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Acurate, Fast and Easy.

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Review by philphoto posted 10-12-2012 04:34 PM 2339 views 3 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Acurate, Fast and Easy. Acurate, Fast and Easy. No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

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.

See these tools at the inventors site:
http://valfortools.com/

Also distributed by:
http://www.praziusa.com/index.html

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.

Thank you,
Phillip Bogle
Oregon, USA




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philphoto

12 posts in 1744 days



6 comments so far

View oluf's profile

oluf

256 posts in 1726 days


#1 posted 10-12-2012 07:44 PM

A very poor review. All you have told us is that you spent some money ( youe secret ) and you are glad you did. You don’t let us know what it is ment to do or how. But you say it does it well. If we care to know anything about the use or applacation of this product we must go to some other site to find it.

-- Nils, So. Central MI. Wood is honest.Take the effort to understand what it has to tell you before you try to change it.

View philphoto's profile

philphoto

12 posts in 1744 days


#2 posted 10-12-2012 10:01 PM

I thought this section was for giving my personal impression of a particular tool or set of tools. Most of the other postings seemed to be the same. I was responding as Groove Centering guide had some good reviews by authors in Fine Woodworking. After that there were some poor comments regarding the product by folks that did not own the product and had not even examined it. I thought this section was for folks searching based upon the title or product name, not just general reading. I see a product online or in a magazine and then go look for reviews of the product by name. I give the website links if anyone wanted to see more, it is not as though there is a pile or hours of work looking for the product.

The Groove Center and 2 Axis Depth Gauge is a positioning, measuring centering device for router bits, in relationship to the router fence. If your stock is exactly on size set up blocks will get you to the point you want —if not you can hunt a long time hoping to hit the sweet spot. The lock miter is one of the hardest to set, especially if your stock thickness changes frequently. I have an Incra Super System LS, and setting the fence for centering box joints or dovetails requires a double pass groove and a height adjustment. Not hard but the Groove Center and 2 Axis makes it easy and repeatable.

These tools are more involved than a few words can adequately state. The photos at the websites explain much as well, and I did not want to exceed my limits here (5 photos), or spend more time writing about a tool. I am not a professional reviewer.

Regarding the money—I mentioned that I spent my money since many (I presumed most forum members are aware) reviews are by paid online reviewers. I am not a paid reviewer. I get no tools for free or pay for words. You might be shocked if you knew how many of the “casual tool reviews” are written for pay. I did not mention a price, as I thought from the email review by Fine Woodworking, and the blog posting Fine Woodworking has done, product it’s function and price was either known about or not interested.

Phil Bogle

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11663 posts in 2375 days


#3 posted 10-13-2012 04:23 PM

How much does this miracle cost ?

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View philphoto's profile

philphoto

12 posts in 1744 days


#4 posted 10-13-2012 10:30 PM

Not exactly sure what the coming price is but right now Prazi.com sells it for $149 for the Groove Center, and the 2 Axis Depth Gauge is $49. The inventor (Valfor Tools.) is getting his online store live and the price may change.

I set up another lock miter today for some custom milled white oak. It was an odd ball dimension and I still got the set up completed in less than 10 minutes. I did not time it for sure, but it was fast, and no wood lost to trials. I am happy.

I am fully aware that some woodworkers want to fuss with the set up, and for them the “fussing” is a big part of the fun of the craft. I have time and health constraints and extra steps and “fussing” only get in the way for me.

What I have been trying to communicate with my posting—you can trust the demonstrations on the websites, it is that easy. Plus there is no need for skepticism—I am not a professional paid reviewer or discouraging poster. If this tool is for you it will be everything it claims to be. This may be great for you or it may not —only you can decide that.

It is a shame that trust has come to this, but it is a real issue none the less.

Phil

View kapanen's profile

kapanen

105 posts in 1469 days


#5 posted 06-27-2013 10:06 PM

Thanks for the review. In seeing the price on the surface, I would be skeptical, as you were. But in reading your experience I know feel as if it is worth the price.

Thanks for reviewing.

-- "Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life"....Pablo Picasso

View RonInOhio's profile

RonInOhio

720 posts in 1551 days


#6 posted 06-27-2013 10:13 PM

I get a little perturbed when a review is done and no price is given. But from reading your initial
review and your replies to the questions, I feel you have done a good job on providing info for this
tool. Thank you for taking the time.

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