Any suggestion for creating a slot?

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Forum topic by Octavius posted 326 days ago 968 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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51 posts in 1807 days

326 days ago

I could drill two holes and then chisel away the waste but there must be a better way, that leaves neater edges. I’ve the usual assortment of power and hand tools (but not a plunge router).

Any ideas would be appreciated.

Maybe one of those spiral router bits mounted in a drill pres and using cross sliding vice to take shallow cuts?


19 replies so far

View bondogaposis's profile


2495 posts in 985 days

#1 posted 326 days ago

I generally do those on the router table.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View chrisstef's profile


10698 posts in 1641 days

#2 posted 326 days ago

Id drill it slightly undersized and score the edges with a knife. That should leave you a nice clean edge. Without a router the only way I can see it is with a chisel and drill bits.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View crank49's profile


3380 posts in 1605 days

#3 posted 326 days ago

As chrisstef said, score the edges with a sharp knife.
You can drill multiple holes, slightly overlapping if you are using a drill press, or with forstner bits..
Depending on the size of the slot you can clean the sides with a rasp.
An alternate to drilling multiple holes is to use a keyhole saw to remove the waste between two holes.

But even a small cheap router would make this much easier.

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

View ZacD's profile


34 posts in 393 days

#4 posted 326 days ago

I generally do this type of slot with a drill press table that has a movable fence and a forstner bit chucked up. Make a good score down the center of the slot, that way, when you go to position, the point on the bit will fall into the groove you scored, keeping each one lined up.

View HerbC's profile (online now)


1162 posts in 1494 days

#5 posted 326 days ago

Router table.
Use straight bit or spiral downcut bit of same diameter as width of slot.
Set fence to locate slot side to side.
Use stop blocks to limit movement of piece along length of slot.
Take 1/4” cuts each pass, then raise bit for next pass.
Rinse, spit and repeat…

Be Careful!


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View Octavius's profile


51 posts in 1807 days

#6 posted 326 days ago

Many thanks for the replies. Good tips!

Let me ponder the options.

(I do have a router (not a plunge type, though) and a router table.
I assume you lower the work piece onto the spinning bit? Seems a bit dodgy.
As you can see from the picture, the work piece doesn’t have much width, to slide along the fence.
I wonder if it is feasible to rig up something, borrowing the table saw miter gauge)


View hobby1's profile


282 posts in 932 days

#7 posted 326 days ago

No not dodgy,
with your forstner bit drill a start and stop hole for your router bit to use on your table, or by handheld routing, using a straight edge guide.

Also use a smaller dia. bit for drilling starter and ending holes, and smaller dia. router bit, routing, so you can sneek up on the cut, to final size.

View Loren's profile


7446 posts in 2282 days

#8 posted 326 days ago

This is an annoying cut to make quickly without some sort of
plunging router. Depending on how precise you want it,
mark it out on both sides, center punch the end hole locations,
drill with a brad point but to keep the center accurate,
then saw out inside the lines using a coping saw or jig
saw. Then, for precision, chisel or file to the lines with
tool angled so there is a slight triangle hump inside. Make
the triangle even and then pare it off.

For a non-plunging handheld router, rig up a pair of parallel
fences somewhat taller than the plunge depth. This will
allow you to tip the router accurately. It can also be
freehanded on the router table using a fence and a
shallow incremental cuts.


View pintodeluxe's profile


3335 posts in 1447 days

#9 posted 326 days ago

Perfect opportunity to purchase a plunge router with edge guide!
All you needed was this excuse.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1472 posts in 2759 days

#10 posted 326 days ago

I’d either do this with a plunge router or on the router table. As much as I like hobby1’s suggestion to drill holes at either end, like HerbC suggests: I’ve also clamped stops to my fence, pushed the block up against one stop and lowered it down on to the spinning bit. Just remember to use push blocks when moving the work piece back and forth; it’s easy to lose track of where that bit is going to come through.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View bondogaposis's profile


2495 posts in 985 days

#11 posted 325 days ago

I wonder if it is feasible to rig up something, borrowing the table saw miter gauge)

Yes, that is what I would do. Also make it on a larger piece of wood to make it safer to handle then cut it to final size after the slot is made.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Octavius's profile


51 posts in 1807 days

#12 posted 321 days ago

Many thanks for the replies – good suggestions one and all.

Still pondering on it but also seriously looking at this:

Kinda worries me though that the builder concludes:

”...It needs a little tweeking…it produced fairly consistant cuts… “

I’ll report back.


View firefighterontheside's profile


3914 posts in 491 days

#13 posted 321 days ago

Drill end holes with Forstner bit. Draw and cut a line that’s about 1/8 off of the finished cut to remove the bulk of the material with jig saw. Finally clamp a straight edge right on the finished line and use a flush trim bit to clean it up.

-- Bill M. I love my job as a firefighter, but nothing gives me the satisfaction of running my hand over a project that I have built and just finished sanding.

View Woodshingle's profile


8 posts in 312 days

#14 posted 308 days ago

No one has suggested using a template and router with a collar. That’s what I’d do. Drill most of the waste out and then lay the template over, secure and route the rest to a perfect edge.

View CarlTuesday's profile


14 posts in 298 days

#15 posted 290 days ago

Depending on the size length of the groove, a plow plane may work for you between two drilled holes. That’d give you nice square straight edges…

If you don’t have one, maybe borrow?

showing 1 through 15 of 19 replies

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