My first jig: Handheld Router Dado Jig

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Project by Matt posted 03-29-2011 10:35 PM 37041 views 18 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I started on my router table and realized that I really needed a jig to do the Dado cuts with my router. This is a modification from a Jig book. Took me an afternoon to make, I went very slow to make sure that it was square.
It is made of hardboard, MDF and a piece of oak.

11 comments so far

View hjt's profile


838 posts in 3161 days

#1 posted 03-29-2011 10:42 PM

VERY nice! What is the name of the jib book you speak of?

-- Harold

View Redford1947's profile


35 posts in 2833 days

#2 posted 03-29-2011 11:39 PM

I would LOVE to get specs on this. Just finished my third piece of $65 maghony trying to get straight dados or a back rest insert on a kids hope chest. Wish I had this before i ruined the first two.

View HenryD's profile


16 posts in 3129 days

#3 posted 03-29-2011 11:46 PM

Nice Jig! I just finished something similar. I’ll get some photos taken so you can see it as well. The jig I made apparently originally appeared in woodsmith magazine. Nice work!

-- Put your waste wood to use -

View Matt's profile


40 posts in 2645 days

#4 posted 03-30-2011 12:39 AM

Taunton’s Complete Illustrated Guide to Jigs & Fixtures (Complete Illustrated Guides)
That is the book that I got the design from.
Here are the specs
The 1/4 inhardboard is 4in wide (make as long as you want)
The 1/2 in MDF 2 inches wide (as long as the hardboard)
The crosspieces are 12 inches long, and are made out of 1×3 oak
I added the T-bar from the plan and shortened the length from the plan.

View vernonator's profile


75 posts in 2674 days

#5 posted 03-30-2011 12:58 AM

So to customize for your individual router, when the jig is closed all the way you should be able to just fit your router between the 1/2” MDF right? That way you could set the width of the opening to the width of the dado if it was wider than your bit and just run the router against the 1/2” mdf stops.

Hmmmm may have to pop over to the woodsmith shop for some t-track and a couple of knobs…looks like a great jig, thanks for sharing.

View Matt's profile


40 posts in 2645 days

#6 posted 03-30-2011 01:19 AM

Sounds like you have it right

View DiamondWW's profile


84 posts in 3256 days

#7 posted 03-30-2011 04:40 AM

I like this. I am going to have to make one for my shop. Great work!

-- There is no such thing as scrap wood, only smaller projects.

View alexsutula's profile


96 posts in 3077 days

#8 posted 03-30-2011 05:24 AM

I made one of these a couple years ago. I thought it would satisfy all my dado needs. It wasn’t the case, I would get a single groove of slightly varied width often resulting in a sloppy fit. The problem was my router base plate was not over hanging evenly around the base causing the bit to drift in and out following the alignment of the plate. I used the same router you have in the pic. I used the jig a few times and that was all. I have seen a variation of this jig that used a flush-cutting top bearing bit where the router sits atop 2 strips of 3/4” stock.

-- You can't stand apart unless you're prepared to stand alone. Alex, Cleveland

View Matt's profile


40 posts in 2645 days

#9 posted 03-30-2011 06:23 PM

Good point about accuracy. I did some research and the solution is to make a custom square or rectangular baseplate. The project I am working on now does not require dead on accuracy, but I will be making the new plate soon.

View PaBull's profile


956 posts in 3688 days

#10 posted 04-03-2011 05:11 AM

Looks great Matt, I just posted a similar jig for dado’s, please check it out at

-- rhykenologist and plant grower

View 308Gap's profile


337 posts in 3026 days

#11 posted 10-18-2011 07:11 AM

This may help, because the bushing is more accurate. The outside diameter of the base plate is not perfect. just a thought.

-- Thank You Veterans!

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