How much $$ did you spend on tools to build your theater ??? - Page 8 - AVS Forum
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post #211 of 220 Old 06-20-2014, 10:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Question:

I want to buy a high value Dado blade for my table saw. I want to build some shelf and closet organizer out of MDF and I want to inset the 3/4" MDF into a 3/4" dado.

Suggestions? Where to buy ? Model?

This better than using the router with a straightedge to make the dado cut ? What's better?

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post #212 of 220 Old 06-20-2014, 01:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redstopgreengo12 View Post
i try not to think about those expenses. it has to be over $1,000....and still shopping in my experence, a few extra dollars spent buying the right tool for the job will save hours of anger and frustration.
I guess I invested in anger and frustration. I refused to buy quite a few things as I didn't think I would use them again.

Took WAY longer though.
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post #213 of 220 Old 06-20-2014, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post
Question:

I want to buy a high value Dado blade for my table saw. I want to build some shelf and closet organizer out of MDF and I want to inset the 3/4" MDF into a 3/4" dado.

Suggestions? Where to buy ? Model?

This better than using the router with a straightedge to make the dado cut ? What's better?
Router vs table saw will depend on how much you need to do. I will generally use a router if there are only a couple pieces to cut or the pieces are very large and might be difficult to get through the table saw. If I'm going to do several pieces or the pieces are smaller, then I'll use in a table saw.
A while back I purchased a rather nice dado set with grand intentions of using it on almost every project. I think I've used it twice.

One thing to watch out for is a short arbor on some less expensive table saws. My first had a very short arbor and I couldn't use a full dado set.

This one is probably the best value that I know of. It has all the shims you need to set it up for undersized plywood cuts.
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Last edited by BllDo; 06-20-2014 at 01:25 PM.
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post #214 of 220 Old 06-20-2014, 01:28 PM - Thread Starter
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I've used the router a few times and the results were good. I haven't used a Dado before, at least not since I was a teen. This is one area am lack experience with, but it seems handy for making shelf and a closet organizer for the laundry room.

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post #215 of 220 Old 06-20-2014, 07:45 PM
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As long as your router isn't underpowered and your router bits are decent, your router should easily take care of MDF (very soft compared to ply....which is more difficult!). Make sure you have a quality straight edge as your route.

I've used dados on my table saw...and the struggle of changing the blades out and watching out for the arbor is a pain in the tail end.

MDF makes a bunch of nasty sawdust...good dust extraction is a must.

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post #216 of 220 Old 06-21-2014, 10:47 AM
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Where dado blades shine is when you need an ultra-precise dado groove. You can dial a size down to the closest 1/32" on some sets. If you really want quickly repeatable close fitting joints, then dado blades are definitely the way to go. I got a Freud Diablo 8in stacked dado set for $100 that has served me well over the years.

Getting that kind of repeatable accuracy with router bits varies. There are special router bits that are sized specifically for plywood and the like and if you have those bits AND they match up with the thickness of plywood that you bought, then you simply can't beat that. But in my experience, there's simply too much variance in sheet good thicknesses between batches to really count on just one size router bit.

A far more accurate way (possibly the most accurate) is to build a router jig that has an adjustable width (one of many examples: http://www.woodsmithshop.com/downloa...bledadojig.pdf). In this case, you just stick your actual mating board in the jig and then route up one side and down the other to get a perfect match. Setup definitely takes longer if you are doing a lot of joints, though.
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post #217 of 220 Old 07-15-2014, 06:22 AM
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I thought I would follow up on my previous post (here). I finally had a chance to use my new track saw. I have to say, I'm not sure how I've managed without this thing! I used it for cutting the decking to go on my riser. Once I figured out how everything worked, it was just as fast for me to grab the 4' or 8' track and rip a sheet of ply than it would have been for me to grab a straight edge, mark the sheet, then cut it freehand. I also used it to cut the nosing on my riser as well. Again, in the amount of time it would have taken me to draw a line with a straight edge or pop a chalk line I had the nosing cut, and it is perfectly straight.

A couple caveats. I work alone almost exclusively. Part of the reason this tool works so well for me is it's much easier for me to lay a #70 piece of ply on the floor on top of a sheet of foam insulation to cut than it is for me to try to wrestle it onto my table saw. Even with in feed, out feed, and side support rollers, cutting a full sheet of ply on a contractor table saw is difficult, and I'll admit now, dangerous. If you've got some help, it's not so bad.

Next, I have to have a guide line to cut from. I've seen people that can cut a sheet of ply with just the mark at both ends, and it's amazing how straight the cut is. I'm not that guy. So I have to have a straight edge with me anyway. A chalk line will work, but I usually end up with a straight edge for marking stuff.

So I am now firmly in the track saw camp. It can't replace a table saw, but if both my track saw and table saw died today, I'd be hard pressed to decide which one to replace first.
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post #218 of 220 Old 07-15-2014, 07:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnsteph10 View Post
MDF makes a bunch of nasty sawdust...good dust extraction is a must.
I had never worked with MDF before I attempted a few of my first DIY speakers.

I was cutting MDF in my garage. After my first two speakers were done I had completely covered every surface in the garage with that nasty MDF dust.

Needless to say, I ended up moving any cutting/sanding that needed to be done outside the garage.

Mother nature makes an amazing dust extraction system. :-)
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post #219 of 220 Old Today, 10:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClemsonJeeper View Post
I had never worked with MDF before I attempted a few of my first DIY speakers.

I was cutting MDF in my garage. After my first two speakers were done I had completely covered every surface in the garage with that nasty MDF dust.

Needless to say, I ended up moving any cutting/sanding that needed to be done outside the garage.

Mother nature makes an amazing dust extraction system. :-)
You mean like this:

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post #220 of 220 Old Today, 02:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J_P_A View Post
I thought I would follow up on my previous post (here). I finally had a chance to use my new track saw. I have to say, I'm not sure how I've managed without this thing! I used it for cutting the decking to go on my riser. Once I figured out how everything worked, it was just as fast for me to grab the 4' or 8' track and rip a sheet of ply than it would have been for me to grab a straight edge, mark the sheet, then cut it freehand. I also used it to cut the nosing on my riser as well. Again, in the amount of time it would have taken me to draw a line with a straight edge or pop a chalk line I had the nosing cut, and it is perfectly straight.

A couple caveats. I work alone almost exclusively. Part of the reason this tool works so well for me is it's much easier for me to lay a #70 piece of ply on the floor on top of a sheet of foam insulation to cut than it is for me to try to wrestle it onto my table saw. Even with in feed, out feed, and side support rollers, cutting a full sheet of ply on a contractor table saw is difficult, and I'll admit now, dangerous. If you've got some help, it's not so bad.

Next, I have to have a guide line to cut from. I've seen people that can cut a sheet of ply with just the mark at both ends, and it's amazing how straight the cut is. I'm not that guy. So I have to have a straight edge with me anyway. A chalk line will work, but I usually end up with a straight edge for marking stuff.

So I am now firmly in the track saw camp. It can't replace a table saw, but if both my track saw and table saw died today, I'd be hard pressed to decide which one to replace first.
I love my tracksaw. Since I usually work alone, there's no way I could handle the sheet goods. Last weekend I broke down three sheets of 3/4 Birch ply all by myself in no time at all. It makes near finish quality cuts, and takes so little space compared to a normal table saw. The only issue I have with being hooked on the Festool Koolaid is the $$$.
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