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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-30-2011, 05:15 AM Thread Starter
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Default Wood Rat and Router Boss

Hi,

I am just becoming aware of the WoodRat and Router Boss. I think I know what they can do - make joints, but I would like to know what they cannot do that a router with table or plunge router can do. Thanks.

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-30-2011, 11:28 AM
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Well, the WoodRat and the Router Boss are both similar router jigs that you use a router with. They provide very accurate positioning of the router for each cut. It's a bit difficult to try to compare them to routers and router tables.

The WoodRat and Router Boss are similar to each other, but the Router Boss is an enhanced, American version of the English made WoodRat. I researched these long and hard before deciding not to buy one of them. My decision was based on their need for the user to make pencil line marks to position repeat cuts as when making multiple dovetail joints along a board. These pencil marks become critical when making the mating part of the joint. I could see that this would be the source of positioning errors between the repeated cuts, causing a poor fit of the pins and tails in the final joint. A single cut can be made very precisely, but repeated cuts with identical spacing seemed to be difficult unless you were the guy that was demonstrating them with his thousands of hours of experience using one. I even managed to get the WoodRat salesman to allow me to make dovetails and wasn't happy with the results.

I ended up buying a Leigh D4R dovetail jig and am very happy with my choice. My dovetails always fit perfectly when made with the D4R. I also bought a Leigh FMT jig so I can make perfect and repeatable mortise and tenon joints. I'm sure other members who own one of these jigs will quickly add their comments. My decision was more expensive, but I got the results that I was looking for.


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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-30-2011, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for your informative answer.

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-31-2011, 08:08 PM
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I've had my WoodRat for 6 years. You asked a few questions so let me go step by step.

It would be better having a Router Boss. There are some quality control issues with the WoodRat that resulted in poor results for some users. Maybe not all. The RB was engineered to go around those flaws, and offers some real 21st century improvements. Go to this English website to see owner comments on both types equipment ---
Visitors from The manual and training on the RB is a real leap forward.

On either machine, here's what you can do well.
Mortise & Tenon
Dovetails --- regular, half-blind, full blind
Tongue and Groove
Edge forming (with some limits to the size of the bit used)
Vertical Raised Panel work
Finger Joints (my favorite)

What isn't commonly stated is the safety afforded by both machines. And dust collection is pretty good on the WR, and even better on the RB. Speed on many operations is marvelous. On my first try, I banged out 9 drawers with dovetails in about 2 hours. I was comfortable with the machine, but had good knowledge of it. My experience at that point was limited to M & T and Finger Joints.

You can view demo videos on both machines. Cost, with tooling will be over $1000. I still have a router table and need it for a few operations. Mainly edge work on big sheets and with cutters more than 2 inches.

Here's the sites with videos of each.

The Amazing WoodRat Makes Any Woodworking Joint
The Craftsman Gallery, chipsfly.com
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-01-2011, 03:46 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you.

Will the RouterBoss do:

board edge profiling
make crown mouldings
cut curves, squares, etc.
true up an edge
make dinner

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-01-2011, 10:41 PM
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No. Crown molding require too big of a bit.
Edge profiling, especially on a larger board are better done on a router table. Smaller boards would be fine, and even better on the RB because of safety concerns and dust control.

Truing up an edge are easy on either type equipment.

Think of the WoodRat and Router Boss primarily for making joints. Lots of varieties of joints. And particularly, the Dovetails are the best you'll see. But here is one consideration not mentioned so far that may be important to you.

Either the WR or the RB save valuable floor space in the shop because they hang on the wall. My shop is a dedicated three car garage. All new construction and absolutely no home storage intruding. No bicycles, no junk. Now that I also have a router table, boy, do I appreciate the convenience of a major machine up on the wall, and out of the way. And being up high, the light is much, much better.

In this regard, the majority of hobby woodworking shops would benefit from either concept.

board edge profiling
make crown mouldings
cut curves, squares, etc.
true up an edge
make dinner[/QUOTE]
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