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jbmint

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Hi All

New user, so hello ... how are we all?

I have a question, I've used a router about 3 or 4 times now and was wondering if there is a way to cut dado's and rabbits without having to use a router.
Also, is there a way to do them nice rounded edges without using a router too?

Thanks
JBmint
 

Steve Maskery

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Hi JB, welcome.
Yes there certainly is, they were cut for hundreds of years before the router was invented.
Dadoes, or more properly (from a British perspective), housings, can be sawn and pared. Rebates can be planed with a plane designed especially for that - it has a fence to set the width. And a combination plane will normally come with a range of shaped irons for edge-moulding.
Try over on the hand-tool forum, many people over there are knowledgeable about such matters.
 

Argus

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I gave up on noise and dust and cut all the above by hand. Living in a part of Wales prone to seasonal changes in humidity, I use T&G boards (my own make), half lap rebates and drawbore joints all the time.

There are a few special tools that make it easier but it's not difficult if you take a methodical approach.

Most of the special stuff (rebate planes, paring chisel, side rebate planes etc.) can be got on fleabay, still at moderate prices if you are careful what you buy.


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jbmint

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Thanks for the replies ... I've been looking at the router planes, which have a fence and depth stop ... look perfect but at $140 then shipping to me here in would cost way more than what I can afford.

Im very new to joinery and I want to go down the path of using hand tools instead of power tools ... which is why I'm asking. I'll have a look at the hand tools part now and see what I can find :)
 

Argus

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You can buy top-of-the range kit brand new or get what you need second hand. I tend to use the latter.

Here’s what I use:

Marking;
I use engineers’ squares, Plenty going on fleabay. A little 4”, 6” and a bigger 10” is what I use all the time. The biggest one is a bit of a luxury for wider boards.
Marking Knife. A few folk make their own but Axminster do a double edged V point Japanese one for about £14.
A cutting gauge is very useful for delineating the cut line.

Planes:
Moving fillister planes are quite cheap. Record 778 is a useful buy, you can fit your own wooden fence.
Likewise a side rebate plane. There are lots about. I have a few and use the Stanley double ended one mostly.
Rutlands used to do a long (about 13”) Chinese wooden rebate plane which was excellent for finishing both the base and side of long rabates. I can’t see it in their catalogue any more but if you do see it –get one - they are very good!
Dado planes are an option, but these are invariably wooden and good ones tend to be expensive.

Chisels
The only chisels I use for cross-grain trenching are a couple of long paring chisels. I also use a paring chisel to cut away the sides of dados against the scribe line so that the saw sits and starts in a clean groove. Unfortunately these tend to be expensive, but it's best to get the best.
OWT routers are also plentiful for opening a dado after you have cut the two sides, but personally I can’t get on with these; they are difficult to control and a pain to keep re-setting. Best to use these for finishing the dado floor.


Saws.
A good cross-cut is useful, (16 – 18 tpi) but unless you are certain of the quality, old ones are usually knackered and need a lot of work. Best to buy new - the Veritas range is good value.

As well as fleabay, there are some dealers around. Search for Alf’s website where she has a list of UK dealers. The guy in Beer, Devon is very reasonable and helpful.

That should get you going.

After that you need to look at sharpening kit..................



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Harbo

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Straight edge/Engineers Square, Tenon Saw and a chisel of the correct width is all you need for housings.
The router plane like an old Record or Stanley 71 is useful for cleaning up the bottoms.


Rod
 
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