Rail/stile router bits + panel size

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Mjward

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Hello

I'm brand new to this part of woodworking and babe recently acquired a router table and will be making some wardrobe doors shortly.

When it comes to rail/stile router bits they seem to all come with a 1/4” (6.35mm) groove for the panel. I will be using 9mm panels. Do they make these bits with a 9mm groove or is it a 2 step process (use normal groove cutter to enlarge groove from 6.35mm to 9mm or trim perimeter of panel from 9mm to 6mm etc)?

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As far as I know profile and scribe cutters for a 9 mm panel are simply not available. I would use a standard 6.3 mm set and reduce the edge of the panel to fit. Trying to make two passes to enlarge the groove will lead to tears and you will probably run out of wood.
 
You could just make more basic shaker style doors and then no problem with the cutters and use 9mm ply. There are loads of video's out there just be aware that some use what might be called unsafe practices that often involve the table saw.

If you then wanted some decoration you could always add trim later.
 
Thank you both. Think I'll have a craic reducing the panel edges to 6.3mm first and if I struggle there will go to a more basic setup
 
Thank you both. Think I'll have a craic reducing the panel edges to 6.3mm first and if I struggle there will go to a more basic setup
If you are buying a standard profile and scribe set I'd get the single stack cutter rather than the twin cutter set. It's a lot easier to raise and lower the cutter than switching over cutters between profile and scribe settings. You will of course need some kind of back support to cut the scribe across the endgrain of the rail. A heavy block of wood cut dead square will work if you don't have a crosscut fence on your router table.
 
If you are buying a standard profile and scribe set I'd get the single stack cutter rather than the twin cutter set. It's a lot easier to raise and lower the cutter than switching over cutters between profile and scribe settings. You will of course need some kind of back support to cut the scribe across the endgrain of the rail. A heavy block of wood cut dead square will work if you don't have a crosscut fence on your router table.
Took the next question out of my mouth!😂 Had been looking at these and they are cheaper than buying separate (I'm assuming as less material). Given the obvious benefits of the stacked variety, I couldn't understand why the singles would be picked?

I've got a crosscut fence from my table saw I'm hoping will do the trick👍
 
I think you should be looking for an adjustable set. They allow for different panel thicknesses. Example below.

https://www.freudtools.com/products/99-760
Pete

Note these are big bits and have speed limitations so you will need to have a router with a speed control dial to slow the router down.
Thanks Pete, not seen something like that before! I've got variable speed control on the router, do the router bits normally state recommended speed settings?
 
Thanks Pete, not seen something like that before! I've got variable speed control on the router, do the router bits normally state recommended speed settings?
I'm not answering for Pete, but I have the Freud 97-254 raised panel set. The maximum speed for each cutter used to be on the shank, but it appears Freud stopped doing this. The maximum speed for each cutter is on the Freud website, and for the cutters in Pete's link, the maximum speed is 16,000 RPM.
 
I'll fess up. I don't have or use any rail and stile bits primarily because I have preferred a Shaker style door with eased edges all made using the table saw. I knew of the type of bit you needed so posted and saw the speed limitation on the Freud page for the bits I linked. Bigger bits should always used at lower speeds than smaller bits even when it isn't mentioned on the packaging.

Pete
 
I've got a crosscut fence from my table saw I'm hoping will do the trick👍
You might want to look at Peter Millard's video where he simply routs a groove all the way to the ends of the rails and styles and then inserts a loose tenon into the mortice thus created. It would eliminate the need to set up for cross cutting the rails. This will only work for non- profiled doors of course. of course. I see Wealden sell a 9.5 mm slot cutter which would be ideal.
The accompanying video showing four pieces being glued to a panel will of course only work on doors without a profile. I'd be a little worried that the glue lines would warp the door a little - but I am open to correction.
 
You might want to look at Peter Millard's video where he simply routs a groove all the way to the ends of the rails and styles and then inserts a loose tenon into the mortice thus created. It would eliminate the need to set up for cross cutting the rails. This will only work for non- profiled doors of course. of course. I see Wealden sell a 9.5 mm slot cutter which would be ideal.
The accompanying video showing four pieces being glued to a panel will of course only work on doors without a profile. I'd be a little worried that the glue lines would warp the door a little - but I am open to correction.
I've actually made a handful of "test" doors last week after watching that video. It's a very good method (particularly for someone like me) but I'm now looking to learn how to properly profile the doors (vs the far easier approach of glueing/pinning some pre-made beading in to a shake frame which I know often has good results).

