Super simple DIY dado maker / kerfmaker | FREE PLANS

Super simple DIY dado maker / kerfmaker | FREE PLANS

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Making dados has never been easier than with this dado maker.

Setting up this dado maker only takes a few seconds and the result is a perfect dado that fits every time.
No matter what size of dados you need to cut.

The nice thing about this dado maker is that you can easily make it yourself.
It only took me a few hours to make this dado maker.
You don’t have to be an experienced woodworker to make this kerfmaker, but there are some small details you need to understand.
Those details will make or break your kerfmaker. 

But don’t worry, in this blog I’ll explain every step so that you can make your own dado maker for your woodworking workshop.
So make sure you don’t miss any detail.

As an extra help in making this great kerfmaker, I offer free plans that you can download in this blog.

Watch the video here

Before we start building

To prepare you for building this project, I have made a few handy lists.

In addition to a few personal protective equipment that I use*, I also list the materials as well as the (power) tools you will need to build this jig.

* Safety is always your own responsibility!

Safety first! protect yourself!

Materials I used for this dado maker

(power)Tools I used for this dado maker

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Building this dado maker / kerfmaker step-by-step

Step 1 | Preparation

As with any project, start by cutting all necessary pieces. For the exact dimensions, you can download the free plans in this blog.

Super simple DIY dado maker kerfmaker FREE PLANS

Step 2 | Building the base of the dado maker

The basis of this dado maker consists of three small strips. In two of these strips, a hole must be drilled with the same diameter as the threaded rod (in my case I used two bolts which I cut off the head) that you will be using for this.

Mark the exact point on the workpieces and drill out the hole.
I used my drill press for this. This means I can always be sure that the hole is drilled square.

Tip:

Need inspiration to know what drill bits to buy for your woodworking workshop? 

Check out my blog – 7 Essential types of drill bits for woodworking – and save on your budget by buying only the drill bits you really need.

Super simple DIY dado maker kerfmaker FREE PLANS

Now you can glue these pieces.

Ok, and now the first detail you should pay attention to.

Make sure the small block you will use on the adjustable part is flush with the middle strip.
If not, your jig will never work accurately.
Move the strip until the front is flush, you can trim the back later.

Super simple DIY dado maker kerfmaker FREE PLANS

The threaded rods can be glued into the holes. I used epoxy glue for this.
Now you can set the base aside where the wood glue and epoxy glue have time to harden.
In the meantime, you can make the rest of the jig.

Super simple DIY dado maker kerfmaker FREE PLANS

Step 3 | Adjustable parts

Now you can start making the adjustable parts.
These adjustable parts must have a slot that will fit over the bolt.
To ensure that the groove in both adjustable parts is identical, I attached these 2 pieces of 6 mm MDF together with painter’s tape.

Then I marked the exact center point and drilled a hole with the same diameter as the threaded rod (in my case 8 mm).

Super simple DIY dado maker kerfmaker FREE PLANS

After drilling the hole I clamped these MDF parts on my crosscut sled to make the slot.
Afterward, I updated the slot with a file.

Tip:

Be sure to watch my blog and video how I made my crosscut sled: The perfect crosscut sled? Accurate | removable zero clearance insert

There are free plans available to make this awesome crosscut sled yourself.

Super simple DIY dado maker kerfmaker FREE PLANS

Once the slot has been made in the MDF parts, you can attach and clamp the small stop blocks with wood glue.
Set these aside and give the glue time to harden.

Super simple DIY dado maker kerfmaker FREE PLANS

Step 4 | Homemade mini knobs

While all the glues are drying, now is the perfect time to make the buttons.
For this, I used my mini star knob jig, which makes making these buttons a breeze.
If you want to make this knob jig yourself, be sure to watch the blog and video. There is a free template available to make this jig.

Super simple DIY dado maker kerfmaker FREE PLANS

To make the knobs fit on the 8mm threaded rod, I pressed a T-nut into each of these knobs with the vise.

