Handfeeding the WoodRat
Anything you can do on the router table you can do just as easily with the WoodRat: decorative edging, edge joints (t&g with matched cutters etc), and grooves for drawers and lids of boxes.
Since the router is the right way up you can depth the bit without it lifting your machine off the floor, you can change bits easily, and can see where you’re cutting. You can make stopped grooves to avoid spoiling your joints when recessing box lids and grooving for box bottoms, as you can cut to a line.
The WoodRat is a right way up Router Table
With the router locked down the work can be hand-fed under the plates, where the machine works like a router table, but the right way up. With the WoodRat you can start and stop your cut where you like. When making a groove, for example, you can see the cut as you make it, drop the work into the bit and start and stop where you need to.
The router table has gravity to keep the work down on the table. The WoodRat has the Brush or Carpet acting as a feather-board pushing upwards.
Brush or Carpet?
We used to include a complimentary bristle scrubbing brush in the kit. This gave upward push and instant protection for the fingers, preventing kick-back, and keep you safe. Since our supplier no longer stocks our nice scrubbing brushes we tried a piece of pile carpet tile on a wood block. This works better, as it can be cut to any useful size: it can be made large enough to protect the least experienced user, and create a safer router table. That, and keeping the bit out of harm’s way in the router’s housing when not in use makes for greater safety and better work.
The router bit beneath the plate is brought forward and locked down to cut the work. there are gaps around the bit, in the Channel behind and in the Baseplate above. You need to be careful not to let the work fall into those gaps and spoil the cut. This gets serious for small workpieces, as well as dangerous for the fingers.
Two acrylic plates – one acting as a back wall and one as a ceiling will stop the work however small from falling into the gaps. The bit is plunged through the plates to groove the wood. It is then easy to keep the fingers clear of the bit. Small pieces can be lifted up into the bit, and dropped out to stop the groove spoiling the joint.
The wide range of mini profiling bits available today can be used for the fine detailing of classic doll houses. The acrylic plates mean that they can be made in perfect safety.
There are many things that a WoodRat can do that the router table cannot begin to tackle. Read on...