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Thread: No Shop but a few hand tools

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

    No Shop but a few hand tools

    I take something small out to the patio and practice each weekend. Last weekend I tried a few dovetails and will work on that a lot more before I even attempt to show anything here.

    I got an old Stanley router and have read a few tutorials about using it but would like to clarify the start up.

    Do I mark the dado to be routed and then use a chisel to start the dado by marking the sides with the chisel? I am talking about a cross grain dado and can't quite see how to keep the router guided within the marking unless I cut both sides of the dado and prevent the wood from tearing out before the router blade can get below the surface.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Forest Grove, Oregon USA
    Hi Bill--welcome!

    One way I have cut dadoes in is:

    Carefully saw the shoulders. Alternately, I know of many who scribe the dado shoulders and use a chisel to knock out a wedge to the inboard side of the dado for both shoulders. This provides a positive groove and a clean shoulder line.

    Depending on the wood, I will perhaps saw another kerf between the shoulders. Doesn't have to look pretty or be straight. But you cannot exceed the depth of the dado.

    Knock out the waste with a chisel. I do this be coming in quickly from both ends of the dado to, or nearly to, full depth.

    Use the router plane. From here, the router plane makes quick work of cleaning the bottom and bringing the dado to full depth. You will need to adjust its depth once or twice.

    Take care, Mike
    Wenzloff & Sons Sawmakers

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
    Thanks Mike,

    I will give both methods a try.
    Bill Antonacchio

  4. #4
    Alan DuBoff is offline Former Member (by the member's request)
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    I like the saw method of cutting the sides on the dado, as Mike described.

    I recently picked up a Bishop adjustable saw that has a crosscut on one side, rip on the other. This has an adjustable back that can be set for this type of work.

    If you're careful you can use a regular backsaw, it will work fine and what I've used in the past. Go slow and measure as much as you can, so you don't cut them too deep.

    I also find it easier in some woods to make an extra saw cut in the middle to allow chiselin' or routin' of the waste out easier (hardwoods tend to come out easier with that method for me). Other's probably have more experience at this than me, but I was doing a dado a couple weeks ago like that.

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