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Forum topic by NBeener posted 10-30-2010 05:50 PM 2616 views 1 time favorited 47 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3198 days

10-30-2010 05:50 PM

Topic tags/keywords: router stopped dado dado clamp-on straight edge router guide mistake profanity curse you red baron

Quick and dirty….

I’m well into building a tapered QSWO wine display tower, for some friends.

I had my 3’ x 1’ side panels all glued up, sanded, and the 1-1/2” holes cut, with a Forstner bit, on the DP, for the wine bottles to hang by their little necks.

Then, I went to cut the stopped dados, with my router and a clamp-on straight edge. This sort of thing:

I got halfway through the second dado, and the clamp slipped. Didn’t notice it right away.

Ohhhhhh, did IT bugger up the dado.

Figuring I had nothing to lose, I set about to cut the next dado.

THIS time, I cut all the way across the panel, FORGETTING that I was supposed to stop.

You know … STOPPED dado.

So … I stepped back, took a DEEP breath, and let fly with EVERY swear word I knew, in EVERY language that I knew them in.

I may even have invented a few new ones.

HUGE credit to Grizz for coming up with a GREAT idea of how to patch it all up, by using cleats and trim caps. But … in my heart … I KNEW I was headed back to the lumber yard, to drop $60, and FIX my total screw-up.

Lessons ???

Don’t trust those clamp-on straight edge guides. Make sure you KNOW their strengths and weaknesses and HOW to best use them. In my case, using C-Clamps to clamp the bar ONTO the wood is the least I would do.

Also … if you’re doing a stopped dado, then set up a stop block that prevents you from going all the way to each edge.

I’m going to build a dado jig, this morning, and try it out on scrap. I’ll use small C-Clamps or 6” F-body clamps to secure the jig to the panels.

If I CAN do a decent job at stopped dados, then I’ll re-make my panels and give it another try. If I simply CAN’T do a decent stopped dado, then I’ll probably use another kind of joinery for this project.

Long story, short: don’t do what I did, and make darned sure that—if you’re at all tired—you stop working. I KNOW I was well past my usual 60 minute stop time. In fact, I was well into hour two. I was having fun. I had momentum. I was in the groove.

Or … in the dado, I guess ;-)

Humbly, and … $50 poorer ….


-- -- Neil

47 replies so far

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3697 days

#1 posted 10-30-2010 05:53 PM

I have one of those clamp on stright edges it does not do the best job in world, it wont even stay clamp anymore. :(

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4179 posts in 3189 days

#2 posted 10-30-2010 05:58 PM

I have had my own fun with slots, just a deep dado. I found that trying to cut a slot in a piece of oak, for instance, without using a router table, resulted in clamps (used to hold straight edges) moving from the vibration, and slots all over the place. I could do MDF just fine, once I got the hang of it. The vibration seems to come from the coarse grained oak.

So you are not alone, you almost have to nail down everything at times…..............


-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View mafe's profile


11730 posts in 3113 days

#3 posted 10-30-2010 06:09 PM

Just to stress you -I have Festool… This is no nonsens, and works perfect on those jobs.
Thank you for sharing the lesson with us.
I’m a master og routing errors my self…
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4324 days

#4 posted 10-30-2010 06:11 PM

Here’s a simple jig for routing shelves from FWW.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3198 days

#5 posted 10-30-2010 06:19 PM

It genuinely DOES help to get the “I feel your pain” feedback.

Mafe: I’d love to have a Festool. Not sure that’s in the budget at the moment, though.

Dick: I REALLY like that FWW jig. Thank you. Since I do NOT have the required raw materials for that one, I may try to do this one, [click on Page 26] “down and dirty,” and the set my sights on building a more robust and versatile jig, like the FWW, for future projects.

I contemplated using my dado stack, on my Bosch saw, but … the Bosch is just a tad too small to comfortably use the miter gauge, to get a 12” wide panel up and over, and accurately.

This is the first time that I felt I might need (not just want) a cabinet saw.

But … not in the budget, either. Not today.

