Raised Panel Doors

While routing out the raised panels, the cutter is splintering and shattering the wood.  I am using another brands bit and running the router at 12,500rpm.  I am taking small cuts to reach my depth.  What am I doing wrong?  Please help.  Thank you.

-Ed W. 

Saskatchewan, Canada 

Our Expert

Splintering or tearout can occur when routing across the grain; when you route the long-grain edges of the panel the tearout should shape away. However, when you describe the workpiece as shattering it sounds as though it is being grabbed by the bit because it is not sufficiently supported. 

When shaping raised panels on a table-mounted router I use the 
Amana bit no.54117 with excellent results. To provide optimum support for the workpiece as it is being shaped I close the fence halves to create a zero-clearance opening. Then I attach a Paneloc guard/ hold-down. The Paneloc will shield the bit to protect your hands. It also applies vertical pressure to hold the workpiece firmly to the table for a smoother cut. Panel-raising bits are among the largest bits for use in a router. For this reason use a slow feed rate and listen to the sounds of the machine. If it seems to be bogging down take lighter cuts.

Finally, before you shape a panel inspect it closely for small cracks on the ends that are left over from the drying process. Warped, cracked or otherwise defective stock can shatter as it come in contact with a high speed router bit. 

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