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A favorite gadget, jig or accessory?

2355 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  DesertRatTom
I was just putting some stuff away in the shop and came across a couple of items that are favorites and thought I'd share them and have other members post about their minor items that they really like.

I'll start with a tool that is no longer made by the original manufacturer. It's called the Dado Wiz (as in wizard) This little aluminum gem, along with a fairly standard straight edge, allows you to use a router to cut exact size dados, grooves and stopped dados.
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The three arrows point to the pins, into which you place a piece of the shelf or whatever, you want to fit into the dado or groove. You can see the straight edge. The double outboard pins are set according to the size bit you're using. With the wood between the pins, you push the third, center pin block until it touches the piece. I found it's important to put a playing card in between to allow a little room for glue. Yes, it cuts that accurately.

I use a 3/8ths or a half inch, down spiral bit and you use a mark on the edge to line it up with the dado's position. Clamp the straight edge down tight and you make accurate multiple passes. Let the bit cool between passes. There is a bushing you can place on your router but it can change the accuracy slightly if you don't allow for that offset.

I'm so happy to have this thing because it is far easier to use than a dado set, which is a pain to set up perfectly.

I think someone else is making this now, but it has another name. I haven't made anything using dados for awhile, so this tool in its case has slipped onto a back shelf. But for its purpose, I don't thing you can beat it.
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I have to admit that in some ways I'm still back, waaay back in antiquity. My favorite tool is the combination square with the cubit length ruler. Well, actually the 18 inch long ruler, but millenia ago a cubit was 14 to 18 inches, depending on the century and the empire. Often I need to measure just a bit more than the 10 inches you can actually measure with a 12 inch rule, so that cubit length rule is just enough longer.
Most manufacturers of combination squares make the rules with a common cross-section and are pretty much interchangeable. You can get 12, 18, 24, even 36 inch rules with preferred combination of scales from several suppliers.
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