Router Forums banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi. I am beginning a project to build a rolling kitchen island. Before I bought the materials I hadn't noticed the required 3 1/2" dado cuts required. I don't have a workshop, I live in a condo and have use of the basement. I have a Skil router that I have never used and have been reading about ways of doing these cuts for two days now. If this was an inch cut I could totally visualize accomplishing the four of them, but it's not, it's three and a half inches wide, 1 1/2" deep in a 4x4 post. I'm just not sure if there is a particular method and/or bit. Suggestions for methods, guides, videos or books; anything to help accomplish a task that I have never witnessed. I do not have a table saw that is equal to this task, and for all I know, perhaps I don't have a router that is equal to it either.
Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
198 Posts
Do you have a hand saw, a sharp chisel and a hammer?

I’d just saw almost to the 1 1/2 inch mark, hit the chuck of wood in between the cuts with the hammer knocking it out, and use the chisel to pare the rest of the wood out, test fitting the joining piece as you go to get a perfect fit.


In woodworking there is always more then one way to accomplish something.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31,264 Posts
I’d just saw almost to the 1 1/2 inch mark, hit the chuck of wood in between the cuts with the hammer knocking it out, and use the chisel to pare the rest of the wood out, test fitting the joining piece as you go to get a perfect fit.


In woodworking there is always more then one way to accomplish something.
add..
cut many times to the near 1½'' mark making a lot narrow pieces (kerfs)... the more the better...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31,264 Posts
I have a Skil router that I have never used
Thanks.
Welcome Buddy...
about that never used router...
Have we a bunch of help for you at this link...

it'd be a big help if we knew what tools you do have...
 

·
Official Greeter
Joined
·
8,154 Posts
Welcome to the forum Buddy.
 

·
Retired Moderator
Joined
·
16,386 Posts
Hi Buddy and welcome. I've done it the way Terry described many times. Usually making the many kerfs with a circular saw. You can use a router to finish the notch to a perfect depth and smooth bottom but I would only notch the center 1 1/2" first and then move outward from there or you won't have enough surface area to rest the router on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Hi Buddy and welcome. I've done it the way Terry described many times. Usually making the many kerfs with a circular saw. You can use a router to finish the notch to a perfect depth and smooth bottom but I would only notch the center 1 1/2" first and then move outward from there or you won't have enough surface area to rest the router on.
Chuck, if I determine that I can adjust the depth of my very old circular saw, that is what I will do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,669 Posts
Welcome Buddy,

As you can see help is here and always willingly shared. You've connected with some very skilled craftsman and the advice is always helpful and from experience. Looks like it's time to go through the material Stick referenced and see what that router can/will do. Of course always practice on some scrap first but you'll find the router to be a very accomodating tool when used properly. Just make sure you read all the safety and proper use material carefully as it can be a problem when used improperly and be downright dangerous. Proper cutting direction and depth of cut on a single pass is key to safety. When removing a large amount of wood is necessary always make multiple passes, each cut going deeper or further into the cut than the last pass. Trying to take a lot in a single pass is dangerous and not nearly as clean as multiple passes. Again, read Stick's attachments and save yourself some grief. Having maybe caused some fear/concern, and that's a good thing, you'll find when used properly that the router is truly a wonderful and versatile tool capable of many uses.

Enjoy the project, keep safety first, and learn in baby steps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,543 Posts
You can pick up a small table top bench saw off craigslist and store it under your bed for future projects. I was able to find one for $25 dollars and a miter saw for $15 dollars. I needed them for one time job I was doing at the condo and didn't have access to my workshop at home.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,989 Posts
Unless I'm reading your original post wrong, you're trying to make a 3.5 inch wide dado or grove the length of the 4x4. A 4x4 is only slightly thicker than 3.5 inches. So I think you might mean you are cutting a 1.5 inch wide groove across the 4x4. Is that correct? If it goes the full width of the 4x4, then I'd buy a hand saw, and probably a Japanese pull saw, mark the depth of 1.5 inches on both sides of the 4x4, and cut the outside edges of the dado first (just shy of the mark), then make many cuts with an ordinary saw, or even a circular saw, and then chipping out the remaining pieces with a very chisel. Then use a chisel to pare the bottom flat all the way across. Don't use a mallet for the final flattening. Wiggle the chisel back and forth and take very light bites. Use a straight edge or ruler to check for flat, and for the exact depth of cut.

