It’s true. Apparently, I am unable to cut a sufficient dado to join the shelves of Mom’s bookcase. This isn’t good at all. But first, let me run down my day for you.
11:00 AM: I finally get out to the shop. It’s a little chilly this morning, so I wait for it to warm up a bit before heading out there. I plug in the new router (Porter Cable 690 for those keeping score at home) after putting in a 3/4” bit, set up a straight edge and cut a dado to test. Sure enough, I was told right. It’s not quite enough to allow the 3/4” wood to slip in. Even some “persuasion” with my mallet wasn’t quite enough. But that’s OK though. I was prepared for this (thanks for the heads up on that one Todd) and switched out the bits, replacing it with a 1/2” straight bit and prepared to cut two passes.
I decide to run another test, just to make sure I’m doing things right. I set up my jig, clamp everything down, and make a pass. So far, so good. I adjust the jig and go to make another pass. It’s at this point that I notice that something isn’t right. I started my pass right at the pencil line. Now, I’m finding it veering to the right. Just great. My fence doesn’t seem to be square. I check it again, and it’s not. Apparently, it’s just a hair (maybe 1/16th out of square?) It’s just enough to screw things up. I go to pull the screws, thinking that I can fix this. Nope…the screws are stripped. Go me.
I try using just a straight edge. I manage to make two half inch dados instead of one 3/4” dado (although I really needed something like 13/16”).
12:00 PM: I figured out what I was doing, but by this time I was good and frustrated and went inside to get some lunch.
2:00 PM: A trip to Lowe’s. I pick up some plywood to try and make a new jig that’s illustrated in one of my books. It’s not until I get home that I realize he made the jig with a router table. I have bushings and all, but I’m still sort of stuck. I try and try to get something that will work. No such luck.
4:30 PM: After bashing my head against the wall (figuratively) and still not getting a workable jig, I call it quits. Woodworking is supposed to be enjoyable, and I’m damn sure not enjoying myself right now. I’m just glad I did everything on scrap first!
So, I get to spend this evening and tomorrow trying to figure out how to get through this little dilemma. Here are my choices as I see it:
A. Say screw it and use some other method. I happen to have a Miller Dowel set en route from Lee Valley, the product of a Christmas gift card from my wife and son. I could just clamp and drill and use the Miller dowels and call it done. Mom’s not picky about the joinery, but I’d rather stick with my original plans.
B. I could figure out some way to widen the 3/4” dado slightly, just enough for the boards to fit. I have no idea how to do this.
C. Order a 13/16” bit from Lee Valley. Of course, I’m not 100% sure that’s the right size either.
D. Figure out a new jig. I don’t have any ideas on this one either though.
E. Dance naked under the full moon and perform sacrifices to the wood gods to appease them. I think this one rules itself out, don’t you?
Honestly, I could really use some help here. Any suggestions are welcome. I have to figure something out, and frankly I’m running out of ideas.
Who am I kidding? I ran out of ideas two hours ago. :(
-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!