Dados For Box Bottoms

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Forum topic by gfadvm posted 07-02-2012 02:53 AM 2523 views 2 times favorited 47 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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14940 posts in 2688 days

07-02-2012 02:53 AM

I use 1/4” ply for my box bottoms but as you all know it is not 1/4”. What do you all use to cut the dados for this undersized ply? Mitered boxes vs. boxjointed where stopped dados are needed? The ply I get is not even consistently undersized! It ranges from 3/16 to 7/32 and I hate those rattling panels. Greg uses strips of rubber band shims which stop the rattle but I would like an option. Thanks for pondering this.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

47 replies so far

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3301 days

#1 posted 07-02-2012 02:58 AM

andy they make those little rubber balls that they use for making cabinet panels, i have yet to use them as all of my boxes are solid wood and i plane them to the right size…but you might look up those rubber balls that they use for cabinet work…or, switch over to solid wood bottoms and make your own, i use 1/4 and sometimes i use 3/8..and since i make them, they come out just that what your looking for…grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

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Monte Pittman

29226 posts in 2336 days

#2 posted 07-02-2012 02:59 AM

Maybe just make two cuts on the table saw and adjust the second one to make the proper width.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 3066 days

#3 posted 07-02-2012 03:00 AM

For 1/4” ply, I set my TS up for a rip cut ~1/4” deep then move the fence just enough to get my dado width with a second pass.

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2688 days

#4 posted 07-02-2012 03:02 AM

Grizz, The rubber balls solve the rattle (like the rubber band strips) but don’t solve the ill fitting dado issue. Monte/Sawkerf, That works for mitered boxes but not for boxjointed ones.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3301 days

#5 posted 07-02-2012 03:04 AM

check these out david

opps put this in after you addressed it, ok…well … idea

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3306 days

#6 posted 07-02-2012 03:06 AM

Andy…there are several router bit manufacturers that make undersized straight bits specifically for plywood. I have been using them lately and find them convenient and accurate.

View patron's profile


13603 posts in 3339 days

#7 posted 07-02-2012 03:10 AM

maybe you need a 1/8” straight cutter
and do the same stop cuts just
by moving the fence too

here are some
and euro sizes too

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2688 days

#8 posted 07-02-2012 03:17 AM

David, I’m trying to avoid using the 1/8” bit and multiple cuts if possible but your link to the undersized bits may be the answer I need. Thanks! I’m not too lazy to make multiple cuts but I take a risk every time I need to reposition my stop blocks for the stopped dados.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Nate Meadows's profile

Nate Meadows

1132 posts in 2204 days

#9 posted 07-02-2012 03:30 AM

I use these for my plywood dados. They match the thickness of the ply exactly! The are very well made and have stayed sharp forever!

I hope that helps.


-- "With a little bit of faith, and some imagination, you can build anything!" Nate

View Boxguy's profile


2652 posts in 2265 days

#10 posted 07-02-2012 08:01 AM


I have better luck making thicker bottoms and using 1/2” to 3/4” plywood. I generally buy 3 or 4 of the 4×8 sheets from the same stack, and stain one walnut, one cherry, and leave two maple. I cut them all in half lengthwise and then cut each half into about 8 inch wide strips 8 feet long. If I find I’m using a lot of one color I stain another half board and cut it into strips, or if I find I need an exceptionally wide bottom, I have material for that too.

The bottom line is that I have material for several months and can just carefully set up my dado for that one size and have a consistent fit. Since I have one saw that I dedicate to dado cuts and nothing else, I make one setup and I am good for several months of boxes.

I find that a little heavier bottom helps balance the open lids, makes a more sturdy box, and really makes very little difference in terms of the room inside the box. Plywood is stable enough that you can glue it on all four sides and stop that rattle you are talking about.

-- Big Al in IN

View nomercadies's profile


589 posts in 2336 days

#11 posted 07-02-2012 11:16 AM

There is a ton of information in this conversation …

-- Chance Four "Not Just a Second Chance"

View Granddaddy1's profile


182 posts in 2199 days

#12 posted 07-02-2012 02:39 PM

Andy, my solution is to rout 1/8” dadoes in the box, then use the table saw and cut a relief rabbet around the bottom material, adjusted to whatever depth gives the proper 1/8” remaining lip. A little trial and error with some scrap is necessary because, like you say, even the 1/4” material is not uniform. Obviously you leave the thicker portion to the bottom of the dado to allow for variance. This way you can cut stopped dadoes with no problem.

-- Ron Wilson - maker of fine firewood!

View Ken90712's profile


17556 posts in 3186 days

#13 posted 07-02-2012 02:44 PM

These are the bits I used for a Entertainment center I built on here. They worked perfectly. Good luck.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View GrandpaLen's profile


1650 posts in 2270 days

#14 posted 07-02-2012 04:30 PM


I just run a light bead of clear silicone sealer on the edge of those ill fitting/irregular thickness 1/4” ply bottums.

It stops the rattle and will move with seasonal changes. – Len

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 2186 days

#15 posted 07-02-2012 05:49 PM

CMT makes a set of 3 specially-sized router bits that match the actual sizes of what are nominally 1/4”, 1/2” and 3/4” plywood.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

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