Tips for Making a Dado Joint When You Don’t Have the Right Tools

Make perfect dado joints, even if you don't have the right tools. ©iStockphoto.com/guruXOX
Make perfect dado joints, even if you don’t have the right tools. ©iStockphoto.com/guruXOX

When it comes to joining wood together, one of the best joints you can use is the dado joint. However, in order to make a dado joint, you’ll need to make precision cuts. Typically, you’ll want to use a dado blade or a table saw. However, if you have neither, you can still cut dado joints by using a circular saw along with a couple of jigs.

The dado joint is pretty simple. It’s a square-walled and flat-bottom channel that is cut across the wood’s grain. The channel is made so that another piece of wood can fit tightly into it. In order to remove the wood to create the channel, you’ll usually use the dado blade on your table saw. If you don’t have these tools, then you can use a circular saw. To do this, you’ll have to make two custom fences that exhibit the width of the circular saw shoe’s edge to the blade that’s built into it. You’ll want to clamp your fences onto the wood. Use the circular saw to remove the wood and a hammer’s claw to do the final chipping.

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