Between 3 trips to the hospital to see my Dad today (he’s slowly improving), I was able to cut the bottom groove in the front piece. And I cut it much like I would a regular dado. I deepened the gage line with a chisel, worked the toe of my cross cut saw backwards along the length of this line to establish a kerf, and sawed the upper line to depth because it passed through a tail at both ends. The lower gage line ended in a pin and only allowed me to saw 1/8″ deep. Using my 3/16″ chisel, I cut the waste from end to end and then zipped it out. I then used my router to remove the remaining waste by extending the cutter in 1/64 – 1/32″ increments until I had a final depth of 1/4″. The red oak was too hard to handle with any deeper cuts.
Tomorrow I’ll cut pieces for my drawer bottom, glue up pieces, cut a rabbet on 3 sides of the bottom, and do a dry fit. Speaking of chisels, I am really finding my 3/16″ to be quite handy. It’s small size allows access to a lot of tight areas but it is in no way small on strength. I use it as hard as my 1/2″ and it hangs right in there. If you’ve considered buying one, I recommend this size. Stay warm and be safe.