Related Information:




Goby Walnut Products

Grasche USA

Great Lakes Kiln Drying Association



Hanson and Leja Lumber Company

Clear Vue Cyclones

Colonial Saw

Construction Programs and Results

Country Saw & Knife

CP Adhesives

CSH Custom Service Hardware Inc.

Custom Woodturning Corp.

Denray Machine

Detail Binder


Diversified Machine Systems

Doucet Machineries Inc.


Eagle Machinery and Repair Co.

ECabinet Systems


Elias Woodwork & Manufacturing

Endeavor Hardwoods

EnRoute Software


ETK International

Evans Machinery Company


Excel Dowel and Wood Products Inc.

Felder USA

Ferwood USA Corporation

Finish Systems

Firth Maple Products

Forsun CNC Machinery

Freeborn Tool Company

Freedom Machine Tool

Fuji Spray

Gary M. Katz

Gemini Coatings


Another Dado Jig

Listing #112   Listed on: 01/02/2014

Company Name: The Handyman's Handyman

Contact Name:   Kelly Craig

Click to View Member Profile Member Contact Info Shop Built Equipment Gallery
This is my version of a router dado jig. While it shares much in common with others dado jigs, I believe my modifications to the general design make it easier and quicker to use than most others. In part, this is because the jig does not require use of bar or pipe clamps. Instead, it uses four integral clamps.

Using a simple book shelf as an example, the following steps are all you need to do to use it:

1) Set your router for the depth of cut you desire. The bit must reach down past the jig (mine was made using 3/4" plywood) and into the wood to the depth you have chosen for your dados.

2) Mark where you want your dados on the material you're using for shelf sides. You can mark just the left side of the dado, or mark both lines of your dados, but, if using just one mark, consider putting an X where material is to be removed, to reduce the chance of positioning mistakes. After marking the actual dados, there is no more measuring or marking required.

[Actual jig set up]

3) Set the jig on the the first shelf side, pushing it all the way back, so the front stop is against the shelf material. The right edge of the left board should be directly on the dado line you made, so the material to be removed is in the open area.

4) Pull the back bar down against your board and tighten only the knob on the back left.

5) Turn the front quick clamp until the jig is snug to the board and locked on the cut line. It doesn't take much pressure to secure the jig. This will be THE ONLY ADJUSTMENT for each future dado cut for this project.

6) Set a piece of the shelf material, for which you are making the dado, in the center, then slide the right board against it and tighten the two knobs on the right front and back.

7) Double check your alignment and, if the edge is aligned with your line, make your first dado cut using a pattern bit (bearing on top and which will ride on the jig) to produce a cut of the exact opening you set.

8) Loosen the front clamp handle, move the jig to the next line, re-tighten the clamp handle and repeat you cut.

Setting the depth of cut, marking for the cuts, double checking positions and initial set up (steps three through six) aside, using the jig only requires three steps (i.e., loosen the front handle, move to the next cut, re-tighten the handle).

* The width of this jig provides a wide base for support of any router base.

* When cutting 3/4" dados, I use a half inch pattern bit. Making the actual cut, I run the pattern bit up the left side and down on the right side. When critical, to avoid blow out, I back the bit into the ends, before starting my main cuts.

* To avoid damaging the guide portion of the jig, I use a fixed base router, or pre-set my plunge router and lock it in position for the cut. I, then, rest the edge of the base on the jig, with the bit back from the guide, and move it into the guide, rather than dropping the bit into the guide area.

* The pattern bit will remove a little of material from the front and back cross supports the first time you use it.

* Since the jig relies on the actual dado position marks, "what you see is what you get."

* When tightening the quick clamp, I've found only a little pressure is needed.


* My jig will handle material up to 24" wide. Of course, smaller or larger versions could also be made. Both the left and right guides-bases are 3/4" ply cut to 7-1/2" x 30". This provided ample rooms for clamps, without interfering with the router base.

* My front and back stops are 2" deep by 16" wide and about 1-1/2" thick (two 3/4 inch pieces of ply glued face to face). Gluing two pieces of scrap ply together gave me ample room to drill for the quick clamp.

* The jig uses four wood parts. Only the left support-guide and the front stop (in which the long handled clamp, or "quick clamp," is mounted) are permanently secured together [at ninety degrees to each other]. The back stop and the right support-guide float, or move, relative to the left guide and the front stop, to sandwich the material being cut, as well as to cradle the dado area.

