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The "Never Fail" dado jig for the router

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Project by PaBull posted 04-02-2011 08:20 AM 10508 views 152 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was lurking around on the Wood Whisperer’s website and ran into his Exact-Width Dado Jig. I liked it a lot, but it failed when Marc had to reach under the jig to tighten his nuts. Please check Marc’s jig out and also his explanation on his video on how to use the thing, he does a way better job than me!!

I had my own cabinet shop for years and I always struggled with setting up the dado blades in the table saw, a little wider for solid woods and a little less for plywood. I was never able to hit it dead on. But I could not handle Marc’s jig with his nuts under the table.

So I came up with the “never fail” dado jig, with the nuts above the table.

And if it was not for the fact that I was building a dresser for my lovely wife’s closet, and it has a bunch of dado’s in it, I would have never build this jig.

This is one of those jigs, once you build it, you can’t live without it.

The boards are made of 3/4 plywood cut to 2 1/4 width. Add a strip of 1/4×3/4 hard wood to the edge, glue not nail.

On the two long boards cut a small rabbet on the hardwood strip 1/8×3/8. This needs to face up when assembling the frame. See picture above.

The jig takes just a hand full of hardware. One side, the side with the screws is also glued and needs to be VERY square!!! Clamp it first for a while before you actually put the screws in place.

When all hardware is in place it is time to true the jig up to ONE set of guide bushing and router bit. This set will be the set that will be married of to this jig. Put a board in the jig, use clamps as shown below.

With the first run you will shave a little off the sides of the jig. Now it is time for the true test. Set again a board in the jig clamp it tight, tighten the nuts, take the clamps off and run the router up one side and back the other side of the jig. I feel like blah-blah-blah, I am not getting it explained. Best is go to the link up above and watch the video Marc did so well.

Anyway, thanks for reading this post and I hope you have as much fun with this jig as I did.

Pabull.

-- rhykenologist and plant grower





23 comments so far

View patron's profile

patron

13171 posts in 2089 days


#1 posted 04-02-2011 08:38 AM

looks to be the best one i’ve seen to date
simple

that it can be adjusted a real great feature

between the words
and pictures
ya’ done good

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View PaBull's profile

PaBull

928 posts in 2413 days


#2 posted 04-02-2011 09:01 AM

Thanks David. I needed that. Sometimes you second guess yourself after you push the “post” bottom.
Pb.

-- rhykenologist and plant grower

View mafe's profile (online now)

mafe

9671 posts in 1837 days


#3 posted 04-02-2011 11:20 AM

I second on this.
This jig is clever.
It makes my Festool one eyed… Since it only protects one side of the cut.
Clever, clever and clever.
Goes right to my favorites.
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View steliart's profile

steliart

1816 posts in 1436 days


#4 posted 04-02-2011 11:32 AM

very nice and well made jig. It’s very similar to mine, the only difference is that the one I use has a second adjustable clamping “T” which wll clamp on any size of length.
Nice job

-- Stelios L.A. Stavrinides: - I am not so rich to buy cheap tools, but... necessity is the mother of inventions - http://www.steliart.com --

View thelt's profile

thelt

632 posts in 2128 days


#5 posted 04-02-2011 02:08 PM

PaBull, did you send your design to Marc? He had issued a challenge to anyone that could improve on his design. And, I think you did it!

-- When asked what I did to make life worthwhile in my lifetime....I can respond with a great deal of pride and satisfaction, "I served a career in the United States Navy."

View Todd Thomas 's profile

Todd Thomas

4969 posts in 2197 days


#6 posted 04-02-2011 02:14 PM

great idea….I’m going to go out and make one today…....well done and thanks for letting us in on such a great jig….

