Dado in Finger joint Project?

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Forum topic by Moto313 posted 12-27-2009 05:31 PM 1693 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5 posts in 3563 days

12-27-2009 05:31 PM

Morning guys and gals,

I am making my first project and have a quickie question for you. I am making a box with finger joints, but also want to run a dado along the bottom of said box for a hardboard bottom. This dado will be revealed in my finger joints if I go as planned. So what is the solution for this?

I was thinking I could stop the dado just short of exposure in the finger joints, or I could end up plugging the revealed slot. That’s all that I can come up with. Anyone have a better solution?



7 replies so far

View j_olsen's profile


155 posts in 3650 days

#1 posted 12-27-2009 05:41 PM

I would go with the stopped dado myself

-- Jeff - Bell Buckle, TN

View Andrew's profile


709 posts in 3677 days

#2 posted 12-27-2009 05:43 PM

1. If you do not want to plug, you will need to stop the dado at the finger, but if you plan it out and make the dado the same width and on the same level as the finger ( so it only runs into 1 finger) you can run it strait through the slot and it won’t be noticeable, I do the same thing with halb blind dovetails.
2. You could cut an extra finge and use it to plug the whole.
3. If it is at the bottom of the box, then you could put molding around the whole thing and not worry about it.
4. You could switch to a keyed miter at the bottom of the box, and expand the dado on the corner so it goes all the way through and use it as the slot for the Key.
Hope these ideas are helpful

-- Even a broken clock is right twice a day, unless, it moves at half speed like ....-As the Saw Turns

View bayspt's profile


292 posts in 4183 days

#3 posted 12-27-2009 06:53 PM

In this situation with box joints or through dovetails, I try to plan on the groove ending up in a space of the joint. This takes care of the issue for two sides if the groove is more narrow than your pin size. For the other two I use stopped grooves, done at the router table and cleaned up with a chisel. If you are doing thin sides, this can be a little tricky as the small pieces left tend to snap off. When that happens, you can usually just glue it back on provided you can find the missing piece. I have never been able to spot a glue line with this type of repair since it is seen in end grain and is normally not a straight line. Hope this helps.

-- Jimmy, Oklahoma "It's a dog-eat-dog world, and I'm wearing milkbone underwear!"

View Moto313's profile


5 posts in 3563 days

#4 posted 12-27-2009 07:14 PM

Good info guys, thanks. I am mocking this up out of cheap pine at the moment to work out the kinks.

I am going to try a stopped dado and see how that goes. I am going to route the fingers out first though and see if I can get a better handle on the the placement.

Vocabulary wise, am I right in calling this groove for the bottom a dado?

I am planning on using 1/8” hardboard for the bottom at the moment, but this is a dice box. Is there a better material that will pop the dice off the roll? I just don’t want the dice to hit and die, I was hoping the hardboard would return a little of the energy. Any gamblers out there have thoughts on this, or am is this something that I shouldn’t be worried about?

View bayspt's profile


292 posts in 4183 days

#5 posted 12-27-2009 07:37 PM

Technically I think a dado goes across the grain and a groove goes with it, but I use both interchangeably as do most others in my opinion. As far as the bounce of the dice for rolling, I dont know. Best I can tell you is dry assemble and try it out.

-- Jimmy, Oklahoma "It's a dog-eat-dog world, and I'm wearing milkbone underwear!"

View BlankMan's profile


1490 posts in 3832 days

#6 posted 12-27-2009 07:54 PM

I use a router for the dado for the bottom and just stop short. If your using the router and not a table saw to cut the joints then it should be easy. And your terminology is correct.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 3749 days

#7 posted 12-27-2009 08:10 PM

Moto, I came across the same problem in the first box I made…it was a while back…but I remember having the same questions….luckily you have this resource…..and Andrew, Bay, Blank and J covered it quite well. For detail though….if you plan the stopped dado….which is what I chose…..I recommend creeping up to the right stop point….especially when using a table saw…the best bet is to cut just a hair short and use a small chisel to mark and clean out where the hardboard ends (I started by using a sharpened small screwdriver for mine) can then cut and clean the last part of the dado without taking the chance of overcutting…If you have any wood carving tools – the best to use in this situation is some chip carving knives by the way….I switched from my home made scredriver chisels to these many moons ago…(they are not very expensive either). This way you get a very professional looking joint and do not have to make a “recovery design” – believe me I’ve made quite a few…LOL

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

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