Router conundrum - need 1/4" shank undercutter bit

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by dpop24 posted 07-29-2011 02:04 AM 1130 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View dpop24's profile


115 posts in 2591 days

07-29-2011 02:04 AM

I’m getting ready to make some raised panel doors and drawers for my kitchen remodel and have a 2HP Craftsman router/table combo. This router would probably handle my needs if I go slow and make multiple passes with a speed controller, but my router only accomodates a 1/4” shank. I’ve found 1/4” rail & stile bits and even a 1/4” ogee raised panel bit from MLCS, but I can’t find an undercutter bit with 1/4” shank.

I’ve read lots of posts with guys saying they don’t trust a bit that big with a shank that small, but I assume MLCS wouldn’t make them or sell them without safety testing them first.
If I can find a 1/4” shank undercutter or raised panel bit with undercutter, this problem would go away.

Option 1: find a 1/4” shank undercutter bit! Anyone have any leads or other tricks? Do the undercut on the table saw maybe?
Option 2: don’t undercut the panels and either install them proud or run them through my thickness planer.
Option 3: buy a dang router with 2 1/2+ HP and 1/2” collet! With this option, I probably need a new router table too – this one feels like it’s getting expensive, but since I also would like to have a plunge router in the arsenal, maybe a nice time for some tool gloat.

Thanks for any advice, sorry for the noobie questions!

-- If it ain't broke, take it apart and find out why

6 replies so far

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 3090 days

#1 posted 07-29-2011 04:15 AM

If you have (or can buy) a 1/4” shank mortising bit, you can get a back cut on your panels with a couple of passes around it. You’ll probably have to do a bit of sanding to clean it up, though.

I don’t think that I’ve seen an undercutting bit with a 1/4” shank, so if you need to use a real undercutter, you’re probably in the market for a bigger router.

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View dpop24's profile


115 posts in 2591 days

#2 posted 07-29-2011 07:43 PM

Hey, how about a slot cutting bit? Anyone ever try one for undercutting?

-- If it ain't broke, take it apart and find out why

View Bertha's profile


13529 posts in 2715 days

#3 posted 07-29-2011 07:46 PM

If you’re willing to fuss with setup, I agree with Dpop about the slotcutter with an appropriate bearing. It’s going to take a bit of fussing. I’m down on router bits currently after screwing up a stupid gluejoint last night;)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4996 posts in 2515 days

#4 posted 07-30-2011 12:50 PM

If this larger router is in the budget, you’ll be way ahead just moving to one. That said, none of my panel raisers have back cutters…I’ve always done the back cut either on the table saw or router table and it works very well. On the router table I’ve used just a straight bit, but if you want the curve in the cut you can use a cove bit.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3096 days

#5 posted 07-30-2011 03:14 PM

You said it right when you said you would have to go slow and make multiple passes. 1/4” shank router bits break easily if put under much stress. I’ve never seen a 1/2” router shank break.

If it is in the budget, I’d advocate getting a router that handles a 1/2” shank. In my opinion, power is not a big issue. You can get by nicely with a 2.25 h.p. router. You can also get by with just a fixed base. Hence, you can get a new router that suits your needs for around $150 and much less if you can find a good used one.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View dpop24's profile


115 posts in 2591 days

#6 posted 08-01-2011 01:42 AM

I was trying to avoid buying a new/upgraded router because I’ve been on a tool buying frenzy the past few months and im dipping into my stash that i was saving for a new dirt bike. If I get a new router, it means a new router table too unless I can get one that fits my Craftsman table ( and I dont really want another Craftsman router). Does anyone know which/if other brands will bolt right into my Craftsman router table?

The next tool is a thickness planer and I’d prefer not to defer it to get a new router…...

-- If it ain't broke, take it apart and find out why

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics