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Blindly cutting dado's on a router table

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Forum topic by NBeener posted 11-01-2009 10:25 PM 2509 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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NBeener

4808 posts in 2642 days


11-01-2009 10:25 PM

Topic tags/keywords: router router table dado stop dado question

I’m building a tool box for my soon-to-be 2 y/o StepGrandSon (?):

The sides and ends will have dado’s to accept the ply bottom. The instructions say this about making those dado’s, with a straight bit, on the router table:

With the dovetails completed, next we’ll need to cut the dadoes to hold the bottom of the toolbox. Since these dadoes will not extend the entire length of the sides and ends of the toolbox, we’ll use a straight-cutting bit in a router to cut the dadoes.

[snip]

Place the inside of the stock (that you marked in a previous step) facing down toward the table and just above the router bit. Maneuver the piece so that the end of the piece is at the far mark on the fence, and ease the stock down onto the bit, holding it tight against the fence. Push the stock forward until you reach the back mark with the trailing edge of the stock, and then lift the piece off of the bit. Repeat with the other three pieces.

Uh. Okay.

Is this as much of a crap shoot as it sounds?? I did what they said, but … it’s not great. I have a bit less than 1/2” margin after my initial “under cut it, and then cut TO my mark” efforts (with contact lenses, glasses, AND flip-down magnifiers on !!).

I think it’s going to be okay, but … is there a better way to do this? I thought about doing it from topside with my plunge router, but … there still seems to be some slop in the equation.

Is that just the nature of a cut like this? Close is close enough??

Thanks much!

-- -- Neil


10 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

115207 posts in 3045 days


#1 posted 11-01-2009 10:31 PM

Hey Neil
This might sound a little scary but is a fairly easy operation. If you try a practice piece of wood first you will see it’s just not that difficult. If in doubt cut short and re rout or just chisel a little. Try it you’ll like it.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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ChunkyC

856 posts in 2722 days


#2 posted 11-01-2009 10:35 PM

I typically work off of center lines. Another method is to find the center of the router bit. If you have one of the router bits that comes to a point (sorry I can’t think of the profile name at the moment) you can use that to determine the center line of the router marking the fence so you can see it. Then mark the center lines of the start and stopping points on your workpiece.

I’ve never had much luck finding the front and trailing edges of the router bit accurately hence the center lining method for me.

-- Chunk's Workshop pictures: http://spadfest.rcspads.com/thumbnails.php?album=135

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NBeener

4808 posts in 2642 days


#3 posted 11-01-2009 10:36 PM

Ahhhh.

Bingo, Jim. I should have stepped back, and used the chisel to finish it. I went back to the router, and didn’t have the control I needed to be accurate.

Definitely takes a little timeto figure out how/where/when to use power vs. hand. This would have been a good place: draw a line, cut it with a marking knife, chisel it out…..

Thanks much!

-- -- Neil

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NBeener

4808 posts in 2642 days


#4 posted 11-01-2009 10:38 PM

Chunk: that’s great info, too.

I was doing my darnedest to measure exactly to the edge of the cutter on the straight bit. Using the center probably would have been easier!

I think I’m going to be fine (if not, I’ve got more of the wood, and can re-do. No biggie) ... as long as I don’t encroach on the area that’s got to be dovetailed.

-- -- Neil

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ChunkyC

856 posts in 2722 days


#5 posted 11-01-2009 10:39 PM

It’s a “V Grove Bit.”

-- Chunk's Workshop pictures: http://spadfest.rcspads.com/thumbnails.php?album=135

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NBeener

4808 posts in 2642 days


#6 posted 11-01-2009 10:42 PM

This guy?

Interesting. I can see where that would make a difference. Thanks! I have a 30pc bit set, and—of course—that one’s not in it ;-)

-- -- Neil

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a1Jim

115207 posts in 3045 days


#7 posted 11-01-2009 10:49 PM

If we are talking about a groove or dado all you need is a straight bit the correct size. even better a spiral bit
for cleaner cut with less tear out but not a necessity.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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ChunkyC

856 posts in 2722 days


#8 posted 11-01-2009 11:23 PM

You only use the v grove bit once to find the center of the router and mark the center line on the fence. Once you have the c/l, you install your straight bit and cut away.

NB: That’s not necessarily a v groove bit per se. but any bit that comes to a point would work and that one would work. Well that is if you had one.

I’ve never tried it, buy maybe you could grind something to a point ??. Anything that comes to a nice point that is centered would do.

-- Chunk's Workshop pictures: http://spadfest.rcspads.com/thumbnails.php?album=135

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NBeener

4808 posts in 2642 days


#9 posted 11-01-2009 11:31 PM

Ah. Gotcha. Thanks, Chunk!

Thanks, too, Jim. I hadn’t heard of a spiral bit, but found a great Pat Warner description of the difference, here (for others who don’t know….):

http://www.woodcraft.com/Articles/Articles.aspx?articleid=445

-- -- Neil

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a1Jim

115207 posts in 3045 days


#10 posted 11-01-2009 11:33 PM

We all have different approaches ,but I use the bit I’m going to cut with and hold a square on each side of a bit making a mark on the fence indicating were to stop for each side of the cut and then proceed.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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