I am trying to get rabbet of sizable width 2" into 3/4" plywood. I was looking at rabbet bits and the depth (3/8") I need is not and issue but getting the width will be a challenge. The largest diameter I have seen is 1-1/4", and I know I would need to make multiple passes at like 1/4" at a time to get a clean cut as well.

How many bit would I need to accomplish this cut? What would be the sequence of steps to perform it?

Thanks in advance.


Consider getting dado blades for your table saw. You can stack the blades, usually up to 1 1/4 inches, and do it in two passes. The trick is to guard your fence with 1/2 scrap, and slightly undercut it with the dado before you start.

You'll need featherboards for lateral positioning, and really good down force to keep the stock from bouncing up.

If you're really concerned with the squareness of the edge, cut it a bit narrow with the dados, and finish up the final edge with the router.

  • I would have gone this route if my boards weren't huge. I am dealing with 4x8 sheets. I was hoping for a handheld method to make my life easier. – TheCodeNovice Aug 30 '16 at 14:59
  • Is this question related to this: diy.stackexchange.com/questions/98393/… If so, I'd say 2 inches is a bit excessive. – Chris Cudmore Aug 30 '16 at 15:01
  • Yes, I separated the follow on because it was sort of a tangent – TheCodeNovice Aug 30 '16 at 15:03
  • 1
    No problem with the separation. It's appropriate. But you could probably do fine with a 1 inch rabbet. Glue rabbets and screw with 3/4 in Robertson head wood screws. Keep in mind that the hardwood on top will also help to hold things together. And for a subfloor, it doesn't need to be that tight a join. This isn't cabinetry. – Chris Cudmore Aug 30 '16 at 15:05

Are you comfortable with a router? Is your router at least mid-sized? (Like a Porter Cable 690, 1.5hp.)

Any straight cutter will work. (Though obviously 1/8" would take a while. I'd go for 3/4", but it'll depend on the router.) Set the depth to 3/8". Clamp a long straightedge to act as your stop (against the router base) for the 2" cut, and sweep back and forth with the cutter to chew through the 2" of wood. Be accurate clearing everything out with the router, or you'll be back with a chisel, which wouldn't be fun.

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