Any suggestion for creating a slot?

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Forum topic by Octavius posted 10-08-2013 12:15 PM 1674 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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60 posts in 3351 days

10-08-2013 12:15 PM

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


5056 posts in 2529 days

#1 posted 10-08-2013 12:20 PM

I generally do those on the router table.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View chrisstef's profile


17721 posts in 3184 days

#2 posted 10-08-2013 12:29 PM

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.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3148 days

#3 posted 10-08-2013 12:55 PM

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.

View ZacD's profile


34 posts in 1937 days

#4 posted 10-08-2013 01:27 PM

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


1790 posts in 3037 days

#5 posted 10-08-2013 01:37 PM

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


60 posts in 3351 days

#6 posted 10-08-2013 03:10 PM

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


344 posts in 2475 days

#7 posted 10-08-2013 03:28 PM

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


10477 posts in 3825 days

#8 posted 10-08-2013 04:41 PM

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


5788 posts in 2991 days

#9 posted 10-08-2013 04:56 PM

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

1520 posts in 4302 days

#10 posted 10-08-2013 05:51 PM

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


5056 posts in 2529 days

#11 posted 10-09-2013 06:40 PM

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


60 posts in 3351 days

#12 posted 10-13-2013 12:48 PM

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 (online now)


19271 posts in 2034 days

#13 posted 10-13-2013 01:01 PM

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. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View Woodshingle's profile


8 posts in 1856 days

#14 posted 10-25-2013 11:12 PM

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 1841 days

#15 posted 11-13-2013 06:14 AM

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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