To cut the dovetail rabbet joint at the corners, the author fits his rooter with an offset sub-base and a custom-made edge guide, and he supports the router on a wooden right-angle Jig clamped to the stock.
developed this router-cut corner joint as an alternative to more familiar carcase corner joints such as rabbets, tongue-and-rabbet joints and lock miters. It's a fairly simple joint to make with a router. The joint comes together neatly and squarely and is more resistant to racking than a conventional rabbet.
The tools you need to cut the joint are a I-in. dia., 14° router bit (see Sources), a router fence, a router edge guide and a right-angle jig, as shown in the drawing.
I make the half-dovetail cut on the side pieces first. I fit a 1 '/«-in. O.D. pilot bearing on the shaft of the dovetail bit above the cutter. The bearing rides against a fence clamped to the work.
Before cutting the actual cabinet pieces, make trial cuts to get the bits and fences set up properly. The idea is to cut the side so the mating horizontal piece will fit perfectly with a 3/it»-in. shoulder. When you get the trial cuts to fit right, go ahead and cut the sides.
Next, cut the dovetail rabbet on the top and bottom horizontal pieces. This can be done in a router table, but I've developed a simple right-angle platform jig that clamps to the work. Clamp the top/ bottom, as shown in the drawing, and set the edge guide to make a cut with a Vi*-in. shoulder. The router's depth-of-cut should be the same as before.
I've developed a couple of router accessories to make these operations easier and safer. One is an offset router sub-base made of '/j-in. clear acrylic plastic. A large grip knob on the offset allows you to pull the router against the fence, while pressing the router down on the inboard side of the work. This eliminates tipping and improves control for most portable routing operations. The other accessory is a custom edge guide for use with the offset sub-base. (See Sources.) —P.W.
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