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I am getting ready to build a shadow box coffee table, but am having issues with the rabbet edge to hold the glass.  Do I need to have a router table in order to get them straight?

I do have a hand-held router, but can't seem to get the line very straight.

Any suggestions?

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Hi Ronda, First of all I am glad to be considered as a friend and thank you for extending your friendship.  Cutting rabbits is done using a router or a table saw and on occassions on a jointer.

 

The fastest method of cutting a rabbit is using a table saw where you set the blade and the fence  in relationship with the depth and width of rabbit you want.  Another method that I use often use is  a router with a bearing on the bottom.  You use the object you are cutting as a fence.  In your application you would want a 3/8 " rabbit bit which will cut the depth into the wood looking at the flat side of the wood.  Do not try cutting the total debth at once but take a light cut maybe 3/16 deep and repeat with additional cuts lowering the bit until you get to the desired depth.  It will leave the end round so you will need to square it up using a chisel.

 

In the table saw method you would first run the wood flat on the table and if you are cutting the rabbit that is 3/8 deep and 1/2 inward on the piece .  Set the saw fence at 1/2 inch and run the blade up 3/8 high.  R un the piece through but remember that if you are wanting the end to not show a cut you will need to plunge into the wood past the end of where the cut would be and then lift the wood at the end of the cut.  This would be on the long pieces.  On the short pieces it would not matter as it is hidden by the two end pieces.  This would be on a butt type joint.  If it is a miter it will not matter.

 

Once the first cut is made (on the flat side) move the fence 1/4 inch and repeat.  Because of the 1/8" saw kerf you will actually be cutting the 3/8 rabbit. On this cut you will be running wood standing upright.

 

Sorry it is hard to explain but easy to do.  Fou you not being used to tools I would reccoment you use a router bit method although still dangerous if not careful you will be less apt to injure your self and you can do this with the pieces assembled.

 

I will be glad to explain it in detail if you still do not understand, just contact me and I will see how I can help you.

Rabbeting Router Bit.

Available from Rockler, Freud, and other router bit suppliers.

Various bearing diameters, to facilitate rabbet depths.

The bits can be used in a router table, as well as in hand held router.

I prefer to use the router table.

This is a Freud rabbeting bit set.

It provide a larger variety of cut depths---

simply by changing the bearings.

For flush, 1/8", 1/4", 5/16", 3/8", 7/16" and 1/2".

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