Starting Upper Cut Woodworks #12: Router Dado Sled

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Blog entry by Matt (Upper Cut) posted 02-19-2010 08:31 AM 4665 reads 8 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 11: Project Progress - Thomas Walnut Dresser Part 12 of Starting Upper Cut Woodworks series Part 13: Thomas Walnut Dresser - Major Updates »

The blog post is here, and I’ve added some pieces below.

I got about 2 hours of shop time tonight. I was working alone so I wasn’t going to try to push any big pieces through the saw. I need to cut the top, back, and bottom to their final sizes, and also rip the front into the strips that will make up the front for the drawers. I’ll have to do that when I have help.

Knowing that I’ll have to make some dados in the sides for the drawers, and knowing that I’ll want those to fit the dust frames perfectly, I made a Router Dado Sled. Basically, I can set the cutting width of this to match the material thickness exactly, clamp it to the piece, and let the router do the work.

Here you can see the sled, from the bottom. One sled rail is fixed square to the cross rails with glue and screws. The other floats free in two grooves. You can see the grooves in the cross pieces that let me adjust the width. The knobs that lock in the floating sled rail are on the bottom so that they don’t interfere with the router.

Set the sled face down on the workbench, and put a scrap piece of the material that will be going into the dado in it. Push the material against the fixed sled, and the free sled against the material, tighten the knobs. The Router Dado Sled is now set for your material.

Now turn the sled right side up, clamp it to your piece, and rout the dados. Probably best to minimize tear out by putting the back cross member up against the piece. I’m also going to check for square before making cuts, but this could also make angled cuts for shoe racks, louvers, etc.

ere you can see that the bolts for the knobs have flat oval heads. They are recessed so they won’t get in the way, and I cut oval holes for them so they won’t spin.

This sled will be used on this project to cut four dados, and I’m sure I’ll use it on other projects. Now I need to get the perfect router bit for it.

-- Matt Gradwohl, Upper Cut Woodworks,

3 comments so far

View Eagle1's profile


2066 posts in 3242 days

#1 posted 02-19-2010 11:10 AM

That jig is nice to have I built 1 a whilw back a little different style. And I also built one that is just a Tsquare that works good also. Nice job on the jig, i’m sure you will get lots of use from it..

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

View Matt (Upper Cut)'s profile

Matt (Upper Cut)

264 posts in 3991 days

#2 posted 05-29-2010 09:15 PM

@Eagle1 thanks a ton. the jig has been a lifesaver. Only change I would make is to build it out of better plywood like baltic birch or appleply.

-- Matt Gradwohl, Upper Cut Woodworks,

View a1Jim's profile


117283 posts in 3755 days

#3 posted 05-29-2010 09:24 PM

This jig will make sure your dados are dead on. Thanks for sharing.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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