|I am in the process of getting a few tools together for various projects
|I would like to tackle. The first project (a bed) will require some
|mortise and tenon joinery. For the types of pieces I need to work with,
|it looks as though some shop-made jigs and a router will be the best
|way to go. Future products will likely involve some raised panel doors.
|I currently have a ~20 year old low-end Craftsman router with a 1/4"
|collet and a few cheap bits. As I have begun looking at adding to my
|collection of bits, I have come to the realization that it doesn't
|take that many decent quality bits to add up to more than my router
|is worth. My guess is that my next router would have at least a 1/2"
|collet and ideally would have a 1/4" collet as well. That begs the
|question - which bits is it worthwhile to buy with a 1/4" shank?
|For my first project, I anticipate needing something along the lines
|of a 1/4" spiral (mortises) and a 1/2" straight (tenons). Is it
|reaonsable to assume that I should be able to get decent performance
|out of a 1/4" shank on these bits?
Yes, if you limit yourself to light cuts and multiple passes.
|When trying to do raisesd panel doors, does a 1/4" shank provide enough
|stability to get decent results?
No way. Frankly, I haven't done these with a router. I use the table
saw, which of course limits the profile. If I decide to get fancier,
I'll look into the vertical bits.
|I assume that I will be looking for carbide-tipped bits. What brands
|should I consider? I don't want to buy throw-away bits, but at the
|same time, I am not doing production runs.
I've settled on Whiteside purchased from routerbits.com. These guys
are *fantastic*! (There are some companies out there that I'll never
do business with again...Rockler leaps to mind, but routerbits is a
joy to deal with) They ship express mail and it usually costs them
more than they charge me. Whiteside bits were rated very high in FWW
and I agree with their assessment.
I have a DeWalt 625 router, as well as an old Craftsman, similar to
yours. The '625 is very powerful, very heavy and a bit unwieldy, so
may be overkill much of the time. It does have dual collets, however.
In fact, I'm thinking about a lower power router to replace the
Craftsman that resides in the table.
But, may I offer a suggestion, which honesty requires me to admit I
haven't followed myself, but am considering.
If cutting mortises is your primary consideration, think about a
dedicated hollow chisel mortiser instead of the
router/bit/fixture/edge guide/guide bushing.....