I MADE a DADO JIG

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Introduction: I MADE a DADO JIG

About: 1945 was a very good year. No, not for wine ... for me. I was born. Yes, I'm old, Father William, but brillig, and my slithy toves still gyre and gimble in the wabe. Yes, I had a pet dinosaur. His name was...

You don't need an expensive dado blade set for your table saw to make accurate dadoes. As I've mentioned before in other Instructables, I have a small one (not something a DIYer brags about), and my small table saw will not take dado blades.

Step 1: WHAT IS a DADO?

A dado (pronounced DAY DOE) is a grove cut across the grain to receive the butt end of another piece. These pictures really explain it best.

That's Smoochy who insisted on assisting with research for this Instructable.

Everybody sing: Dado, day day day doe, dado come and we wan' go home.....

Step 2: PARTS OF MY JIG

I made this jig for my small router. It was all made from scraps from my lumber cart. I bought the wing nuts and bolts.

Hmmmm..small table saw, small router.... 'scuse me while I check my hands -- nope, they're OK. Whew!

Step 3: DADO PARTS

These pictures show all the parts to create this jig. I made this for the Shadow Box Bookcase I built.

Step 4: MAKE TWO

The first step is to secure the hardboard to the 1 x 4. Do this twice. Place the router against the 1 x 4 and rout the hardboard. This cut in now EXACTLY where the blade cuts. Make two of these. Use a dado router bit the exact width or NARROWER than the thickness of the boards you will be using to go into the dado.

Step 5: ADD RIGHT ANGLE GUIDES

I cannot stress the importance of this step. These two guides which are further apart than the width of the board you are dadoing must be secured at right angles. If not, every dado you make will be off. Secure two bolts and epoxy them in place.

Step 6: ADD ADJUSTMENT SLOTS

Line up the two bolts you epoxied and mark them on sliding part of the jig. These slots are made by drilling two holes and connecting the holes using a jig saw. Make them as far apart as you'd like to adjust the gap. Mine went from zero to 1 1/2+.

Step 7: THE GAP

Slide the adjustment guides apart and put in a piece of wood you'll be making a dado for and close the adjustment slide tight to the wood. Secure the wing nuts and this gap now matches the exact thickness of the wood you are using.

Step 8: TEST THE FIT

The fit should be snug. A Goldilocks type of fit. Not too tight, not too lose--just right.

NOTE: Route up the left side of the jig then down the right to get the full width of the dado.

Step 9: DEPTH OF CUT

The only other thing you must take into consideration is the depth of the dado. You should add this depth times two (one for each side) to the length of the shelf you are installing. If you look at the intricacies of this shadow box bookcase I built you can see how an error can magnify itself by the time you're done.

Hope this Instructable helps you. Let me know if you have any questions.

Enjoy,

KJ

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9 Discussions

Good jig , I voted

Very useful jig and great instructable! Well done!

1 reply

Yes, very useful jig and thanks for the kind words.

Hi, Jprussack, having looked at your Instructaqbles I'm sure you'll toss together on of these jigs in a flash.

KJ

This is really neat. One of these will solve some upcoming problems of mine, so I might well be using this soon. Thank you for sharing :-)

1 reply

Hi, Alex, this jig has worked miracles for me. Especially with its ability to get just the perfect width for a snug fit. Hopefully my instructions are easy enough to follow. I wish you luck with your project. Let me know how it turns out.

KJ