How to Cut A Dado When a Router Won't Fit

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asuhayda

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I'm installing a screen door and the latch rail butts up to a joint just far enough that it won't fit. I need to cut a 1/4" slot to slide the rail into. The problem is, since it's a corner, what can I use to cut it? In the image below, the cut needs to be made right across the 2x4 where it butts up to the house. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
storm door.jpg
 

Eddie_T

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Maybe a wood chisel or a wood carving gouge. Practice on scrap as the grain has to be cut first to prevent tearout. I have a cheap ($7.99 HF) chisel set similar to this that comes in handy.

1669821562882.png
 
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bud16415

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I’m assuning it is the angled brace that is interfering with the aluminum door frame?



I would possibly cut the aluminum piece to fit around the brace.



If you cut the wood be careful as it is likely toe nailed in place under all that paint. Start with scraping the paint off and see what you have. Then find a piece of scrap wood that will bring the surface out flush with the door jamb and clamp it to the angle brace to provide a flat surface to rest a skill saw against. Set the blade to the desired depth and mark a line. Then make several passes working your way closer to the trim. Finish it up with a wood chisel and file and paint.
 

asuhayda

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I’m assuning it is the angled brace that is interfering with the aluminum door frame?



I would possibly cut the aluminum piece to fit around the brace.



If you cut the wood be careful as it is likely toe nailed in place under all that paint. Start with scraping the paint off and see what you have. Then find a piece of scrap wood that will bring the surface out flush with the door jamb and clamp it to the angle brace to provide a flat surface to rest a skill saw against. Set the blade to the desired depth and mark a line. Then make several passes working your way closer to the trim. Finish it up with a wood chisel and file and paint.
It is indeed the angled brace. Interesting idea to cut the aluminum. I may just do that!
 

bud16415

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Part of me no matter the home likes to try and maintain the integrity of the old work when I can while adding necessary modern elements like your aluminum storm door. I’m old enough to be on the second time around on many of these projects and it is nice to have the house without the gouged out area when it comes time to fit the next storm door on 30 years down the road.



Trimming the aluminum will actually be easier in many ways and if you don’t like the small crack a little caulking will fix that up.



Use painters tape over the frame before you start cutting to protect the paint surface.
 

asuhayda

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Part of me no matter the home likes to try and maintain the integrity of the old work when I can while adding necessary modern elements like your aluminum storm door. I’m old enough to be on the second time around on many of these projects and it is nice to have the house without the gouged out area when it comes time to fit the next storm door on 30 years down the road.



Trimming the aluminum will actually be easier in many ways and if you don’t like the small crack a little caulking will fix that up.



Use painters tape over the frame before you start cutting to protect the paint surface.
I actually agree with you. My house was built in 1923 and I love all the original details and hate to have to cut into it. I'm going to cut the frame instead. If I use a jigsaw, do you think a wood cutting blade would be sufficient for cutting the thin track or should I buy a thin metal or general purpose blade?
 

bud16415

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I actually agree with you. My house was built in 1923 and I love all the original details and hate to have to cut into it. I'm going to cut the frame instead. If I use a jigsaw, do you think a wood cutting blade would be sufficient for cutting the thin track or should I buy a thin metal or general purpose blade?
For sure get a fine tooth metal cutting blade. Lay out the cuts and make the two straight in cuts first then start at a slight angle and swoop into the inner line and cut out the wedge. then cut the other wedge to the other corner. Finish with a fine tooth file and a little white touch up paint to the cut edge.

Older homes are great. I'm just down the road from you near Erie and up in this region there are lots of them. My first home was Circa 1900 and this house now 1870s. One advantage in getting one brought back to life is the low taxes. along with the charm of course. I worked on this one a lot with a really old guy in his mid 80s and he always said "Every little step makes a difference." I used to then tell him "Ya that's true but we have a million more little steps." :)
 
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