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Pantorouter- Do you use it?

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Forum topic by MikeUT posted 06-25-2019 09:45 PM 466 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MikeUT

195 posts in 1781 days


06-25-2019 09:45 PM

I am considering buying Matthias Wandel’s plans to make his Pantorouter. The only thing holding me back is that it looks like it would be a hassle and tempermental to set up. Has anyone out there made one? If so, how often do you use it? I don’t want to build one and never use it.

I am in the middle of building a set of triple bunkbeds for my kids and I’m tired of making tenons. Mortises are easy enough with jigs and a plunge router, but I want a quicker and easier way to cut and match tenons that won’t break the bank like the Domino.


15 replies so far

View SnarkitchyBear's profile

SnarkitchyBear

1 post in 112 days


#1 posted 06-25-2019 10:21 PM

Following this post so I see what folks have to say about it. That Pantorouter sure looks like a TON of FUN and I love neato equipment – In fact I have a collection of neato equipment, used only once or twice. So I’m all in and up for building something that I’ll never use, that doesn’t bother me too much. Here’s the biggest kicker for me – I have noticed that Matthias Wandel seems to have an endless source of patience !! I believe I have developed an allergy to patience and as I get older, it gets worse and is set off more easily.

Looking forward to reading feedback from folks on this!

View CWWoodworking's profile

CWWoodworking

528 posts in 600 days


#2 posted 06-25-2019 10:40 PM

It looks really cool. It also let looks really expensive to build(time). Domino would be more versatile and not that much more money.

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

1507 posts in 1916 days


#3 posted 06-26-2019 02:37 AM

No Pantorouter in my shop.
Thought about it a couple times, but always stopped for various reasons.
So, watching this thread also.

For machining stacks of mortises, always thought a horizontal router table/slot mortiser would be useful. Ended up making an enlarged version of classic FMT mortise jig, similar to this instead:
http://www.crestonwood.com/mjig.php
except mine can handle 12/4 lumber width and uses full size router for larger table legs.

I use a cast iron TS jig for cutting tenons, like this: https://www.woodcraft.com/products/deluxe-tenoning-jig

IMHO – The biggest challenge automating tenon machining is lumber thickness variation, regardless of which tool used (TS, shaper, router) Since cut is always based on outside face of lumber, any variation in thickness translates into 1/2 the variation on each cheek face. Anything more than 0.010” thickness difference, and tenon have poor fit.
Loose tenons remove this problem, as long as you reference on one/same edge. :)
You can make loose tenons manually cheaper than domino system. Many will argue that at some point the added labor will cost more than Domino tool purchase. With my low labor rates, that is very long time in my hobby shop.

Cheers!

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

View CWWoodworking's profile

CWWoodworking

528 posts in 600 days


#4 posted 06-26-2019 02:51 AM


With my low labor rates, that is very long time in my hobby shop.

- CaptainKlutz

You need a raise.

I think where I would prefer the domino is for bigger items like dining table skirts and legs. Just seems a lot easier to grab a domino vs trying to clamp a 6’ board to that thing.

Also, I speculating it would be a royal PITA to get dialed in.

View MikeUT's profile

MikeUT

195 posts in 1781 days


#5 posted 06-26-2019 06:33 AM



Following this post so I see what folks have to say about it. That Pantorouter sure looks like a TON of FUN and I love neato equipment – In fact I have a collection of neato equipment, used only once or twice. So I m all in and up for building something that I ll never use, that doesn t bother me too much. Here s the biggest kicker for me – I have noticed that Matthias Wandel seems to have an endless source of patience !! I believe I have developed an allergy to patience and as I get older, it gets worse and is set off more easily.

Looking forward to reading feedback from folks on this!

- SnarkitchyBear

Thats exactly what’s holding me back. Having to make and then set up the temolate every time would probably test my lack of patience. If it isn’t actually a big deal I would be all over it.

