Advice on how to make a specific dado cut

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Forum topic by Jasoninsacramento posted 08-30-2012 12:37 AM 2987 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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56 posts in 3118 days

08-30-2012 12:37 AM

Topic tags/keywords: dado milling tablesaw router zebrawood question

I’d love some input on this one. I’ve been racking my brain for a way to do with without just nibbling away at it with my table saw.

I’m making a set if sushi plates for my father. I have a design in mind, but I can’t quite figure it out!

I need to cut two an angled dados into the bottom of the plate – at a 12 degree angle. The work piece is 10” by 6” and the two dados in each plate will eventually hold wooden runners that are serving as legs. When you look at the plate from the front, you’ll see the profile of the two legs each in the shape of a parallelogram. I only need to go about 3/4 of an inch deep, but the trick is that I want the bottom of the dado (closest to the top of the plate) to be parallel with the top of the plate. I hope that makes sense!

If I just put my dado blade in the table saw and tilted to 12 degrees, the top of the dado would be angled rather than parallel to the top of the plate. As I said, I could nibble away at it with a regular TS blade, but there has to be a better way. :-). Maybe?

Btw, I’m working with my tablesaw and a router table.

What do y’all think? Thanks, in advance for your help!


16 replies so far

View Milo's profile


869 posts in 4287 days

#1 posted 08-30-2012 12:54 AM

I’ve got it.

Take the board you are going to make the plate out of, 10” x 6”. Joint and and plane it flat. After it’s it’s parallel, NOW make your dado cuts before you do anything else.. After that, use a horizontal table router table to cut your 12 degree bottom angle. Kinda like a raised panel.

Now, if the bottom is not like and upside down raised panel, but flat, and you want the 12 degree dado’s, try this. Take your board and pencil your dados on the end. Set up you table saw to the proper depth. Get your protractor or whatever your making the angle with.

Place your plate board against the fence. Now, with a scrap piece of 1/4” board, raise the plate board, slip the scrap under the plate, and adjust it until the plate is at 12 degrees. Mark the place the scrap would be. Now, use some double sided sticky tape to secure the scrap in place. Make your dado cut. The scrap will of course need to be parallel to the blade, and long enough to reach past the blade.

Does that make sense? Let me know if it doesn’t and I’ll try again! ;)


-- Beer, Beer, Thank God for Beer. It's my way of keeping my mind fresh and clear...

View cabmaker's profile


1745 posts in 3776 days

#2 posted 08-30-2012 12:55 AM

Im not quite getting a grip on your description but could you do the dado with an angle adj. base router ? Or just stick with red meat.?BTW I dont think a dado is what your after is it ?

View rance's profile


4274 posts in 4128 days

#3 posted 08-30-2012 01:08 AM

Me neither. A picture would be worth 1000, no 10,000 words in this case.

Actually, I re-read it again and think I understand part of it. I would tackle it with a glue-up. Bottom is then perfectly flat with no tool marks. Like this:

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View RiverWood's profile


115 posts in 3728 days

#4 posted 08-30-2012 01:18 AM

If you go with a common dovetail angle (14 degrees maybe) You can cut one side with a saw blade cut then finish the dado width with a dovetail bit on the router table

-- My favorite projects were firewood bound

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 5282 days

#5 posted 08-30-2012 01:30 AM

Nibble….away. It won’t take long.

View Alexandre's profile


1417 posts in 3159 days

#6 posted 08-30-2012 01:33 AM

You can make a “Stumpy” horizontal router table…. It is definitly worth the price for the plans and when you’re done, you can still make a ton of stuff with it.

-- My terrible signature...

View NormG's profile


6508 posts in 3971 days

#7 posted 08-30-2012 01:53 AM

I am glad someone had the answer, let us know how it works out

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View FirehouseWoodworking's profile


785 posts in 4241 days

#8 posted 08-30-2012 01:56 AM

The good folks above have already given you a number of good, effective techniques. I’ll give you one more.

Cut the dado at the 12 degree angle with either the table saw or router table. You can make a carrier jig to hold the wood at the 12 degree angle on the router table or tilt the dado blade on the table saw.

Then cut a triangular cross section (12 degree angle) length of wood that will fit in the bottom of each dado and glue it in. Just another thought.


-- Dave; Lansing, Kansas

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 3890 days

#9 posted 08-30-2012 01:57 AM

Nibble it out with the TS and finish with a sharp chisel.

-- Life is good.

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 4126 days

#10 posted 08-30-2012 02:51 AM

Nice solution, Riverwood!

-- jay,

View rance's profile


4274 posts in 4128 days

#11 posted 08-30-2012 05:31 AM

I also like Firehouse’s and riverwood’s methods.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View Jasoninsacramento's profile


56 posts in 3118 days

#12 posted 08-30-2012 06:06 AM

@ Jonathan – that’s exactly what I meant. Sorry, folks, been away from the computer for the evening…I’ll read up right now!

View Jasoninsacramento's profile


56 posts in 3118 days

#13 posted 08-30-2012 06:10 AM

Thanks everyone! I love Riverwood’s solution…seems easiest. And Thanks Jonathan for the graphic. [email protected] I’ll post pictures when I’m done!

View MrRon's profile


5975 posts in 4211 days

#14 posted 08-30-2012 06:25 PM

I think the nibble and chisel method is the best; maybe not the quickest, but less chance of screwing up.

View Jasoninsacramento's profile


56 posts in 3118 days

#15 posted 09-02-2012 02:03 AM

Riverwood & Jonathan’s suggestion worked perfectly! Yay! Thanks, everyone!

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