I need to do a couple of raised panel doors for a cabinet to match existing
doors in the bathroom. I have a PC 7539 router, the 3-1/4 HP, five speed
monster they make. The raised panel bit is 3-1/2 inches in diameter. You all
got the picture so far??
Anyway, I got the router set up in the table, grabbed a piece of scrap to do
I test run. I hung on pretty tight as I figured that minster router and huge
bit were going to grab pretty good! I was right, I still have not found that
piece of scrap!! The sucker went flying into some cluttered coner of the
shop. All I know for sure is the piece scrap was there, and a fraction of a
second later it was gone, and I heard it bounce off the wall somewhere to my
I think I need to practice this some more, and maybe get the fence on,
instead off the pin, and take a few more passes!
The best part is all fingers are still intact!
I was thinking of setting the bit at the finished height. Using a fence, and
moving the fence away, say 1/8" or 1/4" per pass.
I was using a starter pin, but not a good idea!
Man! That router has some power! After I did make a pass or two I was still
suprised how much pull it had on the stock! It swings that 3-1/2" bit
through the red oak like nothing!
Yeah, well...it's false rating to call it 3+ HP, more likely a real 1-1/2, but
if you think you can outgrip or outpull 1-1/2 horses, take a trip to a draft
horse pull some time and see if someone will let you hold the reins as one of
those immense animals plods away with many hundreds of pounds on a sleigh or
Any time you're around something that size, you are glad they were born gentle!
Treat that router table with respect. Next time, the fingers could get chewed
up or broken.
Starter pins are great for smaller edging cuts in arcs and circles. They're not
for the immense full cuts with the big bits, IMO. Keep it to no more than 1/8"
or 1/4", as you note, if you're doing cathedral pattern panel raising. And I'd
edge up on 1/4" because hand strength varies widely.
"It is not strange... to mistake change for progress." Millard Fillmore
One of the original definitions for 1 horsepower was the energy
required to raise 1 US Ton 1000 feet high in one hour.
<http://auto.howstuffworks.com/horsepower1.htm has an interesting
history of the definition. The one I used above is from a book I read
years ago that had a series of memory aids to help remember units, most
of them silly, but they got the job done.
instead of moving and resetting the fence each pass..set your bit to
the finished height...place two 1/4" pieces of plywood about 3 x 16
over the router bit and fence...make the first pass....remove one
piece of plywwod...make the second pass...remove the second piece of
ply and then finish the cut...this way you are not moving the fence
taking a chance of not setting the fence correctly and each panel will
all be perfect and the right size......
Mike from American Sycamorer
Don't know what the idea of raising the bit each time is?
Set the cutter to finished hight, I normally take 3 occasionally 4 passes
moving the fence in each time. If you are making arched doors, do the
bottom and left edge (with the panel in the cutting position), remove the
right half of the fence then do the arch, the crown to the fence and the
undercut left side allows the bearing to reach the curve safetly and
Plan A, Plan B. The basic idea is to remove a little material each
pass, not all at once. My set up doesn't allow for a super adjustable
fence. So, up the bit goes 'til final height. YMMV, there is no single
way to do a job, etc, etc. And that, my friend, is the idea of "raising
the bit each time."
It was not intended as a criticsm, I take it you are using a bit without a
backcutter?? Though I'm using the CMT set which is about 3 1/2" dia I have
found that accurate fence setting isn't necessary, even on the final cut as
long as the fence is behind the bearing. In my own case I don't have a 3
1/2" hole in my plate so I don't have the option. I accept that you skin
the cat as you see fit, the method I outlined is independent of there being
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