View MikeUT's profile

MikeUT

195 posts in 1781 days


#6 posted 06-26-2019 06:42 AM



It looks really cool. It also let looks really expensive to build(time). Domino would be more versatile and not that much more money.

- CWWoodworking

The domino would be more convenient but not more versatile. Building it would be a lot of fun. I wouldn’t have to buy anything and it wouldn’t take too long to build so it wouldn’t really be all that expensive. my only concern is that it might be too temperamental and too much of a hassle to use on a regular basis.

View MikeUT's profile

MikeUT

195 posts in 1781 days


#7 posted 06-26-2019 06:50 AM



No Pantorouter in my shop.
Thought about it a couple times, but always stopped for various reasons.
So, watching this thread also.

For machining stacks of mortises, always thought a horizontal router table/slot mortiser would be useful. Ended up making an enlarged version of classic FMT mortise jig, similar to this instead:
http://www.crestonwood.com/mjig.php
except mine can handle 12/4 lumber width and uses full size router for larger table legs.

I use a cast iron TS jig for cutting tenons, like this: https://www.woodcraft.com/products/deluxe-tenoning-jig

IMHO – The biggest challenge automating tenon machining is lumber thickness variation, regardless of which tool used (TS, shaper, router) Since cut is always based on outside face of lumber, any variation in thickness translates into 1/2 the variation on each cheek face. Anything more than 0.010” thickness difference, and tenon have poor fit.
Loose tenons remove this problem, as long as you reference on one/same edge. :)
You can make loose tenons manually cheaper than domino system. Many will argue that at some point the added labor will cost more than Domino tool purchase. With my low labor rates, that is very long time in my hobby shop.

Cheers!

- CaptainKlutz

I made a pretty good jig for my router to make mortises, I can make them all day long without a problem. The tenons are more of a hassle. I have thought about getting a tenoning jig like that, it may be the best solution. But you still have to round the corners by hand… The videos of Matthias sliding the joints together is so satisfying.

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

3559 posts in 1809 days


#8 posted 06-26-2019 10:48 AM

I’ve seen other YouTubers using one of the metal versions you can buy and it does not seem too fiddly once you know how it works. One challenge for making your own might be figuring out if problems are caused by how you made the template or setup related issues. It would be a fun build I think but I don’t do enough of the types of joinery that this machine does well to make it worth my while, especially due to the space it requires to for storage when not in use.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View Underdog's profile

Underdog

1355 posts in 2457 days


#9 posted 06-26-2019 11:57 AM



For machining stacks of mortises, always thought a horizontal router table/slot mortiser would be useful. Ended up making an enlarged version of classic FMT mortise jig, similar to this instead:
http://www.crestonwood.com/mjig.php
except mine can handle 12/4 lumber width and uses full size router for larger table legs.
- CaptainKlutz

Well darn. I wish I’d seen those plans before I bought the plans for mine (which I’ve never used despite actually building it and getting a new router to fit it.)
https://www.lumberjocks.com/projects/99630
http://www.woodsmith.com/magazine/extras/147/setting-up-and-using-the-router-jig/

I actually bought the plans for the Pantorouter, but have never actually built it. Too many projects and not enough Round-tuits.

-- Jim, Georgia, USA

View Woodknack's profile

Woodknack

12844 posts in 2802 days


#10 posted 06-26-2019 03:37 PM

MikeUT, why not make all mortises and make loose tenons. Sounds like you have mortising down pat, make a long board the right tenon size and chop it up.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

1507 posts in 1916 days


#11 posted 06-26-2019 07:24 PM


MikeUT, why not make all mortises and make loose tenons. Sounds like you have mortising down pat, make a long board the right tenon size and chop it up.
- Woodknack

+1 When I ever I make something to long for TS tenon jig, I use mortises with loose tenons. Can use a planer to dial in thickness easily when you need a pile of them.

With my low labor rates, that is very long time in my hobby shop.
- CaptainKlutz

You need a raise.

