I want to cut grooves in a piece of 2x4.

I thought of using my table saw, but the cuts would be too narrow.

I have a router but no router table.

Is there a way to cut grooves without a router table?

I am willing to make something.

I found this.


I do not have a plunge router.


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4 Answers 4


I'd either use a straight-edge clamped to the plywood to guide the router with a straight cutting bit. Depending upon the depth of cut it might take 2 passes, 2nd pass after adjusting the depth of cut, of course.

Easier would be get dado blades for your table saw. Take a cut, adjust the fence, lather, rinse and repeat.

I dk how well a router table could handle a large piece of plywood. You'd be wrangling that around a lot. Not only that, how do you plan on guiding the plywood? A typical router table, whether home build or purchased generally only ends up with a max of about 12" (if that!) Between the fence and the cutter.

Bottom line: If you have the router, I think your best bet is to simply use a board clamped to the plywood as a straightedge and cut the grooves using a straight cutting bit.


Use straight edge guides clamped to the plywood for the router, no table needed. Double check your measurements if important for size/spacing.

Use a dado blade or make multiple cuts with the table saw.

  • 1
    Thanks. I decided that I might as well make a router table.
    – fixit7
    Commented Nov 18, 2022 at 20:17

Note that it is possible to do this with nothing more than a saw and an appropriate sized chisel, though a router plane (and/or any of several kinds of groove-citting planes) makes getting a clean result easier.

Always remember, most of these woodworking details predate power tools. There is always another way to accomplish the task. It may or may not be easier, less expensive, less work, quieter, or whatever -- but the way one person creates a piece may be quite different from how another would create that same piece.

  • Or even just the chisel, though that's more work.
    – keshlam
    Commented Nov 18, 2022 at 20:27

I made a mistake in my posting. It was a piece of 2x4 that I was wanting to use. I edited my original post. I was planning to use the cut wood to hold CDs. I used some clamps to clamp a piece of wood across the plywood and used my router. On more thought, I thought some other way of holding the CDs would be better.

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