Question on how to cut a wide channel in maple

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Forum topic by mozart123 posted 12-06-2009 10:01 PM 1524 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 3268 days

12-06-2009 10:01 PM

Topic tags/keywords: help maple channel

I’m a rank amateur wordworker, trying to figure out how to do a few things for some home projects. I don’t know anyone experienced enough to answer what may be simple questions, so I hope you all can help.

I have a 4-ft length of 1×2 inch maple that needs a 1/4” deep depression cut into a foot-long section of the 2” side (starting about one-third way along its length), with the depression (I guess it might be called a 12” groove or channel) going completely across the 2” width.

I’ve done this before using a lot of circular saw cuts along the 12 inches, and then chiseling it out and sanding. Kind of brute force. Would a router be the “real” way to do that kind of thing nicely? If so, what kind of router bit, etc.?

Thanks for any help,


6 replies so far

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1697 posts in 3866 days

#1 posted 12-06-2009 10:05 PM

Hi Mozart welcome to LJ’s firstly

if this was my project i’d mark out were my groove was going then use my router but i’m sure someone will come up with a better solution my friend


-- cut it saw it scrap it SKPE: ANDREW.CARTER69

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Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3997 days

#2 posted 12-06-2009 10:19 PM

Eric, certainly a router would be a tool to use for cutting a dado this size but I would put a stacked dado set on my table saw to make this kind of cut. If you do not have a dado set then certainly it can also be done with regular blade in the saw. You would just have to make multiple cuts similar to the process that you have been doing with a circular saw.

If you want to do it with a router then you have a wide selection of bits that you could use- 1/2 or 3/4 inch straight bits or a larger mortising bit (1 1/4”) would also work.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

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2 posts in 3268 days

#3 posted 12-06-2009 10:39 PM

Thanks to you all for the replies so far—you guys are fast! Regarding notottoman’s question, I have no power bench tools (except for the circular saw, which I guess isn’t technically a bench tool). Otherwise I have an oscillating sander, power drills of course, and otherwise just hand tools—saws, chisels, rasps, plane, etc. Part of the reason I’m asking is that I’m seeing if maybe a router would be a good investment, since I may need to make this kind of cut on a number of pieces. Or alternatively, if a table saw would be a better investment for this purpose.


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1697 posts in 3866 days

#4 posted 12-06-2009 10:46 PM

well Eric if you can invest in a quailty TS with a dado set up then thats the way i would go if space is not a problem to


-- cut it saw it scrap it SKPE: ANDREW.CARTER69

View a1Jim's profile


117276 posts in 3752 days

#5 posted 12-07-2009 12:44 AM

Hey Eric
Welcome to Ljs
With the tools you have I would suggest you set up a guide (a straight piece of wood) across the the wood your going to put a dado(a groove across the grain of the wood) in and clamp it so your circular saw rides up against it and makes a cut were you want one edge of your dado and cut the depth a little less than the 1/4” you want. repeat until you reach the other edge of your dado Then clean the dado up with a chisel. It would be best practising on a scrap piece of wood first. If you going to do much woodwork a table saw and router will make things a lot easier, like Scott said.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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13776 posts in 4272 days

#6 posted 12-07-2009 12:45 AM

Radial Arm Saw with a dado set would be another option. Sometimes you can find an inexpensive one on Craigslist.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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