Are you working on a woodworking project that needs you to make joints or grooves? Dado blades present the best tool to help you accomplish this task.
These devices complete the job quickly and accurately, creating your desired type of joint and construction process.
Although the European Union regulates the use the dado blades, they are legal in the UK. You can conveniently find a model that suits your work demands and safely operate it.
Like table saws, you require carefulness, attentiveness, and caution when in use to prevent accidents.
Table of Contents
- What Are Dado Blades?
- What Sizes Do Dado Blades in the UK Come in?
- What Joints Do Dado Blades Make?
- What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Dado Joints?
- Can You Use Dado Blades Safely in the UK?
- What Should You Consider Before Getting a Dado Blade in the UK?
Dado blades refer to circular saw blades whose ergonomic design lets you cut grooves into a piece of wood.
They create much wider grooves than the cuts you get when using traditional saw blades. The dado cuts facilitate interlocking applications, making them common in making drawers, bookshelves, cabinets, and door panels.
You can utilize alternative methods to get the broad groove cuts without a dado blade. For instance, you can achieve the grooves via a clamp guide incorporating miter saws or a handheld router.
Despite this, no other method delivers perfect grooves and joints faster than the dado blades.
You can find two primary types of dado blades:
This dado blade type incorporates a single blade with an offset rotation. Unlike its name, it does not wobble.
However, this blade sways when cutting, creating an “S” pattern within your plate’s width.
Setting the amount of lead on your blade by rotating the plates lets you achieve a custom cut.
You can also adjust the wobble blade to your preferred cut width and address different project demands.
Its design makes it easy to modify the size on the fly without taking apart the entire blade sets.
It is prone to vibration when in action, making it challenging to use and control. Hence, experts generally advise beginners to dado blades to avoid them and start with the stacked types.
The second type of dado blade features a series of blades in a stack to create a wider edge. Removable chipper blades sit outside of the outer blades.
You can intersperse them using spacers, helping you get a precise cut.
You can add or remove the chipper blades to meet your width requirements. Besides this, these chippers aid in determining the length of your cut.
Stacked dado blades are versatile and deliver high-performance, making them popular among woodworkers.
A dado blade integrates an ergonomic construction that makes it suitable to use on table saws.
You can adjust the device according to your needs. For example, you can switch the number of cutters or modify the blade to control your width requirements.
Typically, the adjusting method depends on your dado blade set and table saw. It is advisable to verify your saw specifications since not all table saws are compatible with the blades.
Additionally, dado blades come in different sizes.
The dado sets generally feature outer blades with a 1/8-inch thickness and a 10-inch, 8-inch, 7-inch, or 6-inch diameter.
You get the chippers with 1 3/32-inch, 1 1/16-inch, and 4 1/8-inch thickness. Your maximum possible width is approximately 1 inch, and nearly every measurement below it is achievable.
You can use all kinds of dado blades to create dado grooves on the perpendicular surface of woodwork pieces.
Moreover, you can practice and finesse your skills to develop various groove cuts. For instance, you can rely on a dado blade to make accurately sized sets of lap joints and rabbet cuts.
Nonetheless, dado blades have limited productivity since you cannot set them at an angle.
You can utilize them to make straight-sided joinery but not to make dovetail joints. Additionally, all dado blades feature exclusive sizing to cut grooves.
This design makes them unsuitable for making rip cuts and other through-cuts.
Below are common types of wood joints you can make using a quality dado blade:
A rabbet joint refers to when you create a groove along the component’s edge. You receive a wooden application integrating a lip that fits into that groove.
This placement allows you to link parts flush with an element.
Rabbet joints’ most significant benefit is that they do not make the connection obvious. The subtlety makes it seem like the parts are from a single component.
This quality makes this joint type ideal for design applications such as cabinet tops.
Dado joints are popular among woodworkers since they are easy to make with dado blades.
They create and maintain a sturdy connection between the wooden parts. Dado joints are common in cabinets, shelves, and bookcases.
You can create this kind of joint by initially forming a channel with three sides in the first component.
This channel travels across the wood’s grain, indicating where to put the other parts into the groove.
You achieve maximum strength because it uses three locations while leaving extra space if you need to apply glue.
