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Question: Dado Depth?

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Forum topic by Steve Kreins posted 107 days ago 422 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Steve Kreins

233 posts in 134 days


107 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: dado depth question joining pine tip

I just made a Dado Jig and it works great as a guide, however, it brings up a question. How do I determine a proper depth to cut a dado?
I’m building a shelving unit for my shop out of 1×10 pine for storing small power tools, sanders, router etc. The wood is 3/4 actual thickness. Is there a rule of thumb for depth of dado cut?
Does the material change the rule of thumb? i.e. plywood is going to be weakened if the cut is too deep.

I appreciate all of your help!

-- I thank God for everything, especially all of you!


7 replies so far

View RockyTopScott's profile

RockyTopScott

1074 posts in 1981 days


#1 posted 107 days ago

Look on YouTube for the DowntoEarthWoodworker. He does a test with different depth dados. It is interesting.

-- “When you want to help people, you tell them the truth. When you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear.” ― Thomas Sowell

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

1481 posts in 996 days


#2 posted 107 days ago

I never go more than 1/2 the thickness of the wood being cut with the dado, and generally I’ll just use 1/4” depth to make things a little easier.

-- I long for the days when Coke was a cola, and a joint was a bad place to be (Merle Haggard)

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

109409 posts in 2080 days


#3 posted 107 days ago

I usually cut mine to 3/8” depth Charles Neil says 1/4” is just as strong.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View nwbusa's profile

nwbusa

1015 posts in 789 days


#4 posted 107 days ago

I usually cut mine somewhere between 1/3 to 1/2 the thickness of the stock.

-- John, BC, Canada

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

3428 posts in 2166 days


#5 posted 107 days ago

You’d not want to go over 50%, but as A1Jim points out, Charles Neil says 1/4” is fine.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Steve Kreins's profile

Steve Kreins

233 posts in 134 days


#6 posted 107 days ago

Thanks for the quick response and tips.

-- I thank God for everything, especially all of you!

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

156 posts in 1447 days


#7 posted 105 days ago

When you think about it, where is the wood going to go with even a 1/8” dado? Usually, we are talking about downward pressure, so even a 1/8” dado is going to hold up a lot of weight.

All that said, I, like others, generally, find 3/8” to be more than ample, but stay with it for much of what I’m doing in 3/4” stock. If I’m doing rabbits for, say, a drawer, I go for 50%.

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