Saturday, September 22, 2012

Cutting dados with the cutting table

Using routers with guide rails is nothing new. But I like this setup for two reasons. If you want to run dadoes at a fixed distance from one end or the other, this is, again, easier than a table saw. And, I find the depth with a router cut dado to be more reliable than with a table saw. Sheets flex, it's hard to keep them firmly down. And cross- cutting dadoes with a table saw on long pieces like this requires either a really big sled, (ie, bigger than mine) or alternate but similarly excessive techniques. So, this table is great for production work in that direction.
Another little time saver is this router starting block. This is the first piece that gets cut with the router on the first pass. It tells you exactly where the router will enter the wood. Simply align your layout markings with the actual cut, and go. That saves a LOT of time that would otherwise get tied up in fussy measuring techniques. Good stuff. And, again, this doesn't have to be quite so fancy. Using something simpler for the rail, and routing with a laminate trimmer would work, too. And the top picture above shows a simpler production fence than the Kreg setup: just some plywood and a clamp. I went with the Kreg because I think it's more robust and precise, but hey... Whatever works.

Cutting table Part I
Cutting table Part II
Cutting table Part III

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