Cutting Dado's in a finished cabinet?

I'm building some shelving cabinets for a closet system, and in my haste I forgot to cut dado's in the sides to inset the metal strips for adjusting the shelves.
Now that the cabinet is fully assembled, is there any way I can cut the dado's in the cabinet sides? I could easily set up guides for my router, but because of the width of the router base, I wouldn't be able to get within a few inches of the top, bottom, and back.
I suppose I could abandon the metal strips and just drill 1/4" holes for shelf supports, but I was really wanting the finer adjustability of the strips.
I may just surface mount the strips and cut my shelves a little shorter. This will leave fairly large gaps at each end, but it's just for shoes and whatnot in a closet anyway. I suppose I could notch the shelf ends to make them fit around the metal strips. Still not my ideal though.
I goofed... Any ideas?
Thanks,
Anthony
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No real reason to go all the way to the top and bottom. You probably won't be placing a shelf that close to them anyway. As long as you can get close enough to the rear for proper support you should be OK.

You cal always go back and drill a couple more holes if needed. OTOH, I have shelves with adjustability but once in place, they have never been moved. Take the easy way out.

Not really. I've never made an error in my woodworking. At least not today anyway. Ed snipped-for-privacy@snet.net http://pages.cthome.net/edhome
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Go ahead and cut them with your router as suggested. If important to run to top and bottom finish with chisels.

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Haven't started yet?
wrote:

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I like that.
On Tue, 20 Jul 2004 09:28:59 -0400, " snipped-for-privacy@vcoms.net"

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HerHusband wrote:

I have a bookshelf in my shop. My daughter removes the books and puts a fan there to cool herself while she exercies. She (often / usally) forgets to remove the fan and replace the books when she is done, so I have told her the next time she forgets I will make it impossible for a fan to be put on the shelf.
The shelf is assembled and mounted on the wall. To put in more up and down dividers I'll run the DeWalt from each end as far as the base will allow. Then I'll mark the lines and cut out the rest of the dado with sharp chisels. It shouldn't take more than 1/2 an hour or so.
-- Mark
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(snip) That wasn't a goof - that was a design error :) Now, you simply need to accommodate the change request required to correct the design error. Seriously though, doesn't every project have to have at least one gotcha?
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Jimbo,

Unfortunately, I didn't really have a well planned design. I'm doing several projects at once, and the shelf seemed kind of simple. So I figured I could just "wing it" without a real plan. Everything was going great until I realized I left out the adjustable shelf standards. Oh well, live and learn.

Yeah, it's not the end of the world. The more I think about it, I'm starting to lean towards drilling a series of holes and using simple shelf pins. It'll be faster and easier than trying to inset the shelf standards, and it'll look like I "meant" to do that! :)
I really shouldn't NEED the fine adjustment of the metal strips. I'll probably just drill a hole every couple of inches and be done with it. As another poster mentioned, they probably won't be moved later anyway. I can always drill some new holes if I absolutely MUST have a new shelf position.

Most of mine do... :)
Anthony
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HerHusband notes:

I've used a lot of those strips and like them a lot, but...once they're adjusted for the shelf items, they never get readjusted in my house.
Now, for bookcases, I place all shelves one foot apart, then do a series of 1/4" holes above and below at 1" intervals. Three holes above, three below. So far, I've never had to use more than two holes on any bookcase. I'll be building a kitchen pantry next week with some shelves installed in the same manner.
Sometimes we seem to forget simplicity. And we need to remember that to make space on one shelf, you usually have to empty two, which is a nuisance, so doesn't often get done.
Charlie Self "The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." Plato
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Charlie,

I used them on a bookshelf and an entertainment center for my daughter. Neither has been readjusted since I built them.
However, I also used them on my computer desk, and those shelves have been adjusted many times as my computer setup has changed over the years. The 1/2" spacing allowed perfect adjustment to maximize the available space.

That's a good idea, though my shelves will only be spaced 8-10 inches apart anyway (shoes, sheets, purses, and hats). So, I would only avoid a couple of holes between shelves using that idea (no savings if I use 2" spacing).
Thanks for the tips!
Anthony
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This is for people who "forget":
http://www.rockler.com/ecom7/product_details.cfm?&offerings_id 3&objectgroup_idE&catid&filter=shelf%20pin
HerHusband wrote:

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Cut a strip of perfboard for a template. If you cut it wide enough, it will do two rows of holes at once. Check for level if you are using the floor as a reference. Wilson

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If you really really really want the dado, maybe you could use one of those small rotary tools like a Roto-Zip. It would take a lot of time to set it up, and many passes to get the dado large enough, but since this would be a "one-time" (until the next time) use I would think it is do-able. Depends on just how badly you want to do re-engineer your design.
Second option might be to use a dado hand plane, but obtaining one of those would most likely be cost prohibitive.
Wayne

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I've used a trim router for back side dadoes with small cuts.
On Tue, 20 Jul 2004 16:37:25 GMT, "NoOne N Particular"

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I would use a small router like a DW610 or something similar. You don't NEED to get within more than a few inches of the top and bottom, do you? Your top and bottom shelf will probably be 6 or more inches from the top & bottom of the case. With the base size of a DW610 or PC690 router, you will be able to rout a groove about 3 or 4 inches from the back. You should be able to use the back itself as the guide for the rear groove, and either clamp on a straight board, or use a router edge guide, for the front groove. If you are using a fixed base router like the 610, you will need to "plunge" it to start the cut by tilting the base of the router. If you do, give some thought to which way you are tilting it, and make sure that when the bit contacts the surface, it will tend to pull the router tighter to the guide, not away from it. You may want to practice that a few times before doing the cut on the case.
--

Larry Wasserman Baltimore, Maryland
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Why not notch out the ends of the shelves to fit around the strips? You would only lose the area right at the strips. Bruce
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There is a type of small japanese saw that will work for you, It'll be a pain in the butt, however it can be done! The saw looks like a palm leaf, and its made for cutting slots for shoji screens (paper walls)to sit in. The saw is double sided with a crosscut side and rip side both blades are bellied outwards to allow you to saw into the middle of a board. Call japan woodworker in califoria for the saw. I'd mark out my dado (both sides) score with a razor knife, use a sharp paring chisel to remove a wedge from the inside of the score line and run the saw in the groove you just cut, when you've cut to the propper depth, chisel out the waste. A giant pain, but definately nicer than ugly surface mounted brackets good luck -Frank

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Frank,

Thanks for the idea...
I went with 1/4" holes and ordinary shelf pins. I didn't want to invest in any more tools, or take the time to build a jig for this one project. So, I just layed out the hole locations on the cabinet sides, and drilled by hand using a 1/4" brad point bit. It turned out great.
Anthony
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