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Hi guys,
I am new to woodworking and recently bought a plunge router. My question is this. I have some smaller pieces of wood that I am wanting to use my plunge router to do a dado joint. These pieces are going to be used on a small jewelry box. The wood is to small to clamp. So I am wanting to know how to hold the while putting the dado at a certain distance from the edge. Thanks so much for the help in advance.
 

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There's an old name for what I'm going to describe, and we discovered it on another thread here, but I can't remember it. So I'll just describe "jig my dad builds".

It's just a rectangular wooden frame with two threaded rods (running through embedded nuts) coming in from two adjacent sides. Then you block it in kind of like how printers used to set type.

100+ years ago they had a variety of these kinds of jigs, for holding things at specific angles, holding small things, etc.

With a router, you are then routing a small part of a large flat surface, and not a small piece. The small piece is trapped inside a larger surface, but the router doesn't see that, it just sees the larger surface. You can do downright miniature work this way with a plunge router
 

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+1 on the router table with the handscrew clamp, if that's a no go for you, then Bobro's router frame, thingy sounds like a good option. You could build in fences to make sure you were cutting straight, setup might be fussy but the results should be good and safe.
 

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Image and video hosting by TinyPic

sorry for the poor photo, borrowed my wife's phone thing-a-ma-jig and the touch screen doesn't want to respond to fingers.

Rough drawing, but you get the idea- you can also make it with just one threaded rod (or long bolt), or two on a single side for long thin pieces, or whatever. The frame can be as large or extended as you need to get a solid base for the router, and to put up fences. The point is that the small piece is no longer small, but part of the interior of a large piece. Obviously you also need a some cut-offs of uniform thickness to surround the work piece.
 

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You could just dado out a section of 2X stock equal to the parts you want to rout and deep enough to flush the piece. Double sided tape the piece in then secure the jig to a stabile flat surface and route away.
 

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You could just dado out a section of 2X stock equal to the parts you want to rout and deep enough to flush the piece. Double sided tape the piece in then secure the jig to a stabile flat surface and route away.

- Ghidrah
That's even easier, but when you have a bunch of small parts, some needing this and some that, then it's nice to have a vise/jig to just load them in and out of, plus you can block/wedge in odd-shaped pieces as well.
 

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A "router table" can be as basic as the router mounted to a piece of 3/4" ply, with a hole for the bit.
Secure the "table" (with router underneath) to your bench or two sawhorses. A fence can be a straight(jointed) 2×4, clamped in place. Plus you would have it, until you have a chance to build a "proper" table.

 
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