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How To Cut a Blind Dado

Follow these steps for cutting a blind dado using a table saw.

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cutting a blind dado using a table saw
  • Time

    Under Half Day

  • Price Range

    $100 - $250

  • Difficulty



Step 1: Prepare to Make the Dado Cut

A blind dado is a hidden joint used to make bookcases. On the sides of the bookcase, dadoes are cut most of the way through the board. The shelf has a small notch that fits over the uncut part of the board. Use a 3/4" stacked dado head raised 1/4" above the table. With the table saw unplugged for safety, turn the dado stack until finding the spot where the dado stops cutting. Use a combination square to mark that spot on the fence. Later, use this mark as a reference point for starting the dado cut. Plug the saw back in and turn it on. Make a plunge cut into a board using the mark on the fence as a starting point.

prepare to make the dado cut

Step 2: Cut the Notch

Chisel out the starting point of the cut to get a flat edge. To make the notch, raise the blade to approximately 1/2" above the table. Cut a notch into the bottom edge of a second board.