Norm Abram and his dadoes…

19 Mar

I’ve been watching a lot of New Yankee Workshop of late. The show is addictive. I admit I really only watched it back in the day, so I have tons to catch up on. Lucky for me! I would LOVE to own the complete series, but it costs 3K. All of us Norm lovers should get together and find a way to get a box set in production for the average consumer’s budget.  I think if it was available it would fly off the shelves. After rekindling my love for the show decades later, I also found a second New Yankee workshop book at a thrift shop to add to my library;

if you’re interested this is the first book I acquired a year or so ago:

All this to say- I’ve been watching Norm work away and I noticed that dadoes are a favourite of his. And I can’t fault him on that, dadoes and grooves are very useful in so many situations. I’d actually like to incorporate more of them into my projects. Usually I’d use a router, simply because I don’t yet own a dado set. But I have to admit I envy the simplicity of dadoing on the table saw and I recall how useful dado sets were during my schooling. I think a dado stack is in my near future. But of course because I have a SawStop I also have to factor in the cost of a dado brake cartridge and a zero clearance insert. It will be a costly addition to the shop, but I’m certain I won’t regret it. Now the question is which dado set should I go with? I want to make sure I have a good set that doesn’t leave steps in the cut, or tears through the cut resulting in excessive blow out.  Anyone know of a reliable set for clean flat-bottomed  dado cuts?


5 Responses to “Norm Abram and his dadoes…”

  1. The Butler Did It WoodWorks March 19, 2013 at 8:50 pm #

    I can only speak for myself, but I really like my 8″ dewalt set. It leaves a pretty smooth groove. I can’t say I’ve ever noticed much if any blowout, but then again I try to always use a backer. I still have the Freud set I started with, but it quickly became a back up that I really only use when I send the dewalt set out for sharpening. Although I don’t think you would be disappointed in that one either if cost is a factor.

    • Warped Boards March 20, 2013 at 12:26 am #

      Thanks for the lead- I will check the Dewalt det out! I’m impressed that it performs better than a freud set!

  2. ChrisHasFlair March 19, 2013 at 10:51 pm #

    Hi Samantha,

    Like Todd, I also have the DeWalt 8″ dado set (I’ve also seen it branded as Delta) and I’m usually the only one talking about it. I’ve been really happy with its performance and it is towards the lower end of the price scale (around $100).

    That said, I only bother installing a dado stack when I have many wide dadoes, grooves or rabbets to cut. Usually, I just use my flat-top ripping blade.


    • Warped Boards March 20, 2013 at 12:29 am #

      I have a flat top ripping blade but I’ve found it’s not all that quick to hog away larger amounts of material- darn tedious! I’m super interested in this Dewalt set now that I know TWO people recommend it right off the bat.Is there a specific model number or do they only make one set?

      • ChrisHasFlair March 20, 2013 at 12:33 am #

        As far as I know, they only make one – DW7670.


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