How to cut a rabbet?

I am making a box lid out of goncalo alves. There will be a rabbet on all four sides so it sits down in the box. Normally I would rout it, but this wood is really tough; planning it took 10 times as many passes as oak would. I hate to think how long it will take to rout a large rabbet.
I was thinking about cutting it out on the table saw, but I am concerned about how stable it will be on the cut in from the side. It is an expensive piece of wood with some time into it already, and I would hate to have it wobble going through the saw.
So, I think I will make one TS cut in the bottom, and make the perpendicular cut in the side using a thin slot cutter in the router table. It will still take a few passes on the router, and maybe the table saw also, it should be much faster than simply routing it.
Is this a reasonable approach? Does it matter whether I route or cut slots first? Thanks.
While the wood is just as tough as reported, it seemed to glue up okay; at least it survived the planner. In writing this email I found out that a woodworking router routs, but a computer router routes. Who knew?
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"toller" writes:
<snip>

Can you make a carrier sled to hold the piece stable while you run it thru the T/S?
Lew
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The way I cut these things is in the table saw. I screw a wood fence to my saw fence and raise the blade in to it so that the auxiliary wooden fence covers the blade. I then adjust the fence so the thickness of the blade sticks out from the wooden fence the same width as the rabbet. I then run the 4 edges of your piece against the wooden fence. It work perfectly because you have a sharp (dado) blade, a huge motor driving it, and the piece you are routing firmly against the cast iron table max

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Time to sharpen your planer blades. Actually it is about 67% harder than Red Oak. Ipe is 280% harder than Red Oak or 169% harder than Goncalo Alves.
That said, I resaw, plane and plunge route 3/8" wide and 3/8" through slots in Ipe 200 times in a typical session. I have used a carbide tiped straight bits in the past but have had good luck with a 3/8" HHS End Mill bit. I suspect that if your blades, knives, and bits are sharp, you should have no problems making your rabbets. I would do it with a straight bit in a router table.
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is 50% harder than red oak. The difference between this wood and hickory is about the same as between hickory and pine. So if you chart is right, it either isn't GA, or its an unusually hard piece.
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I wouldn't use the slot cutter. with the first cut made, a lot of chips would fly, some might tear out.
Using a smaller diameter bit on brittle stock is the best approach, as I see it. Smaller bites make cleaner cuts. That end mill may not be necessary, but one of those spiral carbide types should do just fine.

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"toller" wrote in message

My first choice would be a dado set and a sacrificial fence on the table saw. Since it's a non-through cut, you should be able to use a push block and featherboard to good, safe, accurate advantage.
That said, a sharp router bit, using incremental cuts, on the router table should work just as well.
If you insist on making two cuts with a regular saw blade, consider cobbling together a jig much like the Spline Slot Cutting Jig on the Jig and Fixtures page of my website below, WITHOUT the 90 degree holders on the face that allow you to cut a slot for a miter joint.
With those removed, you can clamp your box top to the jig and safely and accurately run it through the table saw with the jig held against the fence.
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think I would get very far with it. Judging by my experience with the planner, the incremental cuts with the router table would be a couple thousanths, requiring 50 cuts on each side.
But, your cutting jig looks like it should be easy enough, if I can just get it square. Thanks.
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"toller" wrote in message

A tip for getting the face square to the base is to use two factory corners off a sheet of plywood as braces to hold the face of the jig 90 degrees to the base. (I cut the braces off as triangular wedges, using a miter saw)
Attach the base to the face of the jig (a simple butt joint works), then attach the braces to the back side to force the 90 degree angle.
These braces also make a safe hand hold as they are on the opposite of the face of the jig and away from the saw blade.
I use a similar jig all the time for cutting bevels in panel edges, and for cutting rabbets with a single table saw blade as you want to do. I think you'll find it has many uses on the table saw, as you can see by the way the one in the picture is setup to do slots for miter joint splines.
Good luck ...
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Does the table saw have enough juice to make the cut in one pass? If so for a one of why not just use your regular blade, or your wobble dado in the closed position and slide the fence over a blade width each pass. Leave the cut a little shallow so you can clean it up with a plane or your router table.
-Leuf
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