Wood Rat? What do you not like?


Thinking about getting one. Read everything on their website but we all know they are not going to point out any negatives. Would like to hear for users. Thanks.
Joe
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Price

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Far too complicated. I bought mine about 4 years ago. I tried it a little to start with, but haven't touched it for over 3 years. Plus since operations take place underneath the router, you can't see what's happening.
Pete
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. never trust a man who, when left alone ...... Pete Lynch .
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wrote:

I was close to buying one a while back. I had the chance to use one to try it out and the above -cannot see whats happening - is exactly why I did not buy.

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On Sat, 22 Jul 2006 05:59:56 -0400, Joe Bemier wrote:

Oh yes, one more thing came to mind: you have to attach it to a wall. This should be fairly substantial (not plasterboard/drywall). I found that plugs were not sufficient - the unit pulled loose as it's quite heavy when loaded with a BIG router. In the end I drilled right through and used threaded rod, which was secured on the outside with nuts and washers. Kinda makes it difficult to move around the shop.
Pete
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. never trust a man who, when left alone ...... Pete Lynch .
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I bought one about 3-4 months ago at a WW show, and I've used it so far to make dovetails, sliding dovetails, M&T joints and box joints, and it does all of these things well. I don't use it as a substitute for a router table, however. I find the table much better for things like rounding over an edge, panel-raising and making rail-and-stile doors. I consider the WoodRat a joinery machine.
What's bad about it? Well, the manual, for one thing. It's hard to understand and leaves out lots of important little details. I think it was written by the tool's inventor, and he suffers from being too familiar with it so he can read between the lines and find information that isn't there. But you can't, and you'll find it quite frustrating.
Learning to use the WoodRat takes a while. If you expect to take it out of the box and start making furniture the next day, you'll be disappointed. It takes a fair amount of head-scratching, practice and reading and re-reading of the !$#&*! manual to figure out how to do anything the first time. But eventually, you'll get to understand how it all works and when you need to do something new, you'll know how to do it, in your own way, without the manual.
I've never found it a problem that the wood is below the base. In fact, you have more visibility into what's going on at the point of the cut with the WoodRat than you do with a router table. And as far as mounting it on the wall, well I agree you shouldn't even think about using drywall plugs or even mollys. I have mine lag-screwed into the studs of a basement wall. It's had a dedicated Hitachi M12V sitting on it for the last 3 months, and it doesn't show any sign that it's going anywhere.
All in all, I have no regrets, and knowing what I know, I'd buy it again. Feel free to post or e-mail questions if you have any.
To reply by e-mail, use jcarlson631 at yahoo dot com
John
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wrote:

as any one tried out the Trend M @ T jig? I have one coming from Rockler fot $299 minus minus 15% = 254.15 total price $12 s&h.
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Tom wrote:

Yes.
Does that price include the set of brass guides and their router bits?
http://home.comcast.net/~charliebcz/TrendMTjig/TrendMTjig1.html
You might want to call TREND USA and order another clamp or two. It's a PITA to have to move one back and forth when you switch from horizontal to vertical mode.
NOTE: THERE'S AN ORANGE PLASTIC TIP FOR THE CLAMP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE OPENING UNDER THE TABLE. DO NOT - REPEAT - DO NOT LOSE THAT SUCKER! WITH IT ON THE END OF THE IDENTIFIED CLAMP, IT WILL KEEP THE PART YOU'RE CUTTING A MORTISE IN FROM GETTING PULLED/PUSHED INTO THE OPENING IN QUESTION. (this will make a lot more sense once you have the jig in hand and try cutting a mortise 1/4" in from the end of the part)
The theory of this jig is great - the execution - well there needs to be some tightening up of the specs and QC - but they're working on it. See the "Nominal" vs "Actual" for the three critical dimensions of the components
http://home.comcast.net/~charliebcz/TrendMTjig/TrendMTjig3.html
When you get yours, check the distance between the front and back "plates" on the top of the jig, under which the stops slide. There are two nuts under the top of the jig which secure the front (closest to you when using the jig) plate. There's some slop in the hole so you can move the front plate a little to get it to a) parallel the rear plate b) set the distance between the front and read plate to match the nominal 2 1/8th inch diameter guide.
As for cutting tenons with this system - I'd skip it and use it to do loose tenon mortise and tenons. MUCH easier / simpler and, if you use a stronger wood, or baltic birch ply, for the loose tenons will produce a stronger joint.
If you stick with cutting just mortises the "nominal vs real" issue isn't an issue. And forget their bits. Get a 1/4, 1/2 and maybe a 3/8 inch upcut spiral bit - Onsrud preferably and you've got most of the bases covered.
NOTE: There are plenty of parts to keep track of so get out your forstner bits and router to make something to corral them.
One last thing. The ends of the half round "stops" can, if the distance between the front and back guide plates are off by much or out of parallel - stick into the opening the 2 1/8" guide is to travel in. If they do, it'll put a "bump" on the edges of the mortise and make fitting the tenon a semi - PITA.
Just did three bonsai tables using loose tenon M&T joints - all cut with this jig. Am working on another one now - 16 tenons, 32 mortises per table
http://home.comcast.net/~charliebcz/BonsaiStands/BonsaiStands1.html
If you've got more questions - my e-mail address is real.
charlie b
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Thanks for the info Charlie. I printed your posting off and saved it to my other hard drive.

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