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Exact-Width Dado Jig

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Blog entry by thewoodwhisperer posted 02-12-2011 07:06 PM 10541 reads 43 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

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In the Weekend Wall Shelf episode, I showed you how to use a parallel jig to create dados. But the jig was originally created for making coves at the tablesaw. So here’s a special jig made specifically for the purpose of creating dados with your router. The best part is, you can get exact-width dados EVERY TIME!

This jig was developed and demonstrated in the current Guild Build as part of the Wall-Hanging Cabinet series (it was originally inspired by this Wood Magazine Jig). This video is a little sample of what Guild members are enjoying every week during the build season. If you are interested in joining the Guild, learn more here.

This jig can be made to any size for any bit/guide bushing combination. Just remember that once you use a particular bit/bushing combo with the jig, you are stuck with it. Using a different combination will defeat the purpose of the jig. I used a 5/8” guide bushing and a 1/2” router bit.

Don’t forget to download the PDF and SketchUp drawing for the Exact Width Dado Jig!

Jig Modifications
I requested ideas modifications to the jig, and a couple Guild members were quick to off suggestions. If you have a modification, upload it to our SketchUp Library and share the link in the comments below.
Denny's Suggestion
Robert's Suggestion (SketchUp File)

Resources

Jig Hardware KitJIG IT® Hardware Kit
This is a nice multi-pack of jig-building parts. Assorted T-bolts, knobs, and inserts for customizing your own jigs and fixtures for your shop. Very handy to have around.

JIG IT® Hardware Kit


-- For free video tutorials and other cool woodworking stuff, check out http://www.TheWoodWhisperer.com



12 comments so far

View spunwood's profile

spunwood

1194 posts in 1532 days


#1 posted 02-12-2011 07:23 PM

I was just reading about featherboards and I came across this. I don’t have a dado set, but, one day!
Check out picture number 6 &7.

-- I came, I was conquered, I was born again. ἵνα ὦσιν ἓν

View steliart's profile

steliart

1808 posts in 1384 days


#2 posted 02-12-2011 07:30 PM

Excellent video as always Mark.
Since you asked of our version of a router dado jig, here is my SketchUp version. It works without the need of guide bushing and has an adjustable fence and t-clamp for better stability.
Your thoughts will be appreciated.
Thanks
Stelios L.A. Stavrinides
Cyprus (E.U.)

-- 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 bigike's profile

bigike

4032 posts in 1984 days


#3 posted 02-12-2011 07:38 PM

cool vid, I made one of these awhile ago they give very precise measurements either in the width or depth. I can’t think of anything to make it better besides what you did with the 1/4” strips of wood on the edges where the router rides against. I’d like to see anything anyone has to improve this little jig too.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop, http://www.icombadaniels@yahoo.com

View thewoodwhisperer's profile

thewoodwhisperer

601 posts in 2880 days


#4 posted 02-12-2011 08:01 PM

Hey Steliart. I considered making that style of jig. But the reason I decided against it was because the jig is dependent on the router. If you have more than one router or if you ever buy a different model, you might have to make a new jig. If the system is based off a guide busing, you can use any router you like as long as you use the right bit and guide bushing combination. So its mostly personal preference but those are my thoughts on it.

-- For free video tutorials and other cool woodworking stuff, check out http://www.TheWoodWhisperer.com

View steliart's profile

steliart

1808 posts in 1384 days


#5 posted 02-12-2011 08:08 PM

Thanks Mark

-- 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 Hopdevil's profile

Hopdevil

183 posts in 1781 days


#6 posted 02-12-2011 08:38 PM

Great video as always Mark, thanks so very much! Look for me soon in the guild. Just gotta get a few details out of the way first.

-- Buzz ---- Message sent from the End of the Internet.

View Gerry's profile

Gerry

253 posts in 1936 days


#7 posted 02-12-2011 09:22 PM

Great video, Mark. And thank you for the clarity! I had made a similar jig a while back for making dadoes for shelves in a large cabinet. I modified the design to use countersunk T nuts and countersunk hex driver bolts to eliminate the knobs, since that was what I had in the shop. That and a top bearing pattern bit did what i needed. Still works great!

-- -Gerry, Hereford, AZ ” A really good woodworker knows how the hide his / her mistakes.”

View woody57's profile

woody57

645 posts in 2123 days


#8 posted 02-12-2011 10:21 PM

steliart
I have a jig I made several years ago based on your design. I made a special base plate that is square. That way I just attach the plate that matches the jig to the router. I have several proter cable routers so it will work on any router I have.

I like Mark’s design, especially the rabit. I’ve never seen that before and it’s a good idea.

-- Emmett, from Georgia

View thewoodwhisperer's profile

thewoodwhisperer

601 posts in 2880 days


#9 posted 02-12-2011 10:28 PM

Now that’s using your noggin Woody! GREAT idea!!

-- For free video tutorials and other cool woodworking stuff, check out http://www.TheWoodWhisperer.com

View tdv's profile

tdv

1119 posts in 1766 days


#10 posted 02-13-2011 01:29 AM

Marc I made more or less the same jig as yours out of 1/2” phenolic leftovers from a laboratory bench & so I could mount it supported by the bench I just made my cross rails wider (4”) that way instead of having the knobs on the underside I was able to put my slider bolts up from below & lock it down using a Bristol lever. The extra width gives plenty of clearance for the locking lever to clear the router path
Trevor

-- God created wood that we may create. Trevor East Yorkshire UK

View Sirgreggins's profile

Sirgreggins

292 posts in 931 days


#11 posted 05-18-2012 03:53 PM

This is great. thanks

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

3464 posts in 1509 days


#12 posted 03-01-2013 08:51 PM

These jigs work great. Whether they ride a fence, or use a guide bushing they are quite handy. I added a vertical fence to one end of mine. It is the starting point for routing dados, and keeps the router from cutting a deep dado across the jigs cleat (which would ruin the jig). With my dust shroud on my router I can’t see the bit very well, so the fence helps me stop at the right point.

I also added a router stop at the other end for stopped dados. It is just a piece of 1/2” plywood with a runner underneath. The runner rides in the main dado channel, and the stop is secured with a star knob.

Thanks for all the great info

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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