Half-lap joints are ideal for connecting components that cross each other. This joint type helps keep their faces flush, making it better than using a miter saw.
Creating a half-lap joint features cutting 50% of the thickness of the wooden parts you intend to connect.
After this, you link them to form a flat surface. You may also require adding glue for extra adhesion.
Tongue-and-groove joints are your choice when you wish to connect wood parts on a single level.
You create a groove in one board, where you put the tongue protruding from the other component.
These joints are perfect for paneling, parquetry, and flooring projects. Their primary application is when you want to maintain a flat surface while bonding several wooden pieces.
Other types of wood joinery you can create using a dado blade include:
· Basic butt
· Mitered butt
· Biscuit joint
· Box joint
· Mortise and tenon
Dado blades enable you to create woodworking joints and connect two components. People often utilize these devices on various woodworking projects, including making drawers, cabinets, bookshelves, and cupboards.
So, what pros and cons do dado joints have?
One benefit of dado joints is that they are easy to create. You only need a saw blade and a straight edge to make the groove in one of your boards.
Another advantage is that dado joints are durable and sturdy. A dado joint properly created is stronger than the two boards it links.
This joint creates a type of mortise and tenon joinery, where one board’s groove fits over another board’s protrusion.
This design ensures the dado joint is resistant to twisting or racking.
One con of a dado joint is that it can weaken your board if it does not have proper support. The groove cut that makes the dado joint can make your board susceptible to breaking along the line.
Another disadvantage of dado joints is that you cannot undo them easily. Once you cut, you cannot move the board without possibly damaging the joint.
In all, dado joints are an easy-to-make and reliable option for joining two boards together. Nevertheless, you want to use them with caution to prevent weakening your panels or making the joint permanent.
The most critical aspect when using dado blades is safety. They present some risk to the user even when operating in a properly compatible table saw.
Thus, you want to consider some safety tips before using the blade for the first time. These include:
You want to use push blocks to slide your wooden component in and out of position safely.
These features help keep your fingers and hands far from the sharp dado blade.
It is essential to follow all safety procedures associated with the utility of a table saw. Some measures you can take include only operating the dado blade when you are ready to cut.
You can also wear eye protection to guard against flying debris from the wooden parts.
Dado blades, especially sets, can pose a threat when they suffer a sudden structural failure.
Consequently, it is vital to inspect your blades regularly for damage or wear. It is imperative to put the dado blade out of use once you discover any faults.
Finding the best dado blade means getting the one that meets the specific requirements of your task.
It is critical to know the factors to examine to ensure you pick a suitable unit. Here are four key elements to weigh before purchasing a dado blade:
Chippers are vital since they remove the waste between the scoring blades, ensuring a flat surface with flat teeth.
The more teeth you have on your chipper, the flatter the surface on different applications. You can typically pick between two and six teeth per blade.
It is essential to recall that chippers do not have anything to do with a shoulder cut.
Scoring blades refer to the cut quality you achieve with your desired tool. They are outside your unit and can vary in their geometry, configuration, and the number of teeth.
The configuration generally features beveled teeth, although you can get flat raker units between them.
These beveled teeth point outside because they only cut one shoulder. Furthermore, the number of teeth can range from 11 to 40 or more.
The tooth geometry refers to the tooth shape determining the cut quality and specifics. A standard hook angle seems to be 20 degrees, with most options ranging from -5 to over 30 degrees.
This broader selection lets you choose the correct quantity and model for your project.
Shims are spacers you can utilize between the blades to deliver a higher level of accuracy.
They are helpful when you want cuts that may not be standard. You can use shims when your project requires tailoring the blade to your applications’ specifics.
The shim discs feature versatile construction using materials like plastic, steel, brass, or paper.
They determine the cut size to the tiniest detail by placing the arbor between the outside blades and the chippers.
A standard size dado blade is adaptable to various widths. You can adjust the device to different cut widths, including 13/16 or 7/8 to ¼ inches.
In addition, it is necessary to look at the diameter, which can increase from 6 to 10 inches or more.
The diameter is significant because it determines the cut’s depth. You can expect a deeper cut the bigger the diameter you have.
The price difference between the sizes is not considerable, making it feasible for different clients.
Having a larger blade is helpful since you get extra depth options available.