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RogerS

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I looked at the video on the woodrat site and it raised a question or two. Not that I'm rushing out to buy one. Just evaluating, you understandjavascript:emoticon(':roll:')

Q1 How do you handle stock that is very wide ? If I have a router table and say, wanted to run a rebate down the middle of a sheet of material about 2 ft wide then, with a bit of judicious fudging I can picture how I might do it with a router table. I can't picture that on the Woodrat.

Q2 If you are dovetailing do you have to use the Woodrat cutters?

Q3 What is the longest piece of stock that one can use on the Woodrat? On my router table, it's only limited by the number of supports I have and available room!

Q4 Basic Woodrat comes with....what? And what in reality is the minimum that one needs to make it work. There's an awful lot of extras by the look of things. :roll:
 

Waka

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ooooooooooh can't wait for the ratties to come out of the WW on this one.
 
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rsinden":1emfos5i said:
Q1 How do you handle stock that is very wide ? If I have a router table and say, wanted to run a rebate down the middle of a sheet of material about 2 ft wide then, with a bit of judicious fudging I can picture how I might do it with a router table. I can't picture that on the Woodrat.
This one I don't know the answer to - never done it

rsinden":1emfos5i said:
Q2 If you are dovetailing do you have to use the Woodrat cutters?
Nope, any cutter'll do - the setting of the spirals and buttons is explained in detail in the manual, and can be used with any combination of dt and straight cutter. Having said that, the woodrat ones are pretty good, and have angles closer to 'real' handcut dts, which a lot of the cutters designed for jigs don't have.

rsinden":1emfos5i said:
Q3 What is the longest piece of stock that one can use on the Woodrat? On my router table, it's only limited by the number of supports I have and available room!
Pretty much the same :)

rsinden":1emfos5i said:
Q4 Basic Woodrat comes with....what? And what in reality is the minimum that one needs to make it work. There's an awful lot of extras by the look of things.
I haven't bought any extras for mine. Oh, actually, not true - I got the aluminium runners to replace the plastic ones for north-south cuts, but they're not essential. Ratters are always coming up with new jigs and stuff to help them make particular types of joints, but as with a router table, that's only limited by your imagination and abilities :)
 

Alf

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S'cuse me, coming through. Mind yor backs, please, ladies and gents.

rsinden":4dmkbigc said:
I looked at the video on the woodrat site and it raised a question or two. Not that I'm rushing out to buy one. Just evaluating, you understandjavascript:emoticon(':roll:')
Yeah, we understand... I evaluated for ages before the inevitable capitulation.

rsinden":4dmkbigc said:
Q1 How do you handle stock that is very wide ? If I have a router table and say, wanted to run a rebate down the middle of a sheet of material about 2 ft wide then, with a bit of judicious fudging I can picture how I might do it with a router table. I can't picture that on the Woodrat.
<pedant>Well technically not even a router table can run a rebate down the middle of anything.</pedant> However a housing or groove, well you can't. One of those jobs a hand held router's awfully good at in my opinion, but to each their own.

rsinden":4dmkbigc said:
Q2 If you are dovetailing do you have to use the Woodrat cutters?
Nope, any dovetail cutter you like. However this is not the case with the LittleRat, which will only accommodate a certain pitch. However the Woodrat cutters are very elegant in comparison to other makes, so I'd recommend them,

rsinden":4dmkbigc said:
Q3 What is the longest piece of stock that one can use on the Woodrat? On my router table, it's only limited by the number of supports I have and available room!
Ditto, except for dovetailing, when it's limited to, erm, 30 inches IIRC. More than the Leigh anyway... :p

rsinden":4dmkbigc said:
Q4 Basic Woodrat comes with....what? And what in reality is the minimum that one needs to make it work. There's an awful lot of extras by the look of things. :roll:
The website should know this better than I (I've looked; if it does it ain't telling. Dammit, why must the Godfrey's be so darn inept?!). I think you get the aluminium guide rails now, don't you? If not, you'll want them. So, erm, the plunge bar is nice to have, even if you don't have a 'Rat. The mortise rail you can make yourself, the mitre box is a waste of space, erm, the T-shirt is not compulsory. Basically you provide the router and you're good to go without any additional bits and pieces. Of course you'll end up tweaking and such until you've got all sorts of weird bits and pieces that only you know what they do, but that's half the fun. Aldel is the man for those sorts of devices, btw.

Hope that helps a bit.

Cheers, Alf
 

RogerS

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Reading one of the reviews that talks about making dovetails with it, the review says


With the tails completed, you change to a straight bit, remove the guide rails, set the spirals and then mount your finished tail board in the left clamp. The actual finished board is your template to cut the pins on the pin board, so the match is exact. Now, there is some fine-tuning required to get the height and fit perfect, but once it’s set running all the pins is a breeze.

