Shallow Table Saw Dado Gage

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Project by Jim Jakosh posted 05-02-2018 02:27 AM 1783 views 8 times favorited 32 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I make a lot of shallow dados on the table saw because it is quick and usually not enough to warrent setting up the router station. But, I had a problem getting the depth right. I always use a piece of scrap and I’d be too shallow and then go too deep because the table saw crank is not precise at all. I bought this drop indicator for $1 and thought I’d put it to use so I built this bridge style gage to clear the insert in the table saw for a firm base to measure from.
Now when I need to just go .015” deeper, I can count on the measurement of how much the blade really moved.

It is made from Oak, Brass, Corian and Aluminum.

cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

32 comments so far

View Woodwrecker's profile


4239 posts in 4343 days

#1 posted 05-02-2018 03:13 AM

Looks pretty handy.
What are a few of the uses you need a shallow Dado for?

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10923 posts in 4819 days

#2 posted 05-02-2018 04:06 AM

Very nice… You’re bridging the possible lower section between saw insert and saw table…

Very good…

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View BenDupre's profile


745 posts in 1255 days

#3 posted 05-02-2018 04:10 AM

Brilliant! How do you make sure the blade tooth is TDC?

-- The problem with communication is the illusion that it has occurred. – George Bernard Shaw

View Grumpy's profile


26415 posts in 4618 days

#4 posted 05-02-2018 05:23 AM

Jim, you never cease to amaze. Good one!.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Ivan's profile


15943 posts in 3634 days

#5 posted 05-02-2018 06:00 AM

That’s pretty cool loking measuring tool. Sure idea to consider once.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View BobWemm's profile


2865 posts in 2693 days

#6 posted 05-02-2018 08:47 AM

Very clever.


-- Bob, Western Australia, The Sun came up this morning, what a great start to the day. Now it's up to me to make it even better. I've cut this piece of wood 4 times and it's still too damn short.

View H_Stevens's profile


33 posts in 812 days

#7 posted 05-02-2018 09:19 AM

Great Idea…!!

-- Hamp, St. Simons Island, GA

View recycle1943's profile


4448 posts in 2389 days

#8 posted 05-02-2018 10:04 AM

there’s nothing like making your own custom tools

but I just go to my wixey digital depth guage

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View ZAGREB's profile


1276 posts in 2417 days

#9 posted 05-02-2018 11:00 AM

clever idea,Jim
very handy

-- bambi

View doubleDD's profile


9457 posts in 2810 days

#10 posted 05-02-2018 11:51 AM

Handy idea Jim. I too use the table saw for dados on occasion and either make them too shallow or too deep.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View bushmaster's profile


3939 posts in 3050 days

#11 posted 05-02-2018 01:03 PM

Great idea and design. I was thinking if you had it set to zero, flush with the table, Then had prpared spacers to put under the feet. raise it up till it just touches. Finished depth in one step.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View Ken90712's profile


17867 posts in 3956 days

#12 posted 05-02-2018 01:10 PM

What a great idea. Love it, I’ll be making one of these for sure. Thx for sharing.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View lew's profile


13114 posts in 4522 days

#13 posted 05-02-2018 01:52 PM

Great idea, Jim!

Nice score on that gauge, too!!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View GR8HUNTER's profile


7534 posts in 1479 days

#14 posted 05-02-2018 01:58 PM

ah yes you get it :AWARD


-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

24771 posts in 3872 days

#15 posted 05-02-2018 02:11 PM

Thank you all for all the nice comments. I don’t use it a lot, but when I do, it take the guess work and trial and error out of it..

Hi Eric, most of the dado’s I do on the table saw are up to 1/2” deep which I consider shallow .

Hi Ben, I just eyeball the TDC with the high tooth. What I’m measuring is the lift of the drive shaft, so if the tooth is off a little one way of the other, that big flat disc picks up the vertical travel okay.

Hi Dick, a Wixie box will do it as long as it is mounted on a firm base for good relative readings. I just happened to get this analog drop indicator real cheap and it was new.

Hi Brian. I don’t use this to gage the depth outright. I take a shallow cut and measure what I need to finish the depth and then use this gage to read out the movement .

I have one of these for my router table and a horizontal indicator for the fence movement and I use that one sometimes on the table saw to make fine movements of the fence. Everyone kids me for woodworking in thousandths!!

Cheers, Jim

cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

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