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More Versatile Exact Width Dado Router Jig

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Project by DeLayne Peck posted 635 days ago 3315 views 20 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch

An Exact-Width Dado Router Jig is a great addition to any shop. The Wood Whisperer presents the jig in this video: Click Here. The variation on this jig that I like works without guide bushings. And, it worked beautifully when I recently dadoed T-Track into my new drill press table.

But, a jig that limits you to a one router and one bit combination strikes me as a problem. Why build a one trick pony? You use a mid-size router and a 1/2” bit for a 3/4” dado. OK, but later you want to use a compact router to mate a dado to thin stock using a smaller bit? Or for veining or other decorative cuts?
No can do.

The Solution: Make the fiber board insert easy to remove and replace with other widths. I simply cut a 1/4” deep, 1/2” wide rabbit into the interior edge of each of the two guide rails before final assembly.

The result: A slot or receiver for the replaceable fiber board inserts. A couple of small wood screws hold the insert on each side.

Want to the change router and bit combination? Lift four screw. Pull your old inserts. Cut new inserts, width: 1/2” (rabbit) + distance from the edge of the router base to the bit + 1/8” (trim off). Insert and secure your new inserts. Trim both sides with the bit of your choice. You are ready to bingo a dado!

Picture 1: Top View.
Picture 2: Underside.

-- DJ Peck, Lincoln Nebraska. I think of my shop as Fritter City. I am the Mayor.





22 comments so far

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

3595 posts in 1965 days


#1 posted 635 days ago

I have one like that but it is in bad shape from over use. I like the exact/bushing part of it because with a single sided on there is a chance of drifting away from the straight edge … experience is a good teacher!

The way you talk about this expected a video of you dancing a jig! could not resist

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View gfadvm's profile (online now)

gfadvm

10545 posts in 1287 days


#2 posted 634 days ago

Wish I’d seen this before I built mine and GLUED the Masonite to the guides! DUH! Great idea.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

111999 posts in 2174 days


#3 posted 634 days ago

Looks good I think Mark got the idea from shop notes.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View DeLayne Peck's profile

DeLayne Peck

331 posts in 799 days


#4 posted 634 days ago

Hans, you are a National treasure. Wish you were running for President. The debates would be a coast-to-coast groaner. You’d win a Pun-slide.

-- DJ Peck, Lincoln Nebraska. I think of my shop as Fritter City. I am the Mayor.

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

3595 posts in 1965 days


#5 posted 634 days ago

Sorry can’t run for president … not born in this country … but a naturalized citizen!

I was born in Kenya no, Hawaii no, Germany! I do have a birth certificate to prove I was born and not hatched!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6914 posts in 1511 days


#6 posted 634 days ago

10-4 on Hans being a national treasure.

FWIW, I built my Exact-Width Dado Router Jig with hardwood and 3/4 plywood. Couldn’t help myself… I tend to put the “A” in anal. My thoughts are that if I need one for small stuff, then I will throw another one together. I also decided to go without a bushings even though I have a full set. This has worked well on my current project, however Hans’ observation regarding router drift and practice is definitely valid, or should I say that I “now” have personal “experience” with that particular issue ;-)

Oh, and let me add, Hans provided me with nearly half of my near complete set of WOOD magazine.
Thanks Hans!

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Ken90712's profile

Ken90712

14821 posts in 1786 days


#7 posted 634 days ago

nice , perfect idea

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View DeLayne Peck's profile

DeLayne Peck

331 posts in 799 days


#8 posted 634 days ago

I need to confess this is my second exact-width jig. I got into a hell of mess the first one and guide bushings. My cheap HF bushing set came with a 1/2” bushing that was too long. I should have cut it back. I couldn’t reach my work piece and over extended the bit in collet. Predictable thrilling results.

I like Mike’s very substantial jig. Next time, I am thinking more 3/4” hardwood rails with 1/2” plywood or hard wood inserts.

One other note: Your bit has to perfectly centered in the base or the bushing. Or carefully use the exact same spot on your router against the rail.

-- DJ Peck, Lincoln Nebraska. I think of my shop as Fritter City. I am the Mayor.

View kdc68's profile

kdc68

1940 posts in 874 days


#9 posted 633 days ago

Very clever solution. Thanks for sharing

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

3595 posts in 1965 days


#10 posted 633 days ago

If you want something really substantial take a look at the Tslot 1” square extrusions.

That is what I am making my next one out of because my old one has seen better days … way better days.

You can get this with slots in one side only if you don’t want to buy left overs from eBay!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View DavidH's profile

DavidH

508 posts in 2340 days


#11 posted 633 days ago

turned out great. I built a similar one from wood smith shop (http://www.woodsmithshop.com/download/204/adjustabledadojig.pdf) at times i find it to be to exact making the fit to tight and use a paper shim when setting the width.

-- David - Houston, Texas. (http://www.justsquareenough.com/)

View DeLayne Peck's profile

DeLayne Peck

331 posts in 799 days


#12 posted 633 days ago

Hans, really? Are you going to run a diesel-powered router against that rail? Makes me wonder if you could make two moveable extruded rails with that and not remake and change out inserts? Maybe you are on to something! Would need to figure out a way to keep it square. Start cooking with your CAD.

-- DJ Peck, Lincoln Nebraska. I think of my shop as Fritter City. I am the Mayor.

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

3595 posts in 1965 days


#13 posted 633 days ago

My PC is off line but as soon as I can get it up, the PC that is, I will create a jig using these rails!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6914 posts in 1511 days


#14 posted 633 days ago

David, that is the article I used and adapted to make mine. I really like the part about routing the dust channel along the router guide edge. I actually made mine twice as wide at the same depth. You DO need to have this channel because I can guarantee that you will make enough dust to interfere with your dado-ing if you don’t. Thanks for sharing the link.

DeLayne, I actually used 3/4” plywood for the base, mostly so the ^dust channel^ eats up an 1/8” so I wanted at least a real 1/2” of ply for the base. And I personally do not know of any dados that need that full 2” of router depth.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

3595 posts in 1965 days


#15 posted 632 days ago

OK, I spent an hour and this is what I have so far! Actually at this point it is nothing more than what Mike has with these exceptions:

  1. The two rails are 1” Tslot stock
  2. The width adjustment knobs are on the underside!
  3. The sawdust grooves are round bottom grooves.
  4. The two slotted cross members are squarely fixed rigidly to the right rail.

I am hoping to add the work clamping mechanism to the jig but I don’t have a model of that as yet!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

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