dado blade set vs. router

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I'm a novice with woodworking. Want to build a microwave stand with cabinets and other shelves that will be about 6' tall. I figure using a dado blade of some sort would be best for the slots for the shelves. Is the blades for my table saw the best option for making the straight line? How hard would it be with a hand held router? Right now I dont own the blade set or a router and trying to figure out what I'm going to buy for this project. Thought the router because I want to use it for other stuff on this project too, just not sure if its a good idea for doing the straight lines with.
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Personally I would go with the router. Use a clamped strait edge and you won't have trouble getting the straight line you are looking for.

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petebert wrote:

Depending on the location of the cuts and specifics of the saw, dado set will cut the slots much faster, with much less effort, than router. Just the nature of the cutter geometry.
If the dado set doesn't give flat enough bottom, you might finish off the cut with a skim pass of the router. Clamp on straight-edge to work such that it's offset from the center of slot by the radius of the router base. To K.I.S.S., you might use dado set to cut, say, 3/8
J
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petebert wrote:

Depending on the location of the cuts and specifics of the saw, dado set will cut the slots much faster, with much less effort, than router. Just the nature of the cutter geometry.
If the dado set doesn't give flat enough bottom, you might finish off the cut with a skim pass of the router. Clamp on straight-edge to work such that it's offset from the center of slot by the radius of the router base. To K.I.S.S., you might use dado set to cut, say, 3/8"W x 7/16" deep groove, to be followed by 1/2" router bit cutting 1/2" deep.
J
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I have been doing serious woodworking for almost 30 years. Until about 1 year ago I managed to not use a dado set. For making a lot of the same sized dado cuts a stacked dado set is hard to beat. That said, A router and a strait edge will get you there also and you will also benefit from adding a versatile router to your collection of tools. I strongly suggest getting the router first. You will use it much more than the dado set.
I designed a jig to make dado's with a router and top bearing straight cut bit that will allow you to make "Accurate" width dados. Morris Dovey has posted pictures of the jig on his site here. http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/dado.html
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As others have mentioned, the dado set may be faster (once you get it set up), but a router will be FAR more versatile and a better choice for your first purchase. It is not difficult at all to make a straight dado with a router - clamp a straightedge to your workpiece such that the rotation of the router bit pulls it TOWARDS the straightedge, and you're all set. If your dados are quite deep, you might take 2 passes at successively larger depths, but a 3/4" bit with a 1/2" shank should make a 3/8" deep cut in 1 pass. I think there a few recent threads here about good beginning routers - check out just about any woodworking magazine or patwarner.com for a large-scale comparison. Something in the 2HP range from one of the real name brands (i.e. PC, Dewalt, Bosch, etc., not Skil or Black & Decker) will be better quality and last longer. Good luck, Andy
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Check at the orange borg to seee if the Ridgid tools still have their lifetime warranties. They cover everything in the tool including motor brushes.
Puckdropper
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Check out the Hitachi M12V router on Amazon. Best router for the money.

