Rockler Perfect Fit Dado Jig Review - Canadian Woodworking

An effective, and inexpensive way to rout perfect dados, grooves, and rabbets.

Rockler Perfect Fit Dado Jig

Rockler Perfect Fit Dado Jig



Grooves, dados, and rabbets are three of the basic forms of joinery found in woodworking. Essentially they're butt joints – with end grain joined to face grain – but housed in a slot that provides extra gluing surface for maximum strength and support.

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For best results you want a precisely fitting joint, which you can make by table saw, router, or, if you like to do aerobics with your woodworking, by handsaw and hand plane. The new Rockler Perfect Fit Dado Jig provides an easy, cost effective way to rout all three with a router. You can use a fixed base router, but with a plunge router it will be easier to make stopped dados.

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(L) Bottom view of jig, unassembled; (R) Top view, assembled

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Assembled and mounted on a Milwaukee plunge router

The jig is straight forward - two pieces of 1/4" thick, stiff and durable ABS plastic that are attached to the base of your router. Three predrilled holes in a standard configuration will accommodate a wide range of common routers. Simply remove the base plate on your router, and then use the screws to mount the Perfect Dado Jig to the router. If the hole arrangement doesn't work for your router just drill matching holes. You don't need to have a second router specifically for use with this jig, as attaching and removing the jig takes no more than a minute or two.

At 10" by 10" the jig is large enough to provide good stability. The surface is flat and has a low coefficient of friction, so that it moves smoothly across wood surfaces. The edges are milled square, allowing you to push the jig tight up against a straight edge.

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Integrated scale

The scale is calibrated for using the jig with a 1/2'' straight bit chucked into your router. A 1/2" bit will enable you to rout grooves and dadoes from 1/2 '' to 1'' wide. You can, of course, use smaller or larger diameter router bits.

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Works best with a low-profile straight edge clamp

While you can use the jig with any straight edge clamp, it's specifically designed to fit into the channel of the All-In-One Low-Profile Contractor Clamp. All-In-One clamps are made of aluminum, so they're light, rigid, and won't rust, and they come in 24", 36", 50", and 90" lengths. The 50" model, which I use, is a good choice when working on cabinetry. 

The clamps are 17/32" thick by 2-1/2" wide with a flat top. The clamping handle is both long and wide, making it easy to lock the straight edge in place.

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Narrow click-lock sliding clamping pads

The clamping pads on the All-In-One clamps are 9/16" by 1-3/4", which means they don't extend below the bottom edge of a 3/4" thick panel or sheet of plywood - otherwise the clamping pads would lift the panel above the work surface. 

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Easy to read measurement scale

The scale has large, easy-to-read markings, with each inch mark in red. On top of the clamp are two "T" type tracks. However they are of an unconventional style, so you'll only be able to use Rockler accessories with the clamp. 

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1/2" bit routs grooves and dados from 1/2" to 1" wide

In the photos above I'm routing a 3/4" dado with a 1/2" bit. The first step is to set the scale (top photo) at the difference between the bit size (1/2") and the dado width (3/4"), which in this case is 1/4". Next, I place the jig on the straight edge clamp, align the router bit to my cut line, and rout the dado (bottom left photo). The bit will plough a 1/2" wide dado. I then turn the jig 180-degrees, place it back on the edge clamp, and rout the same dado - this time the router will remove the 1/4" shoulder, enlarging the dado to 3/4".

It's a good idea to do a test cut first, to ensure that the dado is exactly the size you want. Once the jig is set, you can rout all the dados you rout with that setting will be spot on.

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Easily rout stopped grooves and dados

If you use the jig with a plunge router you can quickly and easily make precise stopped grooves and dados. You can chop out a flush edge with a chisel. You could also use the jig to rout a shallow recess along the edge of a panel for applying inlays.

For anyone who cuts a lot of grooves, dados, or rabbets with a router, the Rockler Perfect Fit Dado Jig, coupled with an All-In-One Low-Profile Contractor Clamp, is a cost effective way to get the job done quickly and accurately.

KEY FEATURES:

Dado Jig

  • 1/4" by 10" by 10"
  • ABS construction
  • Laser-etched scales
  • Knurled knobs
  • Pre-drilled to fit most routers with a standard 3-hole pattern
  • Hooked channel for mounting on the All-In-One Low-Profile Contractor Clamp
50" Clamp

  • 17/32" by 2-1/2" by 56"
  • 50-1/4" clamping capacity
  • 9/16" by 1-3/4" clamping pads
  • Dual top mounted tracks
  • Measurement scale in 1/8" increments

COMPANY:Rockler
MODEL:Dado Jig: #59443
50" Clamp: #32777
PRICE:Dado Jig: $44.99 US
50" Clamp: $45.99 US
MADE IN:Dado Jig: USA
50" Clamp: China
SOURCE:Rockler Online
November 2014
 
Author: 
Carl Duguay
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