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Thread: Vertical Panel Raising Bit - trying them out

  1. #1
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    Vertical Panel Raising Bit - trying them out

    Howdy,

    Even though I've been woodworking for over 10 years, I am still just a hobbiest, with a day job and many other responsibilities. As such, there are many facets of woodworking where I have not had the time to explore in depth. Raised panels are one such area. For whatever reason, I just have not used raised panels very much.

    The first time I raised a panel I used the method of making cove molding on the table saw, only making half a cove. (this involves sliding a board diagonally over the saw blade, and raising the blade a fraction at a time. it works, and gives a nice curved surface, but is VERY slow. This is suitable for when you need only one or two panels.

    The next time was also on the table saw. With an angled sliding jig, you can clamp and cut raised panels. it works, but again, is fairly labour intensive, as it requires clamping each board four times -- once for each side, plus another Table saw setup for cutting the shoulders. Last year I used this method when cutting the raised panels for the drawer fronts of nine drawers. It was endless. I swore to never do that again.

    I don't have a shaper, and am unlikely to get one in the near future, so that avenue for raised panels is out. Horizontal raised panel bits on the router table seems to be the next most popular option. But they wouldn't work in my basic router table -- the opening is too small for the bit.

    Here then, is my first experience trying out a vertical panel raising bit in a router table. For my project (another set of 9 drawer fronts) I chose the Vertical Straight Panel Raising bit from Lee Valley (Part # 16J63.52).

    I mounted this in my PC690 mounted in my disposable router table that I made a while back. My fence was too short for these large drawer fronts, so I first attached an auxiliary fence to the face of my fence with some wood screws. It was about 10-12" tall and the length of the fence.

    Router table set up - front
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Router table set up - back
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Actually using the bit was almost anticlimactic. It just worked. The PC690 is a single-speed router, so I was carefull to not try and take too large a cut in one pass. But even so, I found it only took two passes to raise the panels to the depth that I wanted.

    In hindsight I should have made three passes. On a ww'ing forum I read some advice that at the end of your run you should give the fence a tap (pushing it over maybe 1/32nd I would guess) and take a final tiny cut. I did encounter some minor "ripples" in my work pieces that I had to sand out. I presume that the board wiggled a tiny bit in use, and I would think that a final pass like that would help take care of that and reduce some of the clean-up sanding that was needed afterwards

    Click image for larger version. 

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    NOTE: This is a posed shot - nothing is turned on. I ALWAYS wear ear and eye protection when using tools. I didn't actually know my wife was going to include me in the shot, but I actually like the "overall" view this gives.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    And that's about all there is to say.

    It really was not that hard to use this bit. It worked fine in a simple inexpensive router table. It worked fine in a simple inexpensive 1.5HP router. It worked fine with a simple homemade wooden fence that was probaly NOT flat to some incredible thousands of an inch.

    I'm quite satisfied. Here are some test boards.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    And just for completion, here are some of the drawers with the finished (though without finish) drawer fronts mounted.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Art Mulder; 12-03-2008 at 03:30 PM.
    There's usually more than one way to do it...
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  2. #2
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    Constantine, MI
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    Hi Art. Thanks for this review - well done and it answers many of the questions I had about these bits. I think one of these might be in my future!
    Host of the 2017 Family Woodworking Gathering - Sunken Wood

    “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk
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  3. #3
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    Now can you raise and lower this bit to allow for more/less of a profile?
    Do you have to set the height of the bit based on the width of wood you are cutting, ie. a drawer front vs. a door, or do they used the same setting?
    Haven't used one so I was wondering.

    I know what you mean by anti-climatic. I heard horror stories about the 45 lock miter bit but when I used it I didn't find it that bad. Did take some setup time but worked out.
    Rise above the rest

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Beaver View Post
    Now can you raise and lower this bit to allow for more/less of a profile?
    Do you have to set the height of the bit based on the width of wood you are cutting, ie. a drawer front vs. a door, or do they used the same setting?
    Not entirely sure what you're asking. Just like with any router bit, you can either move the fence, or raise/lower the bit. That's it for adjustments.

    What you achieve by raising/lowering the fence on a horizontal bit, you would have to get by moving the fence on a vertical bit.
    There's usually more than one way to do it...
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  5. #5
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    Art,

    Looks like you're making good progress on your project. Thanks for posting your experience with the vertical bit. I've used a few horizontal bits and am interested in whether the vertical versions of the same bits would actually work better. I can see where a vertical bit would have more consistent speed over its length than a horizontal bit would, making for a smoother finish.
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
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  6. #6
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    art from the looks you did ,,but i am gonna ask just the same ,,you ran the end grain first correct? that way, when you came down the sides it would clean up any tearout that you may have gotten.. a possible solution for the ripples is to have a piece clamped on the table to keep you at 3/4 or what ever your panel thickness is. looks good art now wheres the rest of it
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
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  7. #7
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    Looking real good Art

    I'd try to put some kind of a feather board at the very bottom the next time you do this, it really helps with keeping the ripples at bay

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by larry merlau View Post
    art from the looks you did ,,but i am gonna ask just the same ,,you ran the end grain first correct? that way, when you came down the sides it would clean up any tearout that you may have gotten.. a possible solution for the ripples is to have a piece clamped on the table to keep you at 3/4 or what ever your panel thickness is. looks good art now wheres the rest of it
    Yup, endgrain first. Learned that one a while back.

    As for the rest of it, well I'm in the midst of finishing. Maybe in a week?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Ablett View Post
    Looking real good Art

    I'd try to put some kind of a feather board at the very bottom the next time you do this, it really helps with keeping the ripples at bay
    Yeah, a couple of folks have suggested (on other forums) about using some sort of guide to "trap" the piece so it won't tilt out.

    thanks for the kind words, all!
    There's usually more than one way to do it...
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