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Praise for the WoodRat
Using the Rat has greatly improved production and quality in our woodworking shop. We design and build custom wooden boxes, many of which require the use of finger joints. Just prior to receiving an order for 150 boxes, we received our Rat. In a very short time we were able to cut all the pieces and parts for these boxes. And what a neat and clean job it did! We love our WoodRat and would highly recommend it to anyone in the woodworking industry.
Dan & Deb McBride www.azwoodman.com
I've had the Leigh Jig for many years and just bought the WoodRat about a month ago. After just a few days of using it I sold the Leigh Jig. The WoodRat is that good and can do that much more.
Mark Levin www.marklevin.com
The WoodRat is a wonder of engineering unlike any other router jig on the market. Not because of its complexity and certainly not because of its deceptively minimal appearance, but because of what it achieves through ingenious mechanical simplicity. While other router jigs may do some things well, the WoodRat is in a class by itself and here is why:
First, the WoodRat way is the craftsmen's way, just turned on its head a little. This has to be the best part of owning a WoodRat. Yes, you can make any joint imaginable with the Woodrat, and yes it can completely replace a router table, but the beauty of the WoodRat is in how it lets you work. Once your head stops spinning from the initial shock of the WoodRat's unique approach, it will hit you. The WoodRat lets you think like a woodworker. In fact it throws the doors of creative wood joinery wide open. If you can conceive of it, the WoodRat can help you do it, and in a manner very like what woodworkers have always done. Only now you can do it with far fewer tools, far faster, and with far greater repeatability. The learning curve is steep, but once the fog begins to clear the WoodRat will send your mind on an amazing joint making adventure. No other jig will offer you this kind of freedom and versatility. The others might cut dovetails, finger joints, and maybe even mortise and tenon, but they will never be able to offer you the flexibility, elegance, and creative control that a WoodRat WR900 can.
Second, the WoodRat is a complete system. Buy the machine, a WoodRat PlungeBar, WoodRat's excellent bits, and attach your plunge router. That is all you will need to do some amazing things. Try cutting true half blind dovetails, with asymmetric spacing, an elegant 1 in 9 slope, in a houndstooth pattern, with any other router jig! The WoodRat can do this right out of the box (well after you install it on some free wall space anyway). There are a few very simple jigs you can make for it if you want, but I have found myself either not needing jigs or using the Woodrat to make my own custom jigs for itself and other machines. Its method of controlling your router makes a dangerous tool as safe as it can be, and you've not just bought into some vast array of accessories, templates, and upgrades. The WoodRat is simple, self-contained, and extraordinarily competent.
Third, every router jig is only as good as the cuts you make with it, and here the WoodRat really shines. It has the ability to power feed smoothly and efficiently through climb cuts to avoid tearout. It allows you to approach the work piece from any direction you choose, again avoiding tearout. It offers a variety of ways to securely and safely hold the work piece or pieces. And it has the finest range of dovetail and straight cutters anywhere. Yes, WoodRat cutters are HSS and not Carbide, but for good reason. Carbide cutters must be shaped to midigate the inherent brittleness of their bonded grain structure which is why carbide dovetail bits are so stocky and unrefined. The cutting angle of carbide cutters is also a compromise and while they do cut hardwood, they don't cut it very well. WoodRat's HSS bits are much better suited for real wood. Even though they do need frequent sharpening, the all HSS construction allows them to have a 105 degree cutting angle which, unlike carbide bits (that mash there way through wood fibers) shears wood fibers like a sharp hand plane. The other benefit of HSS construction is that the entire bit is structural and can therefore retain incredible strength even in the smallest and narrowest bit profiles. Take a look at the refinement and elegance of the WoodRat dovetail bits compared to any carbide dovetail bits. They maintain proper dovetail slopes, yet are long, thin, and elegant. A skilled craftsmen could hand cut dovetails with a thinner throat, but not by much!
