. . .and Board Buddies. I've had the Freud 8" dado stack for a while. Didn't care for using it on my old saw and mostly kept it as a tool of last resort. Mostly it was a pretty scarey thing spinning around there being all wide with them big teeth. But it also did not give a ready to use floor in grooves or dadoes and generally required some cleanup with the router plane if the end of the groove was gonna be visible. Might as well use the router and take the bit of extra time.
I'm finishing up a pergola in the back yard and, of course, the LOML doesn't want the store bought diamond shaped lattice panels, but opted for a more Craftsman look of square lattice in frames. So, I'm out in the shop ripping 2 x 8s into the parts I need and it comes time to cut the grooves for the framing pieces. Well, this is outdoor stuff and I've got a bunch of it to do, so out comes the dado stack. The frame pieces are 1 1/2" wide by 3/4" thick and I'm not coveting pushing them over that rapidly spinning shark's mouth, even with pushing devices, so I pull out the Board Buddies, install them on the brackets on the fence and give it a whorl. Well, it soon becomes apparent that I ain't gonna be able to easily push the piece past the Board Buddies by hand, and I don't relish sticking a stick of wood into that shark's mouth to push the stock through the blades. Ah, but the Board Buddies got a good grip on the stock and they don't turn the other way, so I tentatively let go of the work and it just sits there. No vibration, no tell tale signs of any movement at all. Big grin comes on my face. So I stroll around the end of the 7 foot rails and to the back of the saw where I grasp the end of the work piece and carefully pull it on through the rest of the way. How cool is that?
But that's not the end of the story. Nope, not by any means. I take a gander at the cut made by the dado stack and it is just flat baby butt smooth. Ah, says I, lets give this another test to see just how good these things work together. The width of the groove is not as important in this case as it being centered on the width of the work piece, so my stack is just over 1/2 the thickness of the groove I want to make so that I can flip the piece end for end and send it through a second time with the other edge of the piece against the fence. I repeat the previously described sequence, again taking the meandering hike around the end of the rails and pull out the work piece finishing the cut. Flip it over and look and can not tell where the overlap is of the two cuts. One baby butt smooth coplanar surface on the floor of that groove.
Maybe I'll break out that dado stack more often.