Derek Cohen (in Perth, Australia)
Bill, I do have a dado plane, but it is not my first choice with stopped dados. It can be done, but not as simple as a through dado.
The HNT Gordon dado plane:
I have also demoed the Veritas Combination Plane and the Stanley #46 alongside the Veritas cutting dados ...
The other issue .... I wanted a 10mm dado and the HNT Gordon is 1/2". And all the planes I have are also Imperial.
Why 10mm? It is half of 20mm, the case thickness. I do not want the dividers to dominate.
The templates? You're correct - I could just have made a 10mm section and used it for all. Probably would have been a better "risk". I have a DRO on my tablesaw, and this made it easy to dial in the rips. I am still mindful of the marking out errors that crept into the Apothecary Chest (where I needed to fill the mistakes and recut dados).
Why Merbau as a secondary wood? Why did I not use Hard Maple throughout? I do not have much Maple - keep in mind that all I get is imported into the country. Merbau is cheap, and it is hard wearing. One has to be careful when working it, but the hardness is what I wanted with drawers sliding back-and-forth.
Regards from Perth