Will also be an interesting learning experience to chisel mitres out for the mid rail, I've saved plenty of offcuts for the initial failures :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
 
I've dropped an email to Wealdon as they have a new range of Pencil Round frame sets (for 9mm grooves) but currently listed as out of stock. Not a combination bit which is disappointing but potentially moot if I am having to change the bit anyway to reduce the panel edges from 9mm to 6.3mm etc

https://www.wealdentool.com/acatalog/Pencil-Round-Frame-Set.html
Don't seem to be much UK supply of the Freud adjustable, even the Amazon.co.uk listing is for a US import that will take 2 weeks to arrive

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Freud-99-763-Styles-Industrial-Carbide/dp/B002ZG7PXM
 
I've actually made a handful of "test" doors last week after watching that video. It's a very good method (particularly for someone like me) but I'm now looking to learn how to properly profile the doors (vs the far easier approach of glueing/pinning some pre-made beading in to a shake frame which I know often has good results).

Will also be an interesting learning experience to chisel mitres out for the mid rail, I've saved plenty of offcuts for the initial failures :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
Applying mouldings never looks as good as profile and scribe.. You have the hassle of getting all the miters spot on - the router cutters take care of that for you with P/S. Not sure why you need to hand cut a middle rail - just run it across the cutters when set up. I've even made triangular panels using a profile and scribe method.
 
I've got the the CTM adjustable shaker door set which I use for 9.5mm panel doors. Other than that I use adjustable tounge and groove (CMT) set and then add trim on after te door is made. I'm not a fan of floating tenons in 5 piece door construction.
 
I've got the the CTM adjustable shaker door set which I use for 9.5mm panel doors. Other than that I use adjustable tounge and groove (CMT) set and then add trim on after te door is made. I'm not a fan of floating tenons in 5 piece door construction.
Interesting. I see a set from Scott and Sergeant will set you back £176.20. A pro would probably use a spindle moulder.
 
Whilst I continue researching for a high end rail/stile bit, I finally got around to building the router table and chucked in a cheapo set from Amazon, more to test out the new router table than anything.

First impressions on using these bits is that required accuracy (of bit height above table) seems to be in the tiny fractions of a milometre in order to get a good fit.

Second point is that when I'm cutting the tongue on the sides of each rail (using mitre fence) the piece wants to stray as only the small end of the wood is in contact with the fence.

Third observation is tear out. I've narrowed the fence gap to be relatively tight around the bit so don't think it's that. Possibly the bits themselves but was wondering if it's a router speed issue. The AUK router I have has remote speed control on the NVR but it's a control dial from low to high (with no way of setting it to be a set speed)

A few early test pieces below, it's my first time with a router table let alone making these types of cut and most difficult part thus far for me is accurately setting the bit height to match the opposite piece

20230220_141334.jpg
20230220_143734.jpg
20230220_145613.jpg
20230220_145638.jpg
 
I've dropped an email to Wealdon as they have a new range of Pencil Round frame sets (for 9mm grooves) but currently listed as out of stock. Not a combination bit which is disappointing but potentially moot if I am having to change the bit anyway to reduce the panel edges from 9mm to 6.3mm etc

https://www.wealdentool.com/acatalog/Pencil-Round-Frame-Set.html
Don't seem to be much UK supply of the Freud adjustable, even the Amazon.co.uk listing is for a US import that will take 2 weeks to arrive

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Freud-99-763-Styles-Industrial-Carbide/dp/B002ZG7PXM
hunt continues... Wealdon not getting stock in till June.
 
Whilst I continue researching for a high end rail/stile bit, I finally got around to building the router table and chucked in a cheapo set from Amazon, more to test out the new router table than anything.

First impressions on using these bits is that required accuracy (of bit height above table) seems to be in the tiny fractions of a milometre in order to get a good fit.

Second point is that when I'm cutting the tongue on the sides of each rail (using mitre fence) the piece wants to stray as only the small end of the wood is in contact with the fence.

Third observation is tear out. I've narrowed the fence gap to be relatively tight around the bit so don't think it's that. Possibly the bits themselves but was wondering if it's a router speed issue. The AUK router I have has remote speed control on the NVR but it's a control dial from low to high (with no way of setting it to be a set speed)

A few early test pieces below, it's my first time with a router table let alone making these types of cut and most difficult part thus far for me is accurately setting the bit height to match the opposite piece

I think you made a great first effort. I agree the setup of the cutters requires a lot of trial and error to ensure the pieces fit as designed. Having a router lift and fence with micro-adjust capability makes the job a lot easier. I made all of the stile and rail cuts in one pass. I didn't have any problems with the amount of material removed, but I was taking my time. When I cut the panels, I made three passes and increased the height of the cutter for each pass.

