I guess more specifically, the bit has a depth range of 1/2 to 3/4. I'm having trouble with placement of the bit height when using intermediate thickness stock (<3/4 and >1/2). In this case, is the stock supposed to ride the center of the bit or the top or bottom edge (when viewed from the horizontal)?
Mill up the stock you're going to use. Position the bit so it is at half the height of the board. Run the board through the bit laying flat on the table. Rip the board in half (through the cut), flip one half over and slide them together. Measure how much they are off of a perfect fit then raise or lower the bit half of that amount.
One you get it perfect for that size stock, make a template for yourself and label it.
There really isn't a quick and easy way. You're going to have to experiment with it a little, unless you get lucky the first time.
I'm the type of person who feels my time is more valuable than the cost of the purchased templates. I buy it once and have a perfect fit forever (since those templates won't change due to humidity, etc)
And i've just saved myself a couple hours of headache. If it cost me $100 or less it was worth it.
I rate my time as $50/hour when buying things. If it would take me one hour to make a jig or something and i could buy the product for $50 or less, then i'll buy it.
Router bit height gauge.
I could take a board and rout out several dados of various depths. Then when i want to make sure i've got my bit depth exactly 1/2" (or something) i could use the template. This is not terribly difficult to make, but it has two drawbacks... 1. it can get dented by the bit i'm checking making the depth a little deeper every time. 2. it would take me a minimum of 30 minutes to make such a device (from taking out my tools to putting them away). For 30 minutes of time and headache i'd rather just pay the $5 for the aluminum bit height gauge i can buy at the hardware store.
The setup for that bit varies with different thicknesses of material, so if you always used 3/4" thick material, that would be one thing, but if you use different thicknesses, you'd have to have one for each thickness. It would be a good idea that when you have it set up just right for your 1/2" material, go ahead and make your own template and mark it and set it aside so you've got a starting point the next time you use the bit on 1/2". The same with other thicknesses. Of course, if you're like me you won't remember where you put them when it's time to use them again, so you just end up going through the routine again.
Have to agree with you on your time is money point Thomas but Jerry's point is the dilema I'm often in. I'm trying to use the bit with different and sometimes non template available widths. That picture above is what I needed and what I wish I'd received with my bit.
I think your pics more accurately illustrate what the instructions say on the MLCS site than does their pic (the one I posted above). The instructions say to center the bit on the center of the stock, but the pic looks like it might only be applicable to the maximum stock thickness.
That being said, the MLCS site has a lot of good info on using all sorts of different bits. It is set up for their own stuff, but there is generally not a whole lot of "unique to specific manufacturers" bits out there so the info is applicable to other company's stuff.
Appears to me that you want to center the bit on the center of the stock thickness. Since it doesn't have a bearing, I would say to set the fence such that the top 45 degree angle section of the bit just touches the top corner of the workpiece. Get the depth set first as that will affect the point of the bit which will be even with the top edge of the workpiece. The set the fence accordingly. A little variation should not create an issue so long as the adjoining pieces are cut at the same depth and fence settings. Just make sure you cut opposing sides to equal length before making your router cuts. This will insure that the same amount is removed from each end of the piece leaving the opposing pieces of equal length.
Seeing Rob's reference to the MLCS stuff reminded me that there are instructions for their bits online. Here's a link to their lock miter. Don't know if yours is one of theirs, but the set up would be the same.
These things are a pain. You have to center that tooth/missing tooth along the 45 to make it work. If not the joint is misaligned.
There isn't a very good reference point to measure to, so it is a lot of trial and error until you get it right and then make a template. I would recommend making a couple of templates for some standard sizes. My Dewalt planer has stops for 3/4" and 1/2". I have templates for both those sizes.
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