts strong enough for a kitchen counter that would get average wear and tear, with edge glue?
Eventually I will be building a matching dinner table, maybe a bigger, better saw. Wife just bought a laptop, so I have some allowance ;)
 

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I like your math, Andrew. When my ex bought something expensive it meant there was less money available for my allowance. ;)
 

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where's my table saw?
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here are the major issues

That price saw will have a direct drive motor, that is the end of the motor is also the arbor where the blades will "stack". It will usually be 5/8" in diameter which will accept most common blades. Stay away from 1/2" arbor saws, blades are more difficult to find in 10" dia. but circular saw blades will work ...7 1/4"

The next issue is the overall diameter of the dado set/stack, either 6" or 8". A small saw won't be able to accept the 8" set NOR will it have enough power to run it. Further it's a rare day when you need to make a dado deeper than 3/4" ... like 1/2 way through a 2" X 4" for a lap joint.

Finally, how wide of a stack will the arbor allow still having full turn of thread remaining for the locking nut? .... usually 13/16". For making cabinets with today's plywood coming in thickness under 3/4", that may be all you need anyway.

So, the bigger more powerful saws will not have any of the size limitations in arbor length or diameter and will have enough power ...usually, if they are 1-3/4HP or greater, like the 10" hybrids. The standard arbor size for 10" table saws is 5/8" diameter. While I used an El Cheapo 6" Craftsman HSS steel, not carbide tipped dado for years, I've moved on. I now have both 8" and 6" sets by Oshlun, the best bang for the buck online from www.Holbren.com OR on Ebay.

Additionally, when using a stacked dado set ALWAYS use a throat plate designed to the extra width of the stack and some folks here make dedicated throat plated for the widths they most commonly use. You don't want anything to get down in between the cutters and the edge of the throat plate.

If you have a specific saw in mind new or used, post the link and specs and we can better give advice. Personally, I would rather invest $300 in a used saw with bigger cast iron tables, more power and a better arbor, belt driven is fine. These are known as "contractor" type saws, most commonly made by Craftsman, Delta, Rockwell, Jet, etc.

http://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images?_adv_prop=image&fr=ytff1-tyc-inbox&va=contractor+saw


Well beyond your budget, but a reasonable price for a new saw:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/G0732-Grizz...389?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item43bdf163d5
 

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John
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I'm new to woodworking, more of hobby right now. Created a wonderful garden fence and got hooked.

My question is regarding dado and table saws. My goal is to build a reclaimed wood counter top for a kitchen island (roughly 3 X 4 feet). I want to join it with half lap joints. I bought a 6" dado set, and yet to get the table saw. My concern is the specs on certain saws. I'm not looking to get a $500+ saw, more around the $200-300 range.
When looking at the specs regarding dado on the box, it says "up to 1/2 inch, up to 5/8 inch dado, etc." What exactly does that mean? My dado blade is 6". Does this mean 1/2 inch depth (which is no good, I think 1 inch would be better for the 2 X 4 wood I'm planning to use). People at the store were rather useless.
Thanks!
Hi Andrew - I think you will be fine with the saws you have budgeted for, as long as they are floor standing and not the little benchtops. Smart to look at the dado specs for the saw though. As has been pointed out, the spec refers to the width of the dado and bigger is generally better. Your depth is limited by the size of the dado set, 6" will get ~1½" but with 2x4 stock you will likely only need about 3/4". The downside to the cheaper saw is you will likely need to get that depth in multiple passes. That translates to a lot of passes with a small saw. ie. a 3½" half lap with a 5/8" dado stack will require about 6 passes to get the width and six more to get the depth on one board. That turns into 24 passes per joint. Not as daunting as it sounds as they will go pretty quickly once set up.
Don't forget to provide for some good support on the left and right if the boards turn out to be very long.
Good luck:smile:
 
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