Fun with Small Dadoes

photo of dividers, end piece with dadoes and toolsA small box I’m making wants interior dividers. This is the first time I’ve tried making them, so it is a learning experience. The idea is 3 lengthwise dividers organized by two end pieces. The end pieces need dadoes. The scale of the project is such that the interior pieces are only 1/8 inch thick. I don’t have a 1/8 inch chisel and didn’t want to order one and wait. I do have an “Old Woman’s Tooth” router. So, off to the scrounge bin of Allen keys … some time with the hand cranked grinder … and some more time with the stones. The result is a 1/8″ router made in about a half hour.

photo of divider gripped in a good dadoThe material shown here is a sub-optimal choice, but it will do. It is cedar which is quite soft and crumbles in fear when a chisel comes near. Slicing is the key to success, and that little knife is kept razor sharp for marking, and now for slicing cedar.

Haunched dividers and stopped dadoes: a success, and fun learning how to make snug. (Yes, each fits snugly enough to support the end piece.)

6 Responses to “Fun with Small Dadoes”

  1. John Eugster Says:

    That’s awesome Bob, I don’t need one of these right now but just may have to make one because it’s so cool!

  2. Bob Says:

    Thanks John,
    The construction of the router plane might be self-evident for some. If not, I have an article that shows it and has a couple of hints about use. It will accommodate a moderate range of “irons” made from Allen keys.


    The proportions (and progress) on your new cabinet look great!

  3. ralph boumenot Says:

    Hi Bob,
    that is in interestting looking knife. It obviously worked well scoring your dado walls. Where did you get it?

  4. Bob Says:

    Hi Ralph,
    I went looking for a new marking knife after watching Paul Sellers for a while. My Czeck Edge marking knife is superb, but it is thick and awkward for the way Sellers advocates marking. So, I scrounged around. Being the principal cook in the household, I turned to knives I use everyday in cooking.

    This is one of a set of small paring knives that we originally bought from Williams Sonoma. See this link. I reground it a bit, flattening the curved edge to a straight edge. Although very light weight, the blade is quite thin and the steel holds an edge very well. It has become my primary marking knife.

  5. ralph boumenot Says:

    Interesting. I’ll try to to WS this weekend to take a look at them.

  6. Bob Says:

    I know that you have a full-time job and woodworking is a serious hobby for you. Everyone has different priorities on how they spend their time. … and as you get older, you’ll realize there’s less time left. Why spend time (and gasoline, and wear and tear on the car, etc.) driving over to WS to look at a $10 knife when you could use that time in the shop making something?

    I decided to use that knife because I didn’t want to waste time looking for one, or waiting for one to arrive mail-order. I had a set of 5 in the cutlery drawer and “sacrificed” one for the workshop. … the same as picking up any old piece of string or twine to complete a bow saw. The saw doesn’t care if it has the perfect 2mm twine.

    Time is precious … make something of it.

    See also: Rob’s advice.