Fine Woodworking

Photos, except where noted: Tom Begnal; individual shelf and product shots: Michael Pekovich

Mark and cut the rabbet. First, mark the rabbet location on the end of the shelf (left), then use a bearing-guided rabbeting bit to cut the rabbet (above).

Rabbeted dado starts with a dado. A T-square jig helps cut a dado across the side. The slot in the jig is just wide enough to accept the bearing of a top-mounted bearing-guided straight bit.

I'm not a fan of screwing shelves in place with the typical tapered wood screw. They rarely hold up long-term. That said, I have found a specialized screw that works much better. Called a Confirm√Ęt screw, it has a thick body with sharp, deep threads. It's mainly used with particleboard, melamine, and MDF, but it also holds well in solid wood. When used in a dado or a rabbeted dado, the joint strength is excellent. Confirm√Ęt screws require a pilot hole and a shank hole. A special bit is available that does the drilling in one step (see "Sources of Supply," p. 29).

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