I kept samples of the stile, rail, and panel from my first project after the cutter height and fence settings were where I wanted them. I used these to set up the router height and fence the next time I needed to make more doors using the same profile. Sadly, they were tossed in a massive offcut cleanout when I had some help last year.

I don't have a lot of experience with building these types of doors, yet, but will later this year. What I have learned is having a matched set of cutters is important. You wrote "a cheapo set from Amazon", and I think that might contribute to some of the problems you described and documented with the photos. The matched set of cutters you bought might not really be as matched as the vendor states. By contrast, the Freud cutters I used produced precise mating surfaces, but I expected this based on the price.

When cutting the ends of the stiles, I use a coping sled and a sacrificial backer board. The stile is clamped in place and is essentially along for the ride and will not stray. The tearout is eliminated by the backer board.

I have the AUKTools 2400W router with the speed control on the NVR switch box. The published speed range is 10K to 22K RPM, so I am taking a leap of faith in assuming the speed control is linear along the range of rotation of the control knob. When I'm using the large panel cutter, I use the lowest speed, which I hope is really 10K RPM. When I'm using the rail and stile cutters, I set the speed control at about the one-third point of the range. The maximum speed for the stile and rail cutters is 16K RPM, and so far they are still pristine and I haven't seen any burning on the wood.
 
I think you made a great first effort. I agree the setup of the cutters requires a lot of trial and error to ensure the pieces fit as designed. Having a router lift and fence with micro-adjust capability makes the job a lot easier. I made all of the stile and rail cuts in one pass. I didn't have any problems with the amount of material removed, but I was taking my time. When I cut the panels, I made three passes and increased the height of the cutter for each pass.

I kept samples of the stile, rail, and panel from my first project after the cutter height and fence settings were where I wanted them. I used these to set up the router height and fence the next time I needed to make more doors using the same profile. Sadly, they were tossed in a massive offcut cleanout when I had some help last year.

I don't have a lot of experience with building these types of doors, yet, but will later this year. What I have learned is having a matched set of cutters is important. You wrote "a cheapo set from Amazon", and I think that might contribute to some of the problems you described and documented with the photos. The matched set of cutters you bought might not really be as matched as the vendor states. By contrast, the Freud cutters I used produced precise mating surfaces, but I expected this based on the price.

When cutting the ends of the stiles, I use a coping sled and a sacrificial backer board. The stile is clamped in place and is essentially along for the ride and will not stray. The tearout is eliminated by the backer board.

I have the AUKTools 2400W router with the speed control on the NVR switch box. The published speed range is 10K to 22K RPM, so I am taking a leap of faith in assuming the speed control is linear along the range of rotation of the control knob. When I'm using the large panel cutter, I use the lowest speed, which I hope is really 10K RPM. When I'm using the rail and stile cutters, I set the speed control at about the one-third point of the range. The maximum speed for the stile and rail cutters is 16K RPM, and so far they are still pristine and I haven't seen any burning on the wood.
Thank you Mike. The router lift is certainly helping and for now this is definitely just a user error/lack of experience issue whilst I get familiar with the micro adjustments on the router lift height etc. I need to have another look at the fence, it's that INCRA WonderFence which has basic clamps on each end and I am finding that every time I move the fence it requires levelling which I can't imagine is the intended design but maybe it is.

Very good tip to keep the samples, will do the same once I've got it spot on. I know some of the higher end bits come with plastic blocks if the respective profiles. Will try and get the good bits ordered at some stage this week as there is a chance I waste hours making micro adjustments and its the cheap bits at fault but for now they are helpful as a play thing.

It didn't even occur to be to use a coping sled as up to now had only seen them used when using a table router without the fence but after you mentioned it I see many advertised with the purpose of cutting profiles into end grain ie what I am trying to achieve here. I've got some clamps and spare ply so will knock up a DIY version for now. Another good tip from you on the backer board, something I do when using other machinery but just didn't occur to me to combine with a coping sled.

I've just got the exact same router and NVR switch box and also was finger in the air trying to guess what location reflects what speed. Think I will get a tipex pen to mark increments on the black box to make setting the speed a bit quicker/more accurate
 
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