How to Make a Dado Cut - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 03-14-2016, 11:39 PM Thread Starter
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How to Make a Dado Cut

I will apologize once again in advance if I have put this in the wrong forum. With that said...

I just printed off some plans to build a garden arm chair and it looks like I need to make a 3/4-inch-wide dado cut, 1/2 deep down the length of a 20" 2x4 pine.

Here is the problem: I do no have access to a table saw.

How else can I make this cut? I assume that I could purchase a router and that would put me back $70. I don't have a problem doing that but not sure how many more times I would need to use the router.

Are there any other ways to make this cut that are cheaper than going out and buying a router with the appropriate bit? If I do go the router approach, do I need a fixed base router or another router?

I wish there was some sort of hack that wouldn't cost me $70. I saw some hack using a circular saw but no way would i feel confident doing that.

Thanks.
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post #2 of 10 Old 03-15-2016, 12:04 AM
where's my table saw?
 
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well just better get comfortable....

A circular saw with an edge guide will be your best "hack". Carpenters use this method all the time making dados for stair threads in the stringers. You can practice on some scraps if you need to, but it will work fine. If you make the 2 outside cuts then waste the center out that will work best. Been there, done this.
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The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #3 of 10 Old 03-15-2016, 01:08 AM
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While it can be done with circular saw, better invest in a router, not for just dados but even shaping of edges and many more decorative trim to your project. If it is just one off project go ahead with circular saw.
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post #4 of 10 Old 04-06-2016, 11:12 AM
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Make sure the 2x4 is much longer than you need. Then cut off the waste.
It could also be done with chisels and no matter how you do it, you will still probably need clamps and a mallet.

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Last edited by Tony B; 04-06-2016 at 11:16 AM.
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post #5 of 10 Old 04-06-2016, 12:23 PM
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time or money, which do you want to spend? you can usually pick up a used router for cheap - watch yard sales, craiglist, etc.


you would use a clamped straight edge to run the router against have the "groove" done in a jiffy. dado is against the grain.


what tools do you have?
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post #6 of 10 Old 04-06-2016, 03:47 PM
where's my table saw?
 
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Op is awol

Either he figured it out or is too ashamed to return or lost interest in the operation or it's just too much work or bought a new router.... or ....

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #7 of 10 Old 04-17-2016, 08:19 PM
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I dado with a single blade on the table saw all the same. same function with the circular. It takes forever but gets the job done.
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post #8 of 10 Old 04-17-2016, 10:13 PM
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Other choices would be hand chisels or just sharpen a screw driver and use like a chisel.

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"Strive for excellence and settle for completion" Tony B
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post #9 of 10 Old 04-20-2016, 08:29 PM
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3/4 inch dado 20" long in a 2x4 with a chisel for a complete novice?
Maybe I just don't like hearing about innocent people chopping their own fingers off, but I wouldn't advise it...nor would I advise the saw or even the router route...
Call your drunk uncle and have him do it.. or better yet, find a different design..
Ok, I shouldn't have been a jerk.. Harbor freight sells a router for what? $30? Heck! I'll sell mine for 30 bucks.. It's just collecting dust decorating the bottom shelf of my old bench..

I figured it's time to change my signature so hold your breath. This is it.
Impressive, huh?
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Last edited by allpurpose; 04-20-2016 at 08:34 PM. Reason: Being nice..I guess
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post #10 of 10 Old 05-02-2016, 10:37 PM
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Find a friend that has a router and an edge guide and ask to borrow the tool is the easiest fix. You could also rent one from a tool rental outfit. Just make sure the edge you use for the guide is straight and true.
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