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Dedicated dado router table with Biesemeyer fence?

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Forum topic by SweetTea posted 04-12-2018 02:12 PM 1442 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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SweetTea

438 posts in 1078 days


04-12-2018 02:12 PM

I came across an idea for a dedicated dado setup to use in my cabinet shop and wanted to run the idea past you guys. Right now I have an older Delta table saw setup with a 1/2” dedicated dado blade that we use to dado our face frame and cabinet sides. First, I was wondering if a router with a 1/2” straight bit or what ever dado bit would be most optimal would provide a cleaner cut than a table saw with a cheap $100 Freud Diablo dado blade?

If so, my plan is to build a big router table with a good router mounted in an aluminum plate and use a Biesemeyer fence and guide rail setup just like a typical cabinet saw would have. It could be calibrated to have the numbers on the guide tube to be accurate, and I could add another tape under that one to read for the numbers that need to be measured from behind the bit. I think that would be a pretty cool setup to try and see how we like it.

I would use a 3/4” MDF top covered in solid color laminate with an aluminum plate for the router and a hardwood rail to trim out the front and provide a mounting point for the Biesemeyer style guide rails.

My questions to you guys are;
1. How do you like this idea?
2. What size router would you guys suggest? Would a 2.25HP such as the Bosch 1617 work good? Or should I step up to a 3HP such as the Porter Cable 3HP or the 3HP Triton? Or would the tried and true Porter Cable 690 (1.75HP) work just fine?
3. What would be the most optimal bit to use in this setup? A 1/2” straight bit? Or these big dado cleanout bits that I keep seeing?

Opinions are welcome, but, I would prefer to keep it to the subject of my questions and would prefer not to debate the merrits of this setup in general versus my existing Delta table saw setup. Thanks!


4 replies so far

View Lee's profile

Lee

135 posts in 1297 days


#1 posted 04-12-2018 06:15 PM

A router cut dado is going to take a lot more time to make than with a table saw, and in a cabinet shop, time is money.
That being said, your idea should work just fine, no different than having a router setup in the outboard side of the table saw and using the saw fence for a guide. a spiral bit will leave a cleaner cut than a traditional straight router bit. A PC 690 will handle a 1/2” dado bit with no problems.
I have some of these spiral bits and they work very well.
https://www.mlcswoodworking.com/shopsite_sc/store/html/smarthtml/pages/bt_solid.html

-- Colombia Custom Woodworking

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SweetTea

438 posts in 1078 days


#2 posted 04-12-2018 07:06 PM



A router cut dado is going to take a lot more time to make than with a table saw, and in a cabinet shop, time is money.
That being said, your idea should work just fine, no different than having a router setup in the outboard side of the table saw and using the saw fence for a guide. a spiral bit will leave a cleaner cut than a traditional straight router bit. A PC 690 will handle a 1/2” dado bit with no problems.
I have some of these spiral bits and they work very well.
https://www.mlcswoodworking.com/shopsite_sc/store/html/smarthtml/pages/bt_solid.html

- Lee

No, it is vastly different than using a router table mounted side extension on a table saw using the table saw fence. In this setup the fence will have a 55” compacity and will slide back and forth in front of the bit not behind. Say I need a dado at 36” from the end of the plywood then I could just set the fence on 36” and boom get the perfect, accurate cut with no figuring or tape measure.

View Bill_Steele's profile

Bill_Steele

524 posts in 2150 days


#3 posted 04-12-2018 08:51 PM

It sounds like a pretty good idea to me. I would think a router would make a nice clean cut—especially those spiral bits.. You’ll need to be careful that the stock does not creep or get pulled away from the fence during the cut.

I have a router table mounted on the side of my table saw and I used the table saw fence with the router for many years before I built a proper router table fence. One issue I noticed is that the end of the fence can deflect a tiny bit if you press too hard into it when routing something. The unsupported side of the fence is the input side for the router cut. To help alleviate this you can clamp a block of wood behind the fence so it cannot move.

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

5966 posts in 2828 days


#4 posted 04-13-2018 03:08 AM

As an idea take two table saws and bolt them together creating similar space as used by one with extension wings. Now you have a saw for cutting with plenty of rip capacity as well as a saw for dado’s with the same space used as a single machine.

Would look something like this: Sorry can’t give more details this is as yet unfinished project. But when done will have 36 inch rip capacity for either saw. Would love more but hey the shop is only so big and as you can see this is already a monster for space.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

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