raised panels with a vertical router bit

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Forum topic by brianP posted 03-01-2011 06:52 AM 2245 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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20 posts in 2767 days

03-01-2011 06:52 AM

I need to make some raised panels and I’d like to to use my router to do it. I don’t mind buying a panel bit, but I know I can’t use the horizontal ones because they require a router with greater HP than mine. (I have a Porter Cable 690). Does anyone have experience with using the vertical style bits in this type of router? Is it powerful enough?

-- --Brian, Brooklyn, New York

10 replies so far

View cabs4less's profile


235 posts in 2756 days

#1 posted 03-01-2011 07:16 AM

well as long as you can run the bit at its recommened speed and take light passes you should be fine I would take the time to build a tall fence to help support the panel

-- As Best I Can

View drewnahant's profile


222 posts in 3083 days

#2 posted 03-01-2011 07:42 AM

if by vertical bit, you mean a standard bit, the short, extremely wide kind, it is fine. I have a cheap router table with a 1-1/4 hp motor, and it works fine. you need a speed control so that you can dial down the speed on the big bit, and I suggest taking a bulk removal pass, feeding slow, then take a finish pass. I also have a porter-cable 690, it is more powerful than my table, it should be plenty.
I once did this without the speed control, but my cheap bit vibrated my table so much that i found myself turning it on and immediately feeding to regulate the speed by bogging the motor, I do not suggest this at all.

View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2965 days

#3 posted 03-01-2011 05:16 PM

Those hp ratings don’t mean anything anyway. Unless someone has re-written the laws of physics, the claims of anything greater than 1.75 to 2 hp from a 15 amp, 120 volt outlet are just smoke and mirrors; with a little wishful thinking thrown in by the marketing department. A PC 690 should be fine with either type bit as long as you don’t over speed the short, wide standard type.

I have not used the verticlal type bit yet, but I plan to after I build my router table. I’m building one with an alternate mounting position that lets me mount the router in a horizontal plane behind the fence. I have often wondered why they call a bit designed to be run on a horizontal axis a vertical bit. Must have been named by the same marketing guys that came up with the hp ratings for routers.

View Loren's profile


10373 posts in 3642 days

#4 posted 03-01-2011 07:58 PM

You can run a 3.5” horizontal panel raiser on that router. It may take
2 or 3 passes to raise a panel with it.

The vertical panel raisers have pros and cons. Pros are they can reach
further into the panel. Cons are you can’t do tombstone or arched
doors with them.

In the end, it’s the amount of material you’re trying to remove in
one pass that may lead to a messy cut. Try to hog off too much for
your router and you may get a rough result. I sometimes cut off
the waste with a table saw and then route the panel profile in one

View brianP's profile


20 posts in 2767 days

#5 posted 03-02-2011 02:27 AM


crank49: I think they call them vertical because most people use them in a router mounted under the table, and vertical refers to the position of the workpiece. either way, interesting point about the 120 volt.

I’m going to build a tall fence and try out the vertical bits. They look far less scary to me then the horizontal ones.

-- --Brian, Brooklyn, New York

View D_Allen's profile


495 posts in 2778 days

#6 posted 03-02-2011 02:43 AM

Well, if you think they look less scary then you may be in for a surprise.
It’s as big around as a 2×4 and a little taller. That’s a lot of bit spinning in there!
I have been thinking of getting one myself because the homemade router insert I have will not go big enough for the horizontal ones. But before I do, I will be making some fixtures and jigs so that the bit is NEVER exposed when running stock. It will always be below and behind fences.
And BTW, My brother used my 690 VS for many of his cathedral kitchen panels, with a horizontal bit, and I am still using it.

-- Website is finally up and

View DLCW's profile


530 posts in 2648 days

#7 posted 03-02-2011 07:19 PM

Table saw. Tilt the blade, make yourself a tall jig that rides the fence, clamp the panel blank to the jig, run it through the tilted blade, raised panel without the router.

-- Don, Diamond Lake Custom Woodworks - - "If you make something idiot proof, all they do is make a better idiot"

View D_Allen's profile


495 posts in 2778 days

#8 posted 03-03-2011 02:52 AM

And how would that angled TS cut fit into the 1/4” slot on the stiles and rails?
Not too well unless you make another cut to flatten the edge.

-- Website is finally up and

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4119 days

#9 posted 03-03-2011 06:11 PM

Count me in on the “take a couple of slow cuts and your router will do just fine” crowd. I have a beefier router than you in my router table, but if I take more aggressive cuts then I’m itching for tear-out. Your 690 will swing a horizontal panel bit just fine.

And the issue I have with vertical panel bits is that it’s far easier for me to keep the panel under control with downward pressure (on to the router table top) than sideways pressure (holding it against the fence).

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View DLCW's profile


530 posts in 2648 days

#10 posted 03-03-2011 09:19 PM

Never had an issue with a slightly tapered panel fitting into rails and stiles. When putting 5 piece doors together, as long as the panel can float you are good to go. The part that goes into the mortise on the rail and stile doesn’t need to be flat and form a perfect fit. If you use Space Balls (yes that is an actual product) to hold your panels in place you are good to go. There will be no shifting of the panel in the frame and it will stay nice and square.

-- Don, Diamond Lake Custom Woodworks - - "If you make something idiot proof, all they do is make a better idiot"

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