Woodworking Tip – 10 easy steps to making a Hidden Dado Stopped Dados
A stopped or hidden dado does not run all the way through your board. You would use stopped dados in bookcase construction, sliding drawers and shelves, and where ever you want a hidden dado joint.
The process of making a hidden dado on a router table is often called a “drop cut,” and it involves starting and stopping your dado without running the bit out the end. The difficulty of this application is you can’t see what you’re doing.
The trick to a drop cut hidden dado is to use marks on the workpiece and router table to guide your cut.
When your piece is short or narrow, you can mark and use your router fence as a reference. When your routing is taller or larger parts and the fence is hidden from view, you’ll need to mark the router table.
The reference marks on a router table are to show you where the router bit is located, so you know where to start and end your cut in relation to the router bit. Your marks need to be visible throughout the entire routing procedure.
Drop Cutting – 10 Routing Steps:
1. Line up and position the router fence were needed to make this cut.
2. Mark the dado location on your workpiece [edge or face] and line up with router bit – this is a good way to double-check that your fence is adjusted properly.
3. Ensure that you mark a spot that is visible during your entire routing process.
For larger projects: apply a blue table to your router table if you need to mark the table
4. Use a block of wood, or square and draw reference marks at the front and rear edges of the router wing cutters
5. Set the router bit to the proper depth
6. Line up your reference lines on the workpiece to the reference lines on the table. These reference marks allow you to see exactly where the bit is in relation to your workpiece.
7. With the workpiece against the fence, start your cut by lining up the router bit reference line to your workpiece.
8. lower the wood down onto the spinning bit. Keep the workpiece anchored down against the router table and against the fence.
9. Push workpiece along the fence, stopping your cut at your stop reference line
10. Tilt up the workpiece off the router bit.