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stopped Rabbet

wanda200's picture

stopped Rabbet (post #106670)



Just wondering what the best tool for the job is. I'm in the process of attaching the top of my bookcase so I can nail on the back.. I am using caribou pine panel boards for the back.

The  3/4" thick top  requires a 1/4" stopped rabbet. The sides of the bookcase already have a 1/4" deep X 1/4  wide rabbet on the back to recieve the boards.

I thought this would be real easy using the router table. The top of the bookcase measures 11 1/4" deep X 36" in length.

For some unknown reason the 1/4" freud straight bit got "caught up", snagged during the middle of the practice cut.  I set the height of the bit  1/8". (figure it's easier on the 1/4" bit if I make the cut in 2 stages) The router fence was adjusted to make a 1/4" wide rabbet. Didn't think that would pose any problem.  I'm pushing the wood right to left. Does grain direction matter when using a router table to make a stopped rabbet? I reversed the workpiece and was able to make the cut. Sometimes it's awefully difficult to see what direction the grain is running. I don't want to ruin my workpiece. So I am looking for an alternative method. I bet I could do this easily with a rabbet plane.

Maybe it's best if I just attach a fence to my plunge router and make the cut  using my 1/4" straight bit.

One other ?    When plunge routing ( cutting a stopped dado for a shelf) do you have to turn off the router before pulling out of the cut? I usually just release the lock lever to pull out of the cut when I get to the end of my cut and then turn off the router.  I have a feeling that's not the right thing to do.  I'm so used to using a fixed router. I don't have much experience at all using a plunge router.  I also need a few pointers on how to properly set a plunge router to the right depth.


Edited 10/17/2008 10:59 pm by Wanda200

thumbnailed's picture

(post #106670, reply #1 of 7)

I can only give advice on your plunge router technique. Yes you should release the plunge at the end of your cut, just hold the router still firmly before you do so. To properly set the depth, place the router on a non metallic surface, lower the cutter to just contact with the surface. Next set the depth stop bar firmly against the stops, and set the measure indicator to zero. Then just set the depth stop bar to the depth of cut you want. Remember that the harder the material, the more passes you'll want to make to complete the cut. Just move slow and carefully. 

ring's picture

(post #106670, reply #2 of 7)


My first impulse when cutting a stopped rabbet would be to reach for a regular router and the proper ball bearing guide for a 1/4" cut.* There are lots of these bits around...I personally use Amana's set with interchangeable bearings. No need for plunge router here, although it doesn't hurt. And it seems to me that moving the piece over a router table is far clumsier than moving the router in this case. Of course in any case you'll need to chisel up the ends after routing. A 1/4" rabbet could certainly be cut in one pass.

*like this for instance-,46168,46176&ap=1

David Ring

Edited 10/18/2008 12:48 am by ring

knuts's picture

(post #106670, reply #3 of 7)

First thing that comes to mind is using a 1/4" bit to cut a 1/4" rabbet. For rabbets I always use a larger bit and let the fence settle the depth issue. Reason is, I like to have part of the bit in the clear and no chance of it trying to plow a dado on the edge of the piece. And as previously noted, it is even better with a rabbeting bit, if you have one. If you're going to buy one, my favorites come with multiple sized bearings.

joinerswork's picture

(post #106670, reply #4 of 7)


If the 1/4" bit is the only one you have (I'd use a larger diameter if possible) I'd set the height at 1/4" and make the cut in two or three passes, setting the fence each time to increase the depth of cut, so that the full diameter of the bit is not buried.


wanda200's picture

(post #106670, reply #5 of 7)

Hi Ray,

Now why didn't I think of that. Yes, using a wider bit (1/2") would have worked.  I ended up using my rabbeting bit set up in my router table. I was going to use my fixed router but the base on my PC 690 was too small for the large rabbet bit. 2 passes and I was done.



dgreen's picture

(post #106670, reply #6 of 7)

For future reference Porter Cable makes a clear base plate with a 2 1/2 inch hole. The part number is 42188.




Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.
~ Denis Diderot




Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.
~ Denis Diderot

wanda200's picture

(post #106670, reply #7 of 7)



Thanks dgreen, I guess I haven't been keeping up on my tool reviews. Haven't checked but I'm assuming my PC 690 variable speed router has the same size plate as my older PC 690 fixed router.

Things to check for before purchasing a router.

Thank god I have a arouter table!