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How to Cut a Dado Joint with Hand Tools

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Blog entry by WoodAndShop posted 08-22-2014 12:58 AM 1807 reads 1 time favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch

In my above video I show how to cut a simple dado joint with basic woodworking hand tools. What is a dado joint used for? A dado joint is used for securing shelves inside cabinets or book shelves. (View the original blog post here).

TOOLS THAT YOU’LL NEED
Even though I have a nice tool buying guide (here), I’m still often asked for links to the tools that I use in my videos, so here is a list of tools that I used in this video:

WORKBENCH:
-Sjoberg Elite 2500 Beech Workbench (with optional tool cabinet)
-Gramercy Holdfast

HAND PLANES:
-Vintage Stanley No. 71 Router Plane

HAND SAWS:
-Lie-Nielsen cross cut back saw

CHISELS:
-Vintage Stanley 750 bevel-edge chisels

MARKING & MEASURING:
-Veritas Wheel Marking Gauge or Veritas Dual Wheel Marking Gauge
-Marking knife (chip carving knife)
-Staedtler Mars 780 Technical Mechanical Pencil

MALLETS & HAMMERS:

-Crown No. 106 20-Oz Beechwood Mallet

CUTTING THE DADO JOINT

In the dado video I show these basic steps:
-Use a marking gauge to determine the distance of your dado joint from the edge of the board.
-Hold the shelf piece against the other board, and hold the workpiece down with 1 or 2 holdfasts
-Scribe the shelf piece onto the other board with a marking knife. This ensures a tight fit. Make a pencil mark so you’ll remember which edge goes into the joint.
-Remove the holdfasts and shelf board then use a marking gauge to mark the desired depth of your dado joint: Approximately 1/3 – 1/2 of the way down.
-Use a marking knife to create trenches for your backsaw
-Use your cross cut back saw to cut close to your final depth
-Use a bench chisel (smaller width than your dado joint) to pare out waste, but not all the way to your final depth.
-Use a router plane (like my Stanley No. 71) to clean up the bottom of the dado joint and bring the joint down to its final depth.
-Fit the shelf piece

This is a very simple way to make a dado joint and it’s faster (if making a couple dados) than setting up and shimming a dado stack on a table saw!

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-- Joshua Farnsworth - Free Traditional Hand Tool Woodworking Tutorials: http://WoodAndShop.com



1 comment so far

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benchbuilder

121 posts in 1203 days


#1 posted 08-23-2014 12:18 PM

Nice, i licke it.

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