Will a 3HP router help make raised panels faster?

Okay this may sound like an odd question but let me set the stage.
I'm planning on installing raised panel wainscotting in the dinning room, living room and foyer. This will be about 200 liner feet of the stuff.
I need to save time where possible because I have tight schedule. FYI, I'm a DIY'er and have no problem with doing this project, just looking to see if I can save some time by spending a couple of bucks on a new router (not interested in getting a shaper).
I'm planning on using 5/8" thick MDF since I'll be painting the finished product and figure that it would give me nice cuts.
I have a variable speed Bosch 1-1/2 HP plunge router and will be borrowing a router table. This setup should be no problem for the rail and stiles. I plan on using a horizonal raised panel bit and based on my searches in this group it is doable with the router as long as I make several passes (I'm guessing 4 passes).
So my question is if I get a 3hp+ router could I reduce the number of passes that need to be made for each panel? I figure I can't do it in a single pass but if 2 passes is possible then this might save me some time. Or is this probably not reasonable due other things like heating of the bit, etc.?
Thanks in advance and for putting up with the long winded post... :)
Best Regards, Ed
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The larger router will be the better choice for spinning a raised panel bit. BUT will it save you time? Maybe. You might save a pass or 2. I certainly would not consider making 1 pass even with the larger router. Get the larger router because you should be using a bigger router for large bits, not to save a lot of time. I suspect that the actual time savings would be an hour or two, maybe.

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By using MDF, you can cut down the multiple passes to two with your existing router. Usually with wood, it is necessary to do it in multiple (>3) passes for raised panels.
If the panel bit is one of the vertical profiles, then your existing router will be fine.
If using a panel bit that is of the 3" or so diameter, then going with a higher horsepowered router would be prudent.
--
Think thrice, measure twice and cut once.

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On 17 Feb 2004 11:02:12 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Echo) wrote:

For a cleaner cut two passes are better than one. I've made nice raised panels using a table saw and a sliding jig that fits over the fence--fast, easy, and no inexpensive router bits. Have adequate dust collection with MDF and protect your lungs from the fine dust.
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Phisherman posted something which I used in combination with a horizontal raising bit. I am in the process of building cabinets with raised panel doors. I didn't like the thought of all those passes wearing away at my router bits, or hogging away with a brute power router, so I removed the bulk of material with the table saw jig (or something similar, I've never seen his....jig that is.) Then I finessed the shape with one pass on the router table. Worked quite well.

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On 17 Feb 2004 11:02:12 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Echo) wrote:

the bigger router will make the panel raising go more smoothly. I do most of my panel raising with a vertical bit in a 1-1/2HP router in a horizontal router table.
I raise panels with a vertical bit rather than a horizontal bit for a couple of reasons: 1) the tip speeds are more reasonable overall and more consistent from one end of the cutter to the other. 2) the horsepower requirements are lower.
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I would get a 3 hp router, especially if you are using a horizontal panel cutter. Remove some of the waste with a table saw, and you can raise the panel in one pass.
Preston

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In addition to the router advice, do not underestimate the absolute mess that MDF is going to make. Have a good dust collection setup and a quality face mask rated for fine dust. You don't know what fine dust is until you mess with MDF... It's like taking a drum of brown baby powder and just tossing it all over your shop. You won't believe that until you've cut a panel or two... then you'll be a believer (trust me...)
Bob S.
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Thanks you all for the great posts, I really appreciate it.
I'm going to go with the beefier router plus I'll be making the initial pass with the table saw.
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Echo) wrote in message

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You weren't by any chance wanting a new router and looking for justification for SWMBO were you? <grin>
Bob

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If you buy a new router, make sure its variable speed, especially if you use the large diameter bits, as they are run at slower speeds. I have a dewalt 625 which works well for me, and lately I have seen on sale, but the best bang for the buck is the Hitachi 3hp.
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Echo) wrote in message

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