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Of course a mill makes this easy to do but you can accomplish the same result with a chisel. It needs to be very well honed (most newly purchased chisels are not) and the proper width for the mortise. Score stop cuts on the sides and bottom first then remove the wood in between with light passes. {practice on some scrap first!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I use this technique.  I cut the sides of the mortise with a razor saw, holding the keel in a vise.  Make sure to cut equally on both sides and just up to the depth you want (mark it).  Then I put the point of an exacto blade (in the holder) in between the two cuts and a sharp tap with a mini hammer knocks the mortise out.  I don't know how well this will work with plywood.  It works best with solid wood and you must be cross cutting with the saw and knocking out the mortise with the grain.

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Hi Mark,


Where did you find a dado washer? I have something like that for my 10' table saw (I eventually switched to stacked carbide). I looked for a dado washer for my Dremel 580 and never found anything. Do you think it could be something you grind yourself? My guess it would take a huge amount of "trial and error" to cut a washer which would cut an exact width.




Edited by Landlocked123
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I have the MM table saw and they sold some for that saw.  I don't know if they sell them for the new model they just brought out.  Also, you have to use the "original" 80 tooth blade.


As for the 10" saw,  I know they make dado blades and I've also heard of folks stacking blades to make a dado.  I suppose one could make their own dado washers... a bit of Googling might be in order to see if there's a safety problem.

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     I use chisels and now I have the mini table saw that will help me in recesses. A milling machine is nice but not necessary. This is not the only way as you have read here.


Dave Stevens of lumberyard has some pretty slick ways on how he does recesses of all sorts. You can get some ideas from a couple of his build logs here....






I hope this helps.



Edited by Cap'n Rat Fink
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