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I've got a Craftsmen 1/4" shank router mounted in a Craftsmen table. While at the Woodstock,ON woodshow I spotted a set of bits for making raised panel doors, rail and style I believe are the correct name. Are these worth the investment with this size router? I'ved been told that the router is too small and underpowered to bother using these. Any thoughts?

Brian
 

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You did hear right about being under powered and me personally would go for a 1/2" shank set. 1/4" would have a lot of pressure. I would go with nothing less then a 2hp or bigger in the router range.
 

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Doug
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Definitely good advice, You need a decent size router to do panel work. I would never even think about raising panels with 1/4 inch shanks. That is way too much force on too small a shank.

I've personally broken a 1/4 inch straight cutter plowing dadoes too fast in oak, so I'm sure a 1/4 inch panel raiser in hardwood could be easier to break.....
 

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Don't forget.......A speed controller........unless you get a verial speed router, 25000 rpm is way too fast for raised panel bits, they are usually 3 inchs in diamiter
 

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I have two of the 1-1 1/2 hp Craftsman routers that only take 1/4" shank bits. Call me the cowardly lion if you will, but it flat scares me to think of using a panel raising bit with 1/4" shank thats just too much diameter moving too fast
. Taking very light cuts and carfully matching feed, it could probably be done?
But it would be like driving nails with a tea cup. There are better tools for the job.
When you can but 2hp + routers for just over $100,(Hitachi M12KP, $125 at local Lowes) I would not risk it.
I`ll keep at least one of the Craftsman around till it dies, its in a craftsman table. The other I`ll probably give to my son, when I get my new router.
 

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You need to buy a router that uses 1/2 shank bits and Variable speed..Large bits use slow RPM
I did use a PC 1 3/4 hp and it worked just fine..Now i use the Freud 3 1/4 hp model
 

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rail and stile bits

I have a 2 HP Sears Craftsman router in a table that has the 1/2 collet (I'd have to put it in, though). My questions are, would I need a variable speed attachment put on this to use the rail and stile bits with 1/2 shanks, how expensive is the variable speed attachment, and instead of purchasing a variable speed for it, would it be possible to just take smaller passes at a time like suggested for the 1/4" collet in a previous reply I read? (I have the bits with 1/2 shank but have not used them yet)
Sandy
 

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Hi Sandy

To start with
I didn't know they made true raised panel bits in the 1/4" shank size,most are over 2 1/2" in dia. and up.
That's alot of steel setting on top of a 1/4" shank...wow...not me...

Back to what you ask about, the variable speed control is the way to go in your case.
If you put a panel bit in your router (TABLE) and turn it on it will scare the heck out of you ,I'm sure....at 20,000 rpm it's running at 200 miles hour, not to say anything about how loud it will be. (bits will tell you when they are running to fast) ♪ ♫ ♪

A good rule of thumb,2" bits at 1/2 speed and then move down the rpm as the bit gets bigger.
Small bits at full speed,that's to say 1" or or smaller.

It's always best to make two cuts or more,I'm sure the router will have the power to make one cut but that's not the point, you want to turn out a nice clean cut.
When making raised panel doors you are removing a alot of stock from the panel.
The router and the bit will talk to you that's to say they put out a sound that tells you are doing the job right and not over loading the router or the bit.

Here's a link for the control, at a good price, I have 4 of them and I use them on many tools in the shop....

variable speed control
http://da.harborfreight.com/cpisearch/web/search.do?keyword=speed+control&Submit=Go

Just a note***when buying bits stick with 1/2" shank when every you can it's true that not all bits can't be had in the 1/2" size but when you can do so.

Bj :)
 

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Bj
That is what I will do, then, to play it safe..........head over to HF to get at least one of those variable speed controls before I use those rail and stile bits.
As usual, you have been a great help.
Thank you,
Sandy
 

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Sandy, if you have already purchased your bits then the speed controler is the way to go. There is another way and nobody ever mentions it. Panel raising bits are most commonly used horizontally. The vertical panel raising bits are much smaller diameter(hence safer) run at a higher speed for a cleaner cut and cost less. Use of these bits requires that you build a simple jig to support the panel while routing; an "h" shape attached to your routers fence will work just fine. You will need to make a clearance hole in the jig for the bit to pass through, and this type of set up requires the use of a fingerboard clamped to your table to keep the wood tight against the jig.
 

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Sandy

Here's a web page you may want to read :)

http://www.newwoodworker.com/rtrbitspds.html

Dangerous Advice

"Recently I came across a frightening question/answer sequence on an Internet woodworking forum.
A novice woodworker with a single-speed (rated at 23,000 RPM) router questioned using a large bit that came with a warning not to exceed 18,000 RPM.
A veteran member of the forum advised, "Router bit manufacturers build in a large safety factor, you can spin that bit way faster than that!" The problem is that this "safety factor" is a fallacy and a potentially dangerous one if believed."

"This piece of advice, and there have been other equally scary exchanges, could easily have put the novice at risk. Fortunately,
I was able to refer the novice posing the question to a manufacturer's tech line where he was given legitimate advice that, not surprisingly, directly contradicted the assurance offered by the "veteran" on the forum. When in doubt, use the tech lines most manufacturers offer. If they do not respond, you need a new router bit manufacturer."

Bj :)
 
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