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11 Tips for Dadoes & Rabbets Bullhead City AZ

Some people get pretty worked up about using the right word for the right joint. Perhaps they have a point since imprecise use of terms can lead to confusion. So, to be precise, here are the proper definitions. Read on to learn more.

The Home Depot
(928)754-5600
660 US Hwy 95
Bullhead City, AZ
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-9:00pm
Sun: 7:00am-8:00pm

2350 Miracle Mile Rd
(928) 704-1201
Suite B-230
Bullhead City, AZ
Store Hours
Hometown Dealers
Store Type
Hometown Dealers
Hours
Mon:9-19
Tue:9-19
Wed:9-19
Thu:9-19
Fri:9-19
Sat:9-18
Sun:11-16
Store Features
Mon:9-19
Tue:9-19
Wed:9-19
Thu:9-19
Fri:9-19
Sat:9-18
Sun:11-16

Lowe's of Bullhead City
928-704-5760
1680 Highway 95 Bullhead City, AZ, 86442
Bullhead City, AZ
 
Fastenal- Bullhead City
928-754-1800
2570 Landon Dr Unit A & B Bullhead City, AZ, 86429
Bullhead City, AZ
 
A & B Supply
928-704-1704
4648 Hwy 95 Fort Mohave, AZ, 86426
Fort Mohave, AZ
 
Lowe's
(928) 704-5760
1680 Highway 95
Bullhead City, AZ
Hours
M-SA 6 am - 9 pm
SU 8 am - 7 pm

Kmart 3375 / Cross Merch
(928) 763-7878
2250 S State Hwy 95
Riviera, AZ
Store Hours
Miscellaneous
Store Type
Miscellaneous
Hours
Monday To Friday Working Hours is :8-22 and for Sat:8-22
Sun:8-21
Store Features
Monday To Friday Working Hours is :8-22 and for Sat:8-22
Sun:8-21

Tri-State Ace Home Center
(928) 758-2816
967 Hancock Rd, Across from Smiths Grocery Store
Bullhead City, AZ
 
ABC Supply Co.,Inc/Ft. Mohave
928-768-8383
1425 E Torrance Dr Ft Mohave, AZ, 86426
Ft Mohave, AZ
 
Tri-State Bldg Mtls Inc
(928) 763-6696
4515 Highway 95, Corner of Hwy. 95 & Camp Mohave Road, Fort Mojave
Bullhead City, AZ
 

11 Tips for Dadoes & Rabbets

11 Tips for Dadoes & Rabbets

Perfect Dadoes Without the Guesswork

By George Vondriska

Dadoes and rabbets are two of the most widely used joints in cabinetmaking. Cabinets, drawers and jewelry boxes all lend themselves to this simple but strong joinery.  I’ve been woodworking, demonstrating and teaching  woodworking  for a long time. Over the years, I have accumulated some great tips for making and using dadoes and rabbets. 

PROPER TERMS

Some people get pretty worked up about using the right word for the right joint. Perhaps they have a point since imprecise use of terms can lead to confusion. So, to be precise, here are the proper definitions:

A dado is a U-shaped, square-bottomed channel cut across the grain (see photo, top right).  

A groove looks just like a dado, but runs with the grain. A lot of people call a groove a dado I think that’s OK - but imprecise. 

A rabbet is an L-shaped channel cut across or with the grain. A rabbet is always cut on the stock’s edge. 

Make a Gauge Block

Setting up a stackable dado head to fit your plywood can be fussy and time consuming but, you’ll significantly reduce the guesswork by making a dado gauge block.  To make the block, cut a  23/32-in. wide dado in a board big enough to allow for six more dados with space between. Add a single .005-in. shim to the 23/32-in. set up and plow a second dado next to the 23/32-in. one. Continue adding shims and making dados in .005-in. increments until you get to a 3/4-in. dado. Mark the dadoes as you go. To use, slip your plywood into the test dadoes until you find the perfect fit. Then, read the number of shims needed. 

Best Dado Depth

For years, I made all my dadoes 3/8-in. deep in 3/4-in. plywood. If I made dadoes on opposite sides of a divider, however, I had to change their depth and recalculate shelf lengths just for that joint. 

I’ve since learned it’s a lot easier and just as strong to set the depth of cut for every dado to 1/4 in. This makes calculating shelf lengths a whole lot easier, and I never have to make special calculations for a double dado. 

Lock The Height

Always lock the blade-height handwheel before cutting. Vibration can make the handle turn, changing the depth of cut. This change is often hard to observe until assembly time. A big oops, if you just cut dadoes for a  kitchen full of cabinets.  

Cut Rabbets with a Sacrificial Fence

A sacrificial fence protects your stock fence from damage. I make my fence from melamine because its slippery. I cut a 3/8-in. x 3/4-in. groove to accept a commercial featherboard. A scallop cut in the face of the sacrificial fence allows me to bury part of the blade.  

A Featherboard Guarantees Accuracy

A featherboard provides consistent downward  pressure on the material right over the blade. This will compensate for a slight warp in pl...

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