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#1
Old 04-19-2004, 11:20 AM
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Carpentry: What tool is used to cut notches in wood?

I want to take two 3/4" planks: 2' x 5', and place them edgewise in a 'X' shape. So in the middle of each plank, I want to cut a 3/4" wide notch that's 1 foot long. That way, I can slide the two notches over each other and get what I want.

I can easily use a circular saw to cut a pair of parallel lines 1' down the plank - those will be the outside edges of my notch. But how do I cleanly cut ACROSS the notch at the bottom?
#2
Old 04-19-2004, 11:25 AM
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A good sharp 3/4"chisel should do the trick once you've sawed the parallel lines.
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#3
Old 04-19-2004, 11:27 AM
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...or you could use a wood drill then chisel the remainder.
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#4
Old 04-19-2004, 11:29 AM
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I don't think the chisel is going to be your friend here. Cutting a sheet of plywood with a chisel is not easy. It might work but you will have to go very slowly to avoid chipping.

You might be better off using a coping saw blade and a pair of vise grips. The frame of the coping saw isn't big enough to make across the distance you need, and a keyhole saw has too large a blade.
#5
Old 04-19-2004, 11:32 AM
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I was assuming the OP didn't have a router or other expensive tools, Q.E.D..

a router would work well, you'd still need to clean up the edges where the radius doesn't reach, a simple razor knife would suffice for that as well as a chisel.
#6
Old 04-19-2004, 11:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeG
I was assuming the OP didn't have a router or other expensive tools, Q.E.D..

a router would work well, you'd still need to clean up the edges where the radius doesn't reach, a simple razor knife would suffice for that as well as a chisel.
Routers aren't all that expensive. I don't know how much woodworking Bricker does, but if it's any kind of often, I'd say go buy one. I loves my router!
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#7
Old 04-19-2004, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Q.E.D.
Routers aren't all that expensive. I don't know how much woodworking Bricker does, but if it's any kind of often, I'd say go buy one. I loves my router!
If you can justify only one good woodworking tool, I'd go for a Rotozip. As a big brother to the moto-tool, it's great for cutting slots, light routing, and generally turning 3/4" inch wood into things that you can use.
#8
Old 04-19-2004, 11:44 AM
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I was assuming that by 'planks' the op was talking about solid wood rather than ply...
A router would do the trick fine, but the easiest low-tech option is to drill a few holes then use a chisel (or as MikeG suggests a sharp knife) to clean up.
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#9
Old 04-19-2004, 11:38 AM
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Lots of different ways to do it. One approach would be to take a 3/4" Forstner or spade bit and drill a hole 3/8" from the bottom of your notch. Then clean up the corners with a chisel or a small handsaw (keyhole saw would work). Or you could just make the cut with a jig saw, although it might be a bit sloppy.

You don't want to make the side cuts all the way with a circular saw because a circular saw will not cut to a line -- the edge of the cut will be slightly curved.
#10
Old 04-19-2004, 11:26 AM
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Maybe I'm misreading your question, but it seems to me that your best bet would be a router. You can easily set the depth for the notch and there are any number of available bits to give you whatever caut profile you want--probably square in this case.
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