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  • Cutting Dados

    Hope someone can help me out here - I've no done much woodworking so hopefully this is a simple question.

    Anyway as part of some remodeling I've decided to make some custom closet organizers - mainly because of the cost of getting custom ones made and if I make them I can design it any way I want.

    My question is about the joining the shelves to the two side pieces. The simple plans I've found on the web simply show it being held against the side and nailed with finish nails. Now I know that even without having built a shelving system before that keeping the shelf true and without shifting while nailing even with a pneumatic nailer will be a challenge. So I thought about cutting a dado, sliding the shelf in and then nailing.

    That sounds obvious enough except for that fact that I cannot mount a 3/4" blade on my TS (it is a smaller Craftsman saw) as the throat plate only allows upto a 5/8" dado. The craftsman manual says they do sell as dado throat plate (and they do as I did find some in their local store) but I cannot locate one to fit this particular saw.

    One choice would be to leave the throat plate off. Is that safe.

    Another choice would be to cut a narrower Dado and then a rabbet on the shelf also using the dado blade on the TS. Is that possible?

    An even further choice would be to simply use 1/2" plywood for the shelves so the Dado does not have to be 3/4" wide.

    Other choices appear to be to cut the Dado using a hand router. Probably won't be as precise as using the TS.

    Any suggestions/insights into the best way of doing this?

  • #2
    Re: Cutting Dados

    A dado with a router can be very precise if you build a jig.

    Or

    Make/buy a zero clearance plate for your saw. I have cut dados without an insert before but it is extremely dangerous.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Cutting Dados

      Another option would be to cut 1/2" dados and step the 3/4" shelf material diwn to 1/2" at the ends

      I see you mentioned that. Good option IMO
      Last edited by rofl; 10-11-2013, 07:23 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Cutting Dados

        Originally posted by rofl View Post
        A dado with a router can be very precise if you build a jig.

        Or

        Make/buy a zero clearance plate for your saw. I have cut dados without an insert before but it is extremely dangerous.
        Yes since I posted this I discounted not using a throat plate as it is apparently dangerous. I did find some articles on how to build your own zero clearance throat plate so that's an option. Ideally I would prefer not to spend time building jigs as I've got a lot of work with just doing the rest of the project and also the one router I own is mounted permanently in a home made router table and removing it would be a pain since the whole thing is also setup with a powerfeed so I would have to buy a second router. I was thinking about buying a production style router for milling architectural trimwork which would free up this router but not got there yet.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Cutting Dados

          The very first thing you should do is check the Owners Manual for your table saw. Somewhere in the manual will be a section on making dado cuts. There, it will tell you how wide of a dado your saw is capable of making. It's possible to make a zero clearance insert for a ¾" wide dado that will fit the throat of your saw but that will do you no good if the saw can't safely cut a ¾" wide dado.

          Here is a plan for making an Adjustable Dado Jig for use with a router. The nice thing about a jig like this is that you actually would use a piece of the stock that you'll use for the shelves as a guide to setup the jig. The end results will be a perfectly flat bottomed dado with a nice tight fit. Another thing is that I would recommend you use glue and clamps when assembling the shelves instead of brands or screws.
          Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Cutting Dados

            I have made my own throat plates, and depending on the size of the plate hole and the size of side piece, one can work with out it safely,

            a clamped on fence and a router can work well,

            I like adjustable hardware my self, depending on the project I usual use the 1/4" pin and space ever inch or 2 inches, (the holes) but have used the brackets and the store like brackets as well,

            and there is other shelf hard ware, that uses pins, or a track that has little clips many times people that use the track do dado it in.

            Woodworker.com: KV® 255 AND 256 SERIES SHELF PILASTERS AND CLIPS

            and this style take a 1/4" hole
            Woodworker.com: L-SHAPED STEEL SHELF SUPPORT PINS

            by using an adjustable things can change or if you miss calculate you can readjust the shelving to meet your needs, and there are other types of brackets that work more store shelving with the options to tilt shelves for shoes and other features,

            click on the line that say's (Hardware Shelf And Support)
            Woodworkers Supply Search Results for: HARDWARE SHELF

            most all this type of hardware can usually be located local, but I have always had good luck with wood workers supply
            Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
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            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Cutting Dados

              Originally posted by BadgerDave View Post
              The very first thing you should do is check the Owners Manual for your table saw. Somewhere in the manual will be a section on making dado cuts. There, it will tell you how wide of a dado your saw is capable of making. It's possible to make a zero clearance insert for a ¾" wide dado that will fit the throat of your saw but that will do you no good if the saw can't safely cut a ¾" wide dado.

