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hand tool advice for the slots for rail & stile construction?

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chipsinpitta

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hi there, I'm new here so thank you for any help on this! I used to own a dewalt flipover table saw and the kerf of the blade was exactly the right thickness for making slots to put thin ply (I guess 3.6mm) in to it snugly. I sold the table saw because I haven’t got space for it and I have been trying to find a routing plane that does the same job.

I got a record no.50 plane which I love, but it has two blades near to the size and one is loose (3/16” 4.78 mm) and one a bit too snug (1/8” 3.18 mm). Does anyone here make rail and stiles by hand? It would be great if anyone could share their way of doing this?
 

Ttrees

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Hello there Chipsinpitta, welcome to the forum
I'm sure someone will be along with some tools of interest, or what would be the most practical thing to do.
One thing I always hear about is plywood being variable, so something to be aware of, especially if you intend to get more of the same.
Sorry I don't have a better answer, but a sure thing you will get your answer.

All the best

Tom
 

chipsinpitta

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hi there, thanks for getting back, maybe i should just be using thin mdf then? is that what most people use for the panels?
 

grumpycorn

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I normally use timber panels so I'd plane them down to the right thickness. Can you ease the margins of the plywood with a block plane so it fits snug (more a question than a suggestion as I've not tried it).

I think I'd have a go at carefully grinding down the width of the larger blade (or a spare) so it matches the thickness of the plywood.
 

xraymtb

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You could grind the 3/16" cutter down a touch to get a perfect fit then label it for future use?

EDIT: Beat me to it!!
 

D_W

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same as above - either grind an inexpensive chisel narrower or do the same with a blade to match it.

I made a bunch of kitchen cabinets several years ago. As the process went along, I ended up making the final 120 linear inches of cabinets entirely with hand tools - with dado and rebate on the ply. how? I found an old dado plane for $10 that wasn't straight, and narrowed it (which eliminated issues of straightness) to fit 15/32" ply for the carcases. It ended up being slightly slower than a router and batten, but far less aggravating to use with no tendency to wander. It took less than an hour to modify, which is far better than ordering and waiting for a router bit (overall slightly less cost - still have the plane, and it would probably outlast 10 router bits in work volume if needed).

If you want to work with hand tools, you'll be well served to get a taste for making modifications to lower cost tools (it'll also teach you that lower cost tools work well, and the 8 quid chisel that you're willing to modify may be more favorable to you than one that's 50).
 

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