In my above video I show how to cut a simple dado joint with basic woodworking hand tools. What is a dado joint used for? A dado joint is used for securing shelves inside cabinets or book shelves.
TOOLS THAT YOU’LL NEED
Even though I have a nice tool buying guide (here), I’m still often asked for links to the tools that I use in my videos, so here is a list of tools that I used in this video:
MARKING & MEASURING:
- Veritas Wheel Marking Gauge or Veritas Dual Wheel Marking Gauge
- Marking knife (chip carving knife)
- Staedtler Mars 780 Technical Mechanical Pencil
MALLETS & HAMMERS:
CUTTING THE DADO JOINT
In the dado video I show these basic steps:
- Use a marking gauge to determine the distance of your dado joint from the edge of the board.
- Hold the shelf piece against the other board, and hold the workpiece down with 1 or 2 holdfasts
- Scribe the shelf piece onto the other board with a marking knife. This ensures a tight fit. Make a pencil mark so you’ll remember which edge goes into the joint.
- Remove the holdfasts and shelf board then use a marking gauge to mark the desired depth of your dado joint: Approximately 1/3 – 1/2 of the way down.
- Use a marking knife to create trenches for your backsaw
- Use your cross cut back saw to cut close to your final depth
- Use a bench chisel (smaller width than your dado joint) to pare out waste, but not all the way to your final depth.
- Use a router plane (like my Stanley No. 71) to clean up the bottom of the dado joint and bring the joint down to its final depth.
- Fit the shelf piece
This is a very simple way to make a dado joint and it’s faster (if making a couple dados) than setting up and shimming a dado stack on a table saw!
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