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Thread: Frame and Panel router bit set question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    GTA Ontario Canada

    Frame and Panel router bit set question

    Ok Bryan and Allen have tipped my scale and its time i venture forth into the frame and panel world.

    Can you guys offer suggestions as to a decent set. I dont intend buying twice and i aint going into the furniture business but i do wish to have a good set that will last. Only 1/2 " shanks.

    There are so many i have seen out there i cannot tell what to look for and who is got the "it"

    Any recommendations preferably would like to know you either own it or have used it and would choose it therefore if you had need.

    Thanks in advance

    Also what do you use for spacing when it comes to putting your panel into the frame. I have seen rubber balls and what looks like rubber rod tappered at each end.

    I presume the go to approach is also to finish the panel before one inserts it to cater for woodmovement is this neccessary?

  2. #2

    I just bought my first set. I was very much impressed with the MLCS Katana set. They aren't cheap but they cut red oak like a hot knife cutting warm butter.

    Here's a link:

    No relations with MLCS other than being a happy 1st time customer.

  3. #3
    I have a Wood river set that Woodcraft sells and a set from MLCS. I like both sets and they have seen alot of use. I did my kitchen, my daughters bedroom set, a couple of cherry built-ins and some other odds and ends with the MLCS set and have yet to sharpen it.

    The cope and stick bits from the Woodriver set are very similar to a set of shaper cutters in that you can set the infeed fence deeper than the outfeed fence and cut any defects off the edge.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Thomasville, GA
    Here's another vote for MLCS. I have a couple different styles of their regular sets (not Katana). I've done a fair amount of red oak and have only lightly honed one set one time.

    I've used space balls but find I need to cut them in half to work like I want.

    Also, when setting up a set the first time, I make a pair of setup blocks (cope and stick) as soon as I have a correct match. Makes it much easier to set up in future sessions.
    Last edited by Bill Arnold; 03-12-2012 at 08:45 PM. Reason: Add info.
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member
    Member of Mensa
    Live every day like it's your last, but don't forget to stop and smell the roses.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    new york city burbs
    I will only buy red or orange bit sets from now on. I find their quality unmatched.(at least for me)
    buy a few packs of spaceballs, they make it simple.
    when you buy a cope and stick set, as mine did, it will tell you how to determine panel size, as well as stiles and rail size, according to the set you purchase. (mine has a 7/16 tenon)
    I dont size the panel after I make the stiles and rails, I figure out all the measurements first, and I havent had a problem with the 6 or 7 doors Ive made so far, so I guess following the manufacturers directions, makes it easy, even for me.
    (I laminated the instruction sheet, because I reread it everytime I start to use the bit set)
    Human Test Dummy

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Santa Claus, In
    No problems here from Eagle America or Freud.
    If you don't take pride in your work, life get's pretty boring.

    Rule of thumb is if you donít know what tool to buy next, then you probably donít need it yet.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Independence, Kentucky
    I am happy with the MCLS set, I also have a set from Holbren that is good Neither on breaks the bank I have used the MCLS set for over five years with no dulling so far.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Amherst, New Hampshire
    I have a MCLS set also. No problems at all.
    Faith, Hope & Charity

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Rochester, NY
    I have been pleased with the Whiteside sets that I purchased from The cope and stick matches are very good and the have a fairly decent selection of profiles available.

    A quick alternative to spaceballs would be to lay down a 1/8-3/16 bead of pure silicone caulk on a piece of wax paper. After ihe caulk dries, cut it into pieces and insert a couple in each groove before inserting the panel. I do prefinish the panel inserts before assembly.
    Chip Hamblin
    Rochester, NY / Dwight, ON
    FWW Registered Voter

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    RETIRED(!) in Austintown, Ohio
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Southwood View Post
    No problems here from Eagle America or Freud.
    Did you know that MLCS bought Eagle America a couple months ago? The EA headquarters/store in Chardon, Ohio is closed now, and their newest catalog is now full of MLCS products.
    Jim D.

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