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dado head cutter. Help me!

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michael

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Can anyone out there give me a definitive answer on the use of dado head cutters in this country. Are they legal or illegal. If they are illegal why can you buy them in the machine mart catalogue. And if they are legal, why don't there seem to be many table saws on the market that accept them.All answers much appreciated.Cheers. :?:
 

Steve Maskery

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Michael,
The reason there is so much debate about dadoes is that there is not a definitive answer.
Using a tablesaw unguarded in a commercial environment is, I believe, illegal. Also sawblades have to come to a halt in under 10 seconds, although I can't quote you chapter and verse about the particular Act for either of these.

The problem is that for most of us, even if we have a long nose on our saws, as I do, it means using the blade unguarded and it takes ages to stop. So it breaks the above rules. As I understand it, it's not the dadoes themselves, it's the fact that they break these other rules.

If you can guard effectively, and stop them quickly, I think you are fine.

Does this move things forward at all?

Cheers
Steve
 

ProShop

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Hi Michael

This subject is well documented on this site, & others. :)

If you do a search on this forum "dado" you'll have enough bedtime reading for a week or so :D :D
 

martyn2

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:D i have look at it this way if you use it for a living then no if its for your own pleeasure then go ahead and use it care fully, I do and find it so much easer.

martyn :D
 

LyNx

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What is the big thing about dado cutters that gets everyone worked up. I can't see the use of them myself :?

Andy
 

Philly

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Steve Maskery":30xqd9re said:
Then watch His Holiness Norm.

:)
Steve
Heh! Lord of the Dado! :norm:
I think he's the main source of dado inspiration (or read "dado troublemaker" if not a fan :wink: ) in the UK (if not the world!)
Cheers
Philly :D
Trying to keep out of it
 

LyNx

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ahh, that figures.

Here's where the mallets get thrown!!

i'm really not into the program :shock: :shock: :shock:

Andy
 

Scrit

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Hi Michael and welcome to the forum

Steve Maskery":3ra9xu73 said:
Using a tablesaw unguarded in a commercial environment is, I believe, illegal.
Correct. Mandatory more than 50 years ago, I believe.

Steve Maskery":3ra9xu73 said:
The reason there is so much debate about dadoes is that there is not a definitive answer.
Not quite right, I feel. The reason that there is so much debate is probably because there a lot of people who, without any training or experience think that they can eschew professional advice and do things their way. There are a small number of individuals who read the regs, or do a course at night school or even read a book on wood machining (I'd recommend F.E.Sherlock's "MACHINE WOODWORKING TECHNOLOGY For Hand Woodworkers" publ. Stobart-Davis ISBN 0-85542-041-X £ 16.95 - this is used in City & Guilds training) and by doing so gain an insight into what we call "safe practice". The rest are, to my mind, a bit like an untrained rider on a powerful motorbike - they may learn to ride without injury, but they run a higher risk......

The definitive answer is that in a trade shop they are regarded as unsafe practice because they cannot be adequately guarded except on something like a crosscut saw (read radial arm saw, which is what Machine Mart used to sell them for). In a trade shop you are required under PUWER 98 (Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regs., 1998 - that's the act, Steve) to carry out an ACOP Safety Assessments on all your processes - do this and you'll find that using a radial saw with a dado head, or a spindle moulder, or a router table, or a pin router, etc are all safer than using a table saw with a dado head BECAUSE THEY CAN ALL BE ADEQUATELY GUARDED whilst the table saw with dadop head (in the main) cannot.

Manufacturers consider that dado heads are questionable because they are difficult to lock onto an arbor (especially under braking), almost impossible to guard adequately and possibly don't meet current legislation on tooling design - so they sensibly opt not to get caught out by an accident involving one of the great untrained/unread.

Steve Maskery":3ra9xu73 said:
Also sawblades have to come to a halt in under 10 seconds, although I can't quote you chapter and verse about the particular Act for either of these.
PUWER 98

Steve Maskery":3ra9xu73 said:
If you can guard effectively, and stop them quickly, I think you are fine.
See the HSE publication Circular saw benches: safe working practices and look at Fig.7 and you'll see the sort of guarding that you need. Difficult to do that on most table saws, I'd say.

So Michael, from a professional woodworker's perspective, they are unsafe, difficult to make safe and that's it. The Americans have appalling safety standards against our own, but I doubt an OSHA (the US equivalent of the HSE) inspector would OK a pro shop using a dado blade on an unguarded table saw. Even they have standards.

Woodworking is regarded by insurers as a hazardous occupation, so use at your own risk and don't be surprised if, in the event that you do have an accident, your insurers refuse to pay part or all of the claim. Don't know about you, but I like having ten fingers.... BTW, note the signature below - I have had stitches in both my thumbs over the years, although not from a dado head - their design means that they tend to just amputate and macerate (so there's nothing left to sew back on, unlike a saw cut).

