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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I hope I'm not biting off more than I can chew, but I'm about to attempt a media center for a room off of the kitchen. Here's a link to my inspiration (www.houzz.com/photos/568035/Traditi...l-Crown-Molding-traditional-bedroom-san-diego)

I've got a table saw, mitre saw, a pneumatic brad nailer, oscillating sander, and a bunch of various other hand and power tools. I'm pretty handy, but this will be my first attempt at a "furniture" grade project.

It seems pretty straight forward to my untrained eye, no tricky exposed joints. But what advice would you offer?

Is there a valid excuse to get a new tool that would greatly increase my chance of success? Is there a particular method I should practice before getting started?

Thanks for any input or advice!
 

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where's my table saw?
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new tool?

Unless you have a generous sized outfeed table for your table saw, I would recommend a track saw for breaking down the plywood I assume you will be using.
Grizzly, Dewalt, Makita and last, but most expensive is Festool.
I have used a good straight edge or a ripping guide set up to match mycircular saw for exact cuts without measuring for the saw base offset. Saw horses and a piece of 2" thick styrofoam make a good working platform and you can cut into the foam with no issues.


Clamps and more clamps...... :thumbsup:

A fine tooth blade for any saw you will use.

A router guide for making rabbets for shelves:

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
For the purposes of this project, would I do better with a dado blade for the table saw or a router with a dado bit for the rabbets?
 

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Sawdust Creator
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I find the table saw with dado blade my favorite option for plywood joints.
 

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I prefer the dado blade simply because you can adjust the width of the groove by using shims between the cutters. However, you do need plenty of out feed support for large sheet goods.
 

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where's my table saw?
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depends on the size of the panels

I would not want to make shelf dados in a 18" wide/deep X 7 ft tall/long side support on the table saw..... :thumbdown:

It's easier to move the smaller tool than the larger workpiece in most instances. A router in a gude is the best way for larger panels in my opinion and I've done it both ways. You need a large miter gauge with a extended fence for the table saw,. Not so with the hand held router and a guide.
I have also used a RAS and a dado head for shelves up to 12" wide with good results.
http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f27/shelf-spacing-made-simple-using-ras-47095/

on the router table:
http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f27/routing-dadoes-shelves-router-table-51237/
 

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I'd definitely go with a router for the dado's. Much safer for large panels, a jig can be made to adjust the width of the dado to the stock you have in hand, and IMO anyway, a much cleaner dado unless you have a very hi $$ stack. :smile:
 

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I have a "hi $$ stack" dado blade but when I need a bookcase or built in using dado cuts, I always refer back to my router. I have a spacer block set for 3/4" dado cuts. All I do is place the spacer block on the line of my desired cut, butt and clamp my guide (edge) against it and route it. Unlike the ts, the router doesn't need support and the router will give you a flat bottom like no ts dado blade will offer. The wood with blue tape is my spacer block. I will place it on my next cut.
 

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BernieL said:
I have a "hi $$ stack" dado blade but when I need a bookcase or built in using dado cuts, I always refer back to my router. I have a spacer block set for 3/4" dado cuts. All I do is place the spacer block on the line of my desired cut, butt and clamp my guide (edge) against it and route it. Unlike the ts, the router doesn't need support and the router will give you a flat bottom like no ts dado blade will offer. The wood with blue tape is my spacer block. I will place it on my next cut.
BernieL - this is why I love this forum! I've never done Dadoes with my router. In part, cause I'm intimidated by using a hand held router, plus the math involved in getting the cut in the right spot. However, seeing your incredibly simple spacer block makes me think I can do this in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
If I use a good bitch ply for the frame and plan on painting it, do I still need a face frame? Or would a good oil based primer hide the grain well enough?
 

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Pain in the A$$
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ryan50hrl said:
I've never seen bitch ply before.....does it nag you?
I was wondering the same thing... :)

Mark
 

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Masterjer - note the block is cut for a 3/4" bit. A 1/2" bit changes the distance from the edge of the bit to the edge of the router so a different block is needed for each size bit. Like everyone else on this site - glad to help when we can.
 

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where's my table saw?
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issues with same width bits

Masterjer - note the block is cut for a 3/4" bit. A 1/2" bit changes the distance from the edge of the bit to the edge of the router so a different block is needed for each size bit. Like everyone else on this site - glad to help when we can.
When ever I've tried to make a dado using the exact same width bit as my shelf material I have to REALLY concentrate on keeping the router base hard against the guide, or else I get a divot along the way. Sometimes I have to regrip the router or take a step forward and that's usually when it happens. I prefer a smaller bit used in a capture guide for that reason. No matter, that's just me. If it works for you.... it's much more simple than the guide bushing and special guides, go for it!
It's worth mentioning here that plywood these days is NOT 3/4" any longer and you need a special width bit in 23/32" for 3/4" plywood like these:
http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=17852
 

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Good input Woodnthings... plywood is not 3/4 and it's great that you pointed that out, but my shelving has been solid wood so I forgot to mention the ply thickness. I do know what you are saying about the bit jumping out but since I did up my workbench, this process has been much easier to accomplish because my fence is also my clamp. I can put as much pressure as I can. Pictured above is stacked shelving in solid wood I made to hide a support beam in my remodeled kitchen
 

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Woodnthings has hit a home run on why this forum is so great.

First - he mentions something I know but forgot to mention because of my recent experiences... the ply measurements are off - 3/4 ply is not 3/4! If folks were to follow my above advise, they wou;d have a 32/inch gap.

It's also great he mentioned the router jumping away from the line because it does happen. Besides my unique workbench's capabilities and my working habits, I almost forgot to mention that potential disastrous result of the routers. Woodnthings - you are a true gentleman for saying folks do things differently and are both successfully achieving the same successful results. You made me think of what I do automatically and how I omitted to mention the fact that while routing dado cuts, I gradually achieve my goals. I make multiple passes, the 1st being about a 1/4" deep pass. A 1/4" pass is easier to control and once this is done, the router will follow the path of least resistance. Thanks to you Woodnthings!
 

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where's my table saw?
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I prefer to do dadoes with a router. If done on a TS with a stack set, the face of the stock is down. With that, you can't see what you're doing, and the face gets slid on the table saw, which could mark it up. Saw teeth entering the face don't leave a very clean cut, and the stack set doesn't leave a very clean bottom, like a router bit would.

There's also some physics involved. Doing dadoes on the TS requires to hold down the stock flat to the table, and guide it firmly against the fence. With some material and sizes that isn't all that easy to do.

I use a handheld router, and a "T" square type straightedge (shop made), that's a fast quick setup. Much less of a hassle than a TS, and a lot more accurate.







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