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11 Tips for Dadoes & Rabbets Grand Island NE

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
(308)389-3515
911 Allen Drive
Grand Island, NE
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-10:00pm
Sun: 8:00am-8:00pm

Skagway True Value Hardware
(308) 384-9005
1607 S Locust St
Grand Island, NE
 
Skagway True Value Hardware
(308) 384-8222
620 W State St
Grand Island, NE
 
Kmart 3907 / Cross Merch
(308) 381-1161
3535 W 13Th St
Grand Island, NE
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Miscellaneous
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Monday To Friday Working Hours is :8-22 and for Sat:8-22
Sun:8-21
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Monday To Friday Working Hours is :8-22 and for Sat:8-22
Sun:8-21

Fastenal- Grand Island
308-381-4876
3006 West Old Highway 30 Grand Island, NE, 68803
Grand Island, NE
 
Mead Lumber
(308) 384-1666
325 N Elm St
Grand Island, NE
 
Builders Warehouse
(308) 382-9656
824 South Webb Road
Grand Island, NE
 
Grand Island Ace Hdwe & Garden Ctr
(308) 382-1874
1704 W 3rd St
Grand Island, NE
 
Conestoga Mall - Ste 175
(308) 389-6800
3404 W 13Th St
Grand Island, NE
Store Hours
Sears Stores
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Sears Stores
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Mon:10-21
Tue:10-21
Wed:10-21
Thu:10-21
Fri:10-21
Sat:9-21
Sun:11-18
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Mon:10-21
Tue:10-21
Wed:10-21
Thu:10-21
Fri:10-21
Sat:9-21
Sun:11-18

Carlson Systems- Grand Island
308-384-1829
3203 Frontage Road Grand Island, NE, 68803
Grand Island, NE
 

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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