Wednesday 17 July 2019
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How to make dado cuts with your miter saw

It’s pretty unusual to find someone making dadoes with a miter saw, but it can be done nonetheless. A miter saw is not the ideal tool for making dado cuts, but if you don’t have a table saw, your miter saw can still the job, if you know what to do with it.

What you need

All you need is a miter saw that has the right flip down stops to limit the movement of the downward motion of the miter saw blade. Your miter saw also has to be a sliding miter saw. You can’t cut dadoes if you have a non-sliding miter saw. With a sliding compound miter saw and the right flip down stops, you’re all equipped to cut your own dadoes easily.

How does it work?

Most compound miter saws come with flip down stops. Along with the flip down stop, there is a bolt attached to the upper section of the miter saw. If the flip down stop is flipped out of the way, then you can make full depth cuts with the miter saw. When the flip down stop is engaged, then you can vary the depth of cut by turning the bolt in or out to control the depth of cut. With this alone, you can cut dadoes just by controlling the depth of cut with the aid of the bolt and the flip down stop.

The right blade for the job

You can use any miter saw blade to make dadoes just by controlling the depth of cut just like I said above. However, not every blade will produce the best result. Some mite saw blades will not produce a flat bed at the bottom of the dadoes you cut with it. For you to get flat uniform beds, you need to use a flat top grind blade. This is the ideal blade for the job. However, if you don’t have that, you can still cut the dadoes, but you’ll not get flat beds at the bottom of the dadoes you cut.

How to cut the dadoes

Just mark the width of the dado you want to make on the stock, then set the depth of cut using the flip down stop and the bolt on the miter saw, then cut progressively through the marked section by shifting the stock you’re cutting bit by bit through the miter saw blade.

After that, you’ll notice that the edge of the fence against the board has not been cut. This is no problem at all. All you have to do is flip the stock the opposite direction and repeat the above step by cutting progressively through the dado width you’ve marked on the stock you’re cutting.

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