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A Workshop Visit

border="0" Whilst visiting a local joinery shop with a 'Rat, in the course of conversation, I learned of another 'Ratter who lives on Dartmoor and only about 25 minutes from me. So a visit to Beau Dobson Fine Furniture (01822 853978) was soon arranged. Beau proved to be a very agreeable and highly skilled young craftsman who trained under David Savage. He has been in operation for seventeen years and has completed a number of very fine commissions but will undertake all work including bespoke windows, stairs, doors etc. Beau runs a workshop equipped with some superb machinery including a large Felder combi-machine. So far he has not needed to advertise and is internet free. Over time he has independently developed some innovative mods for his WoodRat which is mainly used for cutting tenons.

 

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OK. Three things here! The carriage runs on solid plastic rails rather than the U-shaped ones which are current. Beau says his 'Rat came fitted with these, but I have never seen them before. The carriage ran very smoothly with absolutely no slop but could be moved slightly up and down. He prefers his wooden fence which bears directly onto the channel and so also has an influence on any play.

Unlike the plastic ones this fence will not flex at all!

Beau often works with wide and heavy timbers and discovered that occasionally he could see a very slight gap between the work and the face at the clamp end. This was caused by a combination of weight and minute flexing of the alloy channel. This was cured by fixing an hardwood plug in the end as shown here.

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He found a need for a more assured tight fit of the cam-lock against the face. (I have never had a problem with this) Its a hardwood block, cork-faced and stuck with double-sided tape as shown. Bolts heads are engaged with the slots in the carriage and fixed with wing nuts.

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The bolt heads are simply filed to the required thickness and the distance between the flats set so that they are a good fit in the channel grooves.

 

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