Debbie Does Dadoes

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Project by MsDebbieP posted 11-01-2007 08:15 PM 4296 views 5 times favorited 52 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The Learning Curve
After several difficulties with several routers I decided that there is more than one way to do what I want to do and I don’t have to use motorized equipment!

A trip to Lee Valley resulted in the purchase of a Router Plane (against the advice of the salesman who thought I should stick to an electric router).

So the plane came home and after a brief practice with the tool I thought I’d better make something with it to show that it was a good investment.

My woodworking skills and experience are limited but I (fortunately) don’t have the perfectionist gene when it comes to my hobby and so there was no pressure to create a piece of treasured art.

The Process
I did a quick search of wood pieces lying around and tried to find something for the lid that would fit the 1/4” or 1/2” width of the plane blade without having to do too much problem-solving.

I found a piece of Aromatic Cedar (perfect thickness for the dado I would be making) and some walnut which would be great to make the rest of the box.

I cut the pieces of wood to make a medium-sized box. I wasn’t too particular about the size. I just wanted to practice making a dado. (In hindsight a little more thought would have been good as the box is quite shallow and I’m not quite sure what I’m going to store in it!) For the lid, I cut my cedar to keep a raw edge and a little twig for the handle.

Next, I set the mitre saw to cut the depth/edges of the dado. I then used a little dollar-store chisel to knock out most of the wood in the dado and then brought out the plane. Since the wood pieces were so small I couldn’t use clamps, so I just made a wood stop for the pieces to rest up against and off I went. It didn’t take long to get the feel of it and I swooshed off the excess wood and I think the results are pretty darned good.

Next, I had to put the box together and out came the DowelMax. Again, with a few “hmmm’s” and a few “doh’s” I figured out the how and where’s and I was soon putting the pieces together.

Since the lid just slides in and out, I decided to add a rare earth magnet to the box / lid to make sure it stayed closed and the treasured contents (whatever they might be) would be safe inside if the box should fall.

A wipe down with some wipe-on poly and that was it – a box with a sliding lid.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

52 comments so far

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 3290 days

#1 posted 11-01-2007 08:21 PM

Not bad me lady, not bad at all. keep on keepin on. Actually I wish I had one in my kit. mike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Bill's profile


2579 posts in 3205 days

#2 posted 11-01-2007 08:40 PM

Well done Debbie! It looks like the dado came out really smooth and the right size.

I bet there will be more boxes now.

-- Bill, Turlock California,

View miles125's profile


2179 posts in 3049 days

#3 posted 11-01-2007 08:52 PM

I like it! Great use of materials at hand.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View SPalm's profile


5174 posts in 2925 days

#4 posted 11-01-2007 09:04 PM

Good for you. I like the handle.

You didn’t do dis dado in Dallas, did you Debbie?


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Jeff's profile


1011 posts in 3137 days

#5 posted 11-01-2007 09:11 PM

Way to go Debbie! I’d say it was a triumph. I agree, the dado looks quite smooth and square.

-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN

View CharlieM1958's profile


16100 posts in 3262 days

#6 posted 11-01-2007 09:34 PM

That’s a nice looking dado! And the box looks like it is the right size to keep your passport in. You need a good place since you are such a world traveller these days.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View jpw1995's profile


376 posts in 3341 days

#7 posted 11-01-2007 09:48 PM

Way to think outside the box while cutting a dado inside the box. I’m not sure that makes any sense, but very nice job! I have to admit that this is the first router plane I’ve seen. It looks like it works great. Did you enjoy using it?

-- JP, Shelbyville, KY

View Max's profile


55981 posts in 3316 days

#8 posted 11-01-2007 09:50 PM

Great job. I really like the use of the limb for the handle. That is pretty inventive!!!!! And that Dado is really great.

-- Max "Desperado", Salt Lake City, UT

View Bill's profile


2579 posts in 3205 days

#9 posted 11-01-2007 09:55 PM

I think you should add pictures of your router plane as well. Give us more tools to admire.

-- Bill, Turlock California,

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 3204 days

#10 posted 11-01-2007 09:58 PM

thanks everyone.

(haha Debbie Does Dadoes in Dallas..)
The plane was fun to use – a lot less stressful than the routers from you-know-where!
here’s a pix of the plane.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Dadoo's profile


1788 posts in 3034 days

#11 posted 11-01-2007 10:06 PM

Nice box Debbie! I really like the handle too. But you should realize that by adding a rare earth magnet you might find that some of your gold chains are not gold at all! “And then she took an axe, he was sleeping so peacefully…”

-- Bob Vila would be so proud of you!

View Calgirl's profile


188 posts in 2939 days

#12 posted 11-01-2007 10:09 PM

Well Miss Debbie,
Cute, aeromatic boxes with unique handles have a way of multiplying. Seems to me that your box is a great place to store old coins and stamps from grandma’s old love letters in the attic!

Nice job on the dado’s proving your new tool was a good investment.

-- Forget the health food, I need all the preservatives I can get !

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 2982 days

#13 posted 11-01-2007 10:44 PM

Very cool. I’ve looked at these router planes and thought they might be fun and now after reading and seeing what you’ve done, I think I might just take the plunge.

-- Working at Woodworking

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 3358 days

#14 posted 11-01-2007 11:00 PM

“Just a box. Any box” Quote from some newbie, somewhere in the far distant pass. That is not just any box! I’m going to steal that live handle design and call it a dennis original.

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 3204 days

#15 posted 11-01-2007 11:01 PM

I was going to title it “just a box” but changed my mind.
I thought you might comment on it :)

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

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