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  1. #1
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    Default Router / laminate trimmer

    Hi all - as I start to build my Navigator, I'm considering more tools to speed up the work. One I'm thinking of is a router, for a couple of reasons. One is to try Robert Ditterich's method of making the foils, using a router and template, as shown in his photo here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/waller...7623689676082/

    Another is to quickly round over the edges of the cut ply for frames, planks etc.

    My question is - how big a router? Big 1/2" collet plunge router, or little 1/4" laminate trimmer?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Router / laminate trimmer

    If I only had one, it would be medium(like 2 hp) with a 1/2" collet.
    I don't find that a plunge is super handy.
    R
    Sleep with one eye open.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Router / laminate trimmer

    Quote Originally Posted by OliverBendix View Post
    Hi all - as I start to build my Navigator, I'm considering more tools to speed up the work. One I'm thinking of is a router, for a couple of reasons. One is to try Robert Ditterich's method of making the foils, using a router and template, as shown in his photo here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/waller...7623689676082/

    Another is to quickly round over the edges of the cut ply for frames, planks etc.

    My question is - how big a router? Big 1/2" collet plunge router, or little 1/4" laminate trimmer?
    I've cut foils for several boats that way. I got the idea from Michael Storer. It works quite nicely.

    But you won't get the Job done with a laminate trimmer... unless you've got the patience of Job. The one shown in your link is, I believe, a 2hp plunge router. And that's similar to the Bosch 2hp that I likely used. Bigger might get a bit tippy. A little smaller would be fine, but not much. The plunge feature is handy for this application, but not critical.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Router / laminate trimmer

    I have both the Bosch 2 1/4 hp (with regular and plunge features) and the Bosch trim router. I have had them both for about 5 years. During my Lightning build, the big router has been installed on my router table, and it is quite useful for that. But I basically use my trim router for everything else related to my boat. My usual method, when cutting out boat parts, is to make a pattern from luan plywood, then cut the boat stock a bit proud of the pattern lines, and then trim the piece to final size and shape using the trim router and a flush trim bit. If the pattern is good and fair, the piece usually needs very little final sanding before it is ready to go.

    My trim router has a second base that you can tilt. I used the tilt function and a flush trim bit to put the bevels on my frames. The trim router compensates quite nicely for my lack of skill with hand planes, etc., and my frame bevels needed almost no tuning before planking.

    I have occasionally gotten the big router out to do a job, and have been amazed at how big, heavy, and clunky it feels compared to the trim router.

    Especially if I were only getting one router, I would either go with the trim router or an intermediate-sized router, and not the big 2 1/4 hp unit.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Router / laminate trimmer

    1/2" sounds huge to me. I have two 1/4 plunge. One is free-hand and the other is mounted on a router table. I use them often for rounding corners but the most beneficial use is with a flush trim bit and a pattern to cut multiple versions of a shape



  6. #6
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    Default Re: Router / laminate trimmer

    I've 3 routers. one of them is a $30 HF trim router.. it gets used allot! I do have nothing but good things to say about 1/2" shank bits on the larger routers. Until one chases you across the floor! lol http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...stination-quot
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Router / laminate trimmer

    Most new 1 3/4 to 2 1/4 HP routers will have collets for both 1/4 and 1/2" bits. 1/4" bits can be used on trim and bigger routers, but if you use them to cut a lot of material the 1/4" will heat up faster and sometimes burn. So you have to go slower. And they can be fairly compact like the Bosch, Porter Cable and DeWalt models. You might look hard at a Triton plunge router, which I think comes from OZ and has a nice vacuum port built in. All of these would handle foil shaping just fine.

    If you like using routers a lot you find they will make almost as much mess as a planer so connecting to a shop vac is important. And routers and jigs or custom baseplates are made for each other.

    To use a trim router for pattern routing like Mike mentions takes a powerful model like the Bosch Colt. Many are better for light tasks like 1/8 or 1/4" roundovers. And trim routers have small bases which are not as stable for precise joints and heavy cuts.

    cheers, Dan

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Router / laminate trimmer

    Sounds like a bigger router is the way to go. I looked at a Ryobi 1600 watt model the other day with 1/2" and 1/4" collets, not expensive and feels that way too but has a 4 year warrantee from Bunnings. My cheap Ryobi planer and angle grinder have actually been OK.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Router / laminate trimmer

    I use a Makita laminate trimmer with a round over bit to finish off all the pieces that need it, and it leaves a professional looking job, which leaves a professional looking boat. Its much lighter and easier to handle in the single hand especially balanced on an edge with a round over bit. I also have a large 1/2 inch collet Makita router, which I use occasionally, but in a ratio of about 10:1 in favour of a laminate trimmer. I use the 1/2 inch router with a scarf jig for all the plywood plank scarfs, though on a Nav, you might be just using the butt blocks which are mostly hidden anyway and not scarfing.

