The Dewalt in our stars

*Please see end of this post for an addendum*

I decided after Christmas that I would try and upgrade my ability to put a solid wood edge on plywood. It started with a purchase of a banding bit set back in early December, and I decided I needed a better edge flushing technique or tool to test it out. After much deliberation, I ordered a Dewalt 611 dual-base router set and a couple of accessories. I figured it would be an upgrade over my Ryobi One+ trim router, and better suited to the task than my OF1400.

It arrived on Monday. I initiated the return today.

It’s a very good router. I liked it. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel it fit my situation enough to justify keeping it and paying what I did (around $200 all said and done). It has LEDs, which frankly should be standard on any router. It has well-engineered dust collection attachments, which I would assume in normal operations would work well. It has an edge guide on par with Festool. Unfortunately, though, it didn’t improve my ability to flush cut the edging. The edge guide on it (nor the Festool) sit below what I am trying to flush, so that bit is useless in this operation. As such, there is nothing to keep the router from tipping on the narrow edge. Now, there are techniques or jigs I can use, but I’m looking for the easiest, most repeatable solution for long pieces. While it would have worked well for some delicate work like inlay, that’s not on my radar for at least this year. So, I decided to return it.

To try and meet my needs, I’ve ordered a couple of attachments for my OF1400 – an edge guide and L-bracket. These supposedly allow you to base off of the field of the panel, which is exactly what I want. I’ve been told it’s a bit awkward on the 1400, but works perfectly on the 1010. I’m gambling it works for me, but if not I could always add the 1010. Or, if I don’t like the operation, return them for the MFK700. However, to use the 0° base, I’d be looking at well over $600. In a year that I’d like to upgrade my hand tools primarily, that would be a huge expenditure. I think before I did any of that I would do some experiments with some homemade jigs. $600 would take care of most of my plane needs.

*Well, I went back on this twice in the last couple of days. I decided I’d try the 1400 attachment, so I ordered it. Then I canceled it, and canceled the return. I thought that I could make a base for the Dewalt that would allow me to trim with the end of a bit. Unfortunately I did not have luck finding think enough material that would work. So, again I initiated the return and it will be sent back on Monday. I have to remember to put the wrench back before I do.

I am not completely sure which direction I’m going to go at this point. I decided that any decision can wait until I get the shop cleaned up and my previous spoils have a home. I’m leaning toward something, but as is my plan to be patient, I am going to think about it for a bit.

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