Panel Raising Bits

Two styles of router bits that produce professional-looking panels without a shaper

Not too long ago, if you didn't own a shaper, your only options were to raise panels on your tablcsaw or with a hand plane. Today, it's easier and cheaper than ever to raise panels of many sizes and profiles. All you need is a router, a router table, and the right bit. But here's the rub: How do you choose the correct bit from today's lineup of panel-raising cutters? This panel-raising primer will provide you with the basics to help you choosc—and use—the right bit for your job and your budget.

Horizontal or Vertical?

Panel-raising bits fall into two distinct categories—horizontal and vertical. Horizontal bits resemble large-diameter shaper cutters. Vertical bits arc a newer invention designed specifically for smaller-horsepower routers. Selecting the right bit is largely dependent upon two things: the size of your router and the shape of the panels you intend to raise.

Horizontal bits work much like shaper cutters. You can use this type of bit \ with a fence to raise straight-edged panels, or you can use the bit's built-in ball- Jj bearing guide to raise arched or serpentine panels. (See bottom left and center 5 photos, opposite page.) £

Raising horizontally is a little easier than raising vertically. With a horizontal 2 panel-raising bit, the panel runs flat on the table. Horizontal bits produce a cut £

Profile possibilities. Panel-raising bits let you cut a variety of dramatic profiles on your router table. Learn which type of bit best meets your needs.

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Wood Working 101

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