In Tricks of the Trade

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I wanted to rout some shelf dados, but I didn’t have the correct-size bit for the job. Fortunately, my dad stopped by and, as usual, had the answer to my problem. We cobbled up a couple L-shaped wooden fences from 3″-wide straight scraps, squaring each of the units carefully before gluing and screwing them together at the corners. After laying out the dado on the stock, I clamped the two fences together against the workpiece as shown, with the two router-bearing fences spaced at the appropriate distance from each other.

Pushing the router forward against the left-hand fence, then pulling it back against the right-hand fence, yields the exact width of cut in two passes, as long as you’re using a bit that’s at least half the width of the desired cut. The sweet thing about this setup is that you can make multiple dados of the same size by simply shifting the clamped assembly down the board for each subsequent cut. Once you’ve made your first dado, the notches in the end pieces serve as a reference for aligning the next cuts. — Doug Corman

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