              Here is a plan for making an Adjustable Dado Jig for use with a router. The nice thing about a jig like this is that you actually would use a piece of the stock that you'll use for the shelves as a guide to setup the jig. The end results will be a perfectly flat bottomed dado with a nice tight fit. Another thing is that I would recommend you use glue and clamps when assembling the shelves instead of brands or screws.
              The manual says that the saw is capable of a 5/8"" dado with the existing throat plate and it is capable of upto 3/4" dado with the appropriate throat plate except they I cannot seem to find one for this saw. It says the saw is not suitable for molding cutters.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Cutting Dados

                Originally posted by BHD View Post
                I have made my own throat plates, and depending on the size of the plate hole and the size of side piece, one can work with out it safely,

                a clamped on fence and a router can work well,

                I like adjustable hardware my self, depending on the project I usual use the 1/4" pin and space ever inch or 2 inches, (the holes) but have used the brackets and the store like brackets as well,

                and there is other shelf hard ware, that uses pins, or a track that has little clips many times people that use the track do dado it in.

                Woodworker.com: KV® 255 AND 256 SERIES SHELF PILASTERS AND CLIPS

                and this style take a 1/4" hole
                Woodworker.com: L-SHAPED STEEL SHELF SUPPORT PINS

                by using an adjustable things can change or if you miss calculate you can readjust the shelving to meet your needs, and there are other types of brackets that work more store shelving with the options to tilt shelves for shoes and other features,

                click on the line that say's (Hardware Shelf And Support)
                Woodworkers Supply Search Results for: HARDWARE SHELF

                most all this type of hardware can usually be located local, but I have always had good luck with wood workers supply
                I like the idea of adjustable shelving. Based on the organizers I saw online the shelving systems does not have a back or bottom so the way I had planned to build it, it would have no back or bottom and on top a full length shelf would be secured to two side panels. So as it stands the shelves would need to be in permanently as there will be no rigidity from the bottom for the structure. The only way to fix this would be to also have a bottom shelf (I had planned it to be open at the floor level).

                The overall organizer would comprise of shelves on the left and a clothes pole (not sure what you call it exactly) for hanging clothes on the right. Home Depot sells the rods with the mounting hardware for this.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Cutting Dados

                  In lieu of a throat plate, you can cut a piece of thin sheet stock, say 1/4" MDF,
                  the size of your table saw top and secure it with clamps or hot melt glue directly
                  to the the table top. With the dado mounted and the saw running, gently raise
                  the blade to the required height. Now you have a temp. ZC plate.
                  Just be sure to leave room for the setting the fence.
                  Last edited by Big Jim; 10-12-2013, 09:24 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Cutting Dados

                    You need a 3/4" dado your saw can only do a 5/8" dado

                    Let's do some math..... 3/4"=6/8".......minus 5/8"=1/8"

                    So make your first dado cut 5/8" then readjust your fence and cut a second 1/8" cut/dado and
                    after both cuts you'll have a 3/4" wide dado cut.

                    If you are using plywood it's been years that 3/4" plywood was 3/4" wide!

                    I have seen the sizes vary since I guess it all comes from china and they use metric
                    and have no idea what SAE inch dimensions are! Also to save money like with 2x4 lumber
                    they have thinned plywood!!!!

                    A 3/4" plywood can be anywhere from 23/32 to 21/32.
                    Also what type plywood will you be using? some are only 3-4 ply's and some can be as
                    much as 5-7-11 ply's.!!!

                    Also good quality oak veneer plywood around here is getting close to $45.00 a 4x8 sheet!!!
                    Sadly in some cases they have even shorted us on length and width too.
                    I have measured 4x8 sheets and only get 47 3/4" x 95 3/4" so measure before you buy!

                    Cactus Man

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Cutting Dados

                      There are a dozen ways to get this done but from from the situational description I would go with a smaller dado and rabbit the shelf. It seems as though you have all the tools you need to do this already and no jig to build. Less investment....less work....as precise as you want it to be.

                      JMHO

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Cutting Dados

                        I would also opt for doing these with a router. I've read your concerns, but I still think the router is the way to go. You can buy another router and since you have the only one you have dedicated to the "table", you probably should have an extra one, for hand use, anyway; it will seriously add to your capabiilities. A jig really is quite simple, and is considerable less time consuming and far more 'quality-of-cut' oriented than a dado stack, IMHO.

                        However, it sounds like you are stuck to your design concept, with "no back" and "no bottom" idea and thus "adjustable" is out of the question. I've not built an 'organizer' like you propose, but I have built a lot of library book cases. Same general concept, from my limited point of view perhaps. While my shelving doesn't have backs (they are against the wall), I do provide for lateral support at the top, bottom, and middle, and at those points my horizontal shelf (middle) and the top and bottom are fastened to the sides. I suspect on a closet organizer I would do the same, rather than having shoes, or other items just sitting on the closet floor. All the other shelves in my library are adjustable, using drilled holes with metal inserts and pins. (These I purchased from Lee-Valley.) But, those holes required either a drill press or a drill guide to ensure that the holes are accurately bored.

