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).
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.
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!
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.
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.