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Rail and Stile alignment....HELP

10615 Views 15 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  nwjerry
First, I did download the instructions from MLCS and found my rail and stile, ogee. I am about to pull what little hair I have left out. I am not sure which bit to move. Holding rail in right hand and stile in left, here is what I have.
Stile has what I will refer to as male ogee. It is thicker top to bottom and will not fit in the female ogee on rail end. Rail end seems to be about 1/8 inch lower than top of stile and of course this makes it about the same below the bottom of the stile. I am guessing that the smaller female oggee on rail end had to be the right size. Do I need to adjust the stile bit. Hope this makes sense to someone or you can point me in the right direction. Will keep patterns when I get it right. :(
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Thanks a million, very informative . I think I can handle that, would have saved me a bunch of time and misery. Thanks again
here is maybe a better set up 1 single bit to do both rail and stile I bought mine i thank from Price cutter But check out the price on other supplyer's 1 bit save's time for me Cut the stile on all Than lower the bit for the rail ends cut Their is a sheet that tell's how to get it right Here is a pic of the single bit
Hi arkwood

Here's quick tip how to align the bits to make that door frame quick and easy.

Most of the good Rail and Stile bits come as a matched set,that's to say they are made at the same time at the Fac. as a pair.

But you need to use them that way, 1st. put in a grommet or a faucet washer in your router collet, it must be the right size for your collet, so it can't move around inside the collet and stay in place in the bottom of the collet.
You can get a small box of them at just about any hardware store.
Once you put the (grommet) in the collet you are set,now put in the bit for the cope cut, set it so you have about 1/8" on the lip of the Ogee, then cut your stock to make the rails, make two of the rails at one time, that's to say use a 5" wide board and then rip it in 1/2 to make the 2 rails,now put in the patten bit (stile bit) do it the same way 5" stock, the bit should be right on when you put it in the router (matched set) now make a Small (1/16" long) cut to check the alignment, if it's OK run the stock by the bit and do the same thing, take it to your saw and rip in 1/2.
Your done, you should have 4 parts that are all the same and just waiting for the panel.
Make your rails a bit long so you can get your 1/2" overlay,you can always cut them off you just can add to them :)

Bj :)
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I'm sure glad your here. I've found that clicking your name and searching your posts, will reveal more and better tips and tricks than a whole stack of woodworking books.

I use a sled for cope cuts so I need to adjust height when changing bits. But I'm building a mantle clock and wanted to use my r&s bits to make the door. Problem was, the frame was only going to be 1 1/2" wide. I was trying to think of a safe way to do it when I saw this post. Ripping the parts in half after routing is a simple solution that had not crossed my mind.

Thanks, Rusty
You're Welcome Rusty

I'm glad it helped, I also use it to get the parts of the door to match (wood grain thing) I will glue up stock to match sometimes and make 4 or 5 doors that are all the same wood that way,plus you don't need to use the sled sometimes because the stock is wide and you can make all the cope cuts at one time and then rip them to size. :)

Then make a male /female jig to put on the patten cut that can be a bit tricky on
1 1/2" wide stock.
Plastic push block that has a female (patten) screwed to the block so it will hold it down to the table and let you push it by the bit safe and a small 2 x 4 block to hold it to the fence.

Like the one below ▼
Note,,,, the cut outs can be 3/4" deep but make two or three blocks they are nice to have on hand.

Bj :)


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Just set them up one time. I bought a matched set of rail and stile bits from MLCS. I noticed in the magazine they had "set-up" blocks. I figured I could make my own. So first time I used my bits, when I got them aligned perfect, I took 2 square scrap pieces of MDF. I ran one through to make the stile cut, then used the other one to make the cope or rail cut. The MDF holds up well, I stored them right next to the bits, and I know it is a perfect 3/4 inch. Each time I used my bits I just use my own set-up blocks, it is not always perfect right off, but it saves me a lot of time.
Hi digdoo

It can be tricky to set up for the Rail and Stile even when you have the setup blocks, here's a trick I use all the time.
Most R & S bit sets are matched sets, that's to say the cutters are in the same spot on the router bit shank, from the bottom.
Put a rubber grommet in the router collet ,at the base of the collet,this will hold the bits at the same height,now if you use a sled ,that is 1/4" thick the norm just slip a brass setup bar under the cutter, to raise it by 1/4" the norm when you used the router sled.

Your stock can be 1/2" to 3/4" and it will come out right on the button every time. :)
The grommet must be in tight, in the base of the collet so it can't move or drop down when you put the bit in the chuck.
You can also use a rubber faucet washer,that you can get from a hardware store in a repair the kits for about 3.oo dollars for 20 or so. :)
Not all router chucks are the same size,ID so you will need to play with it just a bit to get the right size,it should be a tap fit,that's to say tap it in the collet so it's flush on the bottom of the collet.

Bj :)


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I bought a craftsman ogee stile and rail bit . No instruction! I would like to make some doors. Can some one give instructions as to what pieces to router first and how to set the bits up
I bought a craftsman ogee stile and rail bit . No instruction! I would like to make some doors. Can some one give instructions as to what pieces to router first and how to set the bits up
Hi Wally - Welcome to the forum:)
Normally you would want to route the rails (horizontal pieces) first. Then switch bits and use the pieces just routed to set up for the stiles. That, of course, is grossly understated.
Try this for a quicky introduction to R&S.
Gentleman, cope and stick means two tables cause I am to stupid to reset accurately.
I bought a craftsman ogee stile and rail bit . No instruction! I would like to make some doors. Can some one give instructions as to what pieces to router first and how to set the bits up
Welcome to the RouterForums, Wally.
One thing that might be helpful is to obtain some setup blocks, such as those from MLCS. While the dimensions of the Craftsman and MLCE ogee rail and stile bits may not be identical, they will be close, and they will help you set the two bits to the same height, within measurable tolerances.
MLCS Rail and Stile Carbide Tipped Router Bits 1
#9741 Ogee #8871

page 9 of the .pdf to which John (Jschaben) linked describes how to use these setup blocks.

Most setup blocks don't work with other bits, make you own,,,the key is the thickest of the wood must be right every time..or to say the same every time, so make a new set every time you change the thickest of the wood...easy to make your own.

Right on Bob, how thick is your 3/4" meaning if your buying S4S (smooth 4 sides) the material varies23/64-25/64 Thats why so many on here love MDF its a consistent 3/4. If your addiccted to set up blocks then you need rough sawn material and plane to set-up block thickness if you want consistentcy

In our world we spend more time preparing for a cut than cutting its almost anticlimatic. Set up is the evil we all strive to master and what frustrates us all except mark bob and harry sin
Craftsman ogee and stile and rail

I bought a craftsman ogee stile and rail bit . No instruction! I would like to make some doors. Can some one give instructions as to what pieces to router first and how to set the bits up
There is good information in the messages above from my original post. I like the idea of the one bit but have not used it. For me using a scrap piece of wood and getting stile and rail to fit like you want and keep them. Then when you need to set up again, just raise bit until it fits the pattern perfectly. Good luck, Jerry
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