8 Simple DIY Router Dado Jigs With Tutorials
Sooner or later, we all need to make dados for one project or the other. In order to make the best of such a situation, you'll need a router dado jig to help you make straight, accurate, and consistent cuts.
Making dado cuts freehand is impossible because you'll never get a straight line. Luckily, router dado jigs are easy to make, so easy in fact, you could make a new one for every new project.
We have compiled a list of simple but effective and impressive dado jigs below. One or two of these jigs should hopefully inspire you and show you how best to build whatever you need.
Ready for your next project? Here are some plans that I recommend for you to read such as workbench plan, table saw fence, miter saw stand, lathe stand, router table, woodworking project for beginners, scrap wood project, woodworking plan, homemade log splitter.
1. Simple & Cheap Router Dado Jig Tutorial
This is a very simple dado jig that you can easily make whenever you need to make dados. All you need is a piece of plywood and 2 pieces of solid wood.
In this tutorial, the plywood used was a 1/4-inch thick, while the first piece of solid wood used as the fence is about 3/4-inch thick. The second piece of solid wood used as a T-square is 1/2-inch thick and 3/4-inch wide.
The plywood has to be initially wider than the dado spacing because you'll have to route it down to size. It should also be longer by a 1/2-inch at least.
There are descriptions and pictures in this tutorial which show you every step of the process in detail. You'll need some glue, a brad nailer, a square, and clamps to get this project done.
2. Simple & Clever Router Dado Jig Tutorial
One interesting thing about this dado jig is that it enables you to see exactly where your dado will be before you begin routing.
It construction process is simple as well, all you need are 2 pieces of scrap wood or even plywood, some glue, clamps, and 4 screws.
This tutorial comes in a step by step way with pictures to make it easier for you to understand. In fact, you can just 'get it' by looking at the pictures alone.
Coming back to the interesting feature here, since the T-square board aligns so perfectly with your workpiece, any first dados you have on it will show you exactly how and where your next dados will turn out on the new workpiece.
3. Adjustable Router Dado Jig Tutorial
Designed to work with shelf materials between 1/2-inch and 1-3/4 inches in width, this adjustable router dado jig is a little complicated to make.
Once you understand how it works though, you too will love it for its precision and ease of use. Just stick a shelf material into the jig, adjust and tighten it, remove the shelf and route your perfectly fitting dado.
Although easy to use, it's a little difficult to build because you'll need 16 different wood parts, plus hardware.
The good news though is that a 2x2-ft. piece of plywood will do the job and there is also a downloadable cutting diagram, plus a video guide to make the entire building process easier for you.
4. Exact-Width Adjustable Router Dado Jig Plans
Unlike the previous adjustable dado jig, this one has fewer parts, but you'll need to make rabbets along the guiding rails.
It features a 1/4-inch slot which is 2 inches long and allows you to adjust its width to make dados up to 2 inches wide. You insert your shelf material, position the rail, and then tighten it using a wing nut and carriage bolt.
This jig also includes rabbets on the sides of the rails. These allow you to use a wider guide bushing than the bit on your router, and this makes your routing faster and better, especially on wider dados.
You get a fairly simple and short tutorial here, but it's straight to the point and includes a photo of the jig, plus well-labeled plans.
5. Small & Quick Router Dado Jig In-Depth Tutorial
Your dado jigs don't have to be huge or cumbersome, you can also build something quite small and portable like this tutorial shows you how to.
This one is not simply a step by step dado construction guide. It includes lots of information, tips, and tricks for beginners, which makes it very detailed.
There are not many pictures though, but you'll still quickly understand what you need to do.
One small issue with this design is its size. Although you could make it larger if you wanted, it might not be your best bet if you want to make really wide dados. It's great for smaller ones though.
6. The Ultimate Router Dado Jig Plans
Calling this jig the Ultimate Router Dado Jig is not a joke because it truly is an exceptional dado jig. It offers many features such as integrated clamps to attach to the workpiece, hardwood edging on the rails for a longer life, and a sliding fence on T-tracks.
You'll need to take your time with this jig to understand it first, but once you do, you'll surely love its versatility, high quality, and accuracy.
The sliding fence gets adjusted to contain the workpiece and then clamped. The rails get adjusted to get the right dado width and tightened before you can then route.
Another nice feature is the cam clamps, which enable you to quickly release the jig and change to a new routing position. There are no C-clamps to deal with here because everything is integrated. The only issue is that you'll always have to elevate the workpiece.
This tutorial is also completely packed with every possible information you can need to build this Ultimate Dado Jig.
7. Aluminum Router Dado Jig DIY Guide
Your dado jig mustn't necessarily be made from wood, you can also make it from aluminum, as this guide shows you with detailed steps.
It includes detailed plan drawings with measurements and real photos of the machining process. Since this is metalwork, you'll need a mill table to work on the aluminum piece.
One advantage of using metal here is the solid installation of metal clamps, which will be used to hold on to the workpiece.
At the end of this guide, you'll also see the author's notes. They report his observations and remarks about the project, giving you tips on how to machine a good or better router dado jig.
8. Simple & Fast DIY Router Dado Jig Tutorial
Here we have an interesting take on dado jigs. This one includes a base with rails that are 1 inch above it, allowing the operator to slide the workpiece in and out of the jig. Two attached clamps also hold down the workpiece firmly for a perfect job.
This jig got built in just a few minutes and offers a 1-inch wide spacing. But if you really like the design, then you should maybe consider making one of the rails adjustable, so you can work more flexibly with it.
Pictures are included in the step by step construction guide and there is also a guide to using the jig, including a possible use for sloping shelves.
Needed materials for this project include a 3/4-inch piece of plywood, 2 strips of 1-inch pine, and 2 pieces of 1/2-inch plywood.
Read more here
We have come to the end of this list of impressive router dado jigs, and as you can see, they are all impressive in their own ways.
You can either choose one design to build or combine features from different jigs to make your own unique dado jig.
Remember to bookmark or share this list and to pin any image that you like.
We also love feedback, so feel free to use the comments section below, and tell us what you are building.
Last Updated on August 7, 2020 by Tom Bradly