Where does the 'miracle' happen? How does the finished tail board become a template? I'm missing something here. It's way over to the left and nwhere near the router.
 
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It's all to do with marking the body of the 'rat itself, on the left hand side. You clamp your tail board on that side, and line it up with the mark. Then winding the rat so each socket in turn lines up with the mark, you have the pin board in just the right spot under the router for cutting the pins.

Hmm, reading that, sounds very complicated, but it isn't really. This link: workshop demos explains it pretty well. It does work, honest!

The above, of course, limits your dovetail widths to the distance between left hand clamping point and centre clamping point, but there's another method described in the manual for wider pieces, where you effectively use a 'story board'
 

RogerS

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Mmmm..very interesting. I see how the dovetails work now. Rather clever.

I've been looking at various bits and pieces that I did on the router table and thinking 'now how would I do that on a WoodRat'. The only thing that I can't get my head round is long stock.

For example, I ran a Roman Ogee down a 8' length of skirting board. I just whacked it on top of the router table, fixed supports at appropriate distances and ran the stock past the cutter, gradually adjusting the fence as I went.
So gravity is working with you to help hold the stock down.

But on the Rat you're working 'up' and so how would you hold long pieces of stock ? Doesn't the fixed fence get in the way?

Roger
 

Chris Knight

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Roger,
I love the rat but I don't use it where a router table is superior. Long mouldings is one of those things..
 

RogerS

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Chris

I have to say that that was my gut-feel (based on limited experience, I know) so if I get a Rat then I still need my table. Damn! There goes the down-payment !

Where else is the router table better ? (he said tentatively knowing that this has probably been discussed already ad nauseam and is probably opening a can of worms)

Digressing to the next project (discussed in another topic) 'er indoors just told me that she'd prefer it free standing...which is great news to me as that means it will have to look like a piece of furniture rather than something knocked together and nailed to the wall. Much more scope for design and deliberation :D

Roger
 

Philly

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Roger
If you have a router table and want to use it to cut dovetails why not get yourself an Incra fence?? They can cut tons of amazing styles of dovetails and joints, and is much cheaper than a rat.
regards
Philly :D
 

Chris Knight

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rsinden":19dr3usd said:
Where else is the router table better ? (he said tentatively knowing that this has probably been discussed already ad nauseam and is probably opening a can of worms)
A rough breakdown on the ways I use each (and certainly not exclusively - I will often use one where the other is arguably better if I am in the mood or already using a bit or a set-up that is quicker to convert to what I need). AND you will find a dozen folk to argue with each choice!

Woodrat
1. Dovetails, through or half blind. No contest in my mind here, the Rat is far, far better than the table in my book. Although for big ones used in say a carcase, I will use a Leigh jig or do them freehand.

2. Mortices. The Rat is supreme especially in end grain mortises. There is no easier or quicker way to do them, except possibly the Leigh FMT which I have not used. This makes loose tenon joinery my preferred method of doing M&Ts but note I prefer to cut tenons (regular or loose ones) on the table!

3. Box (comb joints). Honours about even here but the Rat is best for sizes that don't fit the Incra templates neatly. Either is much easier than the "easy" saw table method (also translated to router tables).

4. Squaring the ends of pieces of wood - when your table saw is on the fritz or it's an odd shape or summat. It is very easy to stick a board in the Rat and get a perfect square end.

5. Cutting rebates in a box for the bottom when you forgot to do it before you glued it up. You can see what you are doing - unlike a router table.

6. Any stopped cut where you can actually clamp it in the Rat 'cos you can see what you are doing.


Router Table

1. Tenons. People will tell you the Rat is great for these and it ain't bad but I far prefer the router table. With a couple of simple squaring sleds, I cut tenons to 1/1000 inch with my Incra fence, repeatably and in a fraction of the time it takes on the Rat. Although as I said earlier, I will use the Rat if the set-up is half way there.

2. Sliding dovetails. I prefer the table for these (Alf loves the Rat for them). The Rat is probably a lot easier for angled sliding dovetails like Alf used in her coffee table..

3. Long mouldings. No contest, the table is far easier and safer than the Rat.

4. Template routing. No contest, the table is far easier and safer than the Rat.

5. Jointing edges. No contest, The mind boggles at the set up required on a Rat to do this successfully.

I am sure others will have plenty to add and argue with!
 

