Raised Panels: Router vs. Table Saw??? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 78 (permalink) Old 08-20-2012, 12:50 AM Thread Starter
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Default Raised Panels: Router vs. Table Saw???

Raised panels add a great finishing touch to many wood working projects such as cabinets doors, architectural elements, furniture and passage way doors. Creating the raised panels may be more straight forward than you would think. The knee jerk reaction is to think this can be accomplished with a router, router table and ogee bit, of course. Easier said than done; anyone who has attempted this with a router knows extreme care is paramount. Big diameter bits (>3"-diameter) spinning at 10,000-rpm can be intimidating. Add to the equation creating a raised arched panel and that means attempting the feat without a router fence...Yikes!

Enter the table saw. Yep, I said table saw. Now raised panels can be fabricated via a tricky little jig attached to the keystone of every wood shop. Advantages? The raised panel is easier to handle on the table saw, especially when long raised panel cuts are needed and you get a true straight cut. The raised panel jig has a high fence (24"-Tall) and a perpendicular foot that the saw blade protrudes through at 12.5-degrees. This set up gives excellent stability and allows hand positioning well away from the saw blade enhancing control and improving safety. I did an experiment with multiple increasingly deep cuts and with one pass full depth cut. The one pass full depth cut is definitely the way to go...it is slower but the end product is much cleaner and requires way less finish sanding.

Give the table saw due consideration when fabricating your raised panels.
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post #2 of 78 (permalink) Old 08-20-2012, 07:35 AM
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I've made raised panels both ways and prefer using a 3 hp router in the table but it takes a solid table and a good setup to get good cuts. Down force feather boards are needed to keep the work against the table and they can't be located above the area that will be cut. The only time that I don't use my router table fence in addition to the bearing on the bit is when cutting the arched edge of the panels. If the panels are arched I will cut all sides of the panel on the router table with the same setup, only removing the fence when doing the arched side. A round bit guard above the bit is then used.

A table saw will do a good job of raising panels, but it can only do the straight non-arched cuts. Arched panels that were built before shapers and routers had their arched edge hand carved. This is still done if the arch requires a tight inside curve that can't be completely cut because of the large diameter of the router bit or shaper cutter.

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post #3 of 78 (permalink) Old 08-20-2012, 07:52 AM
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Default Depends on the quality of the table-saw....

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Originally Posted by PorterCable690 View Post
Raised panels add a great finishing touch to many wood working projects such as cabinets doors, architectural elements, furniture and passage way doors. Creating the raised panels may be more straight forward than you would think. The knee jerk reaction is to think this can be accomplished with a router, router table and ogee bit, of course. Easier said than done; anyone who has attempted this with a router knows extreme care is paramount. Big diameter bits (>3"-diameter) spinning at 10,000-rpm can be intimidating. Add to the equation creating a raised arched panel and that means attempting the feat without a router fence...Yikes!

Enter the table saw. Yep, I said table saw. Now raised panels can be fabricated via a tricky little jig attached to the keystone of every wood shop. Advantages? The raised panel is easier to handle on the table saw, especially when long raised panel cuts are needed and you get a true straight cut. The raised panel jig has a high fence (24"-Tall) and a perpendicular foot that the saw blade protrudes through at 12.5-degrees. This set up gives excellent stability and allows hand positioning well away from the saw blade enhancing control and improving safety. I did an experiment with multiple increasingly deep cuts and with one pass full depth cut. The one pass full depth cut is definitely the way to go...it is slower but the end product is much cleaner and requires way less finish sanding.

Give the table saw due consideration when fabricating your raised panels.
Hi, I have this dilemma as I'm making lots of frame and panel - fitting out my house. My tablesaw is a wonderful old Wadkin PK, but the blade seriously needs replacing which I can't afford at the moment, and the wobble makes for too much work cleaning up. My trusty old Hitachi 2hp router, with a home-made router table does the job with minimal cleanup afterwards. The trick is to do the end-grain first, so that any breakout is taken away leaving a very clean finish.
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post #4 of 78 (permalink) Old 08-20-2012, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by PorterCable690 View Post

Give the table saw due consideration when fabricating your raised panels.
As most if not all the raised panels I do are cathedral arched panels with ogee or roman ogee profiles, this is not really on option for me.

However with proper tooling and jigs, they are quite easy to do and reasonably safe.

Guess it goes to show there are several ways to accomplish most things! Use the one that suit you best.
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post #5 of 78 (permalink) Old 08-21-2012, 12:29 AM Thread Starter
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The table saw is quite an amazing tool and made even more amazing with engaged imagination.

So here ya go: Make your raised panels as previously described above using the table saw for the straight cuts, then... go at it again on the table saw this time at an angle with a coping jig. Viola'.... curved raised panels! Crazy stuff...
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post #6 of 78 (permalink) Old 08-21-2012, 12:49 AM
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Hi

You must be joking, it can done with just one router bit and it's safe.
And all done with a $30.oo router bit and normal router table.

