Dado Tooling for a Sliding Table Saw

Advice on choosing and setting up dado blades for a sliding table saw. January 9, 2015

Question (WOODWEB Member) :
I recently bought a 1995 Martin T-72 sliding saw. The saw has an electric brake and uses a 1.25" arbor with a 2/10-60 pin set up to keep the blade from spinning. The manual says it will take up to a 30mm wide wobble saw or cutter. Martin USA offers a 10" adjustable grooving blade that goes 13mm wide at $51 per mm. The wobbler I am going to stay away from. I would like to be able to get 3/4" wide, combining two German dado sets would probably not work and kill me money-wise. Has anyone set up a similar saw with a dado set? I know most keep their cabinet saw around for this, but space is hard to find.

Forum Responses
(Architectural Woodworking Forum)
From contributor P:
Try looking at the Felder tooling options. They have an excellent dado set for their machines. They’re pricey but I’ve had great results for eight years now.

From Contributor E:
I run the Felder dado set on my Martin T-74 and am very happy with it. You get what you pay for. I'm not familiar with the T-72 but the arbor might be similar to the T-74 seeing as they don't change that too often. On mine when I want to run dado tooling greater than the 15mm stock width the Martin accepts. I remove the 30mm flange on the right side of the arbor and take out the corresponding throat plate and can then run tooling up to 30mm on the arbor. If you are looking at your arbor and you see a 30mm flange, it can probably be removed. There were a couple of soft metal plugs in it that when removed exposed the hex bolts attaching it. I didn't figure this out on my own, Martin told me about it when I bought my saw and pressed them on the issue.

From the original questioner:
That is just what I am looking for. I hate to lose capacity when upgrading equipment. My short stroke panel saw took a 10"x 13/16"stack set and it was great to have. The T-72 and the T-74 are very similar 30mm cut width. What diameter dado did you end up with? They are not cheap at all so getting it right counts.

Contributor E - how do the 10mm pins engage with the dado set? Do they go through the whole set?

From contributor Y:
You can also try Rangate. I bought a custom window set a few months ago and the quality is great. Zuani in Italy is the manufacturer, I have toured Zuani plant and it is an exceptional facility. All my Felder cutters are nice but the salespeople at Felder are not tooling people so getting clear answers about tooling may not always be possible. This may have changed since the last time I bought tooling from Felder.

From Contributor E:
To the original questioner: I removed the 10mm pins from the flange. They just screw out. The saw blade still clamps up tight, just like it would on any other saw. It's too bad you have a 1 1/4" arbor, mine is 30mm, it would be much easier to by an off the shelf solution from Felder. While I agree with Contributor Y that Felder isn't a tooling company, they have it made by another Euro company and put their name on it, their dado set is quite nice and I have no regrets with it.

From the original questioner:
To contributor E: Your saw must have the electric brake and you don't see any movement or loosening when it grabs? The bore isn't a big deal, luckily 1.25" equals 31.75mm so C.G.C. can open the 30mm bore up for $10 per plate.

From Contributor E:
To the original questioner: I do have the electronic braking and I have never seen any slippage or movement by having the 10mm pins removed. It doesn't brake that hard. It's the price I had to pay in order to be able to run the Felder dado head without having to modify it.

From the original questioner:
To contributor E: It really does help to know about your setup. Thanks for posting it. Are you using the Felder 6mm- 20mm adjustable? What diameter are you using?

From Contributor E:
To the original questioner: Yes, the 6-20mm set. One of the many nice things about the Euro set of tooling is the reduced chance of a kick back if your part happens to get skewed when feeding. It happened to me. The other is the constant diameter. If your saw comes with the digital height readout you can always set the depth the same. After my saw blades have been sharpened a number of times, those numbers don't hold up any more. Good luck with the saw and I hope it works out well. I love mine and it's a joy to use every day. I like to remind my wife that guys trade their wives in more frequently than they do their Martins…

From Contributor E:
To the original questioner: I have the 6.3-12mm set and the 12-20mm set, both 229mm in diameter. Looking at the Felder site, they're not cheap - almost $1100 for both of them.