Panel Router Versus Slider for Dadoing
Question (WOODWEB Member) :
From contributor X:
I use a Safety Speed Cut panel router that makes easy work out of dadoing. I use a downward spiral 1/2" bit, and then rabbet the shelves (I do that operation on the shaper)1/4' x1/4". The reason I have to rabbet the shelves is because I use 3/4" thick plywood and the rabbet leaves a shoulder for so the shelf can only go into the dado 1/4", no matter how deep the dado is. That way I have consistent shelf depths. Unless you have a CNC it is very difficult to get consistent dado depth's for numerous reasons like material thickness variations, panels not flat and hard to hold down while machining and etc. I found by rabbetting a shoulder on the shelf ends and dadoing a little deeper than needed all my cabinet boxes come out as planned.
From contributor D:
A panel router is a very effective way to make a dado. Just use an undersized cutter for ply wood and set your depth to leave a half inch and cut your horizontals one inch shorter than the desired finished width. With a panel router, the cutter indexes off the finished face making it easy to set the depth , generally I find that once set for any given stack of plywood, the cut will be consistent.
From Contributor J:
I've seen large shops in my area where space wasn't a concern build large router tables that are dedicated to cabinet dados. They used Porter cable 3 1/4 HP routers with nice tooling and built the tables and fence from melamine. Just something to consider if you want to keep cost down.
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