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TheTiddles

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There are some design flaws on a WoodRat that are easily solved, one is consistent alignment. On mine I lined everything up square, (Like the rails and baseplate) then put dowel pins through them so when you take it apart to put in a riser block or change the function, it goes back exactly square, they’ve done the old mistake of aligning on screws, but it’s an easy fix

Aidan
 

robump

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I have also just got a woodrat and getting to grips with it so will follow this thread with interest.

Great series of videos on YouTube by Steve of Steve's Wood cave. Link to number 1 in the series below


 

peter-harrison

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I,ve had one for about 25 years. If yours is a similar age, my best tip is to ignore the scales on the snails- they weren't put on accurately. I struggled for years, always getting staggered joints or having to compensate for them. Eventually I rang Woodrat and was informed about the lack of calibration. They told me a simple way around the problem which I'll be happy to share with you if yours is a similar age.
It's a great machine which I use mainly for dovetails.
 

Eshmiel

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Greetings from me, Eshmiel, in West Wales, just joined today.

I've had a woodrat for many years but used it only for dovetails and M&Ts. I recently dusted it off (following a house move) and set it up with a thought to try some other operations on it. I came to fancy one of their MB3 mitre jigs but the Woodrat website says "out of stock" with no indication of if & when it'll be in stock again. They don't answer emails (about this or anything) although they do still send bits that are ordered from their in-stock stuff ......

I notice I can buy an MB3 from the USA or from Dictum in Chermany - but only at a rather steep price, especially considering the extra import costs from the USA or even the large postage cost from Dictum.

Does anyone know where an MB3 might be got in Blighty? Is one allowed to find a plan and make one's own or do they get all irksome about the patent or copyright? I notice there's a design for a fairly crude but serviceable version in one of the Woodrat PDFs mentioned in this thread but I was hoping for something rather more sophisticated.

Any advice or pointers to an MB3 (physical or plan) would be gratefully received.

Eshmiel
 

TheTiddles

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You are free to copy any design for anything ever made.

Should you then do something with said design that causes financial (or reputation) loss to the original designer that they were entitled to receive and they can make that stick in court, then they might be able to do something about it, otherwise not.

So knock yourself out!

Mine had some tapped holes (M8) in the sliding carriage that I used to mount accessories like a platten to, slower to change but more secure in use than clamping between fences, remember that the sliding fence isn’t well suited for a cantilever load on it (such as a workpiece stuck at 45 degrees heading away from it), but if you put a sliding shim against the bottom of the fixed part (I always called it the girder) then that will take the load... That and the usual advice which is if you can’t make it accurate, make it adjustable.

Aidan
 

Eshmiel

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Thank you for the advice, Aiden.

There is just now a full sheet of 19mm MDF stuck in the shed awaiting a good slicing. It'll be the basis for various Woodrat jiggery. I would have preferred a much smaller bit of MDF but the local supplier only does full sheets although they are inexpensive. I fact, I would have preferred HDF but no one around here seems to sell it.

I see that your advice to drill various Woodrat bits on which to mount jiggery makes sense. I intended to drill the aluminium jaws but perhaps a mounting point or three on the sliding member itself is also going to make a less wobbly jig. Today, though, I'll be sticking on a couple of metric scales and some pointers, as well as a small white-painted member on the top to make "Marks" on, as rubbing such marks off the aluminium is tedious-slow.

At present I'm making endless little boxes, amongst other things, which provides opportunity to put in stringing and banding of various kinds. I've been using a Veritas hand router with a double blade thingamy to cut the channels but fancy using the Woodrate to do the same, via some sort of carriage to hold up the box top or sides to a channeling bit.

All just play really. Other games might include a secret mitred dovetail, one by Woodrat and one by hand, as a learning experience only. (Does anyone actually use secret mitred dovetails in their furniture for some design reason)?

Incidentally, does anyone have a micro-adjust for fine control of the north-south movement of the router on it's plate in the Woodrat? At present I use their aluminium stopper in the T-track of the aluminium guide rails to limit forward travel, plus a feeler gauge for the fine changes ....... a bit of a cumbersome method and limited to feeler gauge thicknesses.

