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This year I was smart: Rather than let everybody know what stores I usually shop at, I told everybody if they didn’t know what to get me for Christmas, buy me gift cards from Sears. That way I’d be able to stack them to get something good. So Sunday I went and picked up this Freud stacked dado set as my “gift.”

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Most consumers can get away with using a 6″ or 8″ dado blade because they hardly ever need to make dadoes or grooves deeper than 1″. Still, last month Freud introduced their 10″ and 12″ dado sets. Imagine a giant 12″ dado stack — you’d be able to cut a 5″ deep dado!

Besides having more teeth and using 1″ arbors, the 10″ and 12″ dado sets share the same characteristics of the 6″ and 8″ dado sets in Freud’s SD500 line. The blades have negative hook angles and the chippers have four wings instead of two — Freud claims both features make for cleaner cuts. They coat the blades with their Silver I.C.E. coating which reduces pitch buildup and corrosion and they manufacture the teeth out of their TiCo high-density carbide.

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Recently I bought an older Craftsman radial arm saw and put it right to work rebuilding some decking — afterwards the carbide edges on the old blade were rounded over, and it was well past its useful life. Some fellow woodworkers informed me that since this saw will only be used for 90-degree crosscutting, I want a blade in the 80-tooth range, and since Forrest blades are too pricey I decided on the Freud TK806.

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Two dado blade types dominate the industry.  Wobble dado blades are simple one-piece blades where you adjust the width by making it wobble more or less — unfortunately this leaves the bottom of the dado slightly concave.  Stacked dado blades include blades, chippers, and shims which you add or subtract to get the correct width.  These type leave a flatter bottom, but are usually more expensive and can be difficult to adjust.

Freud tries to combine the advantages of both types of dado blades with its Dial-A-Width sets. The sets are in essence a stacked dado blade without the shims.  Instead Freud uses a patented dial hub that adjusts the blade width by .004″ with every click.

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Sometimes you put stuff in a cabinet not to hide it away but to display it — for those times, a glass-panel door is in order.  Setting the glass can be a huge pain, but you can expedite the whole process with these glass-panel-door bits from Freud.

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Dowel joinery is very strong, but you might have some difficulty lining up the pieces.  The biscuit solves this alignment problem, so it’s grown more popular in recent years.  But just when you thought the dowel had lost to the biscuit, Freud comes out with their new doweling joiner.

With the doweling joiner, drilling precise dowel holes becomes as easy as cutting biscuit slots.  If that’s not enough, the joiner can also drill precise rows of shelf-pin holes.

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Freud FB-104 4 Bit 1/4-Inch to 1-Inch Forstner Bit Assortment

I spotted this great deal over on Amazon: a set of four Freud Forstner bits in 1/4″, 1/2″, 3/4″, and 1″ diameters, with a lifetime warranty, for $16. I purchased some Forstner bits for a project a while back when I really should have bought spade bits — if you’ve ever used a Forstner bit in a regular hand drill, you know it takes a lot of force to push them into the material you’re cutting. But they work great in a drill press, especially for making pocket, angled, or overlapping holes.

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Freud's Quadra-Cut Router Bits

Router bit manufacturers must be taking a cue from the razor blade companies — more blades are better. First there were two-wing bits, then triple-wing bits, and now Freud has come out with the Quadra-Cut bit. Freud claims the new Quadra-Cut bits leave a surface that requires no sanding or reworking – even in cross grain cuts.

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Freud recently introduced a new two-base router kit, and they make a lot of claims about it. For example, they claim that it’s the most powerful, precise, and easy to use router kit on the market. Their concept behind the kit is that Freud wants to provide the woodworker a 2-1/4 hp combo kit that would meet evolving needs — particularly the need for a router that’d work well in a table installation and prove powerful enough to drive large profile bits.

Is this it? You’ll have to decide. But at least it won’t cost you too much to find out.

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When someone mentions Freud around the shop you think jacket patches and “tell me about your mother,” right?  What you should be thinking is long-lasting crosscut blades. 

The TiCo Hi-Density laser cut blades from Freud feature the distinctive red “perma-shield” coating that (they claim) almost eliminates heat from cutting friction.  The red shielding also resists corrosion and resin build-up that can shorten the lifespan of your blade after repeated use.

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