    The spin speed of a router/ lam trimmer leaves a smooth finish (& use it the right way along a piece of edge) but it does turn everything into fine dust, so doing it outside and with good dust extraction if possible is needed. Also in this regard I find an attached hose gives the laminate trimmer too much weight and resistance when your pushing it with concerntration and speed along an edge, to stop it burning the wood, so use it without anything attached.

    I'd always remove as much stock by saw as possible if I was using it with a pattern and a roller bearing bit etc, as the mess to clean up is suprising. Of the two I certainly get the most out of a smaller laminate trimmer. The dust and time it would take to router down a foil would make me not want to do that, i'd rather just use planes, though if I was going to do it would need to be the big 1/2 inch jobbie.

    For a navigator, I think you'll get alot more use and alot more pleasure from a laminate trimmer and use planes for the foils.
    Last edited by Edward Pearson; 10-11-2017 at 04:47 AM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Router / laminate trimmer

    Porter Cable 690LR with 1/4" and 1/2" collets...


    With D-handle attachment...


    And the Plunge attachment...

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Router / laminate trimmer

    Quote Originally Posted by Edward Pearson View Post
    I use a Makita laminate trimmer with a round over bit to finish off all the pieces that need it, and it leaves a professional looking job, which leaves a professional looking boat. Its much lighter and easier to handle in the single hand especially balanced on an edge with a round over bit. I also have a large 1/2 inch collet Makita router, which I use occasionally, but in a ratio of about 10:1 in favour of a laminate trimmer. I use the 1/2 inch router with a scarf jig for all the plywood plank scarfs, though on a Nav, you might be just using the butt blocks which are mostly hidden anyway and not scarfing.

    The spin speed of a router/ lam trimmer leaves a smooth finish (& use it the right way along a piece of edge) but it does turn everything into fine dust, so doing it outside and with good dust extraction if possible is needed. Also in this regard I find an attached hose gives the laminate trimmer too much weight and resistance when your pushing it with concerntration and speed along an edge, to stop it burning the wood, so use it without anything attached.

    I'd always remove as much stock by saw as possible if I was using it with a pattern and a roller bearing bit etc, as the mess to clean up is suprising. Of the two I certainly get the most out of a smaller laminate trimmer. The dust and time it would take to router down a foil would make me not want to do that, i'd rather just use planes, though if I was going to do it would need to be the big 1/2 inch jobbie.

    For a navigator, I think you'll get alot more use and alot more pleasure from a laminate trimmer and use planes for the foils.
    Quote Originally Posted by jackster View Post
    Porter Cable 690LR with 1/4" and 1/2" collets...


    With D-handle attachment...


    And the Plunge attachment...
    Yes... a laminate trimmer is really handy, but only suited for light work. Hogging the material off of your foils is not light work.

    The PorterCable 690 has been a workhorse for many years. Solid, reliabble, basic. Haven't used the 'new' version, but reports are good. I own two of the 'classic' 690's.

    Ryobi? Only if money is really tight, and usage will be gentle and infrequent. Better than what's on offer from Harbor Freight, but not great. To give you an idea, last I checked the same outfit owns Ryobi, Rigid, and Milwaukee. Milwaukee is the top end. 'Professional' grade. Best engineering, features, build quality, and quality control. Rigid is the 'tradesman' grade. One step down, but not bad at all. I don't own any Rigid tools... but I wouldn't turn my nose up at the brand. Ryobi is for the 'homeowner' who might use the tool a couple of weekends a month. The buddy who shares a shop with me is a General Contractor, and uses his tools hard. He owns several from Ryobi. Mostly they've been ok, but he's had some issues with reliability & longevity. I look for value in a tool, and reliability. I'll probably never own a Ryobi. But we're a professional shop that uses the tools a lot, and demands a lot of them.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Router / laminate trimmer

    For fine work like round over'ing and grooves etc, the clear base and open bottom of the Makita laminate trimmer works well. When its freehand / roller giuded along an edge or around a corner I think you really need to see what your doing with something light and more easily balanced.

