Starting my next project which is a [A HREF="http://www.grizzly.com/products/item.cfm?Product_ID=7347&&User_ID=477391&St=2328&S t2=62707948&St3=-57425080&DS_ID=1"]bathroom cabinet[/A]. The plans calls for making some raised panel doors which I am looking forward to as I've never made them before. Also, I'm looking forward to breaking in my new DeWalt DW621 on this project.
To make the raised panel doors the plans call for using two bits from Grizzly (of course - it's a Grizzly plan). Here are the bits it calls for:
Grizzly - C1394 - "Carbide Tipped Quarter Bead Stile & Rail Set (2 Flutes) - 1/2" Shank" - $100
Grizzly - C1410 - "12 Degree Face And Quarter Round 3" Raised Panel Bit w/ Bearing Guide - 1/2" Shank" - $60
From reading some router bit reviews and doing a quick search of the "Before I Buy" section of this forum it seems that the Grizzly bits are not held in high regard. www.routerbits.com has some equivalent Whiteside bits:
Whiteside - 6003 - "STILE & RAIL CUTTER - Bead - 1/2" Shank" - $100
Whiteside - 6000F - "Large Raised Panel, 3 wing, 1/2" Shank" - $100
If I'm going to spend $160 for the Grizzly bits I don't mind spending another $40 for the Whiteside bits, which I understand to be superior bits. Would you agree?
Also, the Whiteside Raised panel bit does not include the undercutter. How do I go about compensating for that? Should I use a Tongue and Groove cutter like the Whiteside - 3375 - and remove one of the cutters? (I assume it can be removed.)
I make a lot of raised panel doors and I would recommend the CMT Sommerfeld Raised Panel set. It's 3 bits that are matched. That means that once you set the bit height for the first bit the 2 other bits drop in and don't need a height adjustment. A 1/2" OD O-Ring placed in the bottom of the router collet keeps the bit from bottoming out.
CMT has a 3 piece set and a 5 piece set for making all of the kitchen work. Check out their website. http://www.sommerfeldtools.com/
They also have some good videos and their catalog has one of the best step by step explainations on making raised panel doors. Another site to chech out is John Lucas' http://www.woodshopdemos.com/. This site has several step by step explanations of woodworking methods and shows the CMT router bits in practicle use.
I just put it on the bench and now it's gone!
If it was me (and it is!) I would save the $200 and make them on my tablesaw... I do it all the time and it works nice. You can make either flat or curved relief panels with any width relief you want. If you'd consider this, we'll go from there.
DM-- Don't know much about raised panels but I've got twelve bits from the Griz and have had no problems.Droped a couple on the concrete and have cut through nails and they're still good as new. Good luck in your project.