|Review by philphoto||posted 10-12-2012 04:34 PM||3061 views||3 times favorited||6 comments|
I have needed a way to set up my router fence and router bits in relationship to the fence. It seemed like the reversible glue joint bit, or lock miter bit were such great promise, only to have so much time wasted trying to hit the seemingly impossible perfect alignment of the joint parts. I had more success with the reversible glue joint bits, but still I would end up sanding to get it “right” and not really happy with the end result. Then I read a “Fine Woodworking” review about the Groove Center and 2 Axis Depth Gauge and how it would make the joint set up fast and perfect. I have always been a bit skeptical of reviews as there are so many reviewers for hire. The owner from Prazi, Co. promised a 30 day money back , I decided to go for it. I have a pile of white oak I wanted to make into jewelry boxes.
Today I got my “toys” and I have to say I am impressed. The presentation of the Groove Center as a fine instrument in a nice wood box is a welcome touch. Add to this the weight, fit and feel all make my first impression of the tool a high opinion for certain.
I did fully read the directions provided online, and believe I was familiar with the preparation and operation before the UPS man arrived at my door. The directions, photos, and drawings are all more than adequate, clear, and not in anyway confusing, definitely setting the Groove Center apart from a “big box” store.
I decided to try the tools on a lock miter bit (medium sized), and used 2 each 1X4 pine boards for a test. I selected some utility grade wood, and made the cuts after following the directions provided for set up. The set up—even on the first time—was just as quick and easy as presented online. There were some splinters, since I did not use a backer board, and pine is prone to cross end grain splintering. All of that said it was the fastest and best fit for a lock miter that I have ever experienced. I have the set up blocks that came with the Eagle America router bit, but they are woefully inadequate if the boards are not planed to the exact thickness. Then it dawned on me that this was the only tool I have seen that set the router and bit according to the actual wood stock and not the presumed wood stock. An important distinction. I used the same material and set up, producing a total of 4 joints, and I am pleased to say that all the joints were perfect. I have made perfect lock miter joints before but I had to plane some sacrificial lumber for set up and make multiple joints before reaching my desired result.
I suppose I do not need to tell you that I did not need to exercise, the “30 day money back” that was offered. In truth there are very few products these days that set up and operate as advertised—the Groove Center and the 2 Axis Depth Gauge are in the “operate exactly as advertised” category. I also believe these tools are worth every penny of the asking price. To say nothing of the time and wood that will not be lost due to trial and error set up for joint cutting.
I did have some reluctance in making the purchase, since there are so many tools manufacturers that “fudge” the truth or fail to disclose the hidden steps or troubles. I have to say everything is just as presented and if anything restrained on the total benefits of owning this tool. I value this addition as equal to my Incra LS Super system, Dowelmax, Eurekazone Tracksaw tools, and Bosch power tools, I say to give you some sort of measure of my opinion and guide.
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Please be clear in understanding that I am in no way connected to Valfor Tools, or Prazi company. I paid for these tools with my personal funds and do not receive any form of compensation from any publication or manufacturer.