June 25, 2022

Woody Woodworking

and its tools

Unboxing, Testing, and Review of a Forrest Finger Joint Set

3 min read

I picked up a Forrest finger joint set to accompany the new finger-joint jig that I’m building, and this video shows the blade in action cutting a variety of woods, both with and across the grain. You’ll also see comparative cuts with a Freud 6" Super Dado. I feature the Forrest FJ08242 in this video, but it would apply equally to the FJ08241 and FJ08243 sets. The FJ08241 does 3/16" and 5/16" wide cuts, the FJ08242 does 1/4" and 3/8", and the FJ08243 does all four.

This video is not sponsored. I paid for everything, and used my own time. You can find Forrest blades at https://www.forrestblades.com/. Pro tip: If you use Microsoft Edge as your browser, you might get a prompt at the top of the browser window if another website offers a lower price on the item you’re viewing.

This isn’t a Forrest vs. Freud video, because I would need two identically-purposed blades for that, but since the Forrest finger-joint and Freud dado blades used in the video are both high-quality, and perform similar functions, I use them to compare the differences between the two types of wide-kerf blade-set choices. It goes without saying that the results might have been different if I was using different brands. If you have some additional experience to share, leave a comment.

You can find pictures of things that I build on Instagram:

There are pros and cons to the various wide-kerf blade choices, and these are some of my opinions:

Flat-grind finger-joint set
– Costs about the same as a 10" sawblade, but you get two blades.
– You get two (or four) width configurations with one kit.
– Flat grind does not leave scoring marks on your finished project.
– No scoring cutters could potentially cause tear-out in cross-grain cuts.
– More expensive than router bits.
– If you need a wider cut, multiple passes are needed.

Dado stack
– Can be configured for a variety of material widths.
– Scoring cutters can reduce tear-out in certain materials.
– Only one pass required unless you need to go wider than the blade’s limit.
– Can take more effort to set up, especially if shims are needed.
– Scoring cutters can leave visible machine marks on your finished project.
– Chipper blades usually have fewer teeth, which can cause tear-out.
– More expensive than router bits.

Regular #1 flat-grind sawblade
– Cuts narrow corner splines in a single pass, or wider grooves with multiple passes.
– In some cases, can be less expensive than a wide-kerf set.
– Normally can function as a regular ripping blade.
– Flat grind is less prone to blade flutter than alternate top bevel (ATB).
– If you need to cut wide kerfs, you need to make a lot of passes.
– High-quality blades might cost the same as a wide-kerf set.
– More expensive than router bits.

Router bit
– Inexpensive compared to a new sawblade.
– Cuts the same width each time.
– More expensive spiral-cut bits can make a very clean cut.
– Sharpening reduces the diameter slightly.
– Cutting to the side can shift workpieces if not secured.
– Tear-out can happen on the side of the joint, which can be harder to hide.

Handsaw and chisel
– Satisfying
– Bragging rights
– Distraction from life
– Takes forever

Woodworking News Source: The Snekker Show

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