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How to make a stopped housing joint...

A housing joint is when you cut a square section out of the timber. This is also known as a dado. It's a big improvement to the butt joint, alot stronger. Its very simple to make - here's how...

You can see here I have marked out the housing and the small section to be cut off on the mating piece. I'm cutting this section out so you don't see the housing joint from both sides. It will be a stopped joint.
I'm going to cut this joint with my router and a 19mm bit. The mdf is 18mm thick. This will compensate for any irregularities and the glue. I need to clamp a straight edge 45mm away from the edge of the housing. This is to allow the distance between the edge of the cutter to the edge of the router base.
Here you see the straight edge is clamped 45mm away from the housing. Also the work is firmly clamped down.

I have set the routers depth gauge so in the first pass I take 5mm depth. The second I will take another 5mm. Total of 10mm depth. Remember i'm stopping at the mark - not going completely from one side to the other.


Here you can see the housing I have just cut with my router.
The router does not leave a square stop. I'm using a sharp chisel to square the end of the housing up.
Here you can see the finished housing.
Now i'm using my Japanese saw to cut the small section off the mating part. You could also use a band saw or tennon saw to do this.
Now you can see how the 2 opponents will fit together. All I need now is to glue them together, and I will have a very strong joint !
This is the front. The stopped part, where you can not see the housing. It looks neat.
Here is the back, where you can see the housing. Not as neat.

For this you need a few basic tools:

  • Router - with 19mm straight cutting bit
  • Square
  • Pencil
  • Handsaw
  • Sharp chisel
  • Ruler or tape measure
  • Also you need a straight edged off cut off wood (Or a spirit level), to guide your router.










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