Ask WWGOA: Wobble Dado Setup

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I have a wobble dado. When I put all four hub pieces on the blade, the blade does not fix on the axle of my table saw. I can’t find any instructions on how to assemble the hub to make it fit. The package did not show any instructions–just what it will do. I know a wobble is not the best method, but it is all I can afford right now. Can you give me any help with this?

Submitted by pegw


It could be your saw. Some saws, primarily benchtop (portable) table saws aren’t designed to accept a dado head. If that’s the case, the arbor of the saw won’t be long enough to accommodate a dado. Even on a stackable head, the maximum width of the build up is typically 13/16″. If your blade is that wide, or less, it will fit on saws designed to accept dado heads.


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14 Responses to “Ask WWGOA: Wobble Dado Setup”

  1. Mike Della

    I've had a wobble dado head which I bought for my radial arm saw 40 years ago. Used it a few times with the proper guard. It looks scary but worked good enough for things like house framing half lap cuts. I use a stacked dado now but the radial arm saw has always been my go-to for shelving dados, especially long boards which are not nearly as easy to handle to handle on my table saw. Using the router takes longer and often requires multiple passes for dados. LET'S HEAR IT FOR GOOD OLD FASHION RADIAL ARM SAWS !!

  2. Michael Teague

    Sawstop makes a arbor nut/ washer assembly that is supposed to address the issue of dado stacks on short arbors. Or use less dado stack and make a couple of passes. Not ideal but easier on the pocketbook than a new saw.

  3. Bob Duncan

    What I have done in the past and to make the bottom of the cut less beveled, is to use than 1 pass until the required width is achieved. Also, that way my wobble set can fit the arbor.

  4. Jay

    Setting up a a wobble dado can be a problem. I use the Sears one on a Sears 10" table saw. It comes with a ring insert for smaller diameter arbors. You don't need to use the blade stabilizer with it since it won't flex. Leaving that off barely allows the nut to completely go on the arbor. They made an insert for it (it was red). It was supposed to be compatible with their shaper heads but the opening was way too narrow and I had to enlarge the opening with a jig saw. Setting the width on it is pretty accurate but since the blade wobbles, the location of the cut and its depth can be inaccurate enough to effect assembly or could ruin the work piece. Doing this on a router table will be more accurate and easier as long as the work piece will fit on the router table since the limitation is the distance to the fence. The second best option is doing it with a hand router on your workbench. There, issues will be with clamping of the workpiece and the straight edge accurately. Using a template spacer can help when accuracy needs to be within 1/2 mm. Just the thickness of a pencil line can throw the cut off. When multiple work pieces need to be cut in the same exact location and you don't have a good router table (that can cost over $1,000), then the wobble dado might be your best bet. The lack of flatness of the bottom of the cut is very slight and has never been an issue for me. Likewise, the sides of the cut will not be exactly parallel and perpendicular, but that too has not been an issue. Safety IS a major issue since you might not be able to use your blade guide and kick back could occur. The work piece needs to be large enough to not fall into the table insert and to be slowly pushed along the fence with enough clearance that your hands are nowhere the blades. The table saw is dangerous enough without doing this! Using a dado, wobble or stack, increases the danger. The router method is much, much safer.

  5. Lew Hecht

    Many years ago I purchased from Sears a Craftsman wobble dado. It actually worked! The carbide tips of the cutters worked sort-of OK. I replaced it with a Diablo dado system. The difference is like night and day. The Diablo cuts are flat on the bottom with no ragged edges. After Sears went out of business, I tossed the wobble dado into the garbage.

  6. Mark

    I too have a wobble dado and replaced it with a dado stack. I would strongly suggest you do the same. There is a good reason why wobble dado sets aren't sold any more - they are dangerous. You would be better using a standard blade and do multiple passes. A fairly good dado stack can be had on Amazon for under $75 (I found one for $52).

  7. Doug

    Are there removable flanges (washers) for which you can substitute the wobble washers?

  8. Jack Schrader

    I’m looking for a site that shows all the different woodworking methods/skills for building projects. Does this site give pictorials/ ideas for childrens’ and adult projects? Thanks. Regards, Jack Schrader.

  9. Carey mitchell

    If the issue is indeed a short shaft, do not, under any circumstances, use the dado head unless the nut goes fully onto the shaft. The thought of a flying dado head is not pretty.

  10. durango

    Can I use a dial in dado blade on my Hitachi table saw I have had it more years than care say Thank you Carl