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How do you properly cut a stopped dado with hand tools?

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Forum topic by Chelios posted 03-21-2011 05:28 AM 5749 views 1 time favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Chelios

567 posts in 1820 days


03-21-2011 05:28 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

What is the proper technique to do this without a router or table saw? How do you do it with hand tools and still achieve accurate results?

thanks for your help on this one


19 replies so far

View devann's profile

devann

1735 posts in 1446 days


#1 posted 03-21-2011 05:46 AM

I ues the router table. Mark the fence. Clean up the end of the cut with a chisel.

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

View Dan's profile

Dan

3543 posts in 1634 days


#2 posted 03-21-2011 05:58 AM

I think its going to depend on what hand tools you have. A dado plane would probably be the best way to go but thats just my opinion.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

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Chelios

567 posts in 1820 days


#3 posted 03-21-2011 06:00 AM

Thanks

what is or which maker has a dado plane? I don’t know if I ever saw one before.

View Dan's profile

Dan

3543 posts in 1634 days


#4 posted 03-21-2011 03:30 PM

You can find router planes and dado planes on ebay. If it were me I would buy a old one and fix it up because I enjoy doing that and the older hand tools are usually great quality.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View Lifesaver2000's profile

Lifesaver2000

524 posts in 1866 days


#5 posted 03-21-2011 03:45 PM

In episode 3008 of The Woodwright’s Shop, Roy demonstrates cutting a stopped, tapered sliding dovetail type joint, but also indicates that the procedure is very similar to cutting a stopped dado. The episode is from the current season, and is called “The Case for Books.”

http://www.pbs.org/woodwrightsshop/video/3000/3008.html

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1447 days


#6 posted 03-21-2011 03:53 PM

In my most recent handtool heavy nightstand blog, I admit using the router table for a stopped dado. You can get pretty close using a plow plane (Stanley #45 or #50) or a router plane but it’s difficult to start/stop the cut because of the nickers (but it can be done). I tend to hog out the stopped ends like you would a regular mortise. Then I incscribe deep lines along the dado for the nickers to engage (make sure they’re very sharp). This way you can stop & start the plane in the mortised voids. If the nicker slips out, you’ll gouge your piece, which may not be acceptable. A straight bit on the router table dropped into the mortise works equally well but take small incremental steps & make sure the walls don’t get too thin.

If you decide to try it with a plow plane, please post your progress! Good luck!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1447 days


#7 posted 03-21-2011 04:00 PM

Chelios, go over to my blog about the nightstand.
http://lumberjocks.com/Bertha/blog

You can see several planes making several dados. I used a Stanley #45 to route the apron dados and a Stanley #50 to route the French bottom dados. A router plane will work, but you’ll have to deeply inscribe the walls of the dado, as they have no nickers. Don’t confuse the Stanley #78 rebate plane with a plow; it isn’t.

#45
http://lumberjocks.com/Bertha/blog/21978

#50
http://lumberjocks.com/Bertha/blog/22107

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View swirt's profile

swirt

1952 posts in 1726 days


#8 posted 03-21-2011 05:50 PM

If I only have a few to do, I use a saw with no set to cut the walls (a stair saw works nicely and is designed for the job) followed by a router plane. The stop gets finished with a chisel. A dedicated dado plane works well for through dados, but using it for stopped dados is more work than the saw / router plane / chisel approach.

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

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Bertha

12951 posts in 1447 days


#9 posted 03-21-2011 05:54 PM

^totally agree with Swirt. With his method, the walls are cut so the router plane can do what it does best. The only time I wouldn’t use the router table to execute this joint is when I’m trying to prove something with handtools :)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Loren's profile

Loren

7831 posts in 2402 days


#10 posted 03-21-2011 06:09 PM

Dado planes aren’t much use on stopped dados.

The old school way to do it is cut the sides with a saw and
chisel out the waste.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View stefang's profile

stefang

13633 posts in 2088 days


#11 posted 03-21-2011 06:44 PM

Yes, I agree that the way to do this to saw two kerfs and chisel out the center. A back saw works well for this kind of work, but a regular saw will work if you don’t have one. here’s how I would do it.

1. mark you dato out with a pencil or marking knife.

2. Score the lines with a hobby knife or whatever works.

3. It can be a great help if you clamp on a board to guide your saw and help keep it at a 90 degree while you cut.

4. Start your saw kerf on the front edge at a 45 degree angle and begin tilting it to horizontal as you progress. Keep your saw tip slightly above the surface in order to keep lengthening the cut. It isn’t a bad idea to mark the depth of cut you want on your saw blade. (masking tape?).

5. You won’t be able to saw the entire length, so the last 3 inches or so have to be chiseled out. You will have to do a stop cut with your chisel at the end, but try to do this in small increments with a depth of about 1/16” each time to avoid splitting the wood.

This work can also be done with just a hobby knife and a chisel and mallet by repeated scoring and chiseling across the grain towards the dado’s end until you reach the depth you want. It is a more efficient than you might think. Either way by sawing or only scoring, the chisel is best used with the bevel down to prevent digging in too deep and losing control.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1447 days


#12 posted 03-21-2011 06:54 PM

Here’s a Japanese pull saw that’s up to the challenge. I cut sliding dovetail drawer dividers using this saw and it really excelled. It stopped excelling when I dropped a 50 pound portable vise off my benchtop onto it. I think I paid around $60 for mine & it was well worth the money, even if you don’t use it that often.

http://www.japanwoodworker.com/product.asp?s=JapanWoodworker&pf_id=15%2E121%2E90&dept_id=13088

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View swirt's profile

swirt

1952 posts in 1726 days


#13 posted 03-21-2011 10:17 PM

I’ve always wondered about that saw Bertha. Thanks for sharing it.

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1447 days


#14 posted 03-21-2011 10:38 PM

Swirt, you would really like it. Rip on one side; crosscut on the other. It’s quite a bit more rigid than your typical dozuki. I plan to order another one at some point. I just bought a new router table, so once the fun wears out, I’ll switch back to hand dados! :)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View mafe's profile

mafe

9690 posts in 1843 days


#15 posted 03-22-2011 01:37 PM

Interestion conversation here.
Thank you.
Mads

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

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