I think where I would prefer the domino is for bigger items like dining table skirts and legs. Just seems a lot easier to grab a domino vs trying to clamp a 6’ board to that thing.
Also, I speculating it would be a royal PITA to get dialed in.

- CWWoodworking

1) Nice part of the mortise jig I posted above is you can clamped to a bench for use on small stuff, or can clamp the jig to larger item.
The jig is easy to set up. Mortise thickness can be set with block of wood for distance from edge and actual loose tenon for opening size. Height of mortise doesn’t have to be as precise, and can be set with ruler. Takes longer to pull it off shelf and clamp to work bench then set it up.

2) Need a raise? HaHa.
Stating the obvious: All craftsmen need a raise!

More to the point of this thread:
If wood working is your business, and not a hobby; then decision to buy a tool such as Domino .vs. alternative solutions is a completely different discussion.
My answer was based on OP making bed for his home, and not a business. Suggest maybe you should consider the difference between your wood working business challenges and the hobby shop folks trying to be frugal before you suggest we ‘need a raise’?
:-(

Cheers!

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

View LesB's profile

LesB

2131 posts in 3865 days


#12 posted 06-26-2019 07:50 PM

I looked at Matthias’s wood plans and then I bit the bullet so to speak and bought the commercial, aluminum, PantoRouter. Not cheap but it does a great job of mortise and tenons, dove tail and box joints. and other applications needing precise repetitive routing. In many cases your imagination is the limit. it is not particularly “fussy” to set up but I think the wooden, do it yourself mode,l would be and the latter would not be as accurate…plus it would take a lot of time and patience to make it. Matthias actually has a video comparing the two although it was an early model of the metal PantoRouter…it has gotten better.

It is one of those tools where you need to seriously ask do I really need it and will I make good use of it or should I spend the money on something need more. In my case the answer was “maybe” but my loving wife was looking for a nice birthday present to get me so I went for it and I’m glad I did.

If you don’t already have a mortising machine and or a dove tail cutting guide, or a finger joint set up, or a horizontal router set up then consider making the investment. The are regularly adding new templates to expand the useage.

-- Les B, Oregon

View CWWoodworking's profile

CWWoodworking

528 posts in 600 days


#13 posted 06-26-2019 10:52 PM

More to the point of this thread:
If wood working is your business, and not a hobby; then decision to buy a tool such as Domino .vs. alternative solutions is a completely different discussion.
My answer was based on OP making bed for his home, and not a business. Suggest maybe you should consider the difference between your wood working business challenges and the hobby shop folks trying to be frugal before you suggest we need a raise ?
:-(

Cheers!

- CaptainKlutz

Cap, my comment was 100% joke. Meant nothing by it.

I am definitely not the type to spend a ton of time building something like that when a domino is available. I know it’s not the exact same, but for what I would use it for, there close.

I always find it interesting what different wood workers value. There’s people that have a 3000$ table saw but have to hand scrape/sand glued up panels cause they don’t have, or possibly want another option. I bought a 250$ used saw, but have a 3500$ drum sander.

View Underdog's profile

Underdog

1355 posts in 2457 days


#14 posted 06-27-2019 02:33 AM

Just tossing out alternatives to the Pantorouter, the Domino and the self built jigs.

If you want a sturdy commercial machine that will make routed joints easily and costs like it, get a JDS MultiRouter. Course you have to have a bunch of templates too. (I’ve drooled over this one for several years.)

If you just want a commercial Mortise and Tenon jig, get the Super FMT M&T jig from Leigh.

-- Jim, Georgia, USA

View LesB's profile

LesB

2131 posts in 3865 days


#15 posted 06-27-2019 05:18 PM

For those interested in buying a PantoRouter they are having a 4 year special discount of $200.00 through July 4th. Use “4year special” as the code for the discount. Their discounts in the past have only been $100

-- Les B, Oregon

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