This might be the time to add a couple of tools, such as a combination square and GOOD chisel set. These will last your lifetime, travel easily and you'll find many uses for them. A speed square is cheap and can guide a hand or circular saw to make square cuts. You can get a lot of projects done with a decent circular saw and a straight edge. Mine is a Makita, but there are many other brands, including AC or battery powered ($$$$$).
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
31,264 Posts
3½1½ cross grain
 
  • Like
Reactions: Buddy King

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Unless I'm reading your original post wrong, you're trying to make a 3.5 inch wide dado or grove the length of the 4x4. A 4x4 is only slightly thicker than 3.5 inches. So I think you might mean you are cutting a 1.5 inch wide groove across the 4x4. Is that correct? If it goes the full width of the 4x4, then I'd buy a hand saw, and probably a Japanese pull saw, mark the depth of 1.5 inches on both sides of the 4x4, and cut the outside edges of the dado first (just shy of the mark), then make many cuts with an ordinary saw, or even a circular saw, and then chipping out the remaining pieces with a very chisel. Then use a chisel to pare the bottom flat all the way across. Don't use a mallet for the final flattening. Wiggle the chisel back and forth and take very light bites. Use a straight edge or ruler to check for flat, and for the exact depth of cut.

This might be the time to add a couple of tools, such as a combination square and GOOD chisel set. These will last your lifetime, travel easily and you'll find many uses for them. A speed square is cheap and can guide a hand or circular saw to make square cuts. You can get a lot of projects done with a decent circular saw and a straight edge. Mine is a Makita, but there are many other brands, including AC or battery powered ($$$$$).
Tom, it's not the length of the post, it's the width, so technically I think it's called a dado. I am going to do the many, circular saw approach and I have just ordered some chisels. I have adjusted the depth of the cut to 1.5" which is the size of the 2x4 that will (hopefully) fit in it. I will probably not use the router at all (if I can avoid it). I don't understand what kind or size bit I would need and accomplishing it is too abstract. I will find out more if this first effort doesn't work. Thanks for the suggestions, I have a metal straight edge and, as I mentioned, ordered chisels.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,910 Posts
I would rough cut the dado as described using chisels or saw, handsaw or circular saw, then smooth it with a router a bottom cleaning bit and template with template guide. (bushing).

I am concerned about the router, @Buddy King. Your profile does not include a description of it. My first router may have been the same model. It had only a 1/4 inch collet. That collet quickly began releasing router bits and launching them into an interstellar trajectory. After one missed me by inches, without consulting SWMBO (no longer in my life for other reasons) I bought a "real" router which is still fully functional and as safe as anything with rapidly spinning sharp things could be.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Herb Stoops

·
Registered
Joined
·
31,264 Posts
Tom, it's not the length of the post, it's the width, so technically I think it's called a dado.
cross grain is a dado..
w/ the grain is a grove...

.
 

Attachments

  • Like
Reactions: Gaffboat

·
Registered
Joined
·
283 Posts
This may help when you get your chisels Buddy:


It's a lesson in chisel sharpening. You might find a wealth of information at Paul Sellers YouTube channel. There is a tremendous amount of information here if you want to use the search function provided in Forum. I hope your project goes well. You can always get help in the forum. Good luck and take pictures they are always helpful and enlightening.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Hi, before you start buy a good speed square I line the blues ones they are accurate. Set the blade angel to sole plate of saw to 90 degrees, do not rely on the bevel degree marks on saw, Even a little off will result in unhappy cuts, you can not uncut wood. Good Luck and happy saw dust.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,846 Posts
Do you have a hand saw, a sharp chisel and a hammer?

I’d just saw almost to the 1 1/2 inch mark, hit the chuck of wood in between the cuts with the hammer knocking it out, and use the chisel to pare the rest of the wood out, test fitting the joining piece as you go to get a perfect fit.


In woodworking there is always more then one way to accomplish something.
You took the words out of my mouth.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,846 Posts
I would rough cut the dado as described using chisels or saw, handsaw or circular saw, then smooth it with a router a bottom cleaning bit and template with template guide. (bushing).

I am concerned about the router, @Buddy King. Your profile does not include a description of it. My first router may have been the same model. It had only a 1/4 inch collet. That collet quickly began releasing router bits and launching them into an interstellar trajectory. After one missed me by inches, without consulting SWMBO (no longer in my life for other reasons) I bought a "real" router which is still fully functional and as safe as anything with rapidly spinning sharp things could be.
Tom, with a SHARP chisel there would be no need for a router. You know me well enough to know that I use routers at the least excuse! Good to see you posting, I hope your health has improved, renewal of your "routologist" certificate is overdue!
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top