Friday, October 22, 2010

Routing Laying Down

The Festool OF-1400 comes with a few interesting accessories that aren't available for other routers.  One pair of accessories I use quite often yet they are shrouded in Festool mystery (and therefore green fog :): the edging plate and the angle arm (disregard that Festool's site says it isn't compatible with the OF-1400; you'll see it is). These two accessories are shown in this picture right in front of the Systainer.

The two pieces combine to make a 90º plate that we will use to run the router on its side.  You can see the attachment point on the OF-1400 in this picture as well.

Last night, I banded some maple ply with 5/8" hard maple banding.  This is going in a closet so it's utilitarian :)  You can run this vertically on a router table and use a spacer on the top of the fence to allow the excess banding to flow into the bit, but that's awkward and very easy to tip and gouge your work.  Better to take the tool to the stock.

Here you see the angle arm attached to the router with a flush-trim bit installed.  The green knob is a micro-adjuster so you can set the cutting face of the bit to be exactly on the surface of the ply.  Personally, I back it off a hair so I can flush with a block plane, which lets me remove any router milling marks.

For this configuration, you set the bit position with the green knob so you don't have to rely on a bearing.  Here I show my two 1/4" down-spiral bits; one has a double-bearing.  Either would work, but I do usually choose the bearing-guided bit so when I place the router on the stock, the bearing prevents me from digging into the ply.  I set the bit position to just clear the banding to keep the ply veneers safe.

As shown, the router will kick up the trimmed maple right in my face.  That sucks.  That's not what you expect from Festool!  You can still mount the dust shroud that came with the OF-1400 although it is a tighter fit under the arm than I expected.  It works, to be sure, but this may be why Festool states the angle arm is for the OF-1010 as the shroud wasn't sized to easily fit over it.

Now, the shroud comes as a cylinder split in half.  We need more clearance on the entrance and exit so I've already cut the shroud on the second set of indentations using a hack saw.  This really won't affect other uses and you could always purchase a second if you are concerned.

It isn't shown above, but I installed the dust extraction hose connector (the clear one that mount above the base plate).  That's how you get the hose in the picture.  While all of this sounds long to setup, is is really fast and trivial.  And here's the router in action!

I took this picture immediately after making a flush pass; what you see is all the dust I had to deal with.  Now I will warn you that the D-27 hose can easily plug up if big strips of banding come off and are ejected into the hose.  The D-36 is always a better hose for routing.  Ooh, Halloween scary... in that picture, my thumb looks missing; believe me it is still here! what do you think I sit on all day...

This accessory pair is a winner.  The angle unit is normally used with the copier scanning set of bearings, which I have yet to use.  On its side, however, I've used the OF-1400 many times to flush banding before assembly.  I've also used it on a tall box to flush the side-to-front joints while it was upright; this particular case would have been impossible on a router table.


  • Robert said...

    Hey Paul, nice post! I like using thick banding like you are showing. When I tried using this accessory on a set of mitred boxes was difficult.

    Festool claims that when using the baring,there is a chance of having glue getting stuck in the wheel and by using this method you are absolutely sure of not having problems.

    Great post.

  • Garnet70 said...


    I wonder if Festool realizes that $100 in parts eliminates the need for the MFK-700. In all seriousness, I have always thought the MFK-700 was too limited in its functionality, but I accepted that if it was outstanding at an important job (edge banding and horizontal routing) that couldn't be with other routers then it might still be justified. Now more than ever, I think that the 1010 or the 1400 are the best jack of all trades routers from Festool (especially if you have a table-mounted router for larger bits). Which Festool router do you find yourself reaching for the most?

  • Paul-Marcel St-Onge said...

    Hi, Garnet... as I mentioned in the post, you do have to be careful with the 1400 due to its weight when doing this. You could tip and dig a bit. If you hold the 'top' (as it is upright) of the router in one hand while pressing firmly on the other, all goes well. I don't have a 1010, but it is considerably lighter so it would likely do the job even better than the 1400 (and is still cheaper than the 700).

    I have the 1400 and 2200 routers. I do switch between them often enough especially when I need the power of the 2200 or its weight. If those considerations aren't necessary, I nearly always grab the 1400.

    For treating this edge banding, get a down-spiral bit of a big diameter. The down-spiral will make for a much cleaner trimming; the large diameter means any pause in motion will be less likely to leave a small hollow.