Dado (joinery)

For other uses, see Dado (disambiguation).
A through dado (left) and a stopped dado

A dado (US and Canada), housing (UK) or trench (Europe) is a slot or trench cut into the surface of a piece of machinable material, usually wood. When viewed in cross-section, a dado has three sides. A dado is cut across, or perpendicular to, the grain and is thus differentiated from a groove which is cut with, or parallel to, the grain.

A through[1] dado involves cuts which run between both edges of the surface, leaving both ends open. A stopped or blind[2] dado ends before one or both of the cuts meets the edge of the surface

Dados are often used to affix shelves to a bookcase carcase. Combined with a rabbet (rebate) on an adjoining piece, they are used to make the rabbet and dado joint, sometimes used in case goods.

See also


  1. Mortise and Tenon Frame Joints,
  2. Making Perfect Rabbet and Dado Joints
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