Super simple DIY dado maker kerfmaker FREE PLANS

Step 5 | Assembling this kerfmaker

Meanwhile, the base glues have hardened, and you can assemble.
To make it possible to clamp the jig on both the fence and the crosscut sled, a clamping plate is mounted on the back and side.

As you will see in the video or the photos, I made the clamp plates to the correct width, but slightly longer than the length they should be in the end. Afterward, you can trim it very easily.

Super simple DIY dado maker kerfmaker FREE PLANS

To mount the clamping plates I used wood glue and brad nails, a way that allows me to work quickly without clamping and waiting for the glue to dry.

TIP:

If you consider buying a nail gun, be sure to watch my blog How to choose the right nail gun for your projects. A complete nail gun guide.
I have used my nail gun for almost every project since I bought it, so I can highly recommend buying one.

Super simple DIY dado maker kerfmaker FREE PLANS

After adjusting the clamping plates, place the adjustable parts over the threaded rod and secure them with the homemade knobs.
It is best to place a washer between the knob and the adjustable part so that the adjustable part can be securely fastened with the knob.

Super simple DIY dado maker kerfmaker FREE PLANS

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Step 6 | dado maker Template

Then it is now time to start creating the template. You will need this template when setting up the dado maker when you want to make dados.
This template must also be made with extreme precision in order for the Dado maker to work perfectly.
I will explain exactly how to make this template.

Start by placing the dado maker in the corner of the sheet material you want to use for this template.
Now mark the sides of the jig on the template.

The next step is to move the jig so that it is now on the outside of the marker.
Now mark the side of the second strip, NOT THE OUTSIDE OF THE DADO MAKER!

By making the template the same width as the first two strips, you can use the template as support when you want to make dados on the crosscut sled.

Super simple DIY dado maker kerfmaker FREE PLANS

On the inside of the template, drill a hole where the two lines intersect.
Not only does this hole make it easy to cut out the inner corner, but when using the template, later on, no dust can collect in this corner, so the jig can always be set accurately.

Super simple DIY dado maker kerfmaker FREE PLANS

Now you can cut out the inner corner.
To work safely, I have used my crosscut sled to make these cuts.

Super simple DIY dado maker kerfmaker FREE PLANS

The next step is again a very important step, making the cut with the same thickness of the saw blade.

To do this, clamp a piece of residual wood on the crosscut sled and saw off the end.

Super simple DIY dado maker kerfmaker FREE PLANS

Without moving the piece of wood, you now place the template against it.
Clamp the template tightly and now make the cut.
In your template, there will now be a notch that has the exact thickness of your saw blade.
This is very important for setting up the dado maker. If the cut is not correct, the dado you are going to make with your dado maker will be either too big or too small.

Your dado maker is now ready to use!

Below I will describe how to use this kerfmaker.

Super simple DIY dado maker kerfmaker FREE PLANS

How to use this dado maker

Place the template against the dado maker as you can see in the picture.
Now set the adjustable part of the dado maker by moving it into the notch of the template.

Super simple DIY dado maker kerfmaker FREE PLANS

Now rotate the template as shown in the photo and place the part for which you want to make a dado between the template and the dado maker.
Now slide the second adjustable part up to the workpiece.
You have now set up the dado maker to use for this specific piece of work.

Super simple DIY dado maker kerfmaker FREE PLANS

Clamp the dado maker onto the crosscut sled as shown in the picture.
Place your workpiece against the center strip and make a cut.

Super simple DIY dado maker kerfmaker FREE PLANS

For the second cut, move the workpiece to the third strip.

Super simple DIY dado maker kerfmaker FREE PLANS

In addition to using this dado maker on the crosscut sled, you can also use it on the fence of your table saw.
The principle is the same, the only difference is that you now clamp the kerfmaker with the clamping plate on the back.

Super simple DIY dado maker kerfmaker FREE PLANS

The result is perfectly fitting dados, time after time.

Super simple DIY dado maker kerfmaker FREE PLANS

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Woodworking | DIY | Home decoration

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