* All slots can be made by whatever means best works for the builder. Mine were made by drilling holes at each end of each slot, just large enough to accept a 1/4-20 bolt, then finishing by joining the holes using a table saw, then a jig saw to complete the last few inches.

If desired, the back sides of each slot can have a second dado the width and depth of the bolt heads, to allow the bolt heads to recess into the jig and to stop them from turning when the knobs are turned. HOWEVER, then the heads might drag a bit when the back stop and right guide are moved into place. Since all the bolt heads are situated beyond the material being worked, this seems not necessary and just using a friction washer has proven sufficient.


The top clamps are just 10-24 bolts, friction washers (on the bottom, at the bolt heads), and 10-24 knobs with large flat washers under them (on top).

The quick clamp, on the front, is made from an inexpensive, six inch bar clamp. To make it: I removed used a drift punch to remove the swivel, keeping the pin for re-assembly; I cut the clamp, keeping only the threaded rod and the part it threaded through; and I ground the cut to make it "relatively" round.

Before I permanently secured the left guide-base and front stop (ninety degrees to each other), I drilled the stop to for installation of the quick clamp. I did this on the side of the front stop normally resting against the material being worked. For alignment, I centered the holes in the thickness of the stop and what would be center of the left guide (presuming the left side of the stop was set flush with the left side of the guide-base), once installed.

The first hole was just deep and wide enough to allow swivel of the bar clamp to recess fully into the stop. I then switched to another bit and, in the same hole, drilled deeper and just wide enough to accept the female threaded piece of the bar clamp. Last, and again in the same hole, I drilled a through hole just big enough to allow the threaded rod to pass through the wood and the female portion of the bar clamp. Once the threaded rod was through the wood and female portion of the clamp, I reattached the swivel head.

A snug fit and the rough shape of the female threaded part helps stop it from turning, but epoxy could be added, to better secure it. The fit of mine is such that nothing more than pulling the female part into the stop using the handle has been necessary. Obviously, it's necessary to mount the female portion of the clamp to the inside of the jig so the female threaded part is pushed into the stop when the clamp is used.threaded part is pushed into the stop when the clamp is used.

View Larger, Higher Quality Image
Clamp fully extended

View Larger, Higher Quality Image
Bar clamp before being cut and installed

View Larger, Higher Quality Image
Bar clamp recessed in jig

View Larger, Higher Quality Image
Back side of dado jig

View Larger, Higher Quality Image
Dado Jig Front View

Viewer Comments:

Posted By: kelly     [01/12/2014]
Sure would love some feed back on this.

I've compared it to every other dado jig out there and it seems the easiest, most straight forward one to use.

Posted By: Gary Katz     [01/18/2014]
Looks like a very well-thought-out dado jig. I've frequently though about making an adjustable jig but never took the time to really figure it out. Looks like you have! What I don't understand is the bar clamp, which must be the handle at the left top corner of your photo? You described that clamp in an awful lot of detail, but some closeup pics or a sketch would really help.

Posted By: Kelly     [01/18/2014]
I was having trouble adding more photos, so tried to get a lot of detail into my description, without obscuring the [simple] process.

After the back stop, on the underside, is pulled against your stock, the front clamp snugs the jig to the stock.

For the front clamp, I just grabbed one of my HF six inch bar clamps, cut off the "U" and kept the "nut and bolt" portion and incorporated it into the jig.

Posted By: Kelly     [01/19/2014]
I took some close ups and have added them in hopes it will make more clear my descriptions.

Two pictures show the clamp recessed into the wood and out, as it would be pressed against the wood.

The other pictures show the type of clamp I used. The close up is of the rounded part, which the threaded rod goes through and which is the the part I kept, after cutting it off the remainder of the clamp.

Add your comment (* denotes required fields):
* Your Name:
* Your Email:
  * Enter your comment below:
*Enter the correct numbers into the field below:
  I have read WOODWEB's Site User Agreement
  (Submitted comments may be edited for clarity)

Date of your Birth:

Buy & Sell Exchanges | Forums | Galleries | Other Resources | Site Map

Buy and Sell Exchanges

Job Opportunities and Services Exchange
Employment opportunities and services within the woodworking industry

Lumber Exchange
A worldwide buy/sell exchange for lumber and wood products

Machinery Exchange
A worldwide buyer and seller exchange for woodworking machinery and equipment.

