How To Skin A Cat

Have you ever heard the expression, “There’s more than one way to skin a cat” ? Granted, the poor cats get a bad rap here but the point the saying is trying to emphasize is that there’s alway more than one way to do any task.

Here’s the task, use the MatchFit Dado Stop on the left side of a table saw’s blade. The reason I wish to do this is that my new Incra Miter Express Crosscut Sled is set up to be situated to the right of the tablesaw blade. I want to be able to use that great sled in conjunction with the MatchFit Dado Stop referencing from the fence on the left side of the blade.

MatchFit Dado Stop Mod

Issue #1 – Adjustment #2 on the Dado Stop represents the thickness of the saw blade in use. Therefore it will ALWAYS stick out further than the fixed measurement of Dado Stop leg #1. That causes a problem when switching which side of the blade you mount your fence.

Solution – The #1 leg on the Dado Stop represents one side of the saw blade while the #2 leg represents the thickness of that blade. It’s ONLY a reference so you can set up leg #3, representing the thickness of the board you’re trying to cut into. Once you set the #3 leg up you no longer need the #2 leg to be sticking out farther than leg #1. You can reposition the #2 leg to be shorter than leg #1 and all is well with the setup. From that point forward you’re making all your cuts based on leg #1 and leg #3. You see the distance between leg #1 & leg #3 is the width of the slot, ie. dado that you’re trying to cut. You can make all 16 dado cuts to build a no miter picture frame without ever measuring anything. The Dado Stop is calibrated to make every cut accurately. Clear as mud right?

Precision cutting with repeatability built in is all about the setup. If your setup is accurate you can make 500 picture frame pieces without a single measurement. Your setup become a jig, a fixture built for a specific task. I’m glad I have my main workbench in my livingroom. My tablesaw sits atop that bench which allows me to get a good look at how everything is supposed to work and fit together. Add a little ingenuity, incite & troubleshooting skill and you can overcome, conquer and persevere.  I guess the cat will get to live another day. LOL

Follow-Up

I’m sorry my modification didn’t work. You see the #3 leg that sets the material width is physically located in front of the #1 center leg when clamped to the fence on the left side of the saw blade. Because of that design it interferes with sawing the dado in my piece. There’s no way around that limitation. I will, therefore, be forced to relocate the dado stop on the fence to the right side of the saw blade, lining up the3 legs of dado stop in the correct orientation. This will also require me to detach my new Incra 1000SE from the crosscut sled in order to install it on the left side of the saw blade to make my dado cuts. 😦 It’s all a minor inconvenience. I tried, and failed. Onward to the next hurdle! 🙂

 

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