how do you cut a slot without a router?

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Forum topic by daddywoofdawg posted 05-12-2015 05:21 PM 8527 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1028 posts in 1600 days

05-12-2015 05:21 PM

Topic tags/keywords: milling

how do you cut a slot without a router?

15 replies so far

View dawsonbob's profile


2884 posts in 1780 days

#1 posted 05-12-2015 05:23 PM

What kind of a slot? Is it something that can be cut on a tables saw, for instance?

-- Mistakes are what pave the road to perfection

View hotbyte's profile


991 posts in 3000 days

#2 posted 05-12-2015 05:32 PM

On router table, I’ve drilled holes of same size as router bit at end of slot, lay that down over the router bit, align fence and route out slot. You might be able to push the work piece into some router bits in a plunge cut to get slot started.

With a hand held plunge router, just like routing a mortise with a guide of some type but keep going deeper until all the way through.

View daddywoofdawg's profile


1028 posts in 1600 days

#3 posted 05-12-2015 05:39 PM

without a router.
a slot like you would drill a hole at the start and end and clear out in between.Tried a jig saw but wasn’t straight or clean.I don’t have a table saw or scroll saw.

View SirIrb's profile


1239 posts in 1255 days

#4 posted 05-12-2015 05:42 PM

If it is long enough you can do the majority of it as a plunge cut on a table saw.

(LJ’s scream about safety)

Ok, Be careful.

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2512 days

#5 posted 05-12-2015 05:42 PM

Drill properly sized holes, all along the slot length.
The closer they connect, the more easily you can clean out.

When all holes are drilled, clean out the slot with a chisel.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View trz's profile


90 posts in 2511 days

#6 posted 05-12-2015 05:51 PM

Drill your two holes then with your jig saw use a straight edge to guide it, you’ll get muchbetter results. Good sharp blade helps too!

View mramseyISU's profile


534 posts in 1570 days

#7 posted 05-12-2015 06:31 PM

Use a router plane and chisel comes to mind.

-- Trust me I'm an engineer.

View hotbyte's profile


991 posts in 3000 days

#8 posted 05-12-2015 07:33 PM

without a router…

Oops….my bad :(

View thechipcarver's profile


217 posts in 1603 days

#9 posted 05-12-2015 08:43 PM

Check this out

-- While teaching a class, a gentlemen once asked me: "When chip carving an intricate design, what do you do when you are almost finished and the wood breaks off?" I replied "Cover the kids ears."

View knockknock's profile


447 posts in 2198 days

#10 posted 05-12-2015 10:44 PM

Mark with a marking gauge. Then using a chisel make a long through mortise (mortise from one side, then from the other). Then clean up with a file.

View dawsonbob's profile


2884 posts in 1780 days

#11 posted 05-12-2015 10:48 PM

You know, daddywoofdawg, that basic routers can be had for not too much money. Be a good investment, I think.

-- Mistakes are what pave the road to perfection

View bigblockyeti's profile


5139 posts in 1745 days

#12 posted 05-12-2015 11:00 PM

I use a guide to run the base plate against, usually with a straight cut bit. A down spiral bit is helpful when trying to avoid tearout on plywood.

View bandit571's profile


20232 posts in 2708 days

#13 posted 05-13-2015 01:57 AM

Cutting a slot, without a router in the shop? Can be done. Depending on how thick the stock is, might take MAYBE 10 minutes…

That is all this took, to go through 4” Tool of choice?

A Mortise Chisel of at least close to the size mortise/slot you want to cut. Go halfway through. flip over, and chop the other direction. Doesn’t take all that long. And, as a plus, when done you won’t have corners to square up. They should be already square and ready to go. Hit the chisel two or three blows, wiggle out the chips, and move on.

Best part? IF you’ve had one of them “bad” days, and need to work out some pent up meaness…..whale away on the chisel. when you are done, you might have forgotten why you were so mad….

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View Ghidrah's profile


667 posts in 1247 days

#14 posted 05-13-2015 02:07 AM

Do you have a ripping hand saw, some glue and ? Mark the board at both side factory edges for the width of 2 strips, plant yourself on the board and start ripping. When done you’ll have 2 clean factory edges, mark and rip a 3rd section a smidge wider than the width of the slot. Sand the piece down to the actual width then glue it to the ends of the strips previously cut. Use the rope to tie the ends tight till cured

-- I meant to do that!

View barada83's profile


86 posts in 1211 days

#15 posted 05-14-2015 12:05 AM

Not mentioned thus far, you can cut two lines with a saw and clean up the middle with a chisel. Saw this method on a show once. For plunge cutting/ stopped dado, you use a curved blade and square the end of your slot with a chisel.

-- Mike

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