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In December 2017 I built the Pantorouter XL, a woodworking machine designed by Matthias Wandel at
A year later I modified the machine to include the new (2018) template holder design of the "classic" Pantorouter.

It is a brilliant design with very clear building instructions, and I had a lot of fun building it. And I'm quite satisfied with the result; the machine works great, and it is accurate enough for my purposes.
Before building it I did wonder if I would use the machine on a regular basis, and as it turned out I don't :-) Every once in a while it is quite useful, but I don't really do a lot of woodworking so that seldom happens. It might come in handy for building other machines designed by Matthias however, like the Screw advance box joint jig, or the 16 inch Bandsaw. I bought the plans for both of those, and I started building my copy of the 16 inch Bandsaw, so who knows...

Some random thoughts on the project:
  • I built the XL version because in Europe plunge routers are a lot cheaper than the handheld variety. I would have preferred to have used a handheld, since that design is a bit more compact and therefore more precise.
  • I bought a cheap PowerPlus router for this project, which works OK but is not very well built. I managed to break all the "nuts" on the base which hold down the metal rods. I got it fixed with some strips of metal and some bolts, but it is not very elegant. Again, a handheld router would have been better.
  • The drawer glides that Matthias prefers are quite impossible to find over here. I ended up using full extension slides, which work OK, but they do introduce some play that would probably not be there with the drawer slides.

The Finished Machine

Click on the images to enlarge.


The finished machine, with the 2018-style template holder.

Pantorouter router

The cheap router.

On the right you can see the strips of metal and the bolts I used to connect it securely to the metal rods.

I locked down the on/off switch using some wood and tiewraps.

Also the dust collector is installed; that took quite some fiddling but it does cut down on the clouds of dust the machine produces.

And the big wooden knob at the bottom right is connected to a piece of metal (the vertical part below the dust collector) so I can operate the lockdown switch for changing router bits; otherwise that switch is almost impossible to operate because of the dust collector.

Pantorouter detail

The table and the bottom of the router.

I used some T-track leftovers from my workbench for the table top, which work great as a clamp down system.

On the router you can see some of the bolts I had to add for connecting the metal rods.