Advise on router plates with 3.5'' panel bits

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Forum topic by kdr152004 posted 02-22-2018 02:56 AM 1797 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View kdr152004's profile


29 posts in 1561 days

02-22-2018 02:56 AM

Dear lumberjocks,

Waddya know, smack in the middle of making a practice cabinet door for my new kitchen, I realize that my Freud ~3.5’’ diameter raised panel bit does not fit through the opening of my Rockler phenolic plate w/ Dewalt DW618 router – refer to picture.

Can anyone recommend a base plate to use with a DW618 and a large panel raising bit , or an alternative settup? I’m leaning towards the Kreg plate, as I would like to have the leveling screws.

Any guidance much appreciated

11 replies so far

View Rich's profile


5626 posts in 1367 days

#1 posted 02-22-2018 04:13 AM

The JessEm Mast-R-Lift II will handle that. However, given what you’ve got and the fact that it’s phenolic, I’d see if I could use that bit to cut the opening large enough to fit. Obviously not with the router spinning, but perhaps you could turn it by hand and shave away the phenolic. You don’t need much clearance, only enough for the router bit to spin.

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

View RDan's profile


154 posts in 3102 days

#2 posted 02-23-2018 04:47 AM

You could just make a temporary top, with a hole the size you need for it out of MDF. The Late Pat Warner always suggested this. Or buy another phenolic Plate to dedicate to that bit. I have one that size too, I will have to check it now. Dan

View copythat's profile


169 posts in 1384 days

#3 posted 02-23-2018 04:51 AM

That looks terrifying. i hope the collet is sound and there is no bit creep.

Just curious but how big is too big in a router? At what point should you turn to a shaper?

-- Rob

View Rich's profile


5626 posts in 1367 days

#4 posted 02-23-2018 05:56 AM

I use a 3-1/2 inch panel raising bit in my JessEm. It works like a champ. The only factor to consider is the router and even with a smaller one, you can do it with multiple passes. The Bosch 1617 can handle panels in one pass without a hiccup. I’ve run panels for over 100 doors and it’s still going strong.

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

View LazarusDB's profile


36 posts in 943 days

#5 posted 02-23-2018 01:08 PM

I love my Incra router lift and it will handle a 3 1/2” bit. Like Rich said, you need to take multiple passes on larger bits. Good luck.

-- Aaron - Aspiring Craftsman

View Tennessee's profile


2901 posts in 3292 days

#6 posted 02-23-2018 01:26 PM

I used to add German Curves to my guitars with a 3” bit mounted in my handheld Bosch 1619. It would try to gyro once up to speed, and I had to clamp down the guitar bodies. I also had a Freud 3.5” raised panel bit that I did the same thing, which made the guitar look somewhat like an archtop. Did that probably four or five times over the years. The router was variable speed, and I did slow it down to about 75%.

Now that I think about it, what was I thinking??

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View Markmh1's profile


115 posts in 1221 days

#7 posted 02-23-2018 03:52 PM

If that were my problem, I’d use a spindle sander to schnaggle the hole bigger.

Without a spindle sander, I’d make a trip to the hardware store to buy a sanding arbor I could use in a drill press.

Good luck


View kdr152004's profile


29 posts in 1561 days

#8 posted 02-23-2018 04:28 PM

Hi all,

I’m now leaning towards the Jessem Rout R Lift 2, which is expensive, albeit reasonably priced. Overall, between the plate lacking any leveling system, the insert ring sitting slightly beneath the plate, and the mediocre dewalt fixed base height adjustment, it just makes more sense not to cheap out when making doors for my own kitchen.

I played around with the temporary top idea , but since I am a 1 man hobby shop and my time is limited, I’d rather not spend it fussing with bit-specific setups if not needed.

View Sawdust35's profile


77 posts in 1640 days

#9 posted 02-23-2018 08:50 PM

I’ve used a Freud raised panel bit (99518) and whiteside panel bit (6000B). Both bits fit in my rousseau router table insert and my jessem mast-r-lift II.

View Peteybadboy's profile


1968 posts in 2727 days

#10 posted 02-23-2018 09:00 PM

There are plates that have changeable rings of different sizes. Mine is a pinnacle. (no longer made) There are others.

-- Petey

View kdr152004's profile


29 posts in 1561 days

#11 posted 02-26-2018 07:08 PM

While the Rockler was a quality product for the price, I’ve switched to the Jessem Rout-R-lift which gives me a lot more control over the plate level-ness and the height adjustment. Thanks all for advice. Will post a picture of my setup soon.

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