Review - Hybrid PantoRouter


Mick S

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On 4/29/2020 at 12:05 PM, SawDustB said:

Very cool, Mick. This is one of those tools I'd love to have. It holds more appeal for me than something like the domino, just because it seems so versatile.

That's my opinion, too. I have both, but the versatility of the PantoRouter would make me choose it over the Domino if I had to choose. The ability to do larger and integral tenons is another plus.

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Thanks Mick! Do you see what you've done? My wallet will be thinner. Not yet. I have some one time expenses do deal with first. But I've already got giddy feelings. And I have both sizes of the domino and glad I do. Will it do precision dowel joints?

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2 hours ago, curlyoak said:

Will it make the corresponding bore holes easily? 

Yes. In most cases, it's the same template in the same location. For the tenons (dowels) the guide bearing runs on the outside of the donut shaped template. For the mortise (dowel holes) it goes on the inside.

Here's a link to a pantorouter with the inventor making a Knapp joint - a very fancy multiple dowel joint.

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42 minutes ago, curlyoak said:

I don't think I will be making any templates right away. I first need to learn how to use the ready made templates. It seems the imagination possibilities is almost infinite...

That's wise. As I mentioned, there is a learning curve to it. Best, IMO, to start with the basics. My first custom template with be for cutting stopped dados in the sides of drawer parts. Simple but easier than doing it on a router table or tablesaw.

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  • 2 weeks later...
16 minutes ago, bglenden said:

Given that you have (access to?) a CNC, what do you see as its advantages?

1. It's in my shop

2. For joinery it's much easier and faster than programming and fixturing on a CNC.

3. It's very difficult to do things like dovetails and box joints on a CNC.

I've done mortises on a CNC fairly often, but the setup, locating, etc is something of a pain. CNCs are great for lots of things, but not for everything.

 

PS - Next time you're up in this area let me know. Happy to demo it for you!

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9 minutes ago, Mick S said:

PS - Next time you're up in this area let me know. Happy to demo it for you!

And I've not forgotten I owe you an insider VLA tour, although at the moment we're closed to everyone except required staff.

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  • 10 months later...
  • 2 years later...

I recently purchased one to make dovetail drawers.  There was defiantly a learning curve to this, but that was OK.  The end result was disappointing.  Even though the fit between pins and tails was tight there were noticeable gaps between some of the pins and tails.  This means the red bearing guides were not precise.  Also, when I placed the drawers (there were three of them) on a flat surface they wabbled.  I placed a square along the edge to see if the tail cuts were square and they were not.  This means the guild rail on the tabletop was not square.  The quality of work this produces would be "acceptable" for a high school woodworking class (letter grade-B) but unacceptable for fine woodworking.  Now I have it shoved to the side of my shop collecting dust and have accepted that I made a $2,000 mistake.  I would never be able to sell it because if asked why I would have to be honest about its sub-par performance.

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On 4/7/2023 at 8:16 AM, GARY FROM OREGON said:

Now I have it shoved to the side of my shop collecting dust and have accepted that I made a $2,000 mistake.

I have watched a number of people that own this and non of them have said anything but positive things about them.  This would lead me to believe that as Mark said, you need to contact the company either there was a problem with the machine or they would give you a hand in sorting through the situation so that you can have better results.

At $2000 you shouldn't just give up and shove it in the corner of the shop.

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On 4/15/2023 at 7:02 PM, pkinneb said:

I have not had this experience with mine at all. Having said that I have not done dovetails but I have used it for many box joints and several other operations with nothing but great results. I would definitely reach out to Mac at Panto Router.

No one has said this but maybe this guy is not that great a woodworker and maybe his milling leading up to the jointery is sub pa. Or maybe he has a stake in festool....At any rate I have only heard good things about this machine up until this guy and his sour opinion.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'll chime in as well...not my experience at all. I've made a handful of dovetail project with the pantorouter...each one better than the last. My comment is completely contradictory to the OP's: it's not that the machine is inaccurate and the operator is, it's that the machine is extremely accurate and the operator isn't. Each time I pay a little closer attention to milling, centering, and layout...the improving results speak for themselves. 

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