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Rabbeting Bit Bearing Sets

They add a new dimension to this bit.

Rabbeting Bit Bearing Sets

With a rabbeting bit like this one, you can make rabbet joints, cut rabbets for holding panels of wood or glass in doors and other frames, or let in back panels on furniture and cabinet carcases. Unlike the rabbets that you cut with a tablesaw or jointer, a rabbeting bit will follow curved edges such as an arch-topped door. And, with a rabbeting bit you can cut along the inside edges of an already-assembled frame.

A typical rabbeting bit comes with either a 1-1/4"-diameter cutter and a 1/2" bearing for cutting a 3/8"-deep rabbet, or a 1-3/8"-diameter cutter and 3/8" bearing for cutting 1/2"-deep rabbets. With either bit, you can greatly expand its versatility by purchasing a matching set of high-speed bearings like the ones shown bottom.

These bearing sets vary slightly by brand, but most consist of six bearings in these outside diameters: 1/2", 5/8", 3/4", 7/8", 1-1/8" and 1-3/8". Most of these sets mate with a 1-3/8" rabbeting bit that comes with a 3/8" bearing. With such a set you can cut rabbets in six depths: 1/2", 7/16", 3/8", 5/16", 1/4", 1/8" (the smallest bearing gives the deepest cut). To cut rabbets at depths between these, remove the bearing completely and use the bit with a router table and fence.

Outfitted with the largest bearing (1-3/8"), you can flush-trim workpieces less than 1/2" thick using a template as shown left. You also can flush-trim veneers and plastic laminates, although the large-diameter bit and bearing will not allow you to trim tightly into inside corners.

To change the bearings, you simply loosen a tiny screw atop the bit with an allen wrench included with the bearing set. Remember to place the bearing right side up when reassembling.

You can purchase these sets for rabbeting bits with 1/4" or 1/2" shanks. We prefer to use bits with the sturdier 1/2" shanks when cutting 1/2"-deep rabbets.


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