                        If you prefer everything to be fixed, and the closet walls are going to act as your supports against any possible sway or skew of the shelf structure than dados would be the way to go. Question I have though, is whether this has to be built in place or can you build it and then move it into position. If the latter, you can even screw it together from the outside, providing your pre-drill the holes and counter sink them, using plugs to hide the screws. (I rarely use "nails" for anything, other than trim and framing a structure.)

                        CWS

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Cutting Dados

                          Originally posted by cactusman View Post
                          You need a 3/4" dado your saw can only do a 5/8" dado

                          Let's do some math..... 3/4"=6/8".......minus 5/8"=1/8"

                          So make your first dado cut 5/8" then readjust your fence and cut a second 1/8" cut/dado and
                          after both cuts you'll have a 3/4" wide dado cut.

                          If you are using plywood it's been years that 3/4" plywood was 3/4" wide!

                          I have seen the sizes vary since I guess it all comes from china and they use metric
                          and have no idea what SAE inch dimensions are! Also to save money like with 2x4 lumber
                          they have thinned plywood!!!!

                          A 3/4" plywood can be anywhere from 23/32 to 21/32.
                          Also what type plywood will you be using? some are only 3-4 ply's and some can be as
                          much as 5-7-11 ply's.!!!

                          Also good quality oak veneer plywood around here is getting close to $45.00 a 4x8 sheet!!!
                          Sadly in some cases they have even shorted us on length and width too.
                          I have measured 4x8 sheets and only get 47 3/4" x 95 3/4" so measure before you buy!

                          Cactus Man
                          I'm looking at either red oak or maple for this. The maple would go with the rest of the maple I've installed - hardwood floors, baseboard, window casings and crown are all maple. On the other hand the red oak that I've seen seems to have less defects than the maple (both are BC graded plywood). I have not bothered to track down high grades of plywood. I'm leaning more towards the rabbet/dado combination which would allow me to cut a 5/8" dado and not worry about an exact fit to the plywood thickness which I did understand can vary from the nominal thickness.
                          Last edited by blue_can; 10-12-2013, 01:11 PM. Reason: spelling

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Cutting Dados

                            Originally posted by CWSmith View Post
                            I would also opt for doing these with a router. I've read your concerns, but I still think the router is the way to go. You can buy another router and since you have the only one you have dedicated to the "table", you probably should have an extra one, for hand use, anyway; it will seriously add to your capabiilities. A jig really is quite simple, and is considerable less time consuming and far more 'quality-of-cut' oriented than a dado stack, IMHO.

                            However, it sounds like you are stuck to your design concept, with "no back" and "no bottom" idea and thus "adjustable" is out of the question. I've not built an 'organizer' like you propose, but I have built a lot of library book cases. Same general concept, from my limited point of view perhaps. While my shelving doesn't have backs (they are against the wall), I do provide for lateral support at the top, bottom, and middle, and at those points my horizontal shelf (middle) and the top and bottom are fastened to the sides. I suspect on a closet organizer I would do the same, rather than having shoes, or other items just sitting on the closet floor. All the other shelves in my library are adjustable, using drilled holes with metal inserts and pins. (These I purchased from Lee-Valley.) But, those holes required either a drill press or a drill guide to ensure that the holes are accurately bored.

                            If you prefer everything to be fixed, and the closet walls are going to act as your supports against any possible sway or skew of the shelf structure than dados would be the way to go. Question I have though, is whether this has to be built in place or can you build it and then move it into position. If the latter, you can even screw it together from the outside, providing your pre-drill the holes and counter sink them, using plugs to hide the screws. (I rarely use "nails" for anything, other than trim and framing a structure.)

                            CWS
                            As I mentioned in an earlier post this part of the project is very small and I do have a budget constraint - not cost in this case but time. I'm remodelling the entire upper floor of my home and yet to come is gutting and renovating the second bathroom. So making jigs etc at the moment is way down the priority list. I get the impression a lot of woodworking involves making jigs. I was trying to keep this as simple as possible but of course it does need to be done well and look good so I'm trying to compromise.

                            Here is a concept picture which I'm basing my design off - although in my case I'm not planning to make drawers and I also planning to locate the shelves to the left and the clothes hanging pole system to the right.



                            And yes I plan to secure it to the framing so it will be locked in place. But it does not have the be built in place - I plan to assemble the shelving structure and then move into place and secure.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Cutting Dados

                              My Son and I have a shop for cabinet building and welding. Here's an awesome tool Kreg Tool Company | Kreg Jigs, Deck Jig, Precision Routing Systems, Klamp Components, and more To make a wood , blade insert for Your Dado. Pull metal plate, trace on a piece of pine or plywood. Cut out wood ovel. Mount dado ,raise blade slowley cutting Your dado slot. Good Luck . Tool Now Kreg makes an inexpensive starter set . Check on some other tool sites ,maybe AMAZON. Just went to Amazon. They have many low price simple starter sets ! You will thank Me when You see what You can do with the Pocket hole setup !
                              Last edited by toolaholic; 10-12-2013, 01:26 PM.
                              I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

                              Comment

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