I'm looking to purchase a raised panel bit and I'm not sure if I
should purchase the raised panel bit with backcutter, or just the
traditional raised panel bit. I'm leaning towards the one with the
backcutter but I'm not sure if there are any drawbacks to these bits.
Can you remove the backcutter portion of the bit?
I looked at these, too. I decided, for the difference in cost, I can easily
set up a straight cutter to create a rabbet, if I need one, and I have more
control over the dimensions.
I don't think you can remove the back cutter.
I have just completed arched raised panel doors. Initially I bought
Woodcraft bits separately but found that the panel bit can only produce the
profile if the panel is above the stile and rails. Woodcraft replaced them
and I bought a 3 piece CMT set, a little more expensive than the Woodcraft
but comes in a nice box, has instructions and a bag with a different size
bearing and fit shims.
I cut my panels with the backcutter fitted, which has some disadvantages in
a home shop. This is a router table only operation, the bit has a 3 1/2
diamater. My table is 3/4 birch ply extension to the table saw and is 34"
wide. The problem comes in how flat is the panel, how much flex is there in
the table and can you keep a constant down pressure as the stock passes the
cutter head? I cut the profile in typically 3 passes and found it difficult
to maintain that constant downward pressure on all cuts, which sometimes
results in a less than perfect mitre at the corners. Also as the pressure
points can change at different points on successive passes the tongue
thickness will be slightly different. Change in downward pressure does not
significantly affect the reveal and shows up as a variation of thickness on
the backcut, but in my case was hidden within the grooves. This was one
time I wish I had a stock feeder, but that wouldn't help on the arched
I have to say I was very impressed with the quality of cut of the CMT set,
router set to minimum speed.
Hope this helps.
The plus to the backcutter is that you can work with variable thickness
panels and still get the preferred panel raise. I've got several panel
cutters that will leave the raise flush with the stiles/rails using 5/8"
panels, and others with 3/4" panels. If I use the 5/8" (low raise angle)
ones on 3/4" panels, it ends up proud the 1/8" and cannot be surfaced
Since I usually am building "one-ofs", the backcutter sets save me time
preparing properly thicknessed stock. FWIW, I have a 12-1/2" planer and no
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