-- Todd, Oak Ridge, TN, Hello my name is Todd and I'm a Toolholic, I bought my last tool 10 days, no 4 days, oh heck I bought a tool on the way here! †

View tenontim's profile

tenontim

2131 posts in 2492 days


#7 posted 04-02-2011 02:44 PM

Thanks for posting this jig, Bas. I really like this design. I have a slightly different version, that uses the flat sides of my router for the guide, and I change the dado width by changing bits. It works ok, but I notice that it swells with the humidity changes and sometimes the router is almost too tight to move through the jig. I think I’ll make one like this, since it does the same job, only better.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

6052 posts in 2176 days


#8 posted 04-02-2011 03:46 PM

Another on for “Add to Favorites”. Nice job Pabull.

Mine is simply two loose pieces of plywood between which I clamp the reference stock. Then I use a top mounted bearing bit instead of a collar. Yours is much more elegant and easier to use.
It is definitely a jig I will be building.

Thanks to you and Marc.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View BritBoxmaker's profile

BritBoxmaker

4446 posts in 1784 days


#9 posted 04-02-2011 05:07 PM

Looking really good, effective too.

You know theres more than one occurrence of a double-entendre regarding nuts (and their adjustment under the table) in this post, don’t you? I can’t help it I’m British. We like (notice) these things.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging. http://www.theartofboxes.com

View PaBull's profile

PaBull

928 posts in 2413 days


#10 posted 04-02-2011 05:54 PM

Mads, I have always wondered about the festools. I will take this as a compliment.
Steliart, I would love to see how you made yours. There is always room for improvement.
Thelt, I thought about posting it on Marc’s site, but I forgot my password, later maybe. There are others with nice designs too.
Thanks Todd, it’s been a while, good hearing from you. Show us what your doing with your never fail dado jig.
Tim, I have seen that design, it is very similar to the one they use for a skill saw. Not bad at all.
Thanks Gene for giving Marc credit for this jig.
Martyn, you are British, I am Dutch, I know what I wrote, I thought it was funny. But if it offends you, I will remove it.

If the pictures are not so clear, it’s because I took them with my Droid and uploaded the whole story from a remote desktop.

Thanks all for your kind words. Pb.

-- rhykenologist and plant grower

View Diggerjacks's profile

Diggerjacks

1784 posts in 1887 days


#11 posted 04-02-2011 07:59 PM

Hello Pabull

i love your jig

I must do one like this with your permission of course !!!!!!!!!

The pictures are often more interesting than a lot of words
Nice job
Thanks for sharing

-- Diggerjack-France ---The only limit is the limit of the mind and the mind has no limit

View BritBoxmaker's profile

BritBoxmaker

4446 posts in 1784 days


#12 posted 04-02-2011 08:23 PM

No it doesn’t offend me!.Completely the opposite. I thoroughly enjoy a double meaning. It was very funny. I was trying not to hurt your feelings that I found it humourous. My mistake. I shouldn’t have posted so stuffily.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging. http://www.theartofboxes.com

View PaBull's profile

PaBull

928 posts in 2413 days


#13 posted 04-02-2011 08:45 PM

That’s good, Martyn, that was exactly my intent. I will leave both Marc’s nuts and mine where they are in the text of this project.

Diggerjack, my intent was for you to find this project and do one just like it or better!! And yes, I am a picture man too. To the point that I sometimes might even miss the clue written in the text, by just looking at the pictures.

Pb.

-- rhykenologist and plant grower

View mafe's profile (online now)

mafe

9671 posts in 1837 days


#14 posted 04-02-2011 09:23 PM

It is a compliment.
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View joey's profile

joey

396 posts in 2652 days


#15 posted 04-03-2011 04:02 AM

Nice jig. I have the screw downs on the top of my jig also where I can see and get to them easier. I made my jig about 8 years ago and I am about due for a new one. I like the idea of adding the hardwood strips to the rails. I use a 1/2 top bearing bit with mine, it saves me from having to look for my bushing and then having to center it. I had one router that seemed to always let the bushing get off center a bit maybe that wouldn’t be a big problem with the jig but with the top bearing bit it is not a issue.

Joey

-- Joey~~Sabina, Ohio http://sleepydogwoodworking.blogspot.com/

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