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11 Tips for Dadoes & Rabbets Lynchburg VA

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
(434)582-1619
7902 Graves Mill Road
Lynchburg, VA
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-10:00pm
Sun: 8:00am-8:00pm

Hawkins Graves, Inc
866-847-7703
2210 Florida Ave Lynchburg, VA, 24501
Lynchburg, VA
 
Moore's Lumber
434-239-3402
21020 Timberlake Rd. Lynchburg, VA, 24502
Lynchburg, VA
 
ABC Supply Co.,Inc/Lynchburg
434-237-7178
117 Greystone Road Lynchburg, VA, 24502
Lynchburg, VA
 
Lynchburg - D
(434) 239-2681
2312 Wards Rd
Lynchburg, VA
Store Hours
Miscellaneous
Store Type
Miscellaneous
Hours
Mon:8-22
Tue:8-22
Wed:8-22
Thu:8-22
Fri:8-22
Sat:8-22
Sun:8-21
Store Features
Mon:8-22
Tue:8-22
Wed:8-22
Thu:8-22
Fri:8-22
Sat:8-22
Sun:8-21

Antique Building Products
(434) 946-0634
PO Box 206 894 Union Hill Rd
Amherst, VA

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Ace Hardware & Gun Store
(434) 385-6388
2200 Lakeside Dr
Lynchburg, VA
 
Lowe's
(434) 239-7600
8216 Timberlake Road
Lynchburg, VA
Hours
M-SA 7 am - 10 pm
SU 8 am - 8 pm

River Ridge Mall
(434) 582-5200
3405 Candlers Mountain Rd
Lynchburg, VA
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Sears Stores
Store Type
Sears Stores
Hours
Mon:10-21
Tue:10-21
Wed:10-21
Thu:10-21
Fri:10-21
Sat:8-21
Sun:12-18
Store Features
Mon:10-21
Tue:10-21
Wed:10-21
Thu:10-21
Fri:10-21
Sat:8-21
Sun:12-18

LOWE'S OF LYNCHBURG, VA.
434 239-7600
8216 TIMBERLAKE ROAD LYNCHBURG, VA, 24502
Lynchburg, VA
 
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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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