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  • Composite Deck __ Router_Laminate Trimmer_Rotozip??

    Now that my (3) composite decks are in, and trim coming along, I have lots of 'raw' edges (from cut pieces) that I would like to round off like the factory originals. These are mostly lots of short sections (6" to 24"), but a few long rip pieces (10' to 15'). I will not have much use for a Router after this specific project, but want to do a nice job on it now. I saw the Ridgid Laminate Trimmer at HD this morning and wonder if it can handle this as well as a standard Router? If not, I could go with a Ryobi Router and keep the cost in line OR I could also get a Rotozip and router tool for similar cost. The Rotozip may have more usefulness for other later jobs, but may be a bit 'lightweight' for this composite edge routing?
    The ChoiceDek composite is 50/50 plastic and wood fiber so it is fairly soft .... BUT cannot handle lots of friction heating or it gets soft and can clog saw blades, drills, etc.

    I hope there are some solid experiences out there to guide me AWAY from bad choices and TO the best choice. The composite pieces ar either 1 1/4" or 5/8" thick.

    P.S. .... just saw review on Woodworker.com by Tom Hintz re. the Ridgid H.D. Laminate Trimmer and it sounds darn good ...

    Thanks,
    Tom B
    Last edited by doubtingtom; 10-27-2007, 05:43 PM. Reason: addition

  • #2
    Re: Composite Deck __ Router_Laminate Trimmer_Rotozip??

    I have worked with the Weyerhaeuser and Trex composite decking a few times. It cuts and routes very easily. Just about any router will do the job. I would just use a rotozip if you already have one. Just buy a good carbide 1/4" round over router bit.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Composite Deck __ Router_Laminate Trimmer_Rotozip??

      If you want a really nice trim router, check out the Bosch Colt. I have one and it's excellent.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Composite Deck __ Router_Laminate Trimmer_Rotozip??

        I second the Bosch Colt. I use mine for most tasks where I don't need a plunge router. It's very powerful and will probably handle most things. I've never worked w/composite deck material though.

        Ern

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        • #5
          Re: Composite Deck __ Router_Laminate Trimmer_Rotozip??

          Thank-you much! This is most reassuring and I will revisit HD and Lowes (Bosch Colt) this morning. I worry that the Rotozip may not be up to the fairly large number of running feet of edge to be routed, but maybe I just need to give it a shot.
          Thanks for the specific router bit advice. (I assume your are referring to 1/4" radius, not just collet size).

          Regards,
          Tom B
          Last edited by doubtingtom; 10-28-2007, 08:11 PM. Reason: spelling

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: One More Q ??

            I read over the Bosch website info re. the Colt router and it seems to be targeted much more broadly than the Ridgid R2400 Laminate Trimmer. Is this also true in practice, or is the Ridgid much the same? Is the main difference the many accessory parts for the Bosch to make it more of a 'mini' general router?
            Sorry for the complete router ignorance!

            Tom B

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            • #7
              Re: Composite Deck __ Router_Laminate Trimmer_Rotozip??

              Tom,
              yes I was referring to 1/4" radius.
              Go to Home Depot and check out the Ridgid and the Bosch. I think you'll find the Bosch is a much better built unit. Check out the base, the body clamp, and the micro adjustment on the Bosch.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Composite Deck __ Router_Laminate Trimmer_Rotozip??

                I'd also recommend the Bosch Colt. It's better built and has accessories you can actually buy for it.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Bosch Colt ...

                  Such strong support for the Bosch Colt !! .... I can't conclude that the other solutions are as good (even though they may do this specific job). I accept the recommendations and will check out the related items I need for the deck finishing job first thing in the a.m..

                  Many thanks for helping me avoid a 'lesser' choice.

                  P.S ?? There sure are a few grumpy souls on Amazon.com re. their experiences ... very early failures, tool release button, etc. I'm sure this will always be the case with any tool purchased in high volume so these low ratings may not be representative of the majority of users. .... I hope! .......

                  Tom B
                  Last edited by doubtingtom; 10-28-2007, 08:30 PM. Reason: new info ...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Composite Deck __ Router_Laminate Trimmer_Rotozip??

                    I can't say I've had real problems with mine. However, like the reviews say, the spindle lock actually does not work very well. It tends to slip off and is difficult if not almost impossible to properly tighten the bits which seems to be what is mainly complained about. Even if it locked better the base is too small to get a good grip to tighten. Save yourself the trouble and just use two wrenches to tighten and loosen the collet.

                    There are other good palm routers out there but the main drawback to most is they have no variable speed. These things are quite handy so variable speed function makes them very versatile for a large number of jobs. The Ridgid is I think the only other one with variable speed but its djustment system is plastic and has recieved some poor feedback on it breaking. It also lacks good fine adjustment.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Composite Deck __ Router_Laminate Trimmer_Rotozip??