MLCS Raised Panel Carbide Tipped Router Bits 2

====

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Originally Posted by PorterCable690 View Post
The table saw is quite an amazing tool and made even more amazing with engaged imagination.

So here ya go: Make your raised panels as previously described above using the table saw for the straight cuts, then... go at it again on the table saw this time at an angle with a coping jig. Viola'.... curved raised panels! Crazy stuff...



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post #7 of 78 (permalink) Old 08-21-2012, 01:14 AM Thread Starter
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No joke there Jigs...

Just another technique to accomplish the same goal....


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post #8 of 78 (permalink) Old 08-21-2012, 01:31 AM
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OK, looks like a great way to remove fingers or to scare the bejesus out of you .

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Originally Posted by PorterCable690 View Post
No joke there Jigs...

Just another technique to accomplish the same goal....


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post #9 of 78 (permalink) Old 08-21-2012, 05:35 AM
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It's not that bad Bob. It's a technique. I've done on table saws, radial arm saws, router tables.

Doing on a table saw... It's quick. It's easy. It's plain. You get a straight type cut. To me, that's just a step above a shaker door. I've done symmetric and asymmetric eliptical coves, but that alone is still plain.

When I'm doing restoration, if a bit or shaper cutter blade isn't available in that profile, then I'll do it on a table saw or RAS... but it takes me 3 to 4 setups/cuts on each edge to replicate the profile. Each one of those setups, if you're doing a cove cut, you have to go at about 1/4" each pass, with 1/32" on the last pass. Some of that profile might be with a bevel using a dado.

Same on my RAS. If the piece is smaller than 22", I'd rather do it on the RAS than a TS. Time and effort between tooilng steps is shorter and I can see right were each tooling setup needs to begin to blend together where the last setup ended. I have the choice of doing with a blade, dado or use router bits at beveled angles. Using router bits on an RAS still takes me 3-4 setups to replicate a profile with depth adjustments 1/4 at a time.

There's more sanding to do to get the saw marks out. I don't care what kind of blade you use, pushing sideways on a TS blade leaves tooling marks. Because of this, I found that if I use a sharp courser blade, 24 to 40 tooth, then things go faster, I don't burn the blade or work, and the results are the same quality wise. There still is more to sand to get to where a router bit or shaper blade would leave it. When doing restorations, I have to sand to clean up the tooling setup step transitions to make those separate steps into a one seamless profile.

So the comment on a table saw being easier and safer than a router table for making raised panels? Experience tells me that a router table or shaper is easier and more profiles are available. You can get more detailed and elaborate doing raised panels on a router table. You don't need to balance a panel on edge with a jig straddling the fence... Etc.

Don't get me wrong, I'm always entertained by a challenge and I love working on one of my table saws with assorted jigs, but doing raised panels on a TS for me is an alternate backup kind of thing. Sort of to the tune of: "If I have to, I can... " (But maybe not my first choice.)

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post #10 of 78 (permalink) Old 08-21-2012, 11:26 AM
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Hi Mike

I have been using the table saw and the RAS for MANY years (50 plus years) to make door panels but the safe way with a jig but not in the cove way, just looks unsafe to me ,no need to make a easy job into a hard one and a unsafe one for me..I have all my fingers and I'm going to keep them in place..most of the stories you hear about are about the table saw or to say someone using it the wrong way..


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Originally Posted by MAFoElffen View Post
It's not that bad Bob. It's a technique. I've done on table saws, radial arm saws, router tables.

Doing on a table saw... It's quick. It's easy. It's plain. You get a straight type cut. To me, that's just a step above a shaker door. I've done symmetric and asymmetric coves, but that alone is still plain.

When I'm doing restoration, if a bit or shaper cutter blade isn't available in that profile, then I'll do it on a table saw or RAS... but it takes me 3 to 4 setups/cuts on each edge to replicate the profile. Each one of those setups, if you're doing a cove cut, you have to go at about 1/4" each pass, with 1/32" on the last pass. Some of that profile might be with a bevel using a dado.

Same on my RAS, but now I can also use router bits at bevel angles. Using router bits on it, it still takes me 3-4 setups to replicate a profile with depth adjustments 1/4 at a time.

And there's more sanding to do to get the saw marks out. I don't care what kind of blade you use, pushing sideways on a TS blade leaves more to sand away to get to where a router bit or shaper blade would be. When doing restorations, I have to sand to clean up the transitions between those setups to make it into a seemless profile.

So the comment on easier and safer? Experience tells me that a router table or shaper is easier and more profiles are available. You can get more detailed and elaborate doing raised panels on a router table.

Don't get me wrong, I love working on one of my my table saws with assorted jigs, but doing raised panels on a TS for me is an alternate backup kind of thing. Sort of to the tune: "If I have to..."



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