You don’t see that every day

A Torque Workcentre Router Master, and some TWC accessories (couple are prototypes) have now been added to the Tool Sale page.

Photo 29-04-2014 21 52 16Photo 29-04-2014 21 54 29Photo 29-04-2014 21 56 10


A couple of major milestones, and really the last two as well.  Looking back at my tracking timetable (1 Nov), the last boxes to complete were:

Power for the shed: done (or will be completed by the day’s end)

Final Building Inspection: done! (just need to send in a copy of the electrical certificate)

The shed is now a legitimate, legal, completed (as far as construction is concerned) structure.  w00t!

There is one item left on the original list – an opening.

Let me get my house in order (and by that I mean the shed), machines and tools moved in, mezzanine area finished (which won’t take much over this weekend), and then we will talk.  It won’t be one of those Facebook free-for-all parties, but I’d like to show my regulars (if interested of course) the place.  I’ll have the SawStop up and running then too, and I do have a spare brake and blade………. and I’m sure a banger could be coerced into jumping into the blade!

Should do it reasonably soon while it is still BBQ weather, and I do have some items I need to find new homes for, including my awesome TS10L 10″ tablesaw, a Router Master, and perhaps even a Jet Midi Lathe.

Big Feet

Recently, when writing (or filming) info on the Torque Workcentre, I have been hearing one of 2 responses.  Either a. where do I get one, or b. wish I had room to fit one.

I’ve been thinking about that second response, and like many of us, space limitations play a huge part in the choices we make about shop machinery.  Fitting in a unit with a footprint of around 900mm x 2500mm is a huge chunk of the available space, and becomes a show stopper for a number of people.

Where it comes to the functionality of the Torque Workcentre, there is another option: The Torque Router Master (or as I prefer to think of it, the Torque Workcentre with a contractor’s base).

Router Master

The more I thought about this unit, and how it has some performance limitations compared to a full 2.5m TWC, the less it seemed like a real problem.  The primary difference is the arm cannot travel along the length of the base, but if space is an issue, you can’t afford that length anyway.

So what is it that this unit cannot do (functionally) compared to its big brother, and how do we get around that?  I probably won’t pick up on all of them, but let’s see how we go.

Task Torque Workcentre Router Master
Ripping a large sheet With a circular saw mounted for ripping, the X Axis travel carries the saw to the fully supported sheet, ripping it down The saw can still be mounted, but instead the sheet is pushed past the stationary saw. Some infeed and outfeed support required
Crosscutting a large sheet Circular saw mounted for crosscut, saw and carriage travel along the Y Axis, crosscutting the sheet As for TWC
Surfacing a slab Secure the slab to the surface of the TWC, and with a router mounted with a surfacing bit, pass it back and forth across the surface incrementing it along the Y Axis unit the slab is level Secure the slab to a sled that can travel evenly left to right (such as on tracks, or something like the Triton Extension Table) and pass it back and forth under the stationary router, then increment the router position along the Y Axis
Circle Cutting With the pin mounted in the table, and a partial-depth hole in the workpiece, offset the router from the pin to the desired radius then carefully spin the workpiece beneath the router. Radius of circle limited to the length of the TWC. As for TWC, although you may need a combination of rotation of the arm to get the router out to the desired radius. Radius of circle limited to the distance between the pin and the upright
Pin Routing Using a track cut into the underside of the pattern to engage the pin, and the workpiece fixed/clamped to the upper surface, router mounted overhead, guide the assembly along the track, creating a duplicate. As for TWC
Copy attachment
(eg raised letter sign writing)
Secure the workpiece and the pattern separately to the TWC, use the copy attachment pin to engage the pattern, controlling where the router cuts, duplicate the pattern in the workpiece Secure the workpiece to a board, and mount the pattern on the underside, reversed. Add extra supports so the pattern does not rock, and with the router mounted directly above the table pin, guide the pattern around the pin creating a duplicate in the workpiece. Movement can be restrained by boxing the pattern in and this boxing will be duplicated in the result.

That are just some ideas I’ve been having, and will see if I can’t put them into a video in the near future.  It goes to show for me at least, that with a bit of thought, the router master is not that much more limited than the TWC after all: it may not be convenient to handle the large sheets, but still it can do a lot of the same functions with some extra jigs, a sled arrangement (such as the Triton Extension Table), and a bit of ingenuity.  It still has 5 degrees of freedom – you only loose 1 by not having the X Axis travel, and there are definitely ways around that to replace the functionality of that lost degree 😉

If you wanted to go one step further, mounting a second router underneath the table and you end up with a router table with both an under-table mount, and an overhead mount.  Best of both worlds.

And after all, if you can’t fit a TWC into the workshop, in many cases you could still fit one of these!

(And because they don’t have the large base and the extra required for the X Axis travel, they are quite a bit cheaper too) If you do decide to investigate this further with Torque Workcentres, don’t forget to mention Stu’s Shed!!

Wish I was better at Tetris

Another shed cleanup – there have been a fair few weeks of manual writings, wood shows, store demos etc that have resulted in a quick amassing of shed chaos.  So a fair chunk of the afternoon was trying to put everything back in its rightful place, or finding one as the case may be.

Along with some other new products, I also put together a Router Master – going to have a bit of a play with its capabilities, and write some manuals.

Torque Router Master

The top part of the Router Master is identical with other Torque Workcentres, the base in this case bolts directly on, rather than involving a tool carriage.  This significantly cuts down on the cost of the unit, and its weight which makes it particularly portable.  Which is why I’ve been referring to it as a Contractor’s Base.  All it needs is some rubber feet, and a couple of wheels on the rear legs that contact the ground when you lift the front edge and it’d be pretty much spot on.

For those who have one of these units, or a previous Router Master, it can be upgraded to a full Torque Workcentre with the addition of the Workcentre base, of whatever size that suits.



One Day Down, One to Go

Seemed a successful day, plenty of people, lots of deceased sausages.

Made some progress on a surround for a poker table (wasn’t rushing, leaving something to do tomorrow).  Adding a 95mm wide wooden edge, with an inlay in the centre of each (poker inlay using the Woodpecker template).

Poker Inlays

Poker Inlays

The inlays are MDF which have had a special coating – look quite spectacular.  Still, these inlays represent the 3rd, 4th and 5th times I’ve ever done an inlay.

There was also plenty of interest in the Walko workbench I took along, and in the dominos I was cutting with the Festool.

The Protool UniverS SSP 200 is there as well – that is one interesting looking saw! And one hell of a depth of cut.  Easier to tell in the flesh, but it is in essence a circular saw that has a chainsaw blade instead.  Other than the rather unusual blade, it would be able to be used in a similar fashion to a normal handheld circular saw.

Protool UniverS SSP 200

Protool UniverS SSP 200

The Torque Workcentre is there as well – the upgraded version of the router master (which means it now has movement on both the X and Y axis).

Torque Workcentre

Torque Workcentre

I haven’t taken any photos at the show as yet – will do so tomorrow.

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