the Router Workshop

Router Tips

Dado Sub-Fence

On the recently released Series 4 DVD, episode 401, we used a 1/2” sub-fence over the regular table mounted fence and changed a 3/4” dado to a 1 1/4” in seconds without any bit changes! Today’s tip will take that principle one step further.

How often have you found yourself spending time and money hunting for a metric router bit to suit that weird sized plywood they sell these days?

Well folks, that’s a thing of the past. Using today’s tip you’ll make any sized dado with your existing router bit.

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Making The Sub-Fence

Our sub-fence has two different sides; one accomodates 17.08 mm plywood and the other fits laminated plywood 19.22 mm. Now try finding these bits down at the local hardware! We used a 1/2" straight router bit and two different offset blocks to obtain the exact sized dado's for our projects.

Plane a piece of hardwood to suit your particular application. To check the fit, place it next to the table fence, run a dado, remove the hardwood and make a second pass. If necessary plane another piece until the correct thickness is achieved.

Follow this same procedure for a different application for the opposite side of the sub-fence.

Nail the two pieces to a block the same width as the table fence and you have your very own 18.4267 mm “router bit”. It's simple, easy, frustration free and works like a charm!

We marked the sizes on our sub-fence for future reference.

Making The Cut

We ran a dado to fit laminated stock. Mark the dado location on your stock.

Clamp the table fence with the sub-fence to the router table and run the first dado. The first pass is ALWAYS made using the sub-fence so that the second pass is made on the cutting side of the bit.

Remove the sub-fence and make a second pass.

No taping the fence and hoping it is .2146 mm to the right before making a second pass! No guesswork, just a perfectly snug fit.

Bingo, bango, bongo. . . I'm on to the next project!