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Tip #187
Two Ways To Create Stopped Dadoes

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The next time you need a stopped Dado in a workpiece (with an end that will show once the project is assembled), remember that there are two ways to accomplish this task.

The hard way

Set up your Table Saw and Dado Blade for the job and attach a stop to your Worktable surface or Rip Fence -- or draw a reference line on either - to limit the length of your cut.

Failure to do this could easily result in your cutting through the end of your stock that will be visible once the project is assembled.

The resulting Dado cut will, as you probably know, curve up on the end, from the bottom of your Dado or Groove to the top surface of your stock. With some projects, this is perfectly acceptable. In those cases, no further work is required.

However, if you need a squared-off end cut for inserting a shelf or other component, you’ll have to finish the job with a hand chisel and mallet, a router bit…or both. A somewhat time-consuming process, especially if you have several of these to do.

The easy way

So, what’s the option? Quite simple, actually. Forget about drawing stop lines or attaching stops to your Table surface or Rip Fence. Instead, just cut your Dado all the way through the end of your workpiece…cut a small block of matching wood (the width of your Dado) from the same stock… and glue it into position.

Ideally, this plug should be the same thickness as your Dado is deep…but it’s not 100% necessary. You can always wait until your plug dries, then shave it down flush to the same thickness with a hand plane or belt sander.

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