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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-20-2016, 05:12 AM Thread Starter
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Default Rail and style bits.

As I Attempt to up my game so to speak ,Ive noticed there are many types of bits. I'll be going from the kreg jig to a two table set up. Traditionally I've been making flat panel doors with mdf with a bead mold added. When buying style and rail bits should I be looking at plywood or non-plywood bits
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-20-2016, 08:29 AM
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I have had a problem with using plywood and would stay away from it for painted doors. With MDF you are almost guaranteed a nice smooth finish. The other thing with MDF is that it gives some weight to the doors unlike plywood. The draw back is that it is difficult to find 4x8 sheets of 1/4" MDF which is why I had to use the plywood on some of the doors. The panels on the pantry door had to longer than 4' feet. You can use the plywood bits on the 1/4" MDF by simply running the panel edges across a 3/8" rabbiting bit. You need to do this with MDF as well since the MDF is 1/4" and so is the groove on a 1/4" bit. However you can also use the 1/4" groove bit with plywood by simply gluing the plywood panel in. The bit that I use is from MLCS and is a perfect 1/4". I posted a video on Youtube showing the problem the different thicknesses can cause and how to get around it. Here is a picture of the problem I had with plywood notice the ripple on the surface. This is something that could not be seen until a finish was put on.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-20-2016, 12:04 PM
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I also wouldn't use ply for the frame but I might use ply for the panel and solid wood for the frame. I've heard other members from the states say that they have trouble finding 1/4 mdf but I have no problem at all here.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-20-2016, 12:41 PM
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Ply for panel, solid wood for rails and stiles. I now use Sommerfeld matched bit sets for this kind of work. The shafts are precisely matched for length so that once you set the first bit, all that follow are exactly aligned, no resetting height. You drop a half inch grommet into the collet so all bottom out at exactly the same point.

I know that there are other bit sets out there, and I haven't used them. Once I got the Sommerfeld sets, there was no point in trying anything else. Check the site Sommerfeld Tools for Wood for information and ordering their sets. I also have their "star" shaped Sommerfelds bright yellow Easy Set Up Jig ( https://www.amazon.com/Sommerfelds-E.../dp/B00FAFIUES ), which is only $30 on Amazon, and makes setup of the first bit, adjusted for the thickness of the work piece, a breeze. Sommerfeld also makes a red version for Freud bits. Sommerfeld bit sets come in great hardwood boxes to keep them together and safe from damage.

BTW, I don't get a toaster from Sommerfeld, I am just 100% pleased with everything I've ordered from them.

Their site is here: Sommerfeld Tools for Wood

I can also highly recommend their set of videos, which cover how Marc Sommerfeld uses the router to make all kinds of interesting projects. They are clear, concise and follow a project through step by step without cutting away. Lots of close ups and hints. He was a cabinet maker before starting his tool company. You can find some of his videos on YouTube, just search for Marc Sommerfeld and you'll find them. I like having the DVDs on hand although you could save by downloading them. Have not needed customer service, but have asked them questions a couple of times and Marc himself responded.

I am sure you'll get lots of input and recommendations for bit brands and methods, but I thought I'd share my very happy experience with this brand.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-21-2016, 04:29 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you. I'll check Sommerfield out. I would never use plywood for the rails or styles.maple has been my choice as of late however I have used poplar in the past.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-22-2016, 09:47 AM
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These are my current unbranded bits that do a good job. Don't forget NOT to glue in the raised panel, foam gap filler keeps the panel firm but allows for movement as the weather changes.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-22-2016, 01:38 PM
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Someone suggested once to use the spline material that is used to replace door and window screens. It's pretty cheap. Norm Abrams used to glue the center inch in the panel (top and bottom) and let the rest float otherwise the panel can start rattling once all the wood dries out.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-22-2016, 02:59 PM
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Check the Freud Adjustable Rail and Stile bits...very versatile for doors, windows, screen/glass doors...extended tennons too...see youtube vids (5 part video series)

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-22-2016, 03:20 PM
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looking into the Sommerfeld bits myself. Seems like a great setup - to start out with. My greatest fear is not setting the height correctly between all the grooves and tenons.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-23-2016, 01:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary L Mosier View Post
looking into the Sommerfeld bits myself. Seems like a great setup - to start out with. My greatest fear is not setting the height correctly between all the grooves and tenons.
Then make sure you pop for the extra $30 for their easy setup jig. This works for most of their matched bit sets and also accounts for the thickness of the work piece. Very accurate . Watch as many videos on the Sommerfeld methods on YouTube. His technique really makes it easy to do great projects right off the bat.

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