Author Topic: Pantorouter  (Read 924 times)

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Offline egmiii

  • Posts: 187
« on: December 05, 2019, 01:50 PM »
Anyone here have a Pantorouter and care to share your opinion of it? Specifically I'm interested in the build quality, accuracy, setup time, and the applications you've used it for. For what it's worth, I already own both Domino's. Thanks.

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Offline jarbroen

  • Posts: 269
Re: Pantorouter
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2019, 05:06 PM »
I've had one for a while (I think 2 years).
It's crazy awesome, but not without frustrations.

I made the choice to get the Pantorouter before I purchased a Domino machine.  I wanted to make 'real' tenons rather than the floating Domino.  I also wanted to have the capability to do other joints like dovetail, box, inlay, etc.

If you have the time to set things up properly it's awesome.  I built 40+ feet of deck railing(posts, rails,pickets) all using mortise and tenon created on the Pantorouter.  It took time to set up each operation and test/fine tune the fit.  Once I had that right I could knock out dozens of pickets with tenons relatively quick.
I also made two end tables out of walnut and a bench out of cherry using the HPR.  True mortise and tenon which is 'cool' as a learning woodworker that I could do that relatively easily.
I've also used it for doing box joints on drawers and recently tried out the dovetail template.
Speaking of templates, when I first purchased the unit there were far fewer options - you were making your own if you needed something different.  Now, there are a lot more HPR templates and they are better designed.  That right there will save a lot of frustration.

Recently, I purchased a Domino 500.  I'd been putting it off thinking that it was redundant... I was wrong.  The Domino is so much simpler and quicker to use.  If I'm joining a couple pieces for say a shelf support - just takes a minute or two for the settings and less than that to cut.  The HPR I could do something fancy but it would take me a lot longer to set up.

I've also had frustrations with the table size and clamping odd parts - especially trying to do anything with the table tilted.
I'm probably the worst person to review the HPR because I'm one of the most impatient people.  And I don't have a ton of free time to fart around with stuff.  When i have a project I want to enjoy it, but I also want to do things efficiently and not waste any extra time.  In comes the Domino.
However, I don't think I'll get rid of the HPR.  I'm hoping eventually I will have more time that I can set up for those fancy projects and do something more interesting than just sticking two pieces together.

I'd suggest really evaluating what you'd use it for and whether that tool is uniquely equipped to do it or would make it a better experience.  You can do most of the same functions like box/dovetail with a router table if you have one.  Or inlays with a router and templates.
If you are making furniture and really like true mortise an tenon I don't think you'll find a better option than the HPR.
The build quality is excellent on the HPR and the accessories are so much easier to use now.  And the functionality - like depth stop, thickness gauge, etc. are much easier to use now.

Offline egmiii

  • Posts: 187
Re: Pantorouter
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2019, 11:17 PM »
Thanks. Your comments were quite helpful.

When making rails, it seems like the domino has a big advantage in that you can cut the piece to the exact length. With the Pantorouter, you have to cut it long to account for the length of the tenon. You then need to use the Pantorouter stops to get the tenon depth “just right” to achieve the correct rail length. Probably easier said than done.

The Pantorouter is compelling for pinned mortise and tenon joints. It also produces a nice through mortise, especially with the fancier diamond or dog bone templates.

Lots to think about.

Offline jarbroen

  • Posts: 269
Re: Pantorouter
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2019, 11:06 AM »
No problem!  It's cool to see fellow FOG members interested.  Even in the woodworking community there aren't a lot of people familiar with the HPR.

You hit the proverbial nail on the head regarding cutting to length with the domino vs adding for tenon on the HPR.
Which sounds really simple to do... however, it does add complexity.  I've had a few times where I came up short or long and it threw off my frame.
If you stick with techniques like marking lengths you'll save a lot of frustration.  When you are cutting the mortise there's a fence to butt the piece to so you just have to line up the center of the mortise and you have the depth set with the depth stop.  When you do tenons there's no comparable 'stop' to set your length.  For tenons you lock the router in place relative to the depth of cut.  That's where you'll have to rely on marking(or some other clever method I haven't figured out) to ensure proper length of finished piece. The tenons can end up coming out short but you don't want the length of your rail, leg, etc. to come out short or long.

Pinned mortise and tenon with the HPR is way simpler than with any other method I've seen.  Still takes a bit of setup, but you can do it all with one device rather than multiple jigs.
The fancier templates are really cool.  I have the bowtie and diamond.  You could also 3D print all kinds of shapes if you are so inclined.
I also have the dowel templates.  Pretty handy for making pegs or if you wanted to join something with a row of dowels.