Monday, May 31, 2010

Ultimate Wide-Base of the OF-1400

Everybody discovers this when they get their new Festool OF-1400 router, but I'll point it out to those who don't have it to figure it out.

Routing on an edge always leaves at least half the base off the stock making the router less stable.  Add to that the higher center of gravity of a plunger like the OF-1400 and you can easily make a mess of that edge.

The OF-1400 comes with two guide rods intended for use with the edge guide or the guide stops (the pads that let you run it on the rail).  Thing is, the guide stops sit level with the router so I use them all the time as a very extended handle and wide-base for the router.  Used this way, it is nearly impossible (oh, but I'll find a way...) to tip the router on the edge.

In this configuration, the pad is out nearly a foot from the bit!  The added stability is amazing and offers a lot of control for guiding the router.  On a recent project with a lot of a shaped profile requiring climb-cutting on material very prone to chip-out, I used this configuration to bump-route much of the edge; the little bit of climb-cutting I did was very safe and controlled as that long arm to the base gives you a lot of mechanical advantage.

Now, I like to use the edge guide even with a bearing-guided bit for certain situations where I want to make multiple passes rather than hog off the whole profile in one shot.  You can still get the advantage of this wide-base setup by simply extending the rods as far as possible to the opposite side of the router.