Great tools are only as good as the minds and hands controlling them. The WoodRat is a great tool. If you can't cut dovetails by hand the WoodRat will allow you do cut them, but so will lots of other router jigs on the market. If you can't cut a decent tenon to save your life the WoodRat will save your life for you, but other jigs can do that too. But once you have a WoodRat you'll realize that it's the only router jig on the market that is as good as you will ever be, thereby insuring its place in your shop for as long as you work wood. Buy one. Give the less adventurous their confining templates, metal fingers, and clunky carbide cutters.
By Daniel Chaffin, Daniel Chaffin Furniture Makers, Louisville, KY
I have owned a WoodRat for a couple of years now. I purchased my 'Rat which was the older version second hand. It wasa great deal, though I needed to purchase a few missing parts and pieces and new dovetail and straight bits to get me started. Initially the 'Rat is a little intimidating as it has many capabilities and a few more moving parts than the typical wood working machine. I think the best part for me is coming up with cleaver jigs to make it even more useful than the originator imagined. I recently had to downsize my shop and was not parting with my WoodRat.
Justin, Pleasant Hill, CA USA
I've owned one for about a year. Initial questions from all dealers in the US and UK were quickly answered and my product purchase and post-purchase support has been outstanding. Bought mine from chipsfly.com and accessories have also worked well. Very good quality, good manual and online links that provide additional help. Takes up very little space in my shop and is quite enjoyable to work with. My only issue is with the square vaccuum/sawdust collection concept which is difficult to adapt round hoses to.
By P. T. Willeford, Alaska
I've had one for a bit over a year. It can do mortices, tenons, grooves, dadoes, rabbits, through and blind dovetails, box joints, raised panels, sliding dovetails, and a whole lot more.
Although you have to think a bit about your setups, they're really not bad and make good, intuitive sense once you understand what's going on with the machine. Manual is great, and it's a lot of fun.
The results come out great - especially the very thin dovetails that look like handcuts. Lots of room for creativity.
By Edward Falis, Ipswich, Ma
In all my years of finishing carpentry and cabinet making have I not found such a versatile precision made machine. Especially one that has been developed by a craftsman for the craftsman. The application of the fixed ratio relationship as the basis of its orientation provides exact placement of the cut with ease, even with multiple cuts.
I would also like to applaud you for your high speed steel bits that not only have a more pronounced elegant design for dovetails, but for their razor sharp cutting ability with a little maintenance from a diamond stone.
Hats off to you Martin Godfrey and all of those at WoodRat for producing such an
innovative and well designed machine.
Alex Disyak Calgary, AB Canada
It has allowed me to explore joints that I would not otherwise have attempted. It is an excellent machine.
Dr Ian Callaghan
I am completely thrilled with it. It is a very impressive machine and the ideas of things I can do with it are piling up in my head, I can't explore them fast enough.
I've had my WoodRat set up now for about two weeks, the machine is simply amazing. The joinery process in our shop has been cut by half.
Liam Martin of M&M Carpentry
I am blown away with your creation. It is by a long way the best routing and dovetailing platform that I have ever come across.
Hi, I've just received my 'Rat and set it up and am extremely impressed with its accuracy and simplicity of operation. Keep up the good work.
The 'Rat I purchased so many years ago is still my most used router setup. Whenever I have a problem I can't seem to solve any other way, I put on the thinking cap and head for the 'Rat where a solution is usually at hand.
Wayne H. Tinker
I am delighted with my purchase. I know if I had bought the Leigh and then came across the WoodRat I would be cursing myself. The WoodRat fills many roles with no compromise in quality that I have yet found.
UK DIY Forum:
I bought it as a dovetailing machine, but I now use it for so many joints I could not begin to write them all down.
As for the learning curve - its been fun. A Great way to cut Dovetails, Tenons and sliding dovetails, clean shoulders, accurate cutting, easy and positively fun compared to holding a board on end above a router table.
Forum ID: synonym
I'm producing accurate tenons with the cleanest shoulders this side of woodwork heaven, neat mortises, elegant dovetails etc. etc. A great way to tame the beast that is an unharnessed router.