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I want to cut some slots in a 1/2 board that I want to be very clean and square, so I would rather not use a chisel or anything like that.

Here is an illustration:

enter image description here

What's the best way to go about this?

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    As an aside, your quick rejection of the router suggestion below is out of line. A router is actually one of the better tools for this task. – Aloysius Defenestrate Feb 9 at 17:06
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    Unsubscribing from this question because you seem averse to any suggestion that doesn't fit your preconceptions. I fully understood that you want square corners and would have been willing to tell you how to do it. – Aloysius Defenestrate Feb 9 at 17:50
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    I believe you may not be getting answer posts because there are so many ways to go about this fundamental woodworking operation. There is no BEST answer. BTW. sharp chisels can accomplish this as well as router bits and chisels, hand saws, and power saws of all types. You clean out the rounded corners with saws or chisels. – Ashlar Feb 9 at 17:56
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    @TreowWyrhta OK fine, but a chisel can give you a very clean and square corner, so I am not sure I follow your logic. – Ashlar Feb 9 at 23:31
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    This Q could really be useful if expanded upon, because any good answer will want to know: the type of material, the thickness of the material, how many of these need to be made, If both sides need to be clean, if all edges of the slots need to be square to the faces, and machine-clean, what tools you do want to use. I know some of these have been requested in other comments, but it seems to me that the Q is about a specific application, so the more details, the better. Because without detail, even answering "dado" might not be right. – jdv Feb 11 at 20:22
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I will give a provisional answer to the question to provide an example.

This operation can be done by setting up a table saw with a 3/4" dado blade and then running the board through vertically.

The drawbacks of this approach is that I would have to get a 10" rabbetting blade kit and it would require a pretty elaborate fixture to be able to run the board through safely. Using a 3" x 3/4" router blade on a shaper, if one could even be found, has the same drawback of requiring a large sled or other fixture.

So, while this is an answer, it has drawbacks and there may be a better approach, hence the question.

| improve this answer | |
  • I was going to suggest a dado, but: 1. 3/4in dado stack is pertty big. 2. It'll leave an unsquare edge (if that matters) 3. It'll need cleanup at the end with a chisel anyway :) The usual recommendation is hog out with a forstner bit and chisel, or score, saw and chisel. But if you don't need a clean throat... – jdv Feb 11 at 20:16

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