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Thread: Dovetails with a dado blade?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Dovetails with a dado blade?

    I'm doing my first handcut through dovetails. While working away at chiseling out the meat between the pins, I was thinking how much faster a stacked dado would be. I finished the task using the dado and cleaned it up with a seemed to work out fine, and I probably could have done the entire task with the dado set and a miter gauge. Anyone else use a dado for dovetails? Any drawbacks I missed?

    p.s. The "petrified celery" characteristics of red elm make it a poor choice for the handcut dovetails!
    Got Wood?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Never tried it myself, but I don't see any reason not to use the method. Might have to cut just short of the scribe line and then hand pare up to it to keep from getting some of the blade marks often left by dado sets - thats probably what you meant by "cleaned up"?

    Did you still cut the pins with a backsaw and just waste out the material with the dado, or did you cut up to the line with the table saw?

  3. #3
    I don't see any reason at all why you could not use a table saw to hog out the waste. I have heard of people using tablesaws, bandsaws scrollsaws and all manner of things to hog off the waste between dovetails.

    With that being said, personally I have found that once I got the hang of dovetails and had enough practice so my it was just a matter of my mind thinking mallet and chisel instead of "oh my word, I am doing dovetails, I got to do this just so", I could chop them out pretty quick.

    Now I don't want to sound like a neanderthal here, or some kind of super-woodworker, but I think its faster for me to chop them out by hand with a mallet and chisel then it would be to do any kind of set-ups with a tablesaw, bandsaw or scrollsaw. I also like the solitude of a tap, tap tap, versus that of a screetching saw.

    But hey this is woodworking, a ton of people will tell you how to do things and ultimately you will find your own method. If the tablesaw system works for you, go for it.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  4. #4
    Alan DuBoff is offline Former Member (by the member's request)
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Last edited by Alan DuBoff; 02-27-2008 at 08:49 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Charlotte, NC
    I missed this post originally, but I would question why you'd want to do that. If you are making hand cut dovetails, I would think you'd want to do hand. If you want to use power tools to cut dovetails why not just use a dovetail bit and jig and rout them out???

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Zushi, Japan
    I have read about doing dovetails on the table saw. I guess if you are just hogging out and then cleaning up to the line there should be no problems. But if you are cutting clean to the scribe you would have to use a dedicated blade re-sharpened to accomodate the angle of your dovetails. The latter method is the article I read.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
    I use the Colt to hog out but for more control a RT or a dado stack for removing the bulk of the waste and (as a side benefit) setting the depth would be quite helpful.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

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