                      Any reason you are not going for a full size router, Tom? I have the PC laminate trimmer and just bought the Ridgid laminate trimmer this past week. I use them for trimmin' laminate, of all things. I would not recommend the Porter Cable. I hate the way the base changes, the case sucks, the power is good but the table(?) on the base is not perfectly square to the motor. I have used the DeWalt and wish I went with that set or the Bosch set with all three bases. I haven't used the Ridgid yet, but so far I like the size and way it feels in the hand.

                      Back to my original question though, if I had to shell out for a mini router/laminate trimmer for the job you describe I'd probably just go for a full sized router instead. As versatile as the lil guys can be, there are some things you may want to do in the future that will be limited by the 1/4 collet and the small motor. It seems as though you are setting up a shop of sorts, and IMHO a "real" router would be a good first choice, a mini trimmer would be good as a second router later on perhaps.

                      PS Once again, I know several guys who use the ryobi and one who even uses the Harbor Freight $20 laminate trimmers, and they have not complained.
                      A good carpenter makes few mistakes, a great carpenter can fix his own.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Full-size Router .......

                        Originally posted by woodenstickers View Post
                        Any reason you are not going for a full size router, Tom? ....<edit> ...........
                        Back to my original question though, if I had to shell out for a mini router/laminate trimmer for the job you describe I'd probably just go for a full sized router instead. As versatile as the lil guys can be, there are some things you may want to do in the future that will be limited by the 1/4 collet and the small motor. It seems as though you are setting up a shop of sorts, and IMHO a "real" router would be a good first choice, a mini trimmer would be good as a second router later on perhaps.
                        PS Once again, I know several guys who use the ryobi and one who even uses the Harbor Freight $20 laminate trimmers, and they have not complained.
                        No solid reason why I have not jumped on a full-size router .... just total inexperience. Also, I was wondering what I would do with several short stairways on my 3 decks and the 'tight' quarters at the back of each step.
                        I do not insist on smoothing the edges all the way back, and perhaps I get so close with a standard router, vs smaller versions, that the effect is minimal. I probably could not justify the jump to a full size kit (~$200.) but the Ryobi is a very acceptable starting point. I was expecting to spend up to $120. (with a couple bits) in any case.

                        Thanks,
                        Tom B

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Bosch Colt ...

                          (Update: 10/29 1PM PST. Just got an e-mail from the company below. My order has shipped out today. Wooo hooooo!)

                          Tom, if you are not in a real rush, there is a combo deal goin on : for $149 you get a Bosch 1587AVSK jigsaw PLUS a Colt PR10 Router. They are NOT the highest model in the line up but the price is right, ~$50 savings if bought seperately.

                          I have ordered it ~3 weeks ago & it is still on "back order". As of Friday last week, estimated ship date is "next week". I did contact Bosch directly, they have confimed that the deal is legit and that they ARE really behind in the demand ....

                          Here's the link for detail: http://www.internationaltool.com/woo.../boswwck2.html

                          Happy shopping.


                          Originally posted by doubtingtom View Post
                          Such strong support for the Bosch Colt !! .... I can't conclude that the other solutions are as good (even though they may do this specific job). I accept the recommendations and will check out the related items I need for the deck finishing job first thing in the a.m..

                          Many thanks for helping me avoid a 'lesser' choice.

                          P.S ?? There sure are a few grumpy souls on Amazon.com re. their experiences ... very early failures, tool release button, etc. I'm sure this will always be the case with any tool purchased in high volume so these low ratings may not be representative of the majority of users. .... I hope! .......

                          Tom B
                          Last edited by Wagon Man; 10-29-2007, 04:19 PM. Reason: Update info

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Composite Deck __ Router_Laminate Trimmer_Rotozip??

                            Tom,
                            Yes the shaft lock on the Colt is useless. If you get the Colt, be sure to pick up a cheap 10mm open end wrench(or more for spares). There are two notches on the threaded shaft to allow the use of a second wrench for bit changes. The slots require a wrench that is 3.5mm thick or less. I could not find a stamped steel wrench, so I just bought a regular 10mm open end wrench and used a hand grinder to bring the thickness to 3.5mm (you can just grind slowly and test fit the wrench).

                            If you do not have an angle grinder, borrow one or stop by any shop (auto, machine, etc.) and ask them to grind it down to 3.5mm thickness. I promise you 3.5mm thick will fit. I just now double checked mine with calipers and it is a perfect fit at 3.5mm.

                            Ern

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                            • #15
                              Re: Composite Deck __ Router_Laminate Trimmer_Rotozip??

                              You can pick up a thin Park open end wrench from any bicycle shop.

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