Gonna’ go a jig-building, now. If others have had similar experiences, please take this opportunity to vent :-D

-- -- Neil

View pvwoodcrafts's profile


244 posts in 3946 days

#6 posted 10-30-2010 06:32 PM

Bummer. I think it happens to all of us. I built a 3×8 jig with a track to accept a designated router just for dados. I use it for everything. I can clamp a base cabinet side in it , drop the router in the slot and rout .I also clamp a stop block in it and can rout multiple pieces that match up perfectly. Can do ‘bout all my dados with it.I used a 3×8 sheet of ply. , a few 1×4’s and a couple toggle clamps. One of the best jigs I made for the shop

-- mike & judy western md. www.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10529 posts in 3453 days

#7 posted 10-30-2010 06:35 PM

I’ve been using one like the FWW jig Dick referenced for a long time. It’s great for that d^%#ed odd sized plywood.
I foolishly bought a clamping edge guide like yours, Neil. I just use it for a guide at the back of the DP table. Even with that minimal pressure, it sometimes moves.
Clamps are our friends.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View b2rtch's profile


4861 posts in 3073 days

#8 posted 10-30-2010 06:51 PM

Neil ,
I could help you with French swear words, just in case.

-- Bert

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 3133 days

#9 posted 10-30-2010 07:11 PM

Been there, done that, bought all the t-shirts. On casual day at work, I dress in errors :)


-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View Dez's profile


1166 posts in 4101 days

#10 posted 10-30-2010 07:48 PM

Oh Yeah! Been there too! That was when I built my jig, has the features of the FWW jig but with a T on one end to keep it square to the work piece. I really like a guide on both sides after ruining a piece when the router pulled away from a single sided jig I used to use.

-- Folly ever comes cloaked in opportunity!

View Dez's profile


1166 posts in 4101 days

#11 posted 10-30-2010 07:57 PM

Oh Yeah! Been there too! That was when I built my jig, has the features of the FWW jig but with a T on one end to keep it square to the work piece. I really like a guide on both sides after ruining a piece when the router pulled away from a single sided jig I used to use. The one I still have and use looks a lot like this one -

-- Folly ever comes cloaked in opportunity!

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 2881 days

#12 posted 10-30-2010 08:06 PM

Bummer Neil,
I have a cheap one that slipped, I then bought some better ones from Axminster (UK).
I still do not fully trust them though.
I use cloth backed 120g glued onto the clamp pads, so far so good.
Glad you got it sorted out.
If you need any more swear words? I know a few in Zulu. :)

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View rowdy's profile


375 posts in 3467 days

#13 posted 10-30-2010 08:25 PM

I hear you on swear words. I sometimes think woodworking tends to bring out the best in that realm. Maybe we should start a blog on words we use that are coined just for the occasion. One of my favorites actually was created by one of my step daughters when she was very young and was not allowed to use “conventional” cuss words. To compensate she invented her own, and the phrase I like best is “OH SHUTTYOX”. Go figure what that means!

-- Rowdy in Kechi, Kansas

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3198 days

#14 posted 10-30-2010 10:20 PM

Thanks, All.

I didn’t figure there’d be anybody without a similar story or two, behind them.

Dez: I like that jig, too. Seems I’ve got a few to choose from.

Alba: the sandpaper backing (or even the sticky mats, often sold for freehand routing or sanding) is a great idea. As to the Zulu profanity, I already have two, but may eventually need you to validate them, for me !

Bert: I’ve got about three, in French. But … you know … if you ever get bored, and want to PM me a couple, I’m sure this won’t be my last major “WHOOPS !’ moment :-)

pvwoodcrafts: did you make your jig from a plan (that you could point me to), or … did you post it as a project, or … could you post a pic or two OF it ? I definitely need to start considering my options.

Just … gotta pace’ myself. The new boards are in glue-up, so … I’m 1/4 of the way back to where I was before The Big Incident happened :-)

Live and learn…..

-- -- Neil

View TheGravedigger's profile


963 posts in 4048 days

#15 posted 10-30-2010 10:30 PM

Neil, they say the best lessons are the ones that don’t hurt TOO much. Shucks, I make so many mistakes that I have a regular blog column about them. As for jigs etc, if the absolutely positively have to stay put, I crank down with a couple of my Bessey Tradesman F-clamps. Then, that sucker ain’t goin’ NO-where!

-- Robert - Visit my woodworking blog:

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