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Thread: Raised panels

  1. #1

    Raised panels

    I'm getting into new territory, Raised Panels. I'm looking at the MLCS #8687 router bit. It's 2 inches in diameter and I have a PC 690 router mounted in my router table. I'll be routing African Mahogany (fairly hard), will the router - bit combination handle this?

    Thanks, DKT

  2. #2
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    If you take your time, you can make it work just fine. Example: I've used a larger raised panel bit on a 2.25hp router and made panels with red oak. Make light cuts and listen to how the system sounds. You might be able to make 1/8" cuts, but back off of that if it sounds like the router is bogging down. Also, watch your feed rate; you have to strike a balance between slow enough to let the tool do the job but not so slow that the wood burns. In any case, the best way to complete the process is a final, very light cut.
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member and Member of Mensa
    My Weather Underground station

  3. #3
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    I would think it could be a challenge to get reliable, repeatable results. I too have run 2"+ bits with a 2-1/4 and 2-1/2 HP router with decent results. The PC690 is a little workhorse but at 11amps, spinning a 2" bit (and a cheap bit at that) could be asking a lot of it. I don't have trouble with mahogany trying to burn like cherry or maple so you could get some good results. I would give it a try and keep in the back of your mind that if it doesn't do well and starts wasting expensive material; the money you are saving by making your own doors could be put towards a router with a little more oomph! (I knew I could rationalize a new tool into this thread if I tried )
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  4. #4
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    The router is up to the task. 690's are little Sherman tanks. The only downside is that they are not variable speed. A 2"+ diameter bit really should be run slower, but it can be, has been, and likely will be done successfully again. When I was teaching back in the day, all we had were 690's and they took everything we tossed at them. The control comes from technique.

    Here is a rule of thumb to consider: it is not the diameter of the bit, but the length of the profile. In terms of a panel raising bit, that could be a lot. An eighth of an inch of a cut is taking a lot of material and should be your max. The last cut needs to be a 'kiss'. It cleans up burn marks.

    Here is another thought. Speed creates heat. Heat kills sharp edges. Lighten the depth of cut, and the bit runs a bit cooler and it stays sharper longer. If your router complains, cut your depth of cut in half.

    Pearls from the retired Router Lady.
    ++++++

    Some say the land of milk and honey; others say the land of fruits and nuts. All together my sort of heaven.

    Power is not taken. It is given. Who have you given yours to? Hmmmm?

    Carol Reed

  5. #5
    Thank you for all replies. I do have an external speed control on the PC 690 and plan on using it. That plus light cuts should do. As for the "cheap" MLCS bit I'm open to other suggestions. Kempston has a 2 inch dia bit, any comments?

    DKT

  6. #6
    I just looked up the Whiteside #5750 bit. It's 1 and 3/4 inch dia and costs $45.00. Wow that's a bit of money (for me anyway).

    DKT

  7. #7
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    I've used nothing buy MLCS bits for raised panels and a lot of other patterns and purposes. I've had no problem with them. Not saying they would be the first choice in a production shop, but they're fine for most of us.
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member and Member of Mensa
    My Weather Underground station

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dietrich Trenner View Post
    As for the "cheap" MLCS bit I'm open to other suggestions.
    First I apologize for a poor choice of words. I cringed re-reading my post . "Inexpensive" or "lower-end" would probably have been more appropriate.

    Second, if Carol says the 690 will do the job, I'd take that to the bank.

    My luck with MLCS in the past has been about 50:50. Some bits do OK and some arrive unusable. I've given up on them pretty much so factor that in when assessing my opinion . I try to get the best cutters I can but, if you are only doing a few doors, an expensive bit may or may not make sense. I hope it goes without saying that 1/4" shafts are out. MLCS #8694 is about $28 and a Freud 99-513 Quadra-cut is about $71 but, there are a pack in the middle. A Whiteside is around $55 however, I guess I shouldn't throw prices out there without knowing if you are looking at a rail/stile/panel set or what.

    ll that apologizing aside, your speed control and light passes will serve you well. My concern on the budget bits was that after a few doors, your cut quality may start to suffer. The choice here will depend on how much work you need to get out of the cutters. If they are an expense rolled into the project and the quantity of work is not large, I would go "less expensive". If the quantity of work or the level of expectation is high, I would buy better.

    Bargain bits are great for trying profiles you are not sure if you will use much or for those known one-off jobs. Products that have disappointed me would include the usual bargain bits with the exception of an occasional Rockler or Woodcraft bit lasting much longer than expected. As an example, I have worn out a Rockler and Woodcraft drawer-lock bit while a Whiteside bought around the same time and used even more still provides a better cut than the others did new. As a contrast I have one Woodcraft flush bit that has outlasted all his brothers(???) Other folks have different experiences; you probably will as well
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  9. #9
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    light passes over the bit and a good straight flat panel to begin with.
    The experts here have given you great advice, me, Id just add be very patient and dont try to hog off too much at a time, better to make a couple more passes and get nice clean cuts.
    Human Test Dummy

  10. #10
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    External speed controllers and the 690 router. Don't do it.

    Here is what we learned in class from a retired electronic engineer. Our concern also was to reduce the speed for the larger diameter bits. This gentleman acquired two external speed controllers, meaning two different technological approaches. One was the inexpensive devise sold by places like HF. The other was a quite expensive device he had that achieved the same result. What he discovered and documented for us what that the devices reduced the amperage to reduce the RPM's. That means the POWER was reduced. Amps = power. Last thing we wanted here. Second, the byproduct of that process was heat, also something not wanted. Heat and motors have a way of letting the smoke out, as they say.

    Again, the solution is technique. Light cuts, multiple passes.

    OK, not trying to be argumentative here, just helpful. I was fortunate in that many of my students were retired from many other professions and were encouraged to share what they knew as it applied to the class body of knowledge. In addition to engineers, I also loved having retired machinists. Now those guys are very creative!

    Ain't no free lunch. Or skip lunch and save your shekels for a larger variable speed machine.
    ++++++

    Some say the land of milk and honey; others say the land of fruits and nuts. All together my sort of heaven.

    Power is not taken. It is given. Who have you given yours to? Hmmmm?

    Carol Reed

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