||Photo 1- Cutting dadoes in the sides with a router against a fence.
If you need a router, click here.
If you need router bits, click here.
Note that if you cut with the router in one direction, the bit will tend to pull the router away from the fence, whereas if you cut in the opposite direction the bit tends to pull the router toward the fence. Make all the cuts in this direction. Move the router slowly as you come out of the cut to avoid tearout.
At this point you'll see that the thickness of the parts is critical for a tight fit in the dadoes. You can't adjust the width of your router bit, though you could take two cuts with a 1/4" bit, the second cut being 1/16" away from the first to achieve a 5/16" dado, or a little more or less to fit. It's easier though to plane the stock to fit the dado made by a 5/16" bit, or make the stock over thickness and then sand or plane the ends of the shelves slightly for a tight fit.
The dadoes could also be cut on a table saw using a dado set and the miter fence set at 90o. In this case you can adjust the width of the dado with paper shims to fit the thickness of your stock.
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