Classified Ad Exchange
Classified advertising for the woodworking industry (for advertisements that do not include machinery, lumber products and employment listings)


Adhesives Forum
Discussing topics related to adhesives within the woodworking industry

Architectural Woodworking Forum
Discussing quality standards and production of architectural wood products

Business and Management Forum
A forum for the discussion of business topics: from sales and marketing to dealing with difficult customers.

Cabinet and Millwork Installation Forum
Discussing all aspects of installation issues encountered by cabinet and millwork installers.

Cabinetmaking Forum
Discussing 32mm and face frame cabinet construction including fabrication, casegoods design, and installation.

CAD Forum
Shedding light on the all-too-often shadowy world of CAD.

CNC Forum
Discussing CNC (computer numerically controlled) woodworking equipment, software, and automated product manufacturing.

Dust Collection, Safety and Plant Operation Forum
Discussing topics related to maintaining a safe and productive working environment.

Professional Finishing Forum
Finishing issues for the production environment

Forestry Forum
The science and art of forest cultivation and timber management, planting, surveying, tree diseases, silviculture and timber harvesting

Professional Furniture Making Forum
Helping professional furniture makers improve quality, save time, and increase profits

Laminating and Solid Surfacing Forum
Issues related to laminating and solid surface materials and processes

Commercial Kiln Drying Forum
Discussions covering issues faced be commercial drying operations that process at least 750,000 bd. ft. of lumber per year

Sawing and Drying Forum
Discussing topics related to primary processing and drying of lumber

Solid Wood Machining Forum
Discussing topics related to the machining of solid wood

Value Added Wood Products Forum
Learn how to improve your output, find new markets, and boost sales of your lumber products

Veneer Forum
Discussing topics related to veneer processing, manufacturing, and fabrication

An electronic discussion group for woodworkers throughout the world


Project Gallery
Where professional woodworkers can post examples of their work

Sawmill Gallery
Professional primary processing companies display and describe their sawmill facilities

Shop Gallery
Professional woodworkers display and describe their shop facilities, products and equipment

Shopbuilt Equipment Gallery
Professional woodworker's jigs, rigs, and shopbuilt equipment

Other Resources

Industry News
Late-breaking news from all sectors of the wood industry

Video Library
Index of industrial woodworking related digital videos on the web

Auctions, Sales and Special Offers
Advertisers offering woodworkers discounted prices on good and services, and announcements of upcoming auctions

FORUM GUIDELINES: Please review the guidelines below before posting at WOODWEB's Interactive Message Boards (return to top)

  • WOODWEB is a professional industrial woodworking site. Hobbyist and homeowner woodworking questions are inappropriate.
  • Messages should be kept reasonably short and on topic, relating to the focus of the forum. Responses should relate to the original question.
  • A valid email return address must be included with each message.
  • Advertising is inappropriate. The only exceptions are the Classified Ads Exchange, Machinery Exchange, Lumber Exchange, and Job Opportunities and Services Exchange. When posting listings in these areas, review the posting instructions carefully.
  • Subject lines may be edited for length and clarity.
  • "Cross posting" is not permitted. Choose the best forum for your question, and post your question at one forum only.
  • Messages requesting private responses will be removed - Forums are designed to provide information and assistance for all of our visitors. Private response requests are appropriate at WOODWEB's Exchanges and Job Opportunities and Services.
  • Messages that accuse businesses or individuals of alleged negative actions or behavior are inappropriate since WOODWEB is unable to verify or substantiate the claims.
  • Posts with the intent of soliciting answers to surveys are not appropriate. Contact WOODWEB for more information on initiating a survey.
  • Excessive forum participation by an individual upsets the balance of a healthy forum atmosphere. Individuals who excessively post responses containing marginal content will be considered repeat forum abusers.
  • Responses that initiate or support inappropriate and off-topic discussion of general politics detract from the professional woodworking focus of WOODWEB, and will be removed.
  • Participants are encouraged to use their real name when posting. Intentionally using another persons name is prohibited, and posts of this nature will be removed at WOODWEB's discretion.
  • Comments, questions, or criticisms regarding Forum policies should be directed to WOODWEB's Systems Administrator
    (return to top).

    Carefully review your message before clicking on the "Send Message" button - you will not be able to revise the message once it has been sent.

    You will be notified of responses to the message(s) you posted via email. Be sure to enter your email address correctly.