Alf

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rsinden":quwbjqw6 said:
For example, I ran a Roman Ogee down a 8' length of skirting board. I just whacked it on top of the router table, fixed supports at appropriate distances and ran the stock past the cutter, gradually adjusting the fence as I went.
So gravity is working with you to help hold the stock down.

But on the Rat you're working 'up' and so how would you hold long pieces of stock ? Doesn't the fixed fence get in the way?
Basically it's a router table upside down. Instead of using a feather board or whatever to hold the stock down to the table, you use a brush to hold it up. Or rather you don't. I've had much better results using a box or table held in the clamps. One of the things I like is I can effectively make a tunnel with a box or table and a guide clamp to hold the work against the face of the 'Rat. You feed the work through the tunnel and it's about as safe as you can get. My router table "mode" in my GWW workstation is in a corner and simply not an option for that kind of job. Not that it ever gets used anyway.

philly":quwbjqw6 said:
If you have a router table and want to use it to cut dovetails why not get yourself an Incra fence?? They can cut tons of amazing styles of dovetails and joints, and is much cheaper than a rat.
<personal bugbear alert>The 'Rat is not solely for the production of dovetails, Buying it for that purpose alone is to miss the brilliance of it. Get three 'Ratters together and they'll all confess dovetails are one of the least important aspects of the 'Rat to them. I know, I was one of the three 'Ratters. </bugbear>
I came very close indeed to trading the 'Rat in for an Incra fence at one time. What put me off was the rather agricultural appearance of the DT's slope in comparison to the 'Rat's. For my money that's always going to be where the 'Rat wins over the other dovetailing options, although I appreciate that wouldn't be an issue for a lot of people. The extra, non-dovetail related abilities, just wipe the floor with the others to my mind. I know, I know, but it's not just a pro-'Rat bias. Afterall, once upon a time I didn't own one either. Like I said, and some of you will remember, I've come very close to giving it up on two or three occasions, but when it comes to the crunch I can't. It's just too useful and flexible to let go. Goodness only knows, it was a heck of a decision to buy it in the first place; representing, as it does, easily the biggest purchase of my woodworking life that hasn't involved a 50/50 deal with the Old Man or significant birthday/xmas pressie contribution. And yeah, you're all having a chuckle at Alf going off on one of her 'Rat crusades. But I only do it 'cos I think it's a Good Thing, just like using planes is a Good Thing. Ignore me if you will, but you're the one losing out. You heathens. :p

I'll go away now. :oops: :wink:

Cheers, Alf
 

Alf

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waterhead37":1ctwcj1b said:
A rough breakdown on the ways I use each (and certainly not exclusively - I will often use one where the other is arguably better if I am in the mood or already using a bit or a set-up that is quicker to convert to what I need). AND you will find a dozen folk to argue with each choice!
Dunno about arguing, but it's interesting to see how folk differ in their use of it. So forgive for posting again. :oops:

waterhead37":1ctwcj1b said:
Woodrat
1. Dovetails, through or half blind. No contest in my mind here, the Rat is far, far better than the table in my book. Although for big ones used in say a carcase, I will use a Leigh jig or do them freehand.
Well no option but 'Rat or by hand. The 'Rat tends to win too often for my own good. :roll:

waterhead37":1ctwcj1b said:
2. Mortices. The Rat is supreme especially in end grain mortises. There is no easier or quicker way to do them, except possibly the Leigh FMT which I have not used. This makes loose tenon joinery my preferred method of doing M&Ts but note I prefer to cut tenons (regular or loose ones) on the table!
Interesting. I hate cutting mortices on the 'Rat. Might be more to do with my cutters than anything else. Whenever possible I'll avoid mortise and tenon joints altogether.

waterhead37":1ctwcj1b said:
3. Box (comb joints). Honours about even here but the Rat is best for sizes that don't fit the Incra templates neatly. Either is much easier than the "easy" saw table method (also translated to router tables).
'Rat.

waterhead37":1ctwcj1b said:
4. Squaring the ends of pieces of wood - when your table saw is on the fritz or it's an odd shape or summat. It is very easy to stick a board in the Rat and get a perfect square end.
Isn't it? But I prefer using a shooting board for anything other than odd shapes.

waterhead37":1ctwcj1b said:
5. Cutting rebates in a box for the bottom when you forgot to do it before you glued it up. You can see what you are doing - unlike a router table.
That never happens to me... :wink:

waterhead37":1ctwcj1b said:
6. Any stopped cut where you can actually clamp it in the Rat 'cos you can see what you are doing.
Absolutely. You can cut to a pencil line on the work; nearest thing to a powered hand tool.

