Router bits and plywood thickness question - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 11-30-2016, 04:19 PM Thread Starter
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Router bits and plywood thickness question

I am looking to purchase bits for my new router. Some of the straight bits like 1/2" and 3/4", I would like to use for creating dados for the garage shelves (I do not have a table saw). Unfortunately, I am noob at woodworking and I got really confused by the plywood thickness. The bits are 1/2" or 3/4" but the board thickness listed at Home Depot site is 15/32" or 23/32". I know that dado cut has to be exact to be strong. So could somebody tell me what actual bit thickness should I order? I was looking at MLCS bits but they don't even list 23/32" bits in their catalog.
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post #2 of 13 Old 11-30-2016, 04:52 PM
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The ones I found were listed as undersized bits. I bought a set of them.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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post #3 of 13 Old 11-30-2016, 06:19 PM
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You can buy a bit smaller than the actual thickness of your material and make two passes to equal the desire thickness.
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post #4 of 13 Old 11-30-2016, 06:23 PM
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Youve stumbled into the modern problem, modern plywood is never actually the Nomi all size. They make undersize bits for plywood, generally under the name plywood bits. Personally, I like Kerry's idea of using a smaller bit and making 2 passes

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post #5 of 13 Old 11-30-2016, 06:53 PM
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Most plywood today is imported and of metric sizes. Still they vary in thickness. You won't be able to keep up, one place the plywood will be 3/4", another will be 23/32" and another place the plywood will be 11/16". The only way to really get accuracy is use a smaller router bit and make two passes.
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post #6 of 13 Old 11-30-2016, 06:59 PM
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MCLS has what you need if you are comfortable ordering from them.

http://www.mlcswoodworking.com/shops...highlight=8376

Since plywood and other sheet goods vary in thickness the most consistent way to route for these products is using an adjustable jig and routing in two passes with a smaller size bit as others have suggested. I think MT Stringer had a recent thread on making a jig. Just remember that with a hand held router you will make a pass right to left on the first pass, then left to right on the second pass.


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post #7 of 13 Old 11-30-2016, 08:35 PM
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I use this dado jig with a smaller bit

http://www.woodworkersjournal.com/ji...es-every-time/

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post #8 of 13 Old 12-01-2016, 08:03 AM
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Great information from all previous posts. Thanks for sharing, and be safe.
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post #9 of 13 Old 12-01-2016, 08:22 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. I will get the plywood bit set from MLCS. I guess somehow I have missed that when looking thru their website as I was looking for single bits only.
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post #10 of 13 Old 12-01-2016, 09:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry Q View Post
Just remember that with a hand held router you will make a pass right to left on the first pass, then left to right on the second pass.
Just a question, confusion in my own mind.
--- I understand that, if you're making a cut with a router bit where one side is cutting and the other is not, that the router has to cut into the direction of movement, not with.
--- Since the first cut of the router will be through the material, not on an edge, it wouldn't matter which direction it went.

So, both cuts could be done in the same direction, as long as the second cut is in the right direction ... yes?
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post #11 of 13 Old 12-01-2016, 11:47 AM
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if you're doing a lot of odd width dados, this is the cat's meow:

http://www.rockler.com/rockler-perfe...ntractor-clamp

pricey, but works like a dream - basically the plate fits/slides in a groove - it's adjustable so that the router bit is "off center" - slide down the groove one side of the plate for first cut, flip the router around and side down the groove on the other plate side. you can make any size/width dado you need.

caution: not all flat panel clamps have the right width slot along the edge to accommodation the router plate . . .
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post #12 of 13 Old 12-01-2016, 01:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikechell View Post
Just a question, confusion in my own mind.
--- I understand that, if you're making a cut with a router bit where one side is cutting and the other is not, that the router has to cut into the direction of movement, not with.
--- Since the first cut of the router will be through the material, not on an edge, it wouldn't matter which direction it went.

So, both cuts could be done in the same direction, as long as the second cut is in the right direction ... yes?


The router needs a stop/fence to guide it. It you take out a groove routing left to right like in the bottom picture it will ride along the bottom guide. To widen the groove/dado you will need to run it against the other stop fence, running the router from right to left on the second pass. Probably wasn't worth me commenting since it becomes obvious once you start doing it.


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post #13 of 13 Old 12-01-2016, 03:15 PM
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All you need is a 1/2 inch pattern bit that will fit your plunge base router. And a simple home made jig so you can rout exact width dadoes in your work piece. This is all hand done - no router table required.

Here are a couple of pics. There are videos on You Tube demonstrating how to make and use exact width dadoes. Check out the Wood Whisperer for one. My knobs are on the top side of the jig. The smaller one I made for cutting dadoes in cabinet sides (uppers), is a simple one time use jig. Note that it has a stop block screwed underneath to position each end of the cabinet piece so all dadoes will be spaced accordingly. For the uppers, I cut one for the top and one for the bottom each 1 1/4 inches up from the end of the workpiece.

Good luck. Try it out on some scrap and see if it will work for you. Remember, spacers are your friend!

Note: The first three pics are for wider cabinet pieces. The last two was a separate jig built strictly for the upper cabinet sides.
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