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

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

Dremel Trio

Dremel-Trio-3

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

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

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.

 

 

A really interesting perspective on elitism, language use, and the real craftsmen who make the objects of our desire, rather than wax lyrical about them, by Chris Schwarz.

 

Lost Art Press

At my first newspaper job, I hated the 2 p.m. mail call. That was when Reese Fant would separate all the day’s mail into the black cubbyholes for the reporters. More days than not, I received a postcard.

The postcards were from a retired high-school English teacher, and just about every day she had some withering comment to make about my grammar, word choice, style (or lack of it).

I hated those postcards at first.

I think you know where this story is going, but I think you’re wrong. The natural story arc is for me to recognize the importance of word precision and embrace the subtleties and nuances of the English language and become an evangelist for its proper use.

Truth is, I hated those postcards at first, and within a couple years I came to absolutely loathe them. In fact, I actively rejected my fine Northwestern University-honed journalism…

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