    Last edited by Edward Pearson; 10-11-2017 at 05:43 AM.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Router / laminate trimmer

    I have an old Rolsen 1/2in plunge router, and a 1/4in Bosch laminate trimmer. For small stuff, i would agree with Ed that the trimmer is far easier to handle. The larger base plate on the larger machine is good for big stuff but not so great on small items that may also be clamped down on a workbench. Its worth the time (maybe) to make up a table for a larger router if intending to do much moulding or rounding over. On the size of material going into a Navigator, i would say a laminate trimmer is more than able for the required build, but like any tool, try to avoid the temptation to take off too much material in one pass. Good cutters are worth paying for in finish quality.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Router / laminate trimmer

    First time I needed a router, I hired a Makita which came with collets for half, three eighths and quarter.

    Cheap experience.

    The kid brother, who has a fair amount of professional experience, said
    "get the lightest one that will do the job."
    Someday, I'm going to settle down and be a grumpy old man.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by P.I. Stazzer-Newt View Post
    First time I needed a router, I hired a Makita which came with collets for half, three eighths and quarter.

    Cheap experience.

    The kid brother, who has a fair amount of professional experience, said
    "get the lightest one that will do the job."
    Did this edge with my lil trim router.

    Sent from my LG-M430 using Tapatalk
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Router / laminate trimmer

    I agree with 'lightest that'll do'. At the same time - the most commonly used, and most versatile router is a standard base 1.5 - 2.25 hp machine. Laminate trimmers are more of a useful adjunct. A specialty machine. Fits the 'lightest...' notion, but limited. Same with the 3-3.5 hp machines. More of a specialty machine. I keep one in my large router table. More powerful than a typical router, and easier to set up, with far less expensive cutters, than the shaper.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Router / laminate trimmer

    The Porter Cable 690 is the industry standard workhorse. Most router table lifts are set up for the 690 as the default.
    Ive got two in my shop now, probably my fifth and sixth by now. Laminate trimmers are just that, trimmers. Youll burn one out pretty quick trying to do any kind of surfacing or serious shaping.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Router / laminate trimmer

    For what its worth,I find that 1/2 inch routers are certainly powerful enough to do just about anything and because of that ability and power they often have a huge hole in the centre of the base to allow the huge cutters they can propel.When using smaller cutters, it then allows the base to drop off the workpiece at the end of a cut and the possibility of ruining the piece is very real.I agree with the advice to use the lightest machine that will do the job.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Router / laminate trimmer

    Quote Originally Posted by John Meachen View Post
    For what its worth,I find that 1/2 inch routers are certainly powerful enough to do just about anything and because of that ability and power they often have a huge hole in the centre of the base to allow the huge cutters they can propel.When using smaller cutters, it then allows the base to drop off the workpiece at the end of a cut and the possibility of ruining the piece is very real.I agree with the advice to use the lightest machine that will do the job.
    It's actually quite easy to use the factory base as a template to make a replacement base with any size opening you need, if the larger hole will be an issue for some particular application. Most of my routers have at least one shop-made auxiliary base - from plexiglass (most common), melamine, aluminum, or plywood.
    David G
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    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  20. #20
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    It's actually quite easy to use the factory base as a template to make a replacement base with any size opening you need, if the larger hole will be an issue for some particular application. Most of my routers have at least one shop-made auxiliary base - from plexiglass (most common), melamine, aluminum, or plywood.
    I have a router plate centering bit but the same thing can be done with a quarter inch straight bit, getting a new plate centered is very necessary.

    Sent from my LG-M430 using Tapatalk
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Router / laminate trimmer

    Quote Originally Posted by DeniseO30 View Post
    I have a router plate centering bit but the same thing can be done with a quarter inch straight bit, getting a new plate centered is very necessary.

    Sent from my LG-M430 using Tapatalk
    Are you centering your baseplates so that you can rely on how far the bit is from any point on the circumference? I no longer trust factory bases to be truly circular. If I want a baseplate to run against a straightedge (cutting dados, etc.) I cut a flat at one point on the edge, then calibrate that.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
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    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    Are you centering your baseplates so that you can rely on how far the bit is from any point on the circumference? I no longer trust factory bases to be truly circular. If I want a baseplate to run against a straightedge (cutting dados, etc.) I cut a flat at one point on the edge, then calibrate that.
    3 out 3 are perfect,. I had anticipated spinning them on the lathe to get them perfectly round but did not have to

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  23. #23
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    Default Re: Router / laminate trimmer

