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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking to start working to build raised panel shutters for my home. In looking at router bits, it looks like the biggest option is to back cut, or not to back cut.
Other than the aesthetic issue, are there any other issues that I need to consider when buying a router bit.

Should I be back cutting, or not? Seems that if I don't back-cut the panels, that the front of the panel will protrude past the rails and styles. Not sure if that would look silly.

These bits aren't cheap, so I want to get it right the first time!

Any input is great appreciated.
 

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First thing I have to ask is where are you located? Next is that I use to make all my raised panels and I used backcutters but planned down the panel to 9/16 just to make sure it didn't past the front. The reaso I asked the first question was because i found out that i could get the doors (raised panel or whatever) for $24.00 ea. and I can't build them for that (not counting my time and materials).
 

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John
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I'm looking to start working to build raised panel shutters for my home. In looking at router bits, it looks like the biggest option is to back cut, or not to back cut.
Other than the aesthetic issue, are there any other issues that I need to consider when buying a router bit.

Should I be back cutting, or not? Seems that if I don't back-cut the panels, that the front of the panel will protrude past the rails and styles. Not sure if that would look silly.

These bits aren't cheap, so I want to get it right the first time!

Any input is great appreciated.
Hi - Welcome to the forum:smile:
I assume you are using 3/4 stock for the frames and the panels. The back cutting doesn't need to be done with a back cutting panel raising bit. The R&S bit should leave a 1/4" groove for the panel to slip in. All you need to do is use a straight bit to remove enough stock from the back of the panel to leave that 1/4" edge. By playing with the cutting heights of the panel raiser and the straight bit, you can place the panel about anywhere you want inside the frame. Easy way would be just to use 1/2" stock for the panels and set the panel raiser to leave that amount. Around where I live 1/2" stock isn't that easy to come by but I did my kitchen cabinets that way using MDF for the panels. I doubt if you want MDF if yours is an exterior application though. On my project, I did end up with the panel flush with the frame on the front but inset 1/4" on the back of the door. :icon_smile:
 

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First thing I have to ask is where are you located? Next is that I use to make all my raised panels and I used backcutters but planned down the panel to 9/16 just to make sure it didn't past the front. The reaso I asked the first question was because i found out that i could get the doors (raised panel or whatever) for $24.00 ea. and I can't build them for that (not counting my time and materials).
Hi,
Usually if you machine your parts good face down on the table all door parts should be flush. The center panel should be flush with the rails & stiles this way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Raised panel project

Thanks for all the feedback - - To answer a few of the questions that came in...
I'm located in PA, in a suburb just outside of Philadelphia.
The project that I'm doing is for exterior shutters, so I'll be pretty careful as to what materials I pick for the project.

The reason that I'm asking about backcutting is more for design reasons. The house is a restored 200+ year old farmhouse, so I try to be period-appropriate for everything that I do. If the panel protrudes above the rail and stiles, it may look odd on the house.

Mostly I wanted to make sure that if I spend $100-$200 on router bits that I get it right the first time....With this project, I have to watch the budget!

Thanks again for all the input - - - It's much appreciated.
 

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John
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Thanks for all the feedback - - To answer a few of the questions that came in...
I'm located in PA, in a suburb just outside of Philadelphia.
The project that I'm doing is for exterior shutters, so I'll be pretty careful as to what materials I pick for the project.

The reason that I'm asking about backcutting is more for design reasons. The house is a restored 200+ year old farmhouse, so I try to be period-appropriate for everything that I do. If the panel protrudes above the rail and stiles, it may look odd on the house.

Mostly I wanted to make sure that if I spend $100-$200 on router bits that I get it right the first time....With this project, I have to watch the budget!

Thanks again for all the input - - - It's much appreciated.
Hi - like I said, you can do the backcutting with a straight or slot cutting bit. Neither are terribly expensive but since you are going for a panel cutter anyway, the difference in cost between one with and one without is generally insignificant.
Not sure how big of a task you are looking at here nor which profile you are needing but I've got several bits from this supplier and they have been of exceptional quality. Particularly in view of the price:
http://stores.ebay.com/Super-Carbid...b=5179154&_sid=16596821&_trksid=p4634.c0.m322
:smile:
 

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John
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I like to make 2 passes on panels... One to hog off most of the material second to make a clean pass... A back cutter doesn't allow for that... So I back cut em with a wide shallow dado stack afterwards...

~tom ...it's better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt...
Hi Tom - you can make multiple passes with a back cutter, just use the fence instead of bit height to set the amount of material removed. More'n one way to skin cat ya know:laughing: Course, I doubt there's any the cat thinks much off:blink:
 

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In History is the Future
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jschaben said:
Hi Tom - you can make multiple passes with a back cutter, just use the fence instead of bit height to set the amount of material removed. More'n one way to skin cat ya know:laughing: Course, I doubt there's any the cat thinks much off:blink:
Wow, never considered that! lol see my signature line below :laughing:

~tom ...it's better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt...
 

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I also use panel bits with a backcutter. You most certainly can do it in multiple passes with no problem. I use Sommerfeld bits & they come with 2 bearings. For square doors use the smaller bearing & just adjust the fence. If your panels have arches you cannot use the fence as easy, you need to use the starting pin in the table. For arched panels you use the larger bearing first then for the second pass you switch to the small bearing to make the final pass.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for all the great advice....

Guys - - - Really appreciate all the input. Sounds like there are a few options to manage the budget for this project.

John - Thanks for the link to the bit vendor. I'll have a look at those products and prices.
 

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I'm looking to start working to build raised panel shutters for my home. In looking at router bits, it looks like the biggest option is to back cut, or not to back cut.
Other than the aesthetic issue, are there any other issues that I need to consider when buying a router bit.

Should I be back cutting, or not? Seems that if I don't back-cut the panels, that the front of the panel will protrude past the rails and styles. Not sure if that would look silly.

These bits aren't cheap, so I want to get it right the first time!

Any input is great appreciated.
What is the largest panel you will be making. I have been experimenting cutting raised panels using the vertical cutter.
Tom
 

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Raised panel for small doors

http://youtu.be/0_7NkDVn8Bs


This is my answer to what I would use in the future if I were ever to produce raised panels. The experiment only shows a 140mm x 140mm material. making another larger Jig to suit the material size would have to be constructed
Tom
 

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There are two ways to go, have a shop plane down your panels to 5/8" after you glue them up or back cut. The former will save you a bunch of sanding.

Or back cut them. If you are using a router for the panel raising, and if that panel raising cutter is a wing cutter and not a vertical one, you can use it to do the back cut. Just lower it down or raise it up so you are left with 1/4" for the dado. That will give you a nicer looking job because it will leave a slight bevel on the inside of the shutter, not a hard edge (which will not show a perfectly even reveal after a while if it ever does).

Actually, thinking about it, even a vertical cutter will accomplish the same thing Just move the fence out.

I had one customer who liked the look so much, she had me install all her kitchen doors backwards, with the raised panels to the inside. Fortunately, she came by the shop before I had hung them all.

Good luck. If you are in the business, think about getting a real shaper (1 1/4" spindle). With a power feed, they are way safer, faster, move versatile and do a better job.

Cheers,
Jim
 
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