waterhead37":1ctwcj1b said:
Router Table
1. Tenons. People will tell you the Rat is great for these and it ain't bad but I far prefer the router table. With a couple of simple squaring sleds, I cut tenons to 1/1000 inch with my Incra fence, repeatably and in a fraction of the time it takes on the Rat. Although as I said earlier, I will use the Rat if the set-up is half way there.
The 'Rat wins every time for lots of them. For just a few then it's the bandsaw and shoulder plane.

waterhead37":1ctwcj1b said:
2. Sliding dovetails. I prefer the table for these (Alf loves the Rat for them). The Rat is probably a lot easier for angled sliding dovetails like Alf used in her coffee table..
I do indeed love the 'Rat for them. Brilliant joint and so easy on the 'Rat, especially the male half.

waterhead37":1ctwcj1b said:
3. Long mouldings. No contest, the table is far easier and safer than the Rat.
See previous post. Although thinking about it it's a while since I last did any at all.

waterhead37":1ctwcj1b said:
4. Template routing. No contest, the table is far easier and safer than the Rat.
Never really got on with template routing. Take a look at my website and the Music Stand to see the sort of things that happen to me when I try...

waterhead37":1ctwcj1b said:
5. Jointing edges. No contest, The mind boggles at the set up required on a Rat to do this successfully.
My mind boggles at jointing edges with anything but a plane. 'Nuff said.

Dunno whether this helps at all, but maybe it does illustrate the 'Rat's pretty much what you make it.

Cheers, Alf
 

Newbie_Neil

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Hi Roger

I've been very good and stayed out of this thread, but I think there are some other questions you should ask.

1. Why do people buy the more expensive 'Rat and not the Littlerat?

2. How much per day is the training?

3. How many days training will you need?

4. What does the accomodation and travel cost?

Helpful Neil
 
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Newbie_Neil":3vpgee7j said:
1. Why do people buy the more expensive 'Rat and not the Littlerat?
Extra flexibility, not limited to fixed dt ratios, extra capacity spring to mind - that's why I bought the big brother of the siblings.

Newbie_Neil":3vpgee7j said:
2. How much per day is the training?

3. How many days training will you need?

4. What does the accomodation and travel cost?
Not sure you actually need any training. I've seen posts of people who've done some courses in it, and come back with the wool pulled off the eyes, and subsequently rave about the 'rat. But, once you have one in front of you, and you get to play, the basics at least become very obvious. [non-existant shrug smiley]. There are plenty of resources on the web for ideas or hints, and it really does become intuitive once you have your head around the basic principles.[/b]
 

Alf

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Dammit, Neil, I'll have to post again.
Newbie_Neil":2os0emzx said:
I've been very good and stayed out of this thread, but I think there are some other questions you should ask.

1. Why do people buy the more expensive 'Rat and not the Littlerat?
The 'Rat is better established and more flexible, that's why. Duh :roll:

Newbie_Neil":2os0emzx said:
2. How much per day is the training?

3. How many days training will you need?

4. What does the accomodation and travel cost?
I've never been on any training course and I can still use it. The manual is greatly improved so a course is not the necessity it was formerly thought to be.

Cheers, Alf
 

Philly

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Alf
Agree with you as to the nice Rat router bits-much more "hand made" looking. Any precision system opens yours eyes to a different way of working-especially if you don't have time to practise cutting them by hand (i.e.most hobbiests, and pro's too!)
I have been interested in the Rat, but found it too close to my Incra (minus the "power feed" :wink: ) to justify the cash. Without a doubt the precision router systems are wonderful-they approach engineering tolerences in the low-tech world of wood.
As to whether one is better than the other-well, if you havent got either then you are missing out on a very exciting way to work.
cheers
Philly :D
 

frank

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i like my rat and my other tools

training cost me £70 for the day
£30 for b/b
then petrol for traveling

then i bought my rat

you can learn alot more at your own pace if you make a cock up so what, do it again till it clicks they say its a steep learning curve well it is but when you get near the top you start to call your self all the daft sods going .why because your brain has just clicked how easy it can be . and you are allways learning new things for or on the rat .

if a ratter lives near you ask if you can watch or even have a go

my rat is like any of my other tools i dont use them all the time but when i need to they are there .
 

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Hi Philly,

Have just invested in the Incra LS Super System, am just waiting delivery from the States. Having watched the videos, read the Project book, I'm in the process of building a new Norm/Hylton hybrid router table to accomodate it.

My sister has just taken delivery of a leigh D4, yes it's a nice bit of kit but I think that the Incra is far more flexible and offers much better value for money.

We both looked at the RAT but decided against on the grounds that it was a lot of money and took up too much wall space.
 
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