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Woodpeckers OneTIME Tool | Dado Setup Fixture and Gap Gauges

Test Cuts

Manufactured sheet good material is usually undersized, especially plywood. Matching a dado stack to these dimensions can be difficult. It often means making test cut after test cut to dial in the dado stack with the right combination of chippers and shims. This process is time consuming and tedious. Each time you want to make an adjustment to the dado stack, you need need to do the same steps as changing a blade. This doesn’t take too terrible long when changing from a combination blade to a ripping blade but when you are making a half dozen or more test cuts trying to find the perfect dado width, it really adds up! Now there are many tips and tricks to speeding this process up including shop made jigs with labeling the combination of chippers and shims but if you are like us in having a precision tool to do the job right, you need to check out the new OneTIME tool by woodpeckers. They have come up with a great solution!

Dado Setup Fixture and Gap Gauges

The unit we tested came as a package/kit but it should be noted the components can be purchased separately if desired. The combination of the Dado Setup Fixture (DSF) and Gap Gauges creates a method of dialing in the width of your dado stack with only putting your dado stack on your table saw arbor one time. Yes, just once! The pricess is very similar to the test cut method but you are using the gap gauges as your test cut. It saves a bunch of time!



The kit includes:

  • Dado Setup Fixture (DSF)
  • Two 3/8″ Alignment Pins
  • Two MFT bushings
  • Gap Gauge
  • Mini Gap Gauge

Gap Gauge and Mini Gap Gauge

The process starts with the gap gauges. There are two available: the regular Gap Gauge and the Mini Gap Gauge. The regular Gap Gauge is for larger materials like sheet goods and the smaller is for tenons and mortise work. They are relative dimensioning tools that operate like a set of calipers. There are two functions to the Gap Gauges. First, you can measure the Outside Dimension (OD) of a piece of material, like the thickness of a piece of plywood.  Second, you can measure the Inside Dimension (ID) of a part. For example, an existing dado or a mortise. It should be noted that when you take a measurement from either the OD or ID end of the Gap Gauge, the opposite end will have the same reading. Once you have the Gap Gauges set, you can use the OD side to dial in your dado stack. It acts like a test cut by testing it against the dado stack in the Dado Setup Fixture.

Both the Gap Gauges have Imperial and Metric scales on them in the Woodpecker’s signature white laser engraving.

Dado Setup Fixture (DSF)

The DSF is the main component in the kit or dado setup process. The unit has three ways of being held in place. First, it can be put in a bench vice and clamped in position. Second, using the two holes in the DSF, you can drill 3/8″ holes in your work surface and using the 3/8″ aligment pins can secure it to the top of you work surface. Third, you can use the MFT bushings to secure it to your MFT table. The hole spacing is designed to fit the MFT hole pattern. It should be noted that the second and third holding methods only keep the DSF from spinning. It can lift up out of the holes as the alignment pins only keep it from spinning when the user applies torque to the locking knob.

The DSF has a bronze 5/8″ arbor that can take up to a 15/16″ dado stack. The unit has a large diameter knob that is knurled to provide extra grip. This robust knob allows the user to put a lot of torque to squeeze the dado stack just like your table saw arbor nut would do.

Dialing in the Dado Stack

Your dado stack most likely came with a chart that gave you a good indication of the combination of blades, chippers, and shims you are going to need to get to a certain width. This is a great start! use the Gap Gauge to get the exact thickness of your material and check that against this recommended combination. You will instantly be able to tell the fit of your dado. If the Gap Gauge doesn’t fit on the dado, then your dado stack is too large. You need to remove a shim or chipper. If there is slop in the fit and you are able to wiggle the Gap Gauge, then your dado stack is too thin/skinny. You need to add a shim or chipper that is the same thickness as the slop. It is that easy!

OneTIME Tool

The Dado Setup Fixture and Gap Gauges are a Woodpeckers OneTIME tool. This means they only make enough to cover their pre-order sale. Deadline to order is April 3rd 2017  and estimated delivery is July 2017. If you are interested, please click HERE.


Setting up a dado stack isn’t hard but it can be tedious and time consuming, especially for the oddball sheet good thicknesses that are out there. Shop jigs and other fixtures can be made to make this process easier but if you are someone that likes a dedicated product that solves a problem. The Dado Setup Fixtures does exactly that. We believe this is priced affordable for the time saving and convience. If you are someone that bounces around dado thicknesses or someone that doesn’t do dados that often but wants a solution for when you do, we highly recommend the Dado Setup Fixture and Gap Gauge.

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