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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-16-2011, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
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Default Advice needed about my planned cabinet please

Hi all, I am after some advice about the cabinet I plan to build under my router table.

First off is my confusion over timber sizing, 1/4 inch ply isn't its 6mm , 1/2inch is 12mm and so on up the range. Over here in the UK we are metric so I understand that but is sheet thicknesses reliable because I can find various cutter sizes 6, 6.3,9.5,10,11,12,12.7 to name a few and the list goes on. Is the choice available because board thickness alters or is it just for extra choice. Do I need to buy lots of cutter sizes because boards alter?

If boards are reliable thickness is the choice for different fits?

When It comes to making my cabinet and rout out for lets say a shelf made of 12mm ply, would I rout a 12mm rebate or make it slightly bigger ie the 12.7mm cutter? Would the same be true if the shelf was mdf.

I'm guessing all joints should be as tight as possible hence my confusion.

Many thanks in advance, Cheers Si
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-16-2011, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by chickenslippers View Post
Hi all, I am after some advice about the cabinet I plan to build under my router table.

First off is my confusion over timber sizing, 1/4 inch ply isn't its 6mm , 1/2inch is 12mm and so on up the range. Over here in the UK we are metric so I understand that but is sheet thicknesses reliable because I can find various cutter sizes 6, 6.3,9.5,10,11,12,12.7 to name a few and the list goes on. Is the choice available because board thickness alters or is it just for extra choice. Do I need to buy lots of cutter sizes because boards alter?

If boards are reliable thickness is the choice for different fits?

When It comes to making my cabinet and rout out for lets say a shelf made of 12mm ply, would I rout a 12mm rebate or make it slightly bigger ie the 12.7mm cutter? Would the same be true if the shelf was mdf.

I'm guessing all joints should be as tight as possible hence my confusion.

Many thanks in advance, Cheers Si
Boards and certainly solid timber do not always come in the sizes indicated and therefore you have to make the necessary calculation as you are constructing any project.
There are ways to make a neat fit with simply one cutter all that is required is to make your template to accommodate the template guide and cutter you are using. No doubt if you can afford the purchase of a number of cutters then do so I have over 200+ cutters
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-16-2011, 11:07 PM
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Common construction-grade plywood can vary substantially in thickness, and can have voids, both at the edge and internally. Baltic Birch plywood is more reliable. It's always a good idea to actually take measurements along the edge to be joined, so you'll know how to proceed.

Definitely cut your dados to fit the stock, so it takes slight pressure to fit the boards together. A sloppy joint is a weak joint. Sometimes, a second pass is needed after moving the edge guide if the shelf is wider than the bit you have.

Another alternative is to cut a rabbet on the bottom side edge of the shelf, so the part that fits in the dado is a consistent size.

- Ralph
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-17-2011, 01:27 PM
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This is why I use biscuits and pocket screws whenever possible. Cutting dados with ply that can vary within a given sheet much less different sheets is a pain.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-17-2011, 02:22 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies.

WOW 200+ cutters as a beginner I only have the cheap sets that came with my cheap routers, hence the question really, I need to buy the correct ones first. Experience and time will let me know which ones I think I need. I will have a go at the template idea.

Hi Ralph, I will ask my timber supplier about reliability of his timber and Baltic Birch plywood. Dinky idea " cut a rabbet on the bottom side edge of the shelf, so the part that fits in the dado is a consistent size", Does that mean cut a rebate on the shelf to slide into groove/channel? I think I know what you mean.

Tempest, biscuits and pocket screws, I could do both I have a biscuit jointer and the trend pocket hole jig. I was just thinking router router router because of building the router table. Lots of ways to do the same thing.

Thanks again for your comments,

Cheers ,Si
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-17-2011, 03:01 PM
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If you can't find a router bit that fits the plywood exactly (or for a tight fit), then use a dado blade in a table saw. I have both a wobble blade and a stacked blade set. I will mostly use the wobble blade so I can dial in the width much easier.

The one downside of the wobble blade is the bottom of the dado is not quite as flat and smooth as a stacked blade dado. But if you are having to tweak the width small amounts, the wobble is much easier and faster.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-17-2011, 03:32 PM Thread Starter
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Unfortunately and I could be wrong about this, I don't think you can use stacked dado blades in the UK, European machines have to have an electric brake and the dado blades I looked at said no to braked machines.

I had been watching New yankee workshop and Norm was forever using them, I thought yippee and tried to get some about 10years ago.

All my dado's will have to be done on my router, hence why I'm building the new router table.

Please tell me whether I am wrong about the dado blades as I think they would be handy.

Many thanks , Si
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-17-2011, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by chickenslippers View Post
Thanks for the replies.

WOW 200+ cutters as a beginner I only have the cheap sets that came with my cheap routers, hence the question really, I need to buy the correct ones first. Experience and time will let me know which ones I think I need. I will have a go at the template idea.

Hi Ralph, I will ask my timber supplier about reliability of his timber and Baltic Birch plywood. Dinky idea " cut a rabbet on the bottom side edge of the shelf, so the part that fits in the dado is a consistent size", Does that mean cut a rebate on the shelf to slide into groove/channel? I think I know what you mean.

Tempest, biscuits and pocket screws, I could do both I have a biscuit jointer and the trend pocket hole jig. I was just thinking router router router because of building the router table. Lots of ways to do the same thing.

Thanks again for your comments,

Cheers ,Si
Yes, UK "rebates" become "rabbets" on this side of the pond.

- Ralph
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-18-2011, 04:33 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Ralph,

I remember the first time I watched Norm in NYW and thought what the hell is he talking about

Cheers, Si
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-19-2011, 02:34 PM
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Unfortunately and I could be wrong about this, I don't think you can use stacked dado blades in the UK, European machines have to have an electric brake and the dado blades I looked at said no to braked machines.


Please tell me whether I am wrong about the dado blades as I think they would be handy.

Many thanks , Si
I am not sure either, but I thought one of my old saws had an electric brake and I ran a stacked dado and a moulding head on it. I bought a small induction motor saw recently and it came with a table insert for dado. Did your saw come with a wide insert? I would check with a shop that sells your saw or find the manufacturer on the internet and ask.
Plywood is supposedly made to the correct size and then sanded. MDF and particle board are made to the finished size.
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