Saturday, February 5, 2011

Festool OF-1400 Demo

This is another video I made for a contest over on the FOG.

This is a rather long review of the OF-1400 router because I go through nearly all the accessories including some from other Festool products.  Most people reading this bloggle (babbling blog :)) know what a router is so I go through those basics pretty quickly then slow down to show the accessories in much more detail.

As the video is split in two parts, I'm posting a playlist link here.  It will automatically play part 2 for you, though you can jump ahead to it easily with the playlist navigation.

Also, here is a link to the thread about it on the FOG if you'd like to read some of the current feedback.

6 comments:

  • Skip Borders said...
     

    Hi Paul,

    Another great review but I am unaware who makes the blue/purple router bits featured in the review of the OF1400.

    Who makes them and why are they so good?

  • Paul-Marcel St-Onge said...
     

    Thanks, Skip... those are Rockler-branded router bits. The bits are pretty good; when I started, I bought a few good utility bits from them and they keep on going.

    For plunging 'dado' bits, I prefer spiral bits. I should do a short video on the various types and when to use which, now that I think about it. Anyway, I used to get spirals from a couple different sources and they are all good, but now I usually get them from Vortex Tools. Straight cutting bits like that get used a lot for dados/grooves, rabbets, flushing (from top or side), pattern routing, etc. For that reason, I prefer to get a good one and be done with it. That Vortex page is for their wood spirals and there are a lot of specialty spirals listed. These are made for CNC machines so really well made to plow through wood quickly all day. I have 3 of their spirals and love them. Look at normal bits first as their prices are in line with other quality vendors. Specialty bits like solid carbide spiral dovetail bits are tricky to make and expensive, but that's not really what we use (still fun to read about :)

  • Jim Reed said...
     

    Paul:

    As a relative newbie who needs to start putting together a kit of the basic, but high quality, router bits that are used on a regular basis, I would LOVE a post about essential router bits. In the meantime, I definitely need a good spiral upcut but for clean dados. What bit/manufacturer would you recommend?

    Jim

  • Paul-Marcel St-Onge said...
     

    Hi, Jim,

    Hmm the essential router bits is tough since it depends on what you like and build. You might be ogee crazed while another guy isn't. But I'll give you this list with caveats:

    - Chamfer bit; a big one is useful

    - 3/8" spiral; read my reply to Skip above your comment for some details on getting one from Vortex (they have crazy expensive ones but those aren't the ones you need; the ones you need are competitively priced but high quality).

    - For molding, I use the Charles Neil signature molding bit; it has multiple profiles on it so you raise/lower the bit to pick the profile you want on your stock.

    - For flushing, ideally you want a compression spiral flushing bit (has a bearing at the tip). Compression bits are down-spiral for all except the last 1/4" or so where it is up-spiral; the reason they are amazing at flushing is because they shear the stock towards itself making clean top and bottom cuts. But they are pricy.

    A cheaper alternative with most of the benefit is a down-spiral flushing bit. Since your stock is on the pattern, the pattern backs up the stock that's sheared at the bottom preventing blowout.

    - There's a drawer profile bit I use a lot and likely half the time, it's not for drawers!

    So I can see already that I want more links in here and to go look in my bit drawer cuz I know I'm forgetting one or two other often-used bits. That said, I'll make a posting instead of this hidden comment. Should get it out tonight so watch the blog for it.

    Thanks for asking, Jim!

  • steve said...
     

    Paul,

    Your video does not come up. I need to see it because I'm having some trouble with the router not being level when I use the guide bar.
    I'm making 3/4" dados, 1/4" depth and the measurement are also a problem.
    Have any ideas?

    Steve

  • Paul-Marcel St-Onge said...
     

    That was very weird that the embedded video seemed dead; it was using an older-style embed code (that you get from YouTube) so I updated that and it now works.

    You need to use the little foot on the side opposite the rail to keep it level. If you have the thicker "table widener" base on the router, you can instead use the back of the guide rail to guide the router with the router completely on its own base.

    The table widener is expensive, though. The little foot usually works well.

    What I did before realizing how to use the back of the rail is I ripped a piece of scrap to 5mm width and double-stick taped it to the far side of the router base. It acts like a skate and gives great support. So tape it on and hand sand it until you get it perfectly level then toss the skate into your Systainer for future use.