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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-03-2011, 07:13 AM Thread Starter
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Default Woodrat with a Triton router

Has anyone got a Woodrat with a Triton router?

If so can we have contact please in a little forum all our own in case Harry comes around looking for me ... the others can peep through the keyhole if they want to.

I'm finding the Woodrat manual a bit of a trial but thats because I don't want to carve up all my lovely wood ... in fact I don't like cutting up precious timber at the best of times let alone practising on..... but proper Routering is still new to me and this set up is a steep learning curve.

Got to get the Triton set up first once it arrives but then I'll need plenty of help and advice to break the code in the Woodrat manual.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-08-2011, 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by bosham View Post
Has anyone got a Woodrat with a Triton router?

If so can we have contact please in a little forum all our own in case Harry comes around looking for me ... the others can peep through the keyhole if they want to.

I'm finding the Woodrat manual a bit of a trial but thats because I don't want to carve up all my lovely wood ... in fact I don't like cutting up precious timber at the best of times let alone practising on..... but proper Routering is still new to me and this set up is a steep learning curve.

Got to get the Triton set up first once it arrives but then I'll need plenty of help and advice to break the code in the Woodrat manual.
Hi

I've a Triton but I use that in my table. I've a DW625 in my Woodrat.

Have you got this manual, too? The guy who wrote it ran courses on Woodrats.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-08-2011, 10:16 PM
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The Mike Humphrey supplemental manual will help you understand the nature of the WoodRat. After reading it, some of the lessons and projects in the WoodRat official manual will make sense.

Honestly, I think only a machinist familiar with a Vertical Milling Machine can easily comprehend the WoodRat without further explanation. Because it maneuvers in 3 dimensional space, the challenge is to know where the cutter is and what direction it is headed in. For the same reason, clamping wood is perplexing.

Have that Humphrey manual printed out and bound into booklet form. Keep it near the machine. Remember, the machine is designed to make woodworking joints. You'll get on top of it readily.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-09-2011, 01:25 AM Thread Starter
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Peter and Gary

Thank you both for the notes and especially for the PDF Humphrey manual ... I'll do exactly as you say.

I did a first Dovetail join yesterday in some softwood and I'm pretty chuffed with the result but as you say you sure need to know where the cutter is and what it is going to do.

Hence I have done a modification as per photo.. Errrr! pay no attention to the bit of wood stuck in the clamps ... a mere figment of your imagination !!
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-09-2011, 01:39 AM
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Here is an interesting measure of the value of dovetails. Another forum posed the question of what a woodworker should charge for his work. Perhaps this was a book. I've read so much, I've lost track.

In any case, a gentleman who teaches cabinet and furniture making answered he question. He said 1 dovetail drawer should be billed at 8 hours of work. If done by hand. I'd become familiar with the WoodRat making a number of joints. Then, on my first try, I attempted dovetails. And banged out 9 complete drawers in about 2 hours time. By the time I had gotten to the 4th or perhaps the 5th, the work looked pretty good.

That is real productivity, I'd say.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-09-2011, 05:57 PM Thread Starter
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Peter and Gary,

'The Mike Humphrey supplemental manual will help you understand the nature of the WoodRat. After reading it, some of the lessons and projects in the WoodRat official manual will make sense. Have that Humphrey manual printed out and bound into booklet form. Keep it near the machine. Remember, the machine is designed to make woodworking joints. You'll get on top of it readily.'

What excellent advice you two have given me ... printed out a couple of chapters to see how they went ... will do the rest now ... its excellent. Thank you both very much indeed.

'... the challenge is to know where the cutter is and what direction it is headed in. For the same reason, clamping wood is perplexing.'

There is a perfect description and tip in the Humphrey manual regarding this and my little mod with the ruler and indicator adds to that.

The ruler fits into a slot on the base extrusion with a couple of M4 bolts and can be adjusted to zero it if needs be. I am also going to add a Metre rule to the bottom in the same manner for larger boards....easy and cheap.

Attached are a couple of photos of my first attempt at a dovetail ... pretty hit and miss but now you have both given me some real education things may well improve...

Once again thanks a lot.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-09-2011, 10:01 PM
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This place in Ohio The Craftsman Gallery, chipsfly.com was once the North America distributor for WoodRat. They had a falling out and then the Craftsman Gallery devised a competitive machine as the patents on the WR had expired. It is called the Router Boss.

His website (look at the bottom of the page) has forums for his own machine and the WoodRat. Not too active for the WR. However, he still stocks and sells many accessories and tooling for the WoodRat. Items are often on sale. He even has hard-to-find parts for the WR.

The owner, Lewis Stepp lots of knowledge about WWin and about the WoodRat in particular. He will gladly answer questions submitted by email.

Gary
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-12-2011, 07:15 AM Thread Starter
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Gary,

When was the WoodRat invented and patented then? I wondered how come someone had copied it ....

That manual by Mike Humphrey is wonderfull and nice and logical ...getting on well now, getting used to handling the Triton too.

Made the table as per the manual ... neat and very workable.

Lots of practicing yet to do.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-12-2011, 01:06 PM
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The inventor, Martin Godfrey, was an architect. I think the device harks from the late 1980s. I have always been awed by the concept. But as time passes, I believe that there are parallel devices used in metal machining and that, perhaps, is where WoodRat is derived.

It doesn't matter. If you were to read all the online chatter (UK Workshops, SawmillCreek.org) concerning the machine you would learn two dominant themes ---- dovetail pins aren't accurate and the manual is confusing.

About the dovetail pins. As it turns out, the indexes for the Spiral Knobs are applied with a stick-down label. And they can vary from machine to machine. Also, poor quality control in manufacture leads to variances in the Button Setting. The button setting determines the shape of a Dovetail Pin.

As to the manual. Humphrey enjoyed an advantage in creating his Supplemental Manual. He didn't call it that. I do. Humphrey taught two classes of WoodRat instruction in Central England. So he benefited from listing to hundreds of owner students. He identified the hurdles to learning. The people at WoodRat didn't, and to the aggravation of many, they made excuses and kept insisting that WoodRat mastery is simple. The word "simple" is repeatedly used in the demo DVD.

Hell, life isn't simple. Martin Godfrey continued to assert that poor results in dovetailing were due to poor technique. Thus we now have the Router Boss. A competitor to the WoodRat. It addressed most of the shortcomings of the WoodRat and threw in a wonderful manual, greater workpiece capacity, built-in digital scales, improved dust collection, built in illumination. It is, all around, a much improved machine, and I would buy one if I didn't have more than $1000 invested in my WoodRat.

Oh, and the support offered by the Router Boss far exceeds that at WoodRat. Though I must say that I believe new competitor has spurred the WoodRat folks into action. New ideas and a new openness seem to be blossoming in England. When all is said and done, Martin Godfrey had a marvelous idea.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-16-2011, 07:19 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Gary thats a very frank, open and clear summary. I have nearly finished .. ( is that possible? ) ... setting things up. A few more 'Housekeeping' and work related items to clear ... SWMBO is off for a visit to number 2 daughter at the end of the month so I'm aiming yo try and crack the dovetails then.....I am somewhat dismayed as to the remarks about accurate dovetails but having read Mike Humphrey I think he explains things pretty right and I should have a reasonable result to report.

The weather is terrible so that will force me into 'The Shed' .. as if that was needed.

Gary thank you once again ...it is really very much appreciated.

David
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