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Lets say, for argument sake, that I have 2 or 3 10" blades for my table saw. That would give me just under 3/8 inches, when all mounted together, which I could use to make dadoes.

With what I have available this would be easier than constantly stopping my saw to adjust my fence to enlarge my dadoes.

I could easily see this being a bad idea since the blade kerfs could touch while the saw is operating. Also sawdust might get stuck between the blades. Has anyone tried this before?

  • I was thinking about doing the same as the original poster, that's how I searched and found this article. I don't think he likes the 2nd reply because this is most likely what he and I were trying to avoid. In my case I have to do 10-6 ft 2X4s on edge, that's a lot of work when you have to keep moving the fence and chiseling by hand. 2 or 3 smaller blades would make it much easier if the machine could handle it. – user2373 Jun 15 '16 at 22:54
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There's another factor you're not considering: torque requirements. There's a reason the majority of dado sets are 6" or 8" in diameter. Most table saws won't have the power to run a 10" set. A 10" set will require 25% more torque than an 8" set, and 67% more torque than a 6" set.

Not surprisingly, Matthias over at Woodgears has written an article about doing more or less the same thing you're proposing. Except he solves the torque problem by using multiple 7-1/4" blades.

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    Matthias is my hero. I suppose if the blades were tight enough they would not move. His motivation for doing his experiment is the same as mine as well. – Matt May 7 '15 at 2:55
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Instead of making a dado blade you can instead use a sled and then move the workpiece side to side on that to enlarge the dado. Make the outer cuts first and then you have a reference for where the blade should go; the middle cuts aren't that important to get accurate.

Or set the fence for the left most cut and clamp a piece of wood the with the same thickness of as the width of the desired dado minus the kerf of the blade.

You make the cut and then remove the block on the fence and cut again. then between those positions you can cut repeatedly and clean up with a chisel.

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Our shop teacher used five separate 7-1/4" blades to make a DADO on a 10" table saw in 7th grade woodshop. he did this to show us that you could safely make a DADO cut even without the specific blade.

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The other thing you're missing is that Dado sets also come with shims to fine tune the width. This is especially important if you're using plywood, as thicknesses of plywood varies greatly.

Also, dado sets have the middle blade with flat cutting edges so that you get flat bottoms. Look at your regular saw blades, the teeth are angled, which would create a very slight "V" shape on the bottom of the dado.

If you're doing so many dados as to warrant using multiple blades, I would encourage you to just spend the couple of extra bucks on a dado set. They're only 100 bucks or so

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