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more. Although a good quality dado blade set will be less money, it usefulness is significantly less as well.
Dave
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IMO, the dado would be best for cutting the slots, but I'd buy the router. The dado set will give you slots, you can cut tenons, then you put it away until the next project.
The router can do roundovers, cut profiles, etc. Hardly a project is made without using the router. Most of my routing is done with a table, but that is just one more option.
Next project get the dado blade.
For tips on cutting slots, www.patwarner.com
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And while skimming these posts, I didn't see any mention about watching out for the size of plywood... If plywood will be glued into the dados, you'll need to pay special attention to the size of the plywood. Typically plywood is a bit undersized.
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With the dado jig that I mentioned in my most, the width of the plywood does not matter, it could even be tapered.
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wow thanks for all the replys guys, that was pretty quick. I was thinking of using a 3/4" sheet for the sides of the microwave cart with 1/2 for the shelves. Is there decent routers available in the $100 range?
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ROUTER IS BETTER AND SAFER. WITH A SAWBLADE ON A TABLE SAW YOU CAN NOT SEE WHAT IS GOING ON THE THE WOOD, HOW BAD IT IS CHIPPING, TEARING ETC.
ROTARY CUTTING WITH A ROUTER SOLVES THIS PROBLEM.
ONE SUGGESTION ON THE CHOICE OF ROUTER. IF YOU HAVE NEVER USED ONE GO FOR A LESSER HP 1/4 ROUTER. LESS $$, AND EASIER TO CONTROLL THAN SOME OF THE BIGGIES. ALSO DUE TO THE LOWER HP YOU WILL HAVE TO KEEP YOU CUTTERS SHARP, WHICH GIVES YOU A CLEANER CUT. I HAVE A 3HP MONSTER THAT I SELDOM USE. I CAN PUT THE WORLDS DULLEST BIT IN IT AND "BURN" MY WAY THROUGH ANYTHING. WOOD, CONCREAT, REBAR. I KEEP USEING MY OLD BLACK AND DECKER 1/4" 1/4 HP 1950'S ROUTER.
GOOD LUCK WOODWORM

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Hi, Could you please make your post easier to read by turning the cap lock off and using the shift key when you want upper case letters? Letters presented in their proper case make them much easier to read.
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The Hitachi M12V is only $150. It's what I would buy if I was looking for a router.
todd
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petebert wrote:

Since you're talking about something 6 feet tall, cutting dadoes (sp?) for the shelves to fit in could get a little tricky - even with a sled.
A plunge routers, with an edge guide for the rabbets/rebates and grooves "with the grain", astraight edge for "acrossed the grain grooves/dadoes" would be a bit easier - and safer.
To insure that the dadoes for the shelves line up properly, route them together. They may be off by 1/4" but they WILL line up.
By going with a plunge router, you can do sliding dovetails for the shelves. They'll pull the sides together nicely and hold - without ANY glue. Helps to have a router table with a precision positionable fence (like the JoinTech Cabinet Maker System) to fine tune the male part of the dovetail to the snuggness you want.
And if you live in earthquake country - fix this puppy to the wall. Having six feet of books fall on you is not a good idea. The shelf unit could finish you off.
charlie b
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A dado on a tablesaw is faster, but my preference would be a router and a straight edge. Know though, that many plywoods (assuming you're using plywood) are not exactly 3/4" in thickness. Many are slightly less or more thick, doesn't matter if you're dealing with imperial or metric measure. With that in mind, you would have so search out the appropriate sized router bit, most likely not a 3/4" bit.
My experience is with Canadian supplied plywood and router bits that run 17.5mm, 18mm, 19mm and so on. I haven't worked with plywood from other countries (like the US) and don't know if they adhere to more specific standards when it comes to plywood.
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Upscale wrote:
> A dado on a tablesaw is faster, but my preference would be a router and a > straight edge. Know though, that many plywoods (assuming you're using > plywood) are not exactly 3/4" in thickness.
<snip>
Basic reason I like to use a 1/2" bit and two (2) straight edges, one on either side for 3/4" nominal grooves.
Takes a little longer, but NO screw ups and the groove is dead nuts, although I must admit, the last time I used a dado.
Lew
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dados, talking about many feet of dados here. However, the router has so many uses I would recommend purshasing it first. It is easy to cut a straigt dado with the router by using a guide clamped to the work. Also, if you are cutting dados for shelves in long boards, it is not always that easy to do on the TS, particularly for a long board where the dado is close to the end.
You can search on the internet or check out a ww book from the library that will explain using the straight edge. Basically just clamp it to the work and run the router base against it. Make sue you understand the concept of what is the correct direction to move the router, i.e, wou want the reaction of the bit against the wood to move the router towards the staightedge (fence), not away from it.
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Larry Wasserman Baltimore, Maryland
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