Another Option Horizontal Bit with a Back Cutter

a different cutting technique. Since you're cutting on both sides of the panel at the same time, you can't raise the bit to deepen the profile, as described above. You have to start with the bit at full height and either cut the profile with a single pass, or work in from the edges with multiple passes.

The Amana bit shown makes the job easier by including a large and small bearing. You use the large ^ bearing to make the first pass, then install the small bearing to complete the profile.

The odd-looking bit at left is a "souped up" style of horizontal raised-panel bit. It has a back cutter on the end of the shank separated from the profile cutter by a bearing. The trick is that while the raised-panel profile is being formed, the back cutters relieve the back of the panel to form the tongue (see photo at left). The advantage to this all-in-one operation is that an accurately sized tongue is almost automatic.

To get the benefit out of this style of horizontal bit, you'll need to use

Raised Panel Jig

A tall fence and a featherboard supported by a spacer make routing the profile easier.


Panel i Shallow passes creates cleaner profile

Raised Panel With Table Saw

Move the Fence. Make a shallow cut on all four edges, move the fence back and repeat the process.

Raised Panels with a Vertical Bit

Due to their smaller size, ease of use, and less demanding router requirement, vertical style raised-panel bits are the first choice of many woodworkers. You'll find that the "scale" of these bits is comparable to some of the heftier profile bits you have. And although you may not get quite the quality of cut that a horizontal bit will produce, it's still very good. A bonus is that the cost of a vertical bit is easier on the budget ($40 to $60 range).

AMY ROUTER. As I mentioned, vertical raised-panel bits can be used with just about any standard router of 1-hp or better. And due to their much smaller diameter, you can run these bits at typical router speeds of 22,000 RPM or more.


Panel i Shallow passes creates cleaner profile

Move the Fence. Make a shallow cut on all four edges, move the fence back and repeat the process.

Although, your router will have to accept a Mf collet to hold the bit.

THE ROUTER TABLE SETUP. One of the keys to cutting a clean profile with a vertical style bit is firm, steady control of the upright panel. The photo at right shows how I adapt the router table for this job.

First, for better support, you'll want to attach a tall auxiliary fence with a tall bit opening to your stock fence. And I like to position a "raised" featherboard to apply gentle pressure to the panel as I make the cuts. It makes feeding the panel easier and more consistent.

SIMPLE TECHNIQUE. The technique used to cut the profile is pretty easy to follow. A look at the drawing at left will clue you in. The gist is that you're going to start with the bit set at full height. Then you work back into the panel by adjusting the position of the fence. This simple routine allows you to size the tongue accurately and achieve the smoothest profile.

LIGHT PASSES. To begin, most of the cutting edge of the bit is buried in the fence. Make a slow, steady cut across one end of the panel. Rotating the panel clockwise (toward you), follow with cuts along the remaining three edges.

Now you move the fence back, exposing more of the cutting edge, and do it all over again. When the bit starts to cut along its full

A tall fence and a featherboard supported by a spacer make routing the profile easier.

length, you'll want to lighten up on the depth of cut to minimize any chipout. If you hear and feel serious chipping and "chatter," it's a sign that you're cutting too deep.

Sneak up on the final thickness of the tongue and complete the profile with a very light cleanup pass. And then check to see that the tongue and profile are cut to the same depth on all sides. An extra pass or two applying a little more sideways pressure to the panel may be necessary to even up the corners.

EVERYDAY DETAIL In my book, any tool that turns a difficult technique into an everyday detail is certainly one worth having. And I guarantee raised-panel bits fall into this category. Check out the sources on page 51 and give one a try. El

Gluing up a frame and solid-wood raised-panel assembly requires finding a balance between two important goals. On the one hand, the panel should be allowed to expand and contract freely across the grain. So to avoid the risk of cracking the panel or popping the joints, you don't want to glue it rigidly into the frame grooves. But on the other hand, you want to keep the panel from shifting or rattling annoyingly in the frame.

The solution is a simple compromise shown in the inset photo at right. I apply a short bead of glue (about 1" long) through the center of the upper and lower rails along the back edge of the groove. The glue keeps the panel centered while allowing it to expand and contract freely.

Panel Mold Bit Bead

Miter Clamp

Cove Cutting Table Saw

If you've never used your table saw to cut perfect coves, you may want to give this jig a try and make your own custom molding.

tricky to clamp the guide boards in the correct position. And it requires constant downward pressure during the cut to avoid having the workpiece ride up over the blade.

Rockier has improved on this basic setup by creating an inexpensive cove-cutting jig. The jig incorporates miter slot clamps and an adjustable featherboard to make cutting coves safer and easier.

Making your own cove molding not only saves a little money, but also allows you to select your own stock. That means you can choose the grain and color you want rather than be at the mercy of what's available at the home center.

THE JIG. As you can see in the photo in the left margin, the jig consists of two MDF fences with adjustable metal tie bars on each end to set the cutting width. The fences are grooved to allow the miter-slot clamps and the featherboard to slide to just about any position. Another nice thing is that all the adjustments are made with knobs — no tools necessary.

SETUP. It only took a few minutes to assemble the jig. It's well designed, and the miter slot

Miter Clamp

Believe it or not, the table saw is a great tool for making cove molding. The traditional way to do this is to clamp two boards to the table saw, afan angle to the saw blade, to act as fences. Then you guide the workpiece over the blade, making several passes, raising the blade between each pass, resulting in a rounded cut. The problem with this method is that it can be

Two Blade Talesaw

Determine the Angle. With tape marking the front and back edge of the blade, it's easy to center the workpiece and jig.

Cut the Cove. Set the featherboard for a snug fit over the blade. Raising the blade in Vis" to increments, make the cuts.

Set Blade Height. After drawing the profile on the end of your stock, raise the blade to match the highest point.

Table Saw Jig Degree

The adjustable featherboard workpiece firmly against the blade.

Miter slot clamp secures the jig

Table Saw Tricks And Jigs

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Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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