Eshmiel
 

SammyQ

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I,ve had one for about 25 years. If yours is a similar age, my best tip is to ignore the scales on the snails- they weren't put on accurately. I struggled for years, always getting staggered joints or having to compensate for them. Eventually I rang Woodrat and was informed about the lack of calibration. They told me a simple way around the problem which I'll be happy to share with you if yours is a similar age.
It's a great machine which I use mainly for dovetails.
Peter, could you please expand and clarify how you did this? Colour me curious.

Thank you, Sam
 

TheTiddles

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I do/did like my Woodrat, I do find that some people are treating it a bit like the Amstrad word processor, gradually turning it into something else when that some thing else already exists (a milling machine), but it remains a great fun thing

Aidan
 

Eshmiel

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N-S fine adjusters; there are always interesting versions of these popping up on the Facebook Woodrat pages. WoodRat Users Group
I don't do facebook or other so-called social media facilities as they seem so .... anti-social. :)

But anyway, a quick search for "micro-adjust" in that WR group threw up a no-finds response. The trouble with facebook seems to be that it's one long linear splurge, making it very difficult to easily spot particular subjects unless you're there all the time.

Eshmiel
 

Farm Labourer

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The one I ratrher liked and will copy when I have a mo is a 6mm threaded bar with a small bracket. there is a hole in the bracket that slips over an easty-westy bar on the router and the other end is trapped between two nyloc nuts, so it can turn. Tthe threaded bar resides inside a block that has a 6mm female thread. The block is attached (adjustable) to the 4mm tee-track on the plate. The end of the bar nearest the operator has a knurled knob. One full turn of the knurled knob moves the router north or south 1mm depending upon direction of rotation. If my description makes no sense. let me know and I will sketch it in pencil and ping it over to you - or spend hours finding the FB post!
 

Eshmiel

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The one I ratrher liked and will copy when I have a mo is a 6mm threaded bar with a small bracket. there is a hole in the bracket that slips over an easty-westy bar on the router and the other end is trapped between two nyloc nuts, so it can turn. Tthe threaded bar resides inside a block that has a 6mm female thread. The block is attached (adjustable) to the 4mm tee-track on the plate. The end of the bar nearest the operator has a knurled knob. One full turn of the knurled knob moves the router north or south 1mm depending upon direction of rotation. If my description makes no sense. let me know and I will sketch it in pencil and ping it over to you - or spend hours finding the FB post!
That description does make sense as I can visualise the outline if not the details, such as how the threaded thingamajig hooks over the east-west bar in the router. (I have a 10mm round bar through my Dewalt 625 - one of the rods for its fence). I have a similar thing for doing fine fence adjustments on the Veritas router table - but alas it won't adapt to the Woodrat and Dewalt 625. Also, it's in that daft old imperial. (Thousandths of a hinch).

I need a tame machinist. :)

Eshmiel
 

peter-harrison

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Peter, could you please expand and clarify how you did this? Colour me curious.

Thank you, Sam
Hi Sam, you use your dovetail cutter first. Set up the Woodrat with the parallel bars etc. cut all your tails, and before you change the cutter for the straight one, you put a scrap piece of your stock in the clamp. raise the cutter until it just skims the top of the piece, and pass it over the workpiece.
Change the cutters and baseplates etc, but leave the scrap piece exactly where it is.
Set the pivot distance first- I have scrap pieces with different dovetail cutter slots on which I've written the pivot and rough snail position.
When you've done that, move the router until the cutter is just kissing the front lh corner of the shallow cut in the scrap piece from the outside. Hold the router firmly and turn the snail until it hits the side of the baseplate.
Repeat for the rh snail.
That's all there is to it!
 

Beau

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Brilliant bit of kit for dovetails and tenons. I was going to post some pictures of my jig for making tenons but its the first post on the facebook link above
 

fatbadcat

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Forgive me if this is not relevant, there is a webpage called the internet archive which ‘captures’ websites and I found the following in regards to Aldel’s websit;


2016 capture of Aldel’s site

obviously this is not a live site so don’t click donate/buy or anything as the links probably don’t work anymore.
 

Inspector

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Is there a way for the pictures on that site to display? Most don't show for me. Hosted off site perhaps and now lost?

Pete
 
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