Scrit

P.S. Not having a go at you Steve, honest :lol:

P.P.S. I feel that maybe Charley and his team might consider putting up a FAQ about this subject, simply because it gets dredged up ad nauseum Any chance, mods?
 

Gill

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Scrit":2754iofi said:
I feel that maybe Charley and his team might consider putting up a FAQ about this subject, simply because it gets dredged up ad nauseum Any chance, mods?
Speaking for myself, I reckon that's not a bad idea, Scrit, especially if you're prepared to draft the document :wink: :) . I can't help wonder if it'll put an end to the debate, though; some people just seem to luuurrrrve talking about dado blades. Moreover, we'd have to be very careful to phrase the FAQ in such a way that it didn't provoke further comments from either the Normite or Neanderthal faction - and that could be quite a balancing act.

Gill
 

Steve Maskery

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Scrit":1d5w7xcf said:
Not having a go at you Steve, honest :lol:
Not at all, Scrit, very helpful. I don't actually think you have contradicted me at all, just filled in the holes I left. N'est pas? My point in saying that you are OK if you can guard and brake effectively was just that. IF. It's pretty obvious you can't (at least, not on mine).

I'm not defending it.

Yes, an FAQ might be a good idea.

Cheers
Steve
 

Scrit

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Gill":9v17u0mq said:
I can't help wonder if it'll put an end to the debate, though; some people just seem to luuurrrrve talking about dado blades. Moreover, we'd have to be very careful to phrase the FAQ in such a way that it didn't provoke further comments from either the Normite or Neanderthal faction - and that could be quite a balancing act.
If nothing else, Gill I could do like the PM and refer the Rt. Hon. member to the answer I gave earlier...... Now I'm trying to figure out whether from that remark you regard me as Neanderthal, or not. :lol:

Scrit
 

Newbie_Neil

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Hi Michael

Welcome to the forum.

The simplest, cheapest and imho safest way to produce dadoes in a home workshop using power tools is with a router and a simple jig.

This jig is an example of what you need.

Cheers
Neil
 

SammyQ

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I agree fully with Newbie; I've got a series of adjustable dado blades for the my ancient combination machine (the one that still has Noah's initials scratched on ) and a 1/2" router plus cutters. There is no competition for quality of finish, router runs away with it, 'specially on plywood. The dado set seems to be a rite of passage for the average american woodie, but I can't see the attraction...plus the fact they scare the living daylights out of me.
Sam
 

michael

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Thanx everyone for your replys. Aside from the time it takes for the blade to stop, could the guarding problem be solved by using one of those commercial guards that are supported by a metal pole on a stand that sits next to the saw.They cost about £100.
 

Losos

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Micheal - I'm not familiar with the guarding gizmo you mention, can you provide more details. As it happens my new TS can have a dado cutter fitted ('tho I ordered it without one) it does stop within ten seconds :D but as everyone has said how the heck do you guard it :?:
 

Scrit

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michael":1om394c0 said:
Aside from the time it takes for the blade to stop, could the guarding problem be solved by using one of those commercial guards that are supported by a metal pole on a stand that sits next to the saw. They cost about £100.
NO it can't, honest! A dado head is fundamentally like a grooving or rebating block on a spindle moulder and so really needs a downwards pressure Shaw or SUVA-style guard like the one referred to in the HSE reference in my previous post (HSE publication Circular saw benches: safe working practices and look at Fig.7) - I'd seriously suggest that you follow the link and read the text and then you'll understand a bit more about the safety aspects - it isn't just a load of tosh. A guard with low rigidity which flaps around simply isn't up to the job of guarding a dado cutter (and by that I'd even include the considerably more substantial guard on my Altendorf panel saw) - a Shaw or SUVA guard exerts positive downwards pressure on the workpiece and therefore needs to be secured to something rigid such as the machine table or the possibly the fence (although only if it has a fore and aft claw securing mechanism).

Dave - sorry, mate, but your guard is still fundamantally not all that safe for the reasons stated above. If you must use it be VERY, VERY careful.

The reason I point to the HSE site is that it is regarded worldwide as one of the better resources on the subject of woodworking safety. Those who say they (dado heads) are safe without any training or length experience are living in a bit of a fools paradise - they've yet to encounter a knot, shake or crack in the middle of a cut. That's when it gets "interesting" as a dado head can smash a piece of timber pretty easily and having a piece of 1in oak literally explode as the dado head finds that thunder shake is the sort of experience which can ruin your composure (and your underwear, too)! -- Been there, done that and ruined the underwear into the bargain!!!!!

Scrit
 

frank

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a friend of mine has gone on holiday so i borrowed his frued dado set to try . I set it up and cut some dados its quick and neat BUT i think i will save my £70 for something else ,why because i wasnt to sure you know when you get that feeling, so if i have any dados to cut i will use the router .

frank
 
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