The router is one of the most versatile and useful tools in most woodworking workshops, and it would probably only come second to a few other tools like the power saw and drill if you were to make a list of the tools you will use a lot.
But, to get the best service from your handheld router or to make grooves easier to cut you need a jig. A jig is even more important when it comes to cutting dadoes or grooves that run across the grain.
It is possible to buy one or a few readymade jigs for your router but this is not only more expensive but it is contrary to the DIY woodworking concept.
A dado jig for router makes an interesting and easy DIY project, and all you need is a good plan. Check out the 8 quick and easy DIY dado jig for router plans below for some ideas.
#1. Quick Exact-Depth Dado Jig
When you have a project that requires you to cut dadoes with the exact width you will be happy to have this jig around. And the best thing about it is that it is adjustable to suit various projects.
The jig is easy to make and relatively quick even for the inexperienced woodworkers, and you will not need a lot of materials or special bits because a straight bit and guide bushing will be enough.
The Wood Magazine plan describes the project in detail and also provides information on how to use the jig once it is complete. And there are also some useful drawings to help you understand the measurements.
#2. DIY Dado Jig with Integral Clamping System
One of the most annoying aspects of using routers and jigs to cut dadoes has to do with C-clamps when securing the jig or work-piece. But this particular jig takes care of this.
It has built-in clamps that will hold a stock that is up to 3/8 inches thick and they are also designed to work from underneath to ensure that they do not interfere with the routers travel.
Although this jig will take a little more effort and time to build, it is still easy to figure out if you follow the detailed guide and use the few pictures on the plan for inspiration.
One more thing that you will love about this jig is that it also includes an adjustable rail that lets you set the jig to cut a dado that will match the thickness of the piece it has to house precisely.
#3. Scrap Plywood Dado Jig for Router
If you are a typical woodworker with a few scraps of plywood lying around, some screws and wood glue, you will not need to spend any cash at all to make this jig.
It is also a simple jig to make as you only need to use glue and the screws to hold two pieces of plywood together.
The plan explains in detail the purpose of each of the two plywood pieces but the most interesting part is that there also some helpful directions on how you will use the jig to make the best dadoes.
#4. 2×2 Plywood Router Dado Jig
Pocket holes create strong joints but for some projects like bookshelves, they might not be the most appropriate. What you need for this is a jig like this one for making some dadoes for a more appropriate joint.
The dado jig is made from one 2×2 plywood and it is joined using brads and wood glue. And although it looks a little complicated, it is still fairly easy to build.
The Jay Customs tutorial provides some step by step instructions with pictures on how to cut all the pieces that you will need. And there is also a project video and some drawings with dimensions to make this a more straightforward plan to implement.
#5. Simple Router Jig for Straight, Square Dadoes
When you want to make straight and square dadoes and do it fast and almost effortlessly, this router jig will be very handy.
It is also a cheap dado jig to build that does not require a lot of material. A couple of hardwood scraps or two pieces of plywood that are about 3-1/2 inches wide, wood glue and four screws are all you need.
Besides the complete material list, there are also some detailed 4 step instructions with pictures on this Start Woodworking plan to help make the dado jig quick and easy to build.
#6. Cheap and Simple Dado Jig
A simple dado jig like this one from Popular Woodworking will help eliminate the repetition that comes with using a router as you will not have to keep measuring before routing.
It is also a cheap jig to make as you can use scrap wood and the chances are that you already have everything else that you will need in the workshop.
There is some detailed step by step instructions of everything you need to make this dado jig and there is also a picture for each step to help make things easy to understand.
#7. Easy DIY Dado Jig with Clamps
Here is another easy to implement dado jig for router plan for those that are looking for a convenient dado jig with clamps.
This functional and easy to make jig makes a good weekend project and the plan outlines everything you need to build the dado jig and detailed instructions with pictures.
Like most other DIY dado jigs it does not require a lot of materials to make and you might already have everything you need in the workshop.
#8. Easy to Make Dado Jig
It only takes a few minutes to implement this DIY dado jig plan by the Router Workshop and it uses a 1/2-inch piece of scrap plywood to make and a couple of strips of 1-inch pine.
Although it is straightforward and easy to figure out plan, the tutorial still provides some short and easy to understand directions and some pictures to help you out.
And to make this an even more useful plan, there is also some step by step instructions on how to use the jig to make dadoes.
This is a very useful dado jig for making a storage shelf unit and you can use it to cut both dadoes and rabbets.
With these 8 simple and cheap dado jig router plans making dadoes for your bookcases or storage unit projects should now be a quick and effortless task.
And because each project is different, you do not need to make the same exact jigs as you can use them for inspiration to build something that works best for your particular projects.
If you have already made one of these dado jigs or have other ideas to add to these we love hearing from you. So, feel free to share with us in the comments section below.