    WOODWEB's forums are a highly regarded resource for professional woodworkers. Messages and responses that are crafted in a professional and civil manner strengthen this resource. Messages that do not reflect a professional tone reduce the value of our forums.

    Messages are inappropriate when their content: is deemed libelous in nature or is based on rumor, fails to meet basic standards of decorum, contains blatant advertising or inappropriate emphasis on self promotion (return to top).

    Libel:   Posts which defame an individual or organization, or employ a tone which can be viewed as malicious in nature. Words, pictures, or cartoons which expose a person or organization to public hatred, shame, disgrace, or ridicule, or induce an ill opinion of a person or organization, are libelous.

    Improper Decorum:   Posts which are profane, inciting, disrespectful or uncivil in tone, or maliciously worded. This also includes the venting of unsubstantiated opinions. Such messages do little to illuminate a given topic, and often have the opposite effect. Constructive criticism is acceptable (return to top).

    Advertising:   The purpose of WOODWEB Forums is to provide answers, not an advertising venue. Companies participating in a Forum discussion should provide specific answers to posted questions. WOODWEB suggests that businesses include an appropriately crafted signature in order to identify their company. A well meaning post that seems to be on-topic but contains a product reference may do your business more harm than good in the Forum environment. Forum users may perceive your references to specific products as unsolicited advertising (spam) and consciously avoid your web site or services. A well-crafted signature is an appropriate way to advertise your services that will not offend potential customers. Signatures should be limited to 4-6 lines, and may contain information that identifies the type of business you're in, your URL and email address (return to top).

    Repeated Forum Abuse: Forum participants who repeatedly fail to follow WOODWEB's Forum Guidelines may encounter difficulty when attempting to post messages.

    There are often situations when the original message asks for opinions: "What is the best widget for my type of shop?". To a certain extent, the person posting the message is responsible for including specific questions within the message. An open ended question (like the one above) invites responses that may read as sales pitches. WOODWEB suggests that companies responding to such a question provide detailed and substantive replies rather than responses that read as a one-sided product promotion. It has been WOODWEB's experience that substantive responses are held in higher regard by our readers (return to top).

    The staff of WOODWEB assume no responsibility for the accuracy, content, or outcome of any posting transmitted at WOODWEB's Message Boards. Participants should undertake the use of machinery, materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB's Message Boards after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages it deems inappropriate. (return to top)

    Forum Posting Form Guidelines
    Your Name The name you enter in this field will be the name that appears with your post or response (return to form).
    Your Website Personal or business website links must point to the author's website. Inappropriate links will be removed without notice, and at WOODWEB's sole discretion. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages with links it deems inappropriate. (return to form)
    E-Mail Address Your e-mail address will not be publicly viewable. Forum participants will be able to contact you using a contact link (included with your post) that is substituted for your actual address. You must include a valid email address in this field. (return to form)
    Subject Subject may be edited for length and clarity. Subject lines should provide an indication of the content of your post. (return to form)
    Thread Related Link and Image Guidelines Thread Related Links posted at WOODWEB's Forums and Exchanges should point to locations that provide supporting information for the topic being discussed in the current message thread. The purpose of WOODWEB Forums is to provide answers, not to serve as an advertising venue. A Thread Related Link that directs visitors to an area with inappropriate content will be removed. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages with links or images it deems inappropriate. (return to form)
    Thread Related File Uploads Thread Related Files posted at WOODWEB's Forums and Exchanges should provide supporting information for the topic being discussed in the current message thread. Video Files: acceptable video formats are: .MOV .AVI .WMV .MPEG .MPG .FLV .MP4 (Image Upload Tips)   If you encounter any difficulty when uploading video files, E-mail WOODWEB for assistance. The purpose of WOODWEB Forums is to provide answers, not to serve as an advertising venue. A Thread Related File that contains inappropriate content will be removed, and uploaded files that are not directly related to the message thread will be removed. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages with links, files, or images it deems inappropriate. (return to form)

  • Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2019 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB

    WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers

     Home » Galleries Shopbuilt Equipment Gallery Shop Built Listing
    WOODWEB - The Information Resource for the Woodworking Industry WOODWEB - The Information Resource for the Woodworking Industry
    Create Your Shopbuilt Equipment Listing || Gallery Guidelines || Edit Your Shopbuilt Equipment Listing || Important Information