Stopped grooves sans router...

I need to cut out some grooves to put plywood in the bottom of a box. Two of the grooves are easy to do on a TS because they can go through. The other two are tricky.
I don't really want to chisel them out entirely by hand. I don't really want to go buy a router bit for this and spend an hour rigging up some kind of jig to control this cut.
I can do it on my TS by plunge cutting, but that feels extremely stupid and dangerous, so it probably is.
So how else can I do it? I guess the Neander way is to use a router plane? Well, I don't have a router plane either, and that would cost more than a new bit.
I gotta get this right the first time. I spent countless hours surfacing this stuff by hand, and I don't want to screw up these parts.
Ideas? (Other than buying a new router bit, I mean.)
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Silvan wrote:

Make the through plow and then drive appropriately sized wedges into the gaps when assembled. On end grain the wedges will blend in and be unnoticeable.
As always, try it on some scraps and see what you think.
-- Jack Novak Buffalo, NY - USA (Remove "SPAM" from email address to reply)
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Nova wrote:

Hmmm... I didn't think of that, that's for sure. That could even be decorative, if done right. Maybe make a matching cut toward the top to balance it out visually and fill with maple or something.
I'm already using dowels for that kind of contrast this go round, but I'll file that one away.
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On Fri, 24 Oct 2003 18:57:56 -0400, Silvan

Cut all the way with a TS and glue strips back in where the cut isn't supposed to be.
Barry
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in message wrote:

That's what I'd do but you can also cut the grooves with the TS w/o through cutting and then notch the ply to fit in the stopped grooves.
Gary
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B a r r y B u r k e J r . wrote:

Well, this is an example of when sometimes it's better just to do the easy thing... :)
I decided that since this is a very shallow box, I would do a rebate (?) instead of completely enclosed grooves, and nail the bottom on from underneath. That way it doesn't spoil the look, but it takes away minimal room on the inside of the box.
I did rig up a way to do this on the TS, but I've done so much of this box by hand, I wanted to cut out these huge "rebates" (or whatever they're supposed to be called) by hand.
So I marked them off and went to work. Just like cutting out a hinge morise, only a lot more waste to hog off.
Can you guess what happened? Yup. The chisel started to get dull about halfway through. I didn't stop to hone it. So I had to use excessive force, slipped, and broke off one of the end thingies, making it look just like it would have if I had just spent 10 seconds to make the damn cut on the TS in the first place.
Unshaken, and determined to persue my futility to the bitter end, I honed the chisel and set to work on the other piece. About halfway through, I did the same thing.
So I ended up with the two end pieces cut in such a way that one end was perfect, and one end had an extra cut-out. Luckily I screwed up the same way twice, so I reversed the box and put the ugly side to the back.
I patched the little cuts as you suggest, and it looks OK. I guess I should have just taken your (and the others who made similar suggestions) advice in the first place.
(After that, I did say screw it, and I used the TS for the through cuts without hesitation. I was planning to do those by hand too, but I got sick of sharpening the stupid chisels.)
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On Tue, 28 Oct 2003 14:35:42 -0500, Silvan

That's how we learn. I have the scrap pile to prove it! <G>
Barry
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Dear Mike,
<snip of, I need a stopped groove>
Why not do it on the table saw? I think I have seen Norm drop a board on a spinning blade, but there is no way I am going to do that. I use my router table as little as possible and always look for a way not to use it unless I have to. I needed some stopped rebates for my little cherry clock and I did them on the table saw. I set my dado to the height I needed and marked on the table saw fence the points where it started to cut and where it stopped cutting. I also marked on my boards where the cut needed to start and stop. I clamped a stop block to the fence where the cut needed to end. I had a helper turn on the table saw and give the blade two slow cranks until the it pointed to a spot I marked with masking tape on the front of the saw. I then pushed the board forward until it hit the stop block, then I told the helper to turn off the saw. It sounds much more complicated that it was, and it saved me from having to use the router table.
http://members.rogers.com/dfeisan/images/dado1.jpg
I then just cleaned up the rounded ends of the stopped rebates with chisels and a chisel plane.
http://members.rogers.com/dfeisan/images/cleandado.jpg
Thanks,
David.
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It really is not that bad. You clamp a board on the table in the right place to hold the back of the board as you drop it on, with the side away from you raised, back against the stop. A mark on the fence or table is all you need to know when to stop. Turn off the saw, and stay still until the blade stops.
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Jim in NC



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David F. Eisan wrote:

OK, there is that indeed. No plunge cutting that way. I might go that route, because I already have the fence marked. I actually did a couple of test cuts, and I still have all 10 fingers, but the hairs on the back of my neck were standing on edge, so I decided not to do that again. :)
I'll have to figure out a repeatable way to do the cranks though. I don't have a dado set, so I have to do this in three passes, then chisel out the tiny bit of waste and clean up the ends. It complicates things a bit, but it's not that important that these be dead perfect on the inside.
How much slop should I leave in the fit? I'm thinking I want to put the board in the bottom so that it's got a bit of room to move if it wants to.
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"Silvan" wrote ...

? The router bit isn't that expensive, just buy a spiral bit. All you need is a straight edge and a layout mark indicating where to stop pushing the router. Depending on the width of the dado and the width of the bit you may have to move the straight edge to widen the dado to match the width of the bottom. (I assume it is a dado and not a rabbet but you weren't specific on that point.) I wouldn't do it on a table saw because for that operation I prefer the control of the router. However, all you need is a straight edge. No fancy jigs are required. Then you just have to chisel the ends square. I shuddered when I thought of chiseling out the entire dado by hand.
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Howard
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Howard Ruttan wrote:

OK, I see what you're saying there, and you're right. I still don't have the bit though, and I'd rather spend the money on another piece of walnut. :)

It wouldn't be *that* bad, but I'd just as soon find some other way.
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Depending on the size of the project, it shouldn't be bad at all. Use a marking gage to lay out the sides of the groove (I size mine with the chisel I'll be using later and rabbet the bottom to fit). Drill a hole to the desired depth of the groove at the stopped end. Square the ends with a chisel. Set up a batten along one of your layout lines and use a handsaw to cut to the desired depth. (I use a stop block at the stopped end to prevent the saw from overshooting the end.) Set up your batten for the other side and saw it to depth.
Use an appropriately-sized chisel bevel-down to remove waste. (I usually drill some holes at various points along the groove. They serve as depth-gages for my chisel and prevent runout if you hit a squirrely bit of grain.) I finish up with a routah plane to level the bottom of the groove.
Honestly, it's not that hard to do. I did it on a number of boxes when I was developing my neander skills (and avoiding using my routah). Practice on scrap first.
Chuck Vance
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