The machine's main advantage over hand-held routers is that the user has both hands free to hold and control the workpiece, says General's Norm Frampton.
"Also, routing from above allows you to see where the bit makes contact with the workpiece, which can't be done when the router is sitting upside down in a table and the workpiece is placed on top of it," said Frampton.
A user-supplied non-plunge router fits in a guide arm, which is pneumatically lowered to the workpiece by activating a foot switch. The overarm router is supported on an open-base steel stand and features a 23" x 30" table. It's sold with a guide pin for template routing, removable fence for in-line routing, and four adapters to accommodate most brands of 1-1/2 to 3-1/2 hp routers.
It also features six adjustable depth settings. "They're a timesaver," says Frampton. "By simply turning the dial to the required depth stop bolt, you can move on to your next depth setting without having to recalibrate and re-adjust everything."
Frampton says there are dozens of applications in which an overarm router can save time, while increasing accuracy and productivity. The 40-850 is well suited for template routing applications such as sign-making or pattern work. It also excels for routing contours and curves, such as producing arched moldings and oval mirror frames.
General's pneumatic overarm router sells for $1,259.
Contact: General International, 8360 du Champ-d'Eau, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, H1P1Y3. Tel: 888-949-1161. www.general.ca