Need some education- cope and stick bits

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Forum topic by birdman1charlie posted 12-20-2017 02:33 AM 771 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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20 posts in 945 days

12-20-2017 02:33 AM

Got my first set of cope and stick bits from Rockler today. I did not notice/think about it but some of their standard bit sets have both bits made with the bearing on the top. Most sets I see in the how-to videos have one bit with the bearing between the blades. Is there any importance as to bit quality based on bearing location?

The second question I have is my set states the maximum stock thickness is 1 “. The blades are 1” wide so what’s the point of the bearings? Yes I know to have the bearing flush with the fence but is that all the bearing is used for?

I bought their set up jig too and call it beginners luck or whatever but I was able to dial the right bit height in on the second try. Granted that may never happen again but for now I am feeling good.


Take Care

3 replies so far

View Rich's profile


5617 posts in 1363 days

#1 posted 12-20-2017 03:53 AM

The bearing on the cope bit should be in the middle, where the tongue is formed, with a straight face cutter on top and the profile cutter on the bottom. The stick bit has the bearing on top, where the profile is left square, with the slot cutter and profile cutter below. Unless it’s a double sided bit, like on a residential door, only the front of the piece gets the ogee, or whatever profile you ordered. That’s also your clue to always mill your rails and stile face down.

Edit: I just looked at the Rockler bits you were talking about with the bearing on top. It’s only used to set the fence, which is the same for the bits with the bearing in the middle. The fact is, you really never use the bearing like you might on, say a rounding over bit. It’s always just to set the fence, or to get the depth right on the cope cut, where you typically use a sled.

You will notice on those bits that the cutter is one piece. Most bits have separable components allowing you to use shims to vary the tightness of the fit between the rail ends and the stiles. The one piece bits obviously can’t be adjusted.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View JBrow's profile


1368 posts in 1694 days

#2 posted 12-20-2017 06:15 PM


I personally prefer one router bit for each profile (like a cope and stick matched set) rather than a combination router that cuts multiple profiles (like the cope and stick cutters on one shank). I feel that there is more flexibility with single profile bits and am willing to pay a little more and forego any convenience in order to get that flexibility.

Bearings are useful when cutting profiles in curved workpieces, for example when making an arched raised panel cabinet door. Here is an article describing how to create an arched raised panel cabinet door…

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20 posts in 945 days

#3 posted 12-21-2017 02:03 AM

Thanks guys
It is a pain that I have no woodworking retailers near by to ask questions. So instead I have to show up here with basic questions. Anyway thanks for taking time to answer.

I got the rails and stiles done today. I bought one of the 3 bit sets that included the bit to make the raised center panel. I bought it because I was saving money on bits but am not sure I like the raised panel. May use just a simple 1/4 inch sheet and carve a design in it.

This is all for my work shop. I am miles away from doing anything for the wife’s house, but I am having fun learning.
Thanks again.

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