Cutting Dados with a Router

By Todd Fratzel on Cabinetry, Finish Carpentry

I’m getting ready to build some book shelves for the new basement storage room. To build the book shelves I’m going to need to cut dados in the side panels of the shelves. The easiest way to cut the dados is to use a router with a straight plunge cutting bit.

I’m going to make 3/8″ deep dados for the 3/4″ shelves to fit tightly into the side panels. To do this I’ll mark out the location of the shelves and clamp two straight edges to the plywood. The straight edges need to be spaced apart the width of the router base.

Because 3/4″ plywood isn’t really 3/4″ wide (it’s actually 23/32″) I’ll use a 1/2″ diameter router bit and set the two straight edges the width of the router base plus 7/32″ apart. This will allow me to cut a 23/32″ wide dado that is 3/8″ of deep to accept the shelves.

Once I get set up to cut the dados I’ll post some pictures and the results.

About the author

Todd Fratzel

I'm full time builder for a large construction company in New Hampshire. I run their design-build division that specializes in custom homes, commercial design-build projects and sub-divisions. I'm also a licensed civil and structural engineer with extensive experience in civil and structural design and home construction. My hope is that I can share my experience in the home construction, home improvement and home renovation profession with other builders and home owners. I'm also the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Tool Box Buzz. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions or you'd like to inquire about advertising on this site.

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