    Quote Originally Posted by DeniseO30 View Post
    3 out 3 are perfect,. I had anticipated spinning them on the lathe to get them perfectly round but did not have to

    Sent from my LG-M430 using Tapatalk
    Good for you. You've been lucky. I would just warn people not to assume that to be the case without checking.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
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    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Router / laminate trimmer

    There are any number of aftermarket, nearly universal router bases available with a standard sized hole that can be enlarged as required. All my free hand routers have a distinct arrow drawn bold as a reference for which edge to guide.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Router / laminate trimmer

    Quote Originally Posted by willin woodworks View Post
    There are any number of aftermarket, nearly universal router bases available with a standard sized hole that can be enlarged as required. All my free hand routers have a distinct arrow drawn bold as a reference for which edge to guide.
    Indeed. My habits were formed before such lovely after-market accessories became available. But I still do like creating custom bases that meet my specific task requirements.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Router / laminate trimmer

    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    Indeed. My habits were formed before such lovely after-market accessories became available. But I still do like creating custom bases that meet my specific task requirements.
    Oh yeah. You gotta make your own for those special occasions. Scarphing jig, spar rounding jig....

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    Indeed. My habits were formed before such lovely after-market accessories became available. But I still do like creating custom bases that meet my specific task requirements.
    Many many people only ever use router bits with guide bearings and don't venture beyond. One of my personal favorites are pattern bits.

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  28. #28
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    Default Re: Router / laminate trimmer

    Quote Originally Posted by DeniseO30 View Post
    Many many people only ever use router bits with guide bearings and don't venture beyond. One of my personal favorites are pattern bits.

    Sent from my LG-M430 using Tapatalk
    Let's not confuse folks with imprecise nomenclature. Pattern bits use guide bearings too. The distinction is between bottom-bearing bits (typical), top-bearing bits (aka pattern bits, less common), and both (not at all common). And that's not even mentioning double-bearing, or non-marring nylon sleeve bearings. Or the use of guide bushings instead. And we haven't touched on the edge grinds: straight, up-spiral, down-spiral, and compression.

    But... we ain't running a Master Class here, and no one asked. <G>
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Router / laminate trimmer

    David G, then stop tossing in all that jargon!

    uh yes.. pattern bits have bearings. why I mentioned them.

    Couple of years ago I did a pattern guide for my band saw then finished the pieces with pattern bit

    I'm all for master class routing!
    Last edited by DeniseO30; 10-12-2017 at 11:01 AM.
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Router / laminate trimmer

    Quote Originally Posted by DeniseO30 View Post
    David G, then stop tossing in all that jargon!

    uh yes.. pattern bits have bearings. why I mentioned them.

    Couple of years ago I did a pattern guide for my band saw then finished the pieces with pattern bit

    I'm all for master class routing!
    My bad. I read your comments to mean 'pattern bits' as opposed to 'bearing bits'. Reading it over several more times... I think maybe you were comparing other things​ (guide bushing, bases, jigs, etc.) to all pattern bits?
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Router / laminate trimmer

    I use the Festool OF 1400 for just about everything nowadays. It's got killer dust collection. One can use either a 1/4 or 1/2 inch collet.

    https://festools-online.com/574692-f...iABEgKkUvD_BwE

    Jeff

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    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    My bad. I read your comments to mean 'pattern bits' as opposed to 'bearing bits'. Reading it over several more times... I think maybe you were comparing other things​ (guide bushing, bases, jigs, etc.) to all pattern bits?
    I don't know, maybe calling the bearings that are mounted on router bits guide bearings (not guide bushings) is my mistake.

    Sent from my LG-M430 using Tapatalk
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    Default Re: Router / laminate trimmer

    Thus illustrating, once again, the utility of precise nomenclature when attempting to communicate on a kludgeyu venue such as a message board. Seems like we DO eventually get it sorted out, though. I just begrudge the waste of time... and the potential for misleading those with less experience.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    Thus illustrating, once again, the utility of precise nomenclature when attempting to communicate on a kludgeyu venue such as a message board. Seems like we DO eventually get it sorted out, though. I just begrudge the waste of time... and the potential for misleading those with less experience.
    Also, Americans really destroy the English language!

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    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

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    Default Re: Router / laminate trimmer

    Quote Originally Posted by DeniseO30 View Post
    Also, Americans really destroy the English language!

    Sent from my LG-M430 using Tapatalk
    Indeed. My Brit & Antipodean friends insist that it should be Harbour Woodworks <snort>
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

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