Breaking Edges

One of the problems with having to rush to finish the Christmas present for my daughter (the toy kitchen), is that I had to skip some steps to get done in time.

As I was designing as I built, I wasn’t sure which edges would end up being the outer areas of the finished product, and thus needing to be rounded over.

Rounding edges over have a couple of benefits – the obvious one is removing sharp edges and corners, making them more child-friendly, and overall nicer to the whole tactile experience.  The other benefit is it reduces the chance of splintering of the edges.

I normally like a 1/16″ roundover – the object retains the overall concept of the square edges, but with a good rounding.  I normally use a plane to achieve this – the Fastcap Artisan Radius Plane (from Professional Woodworkers Supplies).


Fastcap Artisan Radius Plane

It is a great little plane, and works really effectively.  When I first got it, no edge was safe!  Unfortunately for this project, as I had already assembled it, this plane is no good for getting into corners and therefore wasn’t a real option.

Onto plan B.

I thought a Dremel may do the trick, even found some Dremel roundover bits in Masters.  Unfortunately I didn’t read the packet, and it turned out that the bits were specifically for the Dremel Trio.

The idea of using the Dremel high speed rotary should have worked, but I have not been able to find any round-over bit that fits.

So then I decided to look at the Dremel Trio – it isn’t too expensive, and seeing as I had the roundover bits, that might have been a reasonable outcome.  However, once I looked at it closely, I was disappointed in the build quality, especially of the base.


Dremel Trio


Trio Foot

It was really the mechanism for adjusting the base that was really cheap – not the quality that I associate with Dremel, and it really put me off buying it.  With the cost of the Trio, and the set of router bits I needed to get the desired roundover, that started becoming a reasonable portion of much better tools.

It was about now that I was kicking myself for selling the Triton Spin Saw.  Not that I have needed it until now, and holding a tool for years to finally find an actual purpose is obviously not worthwhile.  But it would have fitted the Dremel Router bits, and performed as a large version of the high speed rotary.

I have an old GMC Laminate Trimmer, but found that both for the size of the base, and the extension of the bearing section of the router bit, I couldn’t get into the areas I needed to.

So next, I had a look at the Bosch Blue laminate trimmer, or what the actually call (and more appropriately), the Palm Router.  This has the benefit of taking 1/4″ router bits, and is the machine of choice for the CNC Shark & Shark Pro. A pretty good endorsement on its own!


Bosch Blue Palm Router

It is a very nice-looking tool, and doesn’t try to “bling-out” to create a sale.  My only experience of Bosch is a corded drill I bought about 14 years ago, and despite my best efforts I haven’t managed to kill it yet.  Says something about the brand.  Not sure about the height adjustment on this either – seemed a bit difficult, but they may have been inexperience with the tool.


Festool Laminate Trimmer

Finally, I considered the Festool OFK 500 Q.  There are larger trimmers from Festool, but getting into tight areas is key.  The base looks promising, and the cut-off area from one side allows it to get into pretty tight areas.  There is one ‘interesting’ feature of this tool – it takes proprietary router bits.  However, it does come with what Festool calls an Ogee router bit, which everyone else calls a roundover bit, so that is a bonus.

So those are the choices I am considering.  The Festool is the most expensive, but as I was already willing to get the Dremel (plus the router bits) which came to $200, that is a reasonable amount off the price of the Festool, so it is more justifying the difference.

Got some thinkin’ to do.



13 Responses

  1. Go the Festool Stu, you won’t regret it and it’ll match your growing collection and no I don’t have one but I can borrow yours when I need one 🙂

  2. rasp, file, sandpaper – not sure why you are looking at machines…

    • Prefer the finish of a roundover bit for these jobs, and for the area to cover. To each his own. I’m not even sure if I own a rasp!

  3. I’ve got a Dremel roundover bit that fits my Dremel 300. I got the bit via Amazon, and a check today reveals LOTS of roundover bits of different brands available. I mount the Dremel in a Stewart-Macdonald router base that is designed for work on guitars, and which costs about $50. From memory, the bit cost about $10, though I note they seem to be cheaper now. A total of $60 is probably less expensive than a Festool, or Bosch, or even Dremel Trio!

  4. Hi Stu. I have the Bosch gmr1 (came with the shark). I bought a spare so I can swap it out quickly if something fails. So far it’s been great and hasn’t failed despite using it for over 2 years. I use it nearly every day for my business. Sometimes it runs for 45mins flat. Gets hot but hasn’t failed. I”ve recently added a super-pid speed control (Aussie invention) works great and now I can do even more work with it. I own 11 routers of different sizes. Most are Makita but I must say I’m pretty impressed with the life span of the Bosch. I”ve blown two of those little gmc ones. Plus the Bosch comes with a number of handy attachments including a base that you can set to an angle. I’ve never seen that before on any other routers.

    • Really does sound like a great tool/model. I ended up getting the Festool, but will still keep the Bosch in mind for future reference.

  5. By the way. I searched professional woodworkers supplies for the fastcap radius plane and couldn’t find it. Have they stopped selling them or is it a special order? Can’t find an Australian seller of these. Google just bought me back to this post.

    • I’ve asked, and PWS are investigating – once they ran out of their last order, they haven’t restocked as the demand wasn’t high, and they have to buy large quantities. They are looking into it though.

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