Can’t wait for this to make its way down under!
In a recent video, you will have seen me using a Promac generator with my new Festool Kapex. There is more to the story, and it is all about the sine.
Many generators produce an approximation of a sine wave, and for some things, that is good enough.
The problem is a stepped or simulated sine wave is bad news for electronic equipment, and that also goes for the electronics of Festool equipment.
However, this is one of the real advantages of the Promac generator. It produces a pure sine wave, making it safe for electronic equipment, and Festool as well
So if you are want to use Festool equipment offsite, or other electronic equipment for that matter, either make sure your generator is high quality, and produces a pure sine wave (and not just an approximation of it), or just get a Promac generator and not have to worry.
Ideal Tools have a pretty awesome sale running, and it finishes TOMORROW!
And by awesome, I mean getting a SwordSaw for $999. That may sound quite a bit still, but that is $751 off the full price. If you want something to break down large logs, and can’t afford a mill, the SwordSaw still has a huge 330mm depth of cut.
That is for the ISP300. The SSP200 is also $999 if you prefer the shorter blade (still with a 200mm depth of cut). As seen demonstrated by me on the Torque Workcentre (and as seen in the Stu’s Shed banner above – unfortunately it was only a demo model that was doing the rounds ) These can both fit on the Festool Guard rail. The smaller comes with a systainer – don’t think there is one big enough for the 300!
Next are the guide rails, either for your existing tools, or if you are planning on getting a Festool router or saw in the near(ish) future. There is a 1400mm version, or the massive 3000mm version (obviously great for breaking down full 2400mm sheets)
Now one I have recently become quite acquainted with, the Kapex stand and extension arms.
Didn’t know too much about this (bar a few photos), but since getting it, I have become very impressed. Not only is it great to just have a decent stand for the saw (and significant workpiece support with telescoping arms), but it all folds down into a very portable package.
That is a stock Festool photo, so I don’t know why he has the telescoping arms slung over his shoulder – it is actually designed to rest on the base of the stand (as you’ll be able to see in a Stu’s Shed video I am currently editing)
If you have a Kapex, and not the stand, well…….
There is a whole raft of Festool and Protool tools, and accessories on sale on the Ideal Tools site. Be careful though – once you start looking, it gets increasingly tempting! Especially those SwordSaws! Have always wanted one, just because they are cool, irrespective of their awesome depth of cut!
The DOC for the Kapex 120 is listed at 88mm for a standard cut, and although this is theoretically correct for a board the full 305mm wide, what if the board isn’t that wide?
Then the depth of cut (DOC ) jumps right up. After a quick test, it cut through a 90×90 without even getting close to its capacity. 100×100 looks very possible, but I didn’t have a piece to hand to try (yet).
One way or another, 88mm is a significant underestimation when the board is less than the maximum 305mm wide.
A long time ago, in a workshop not so far away, I got to experience a Kapex first hand.
It was 2009, and I was in the Festool studio of Ideal Tools. Along with getting personally acquainted with a number of other Festool products (many of which have been working their way into my workshop), I got to make good use of the Kapex sliding compound miter saw.
The future may have been inevitable at that point, but there was no telling how long it would be before that too came into the Stu’s Shed stable.
Turns out, that day was yesterday, with a special Ideal Tools is running on the Kapex package (which includes the stand and the outriggers). I had only seen the stand in photos, and it is significantly more impressive first hand. Looks like a basic steel tube setup, but something so apparently simple works so well, quickly turning the Kapex into a highly portable machine.
I’ll go a lot more into the details in some future posts, but as a general rule, you know what I think of good engineering design, and this whole setup more than meets that requirement.
The outriggers have changed quite a bit since I saw them in 2009, and they have really matured. The Kapex itself seems pretty much unchanged – not much else they could do to make it better!
For those that are interested, some basic specs:
Power consumption: 1600 W
No-load speed: 1400-3400 min-1
Saw blade diameter: 260 mm
Cutting capacity at 90°: 305 x 88 mm
Cutting depth at 45°/90°: 215 x 88 mm
Cutting depth 50°/90° (left): 196 x 88 mm
Cutting depth 60°/90° (right): 152 x 88 mm
Cutting depth 45°/45° (left): 215 x 55 mm
Cutting depth 45°/45° (right): 215 x 35 mm
Special cutting depth 90°/90°: 60 x 120 mm
Special cut. depth 45°/90° (left): 40 x 120 mm
Capacity in special position 90°: 20 x 120 mm
Crown moulding diagonal cut at 90°/90°: 168 mm
Crown moulding mitre cut at 45°: 168 mm
Inclination angle: 47/47 °
Mitre angle: 50/60 °
Bench height (on MFT): 923 mm
Dimensions (W x D x H): 713 x 500 x 470 mm
Connection Ø d/e: 27/36 mm
Weight: 21,5 kg
Couple of things to pick up there – normal depth of cut is 88mm. But if you have a board no thicker than 20mm, you can achieve a 120mm depth of cut. Funny thing is, I didn’t even know (or rather remember) what the blade size was until just now. Turns out to be 10″ (or there-abouts) Bore is 30mm.
The whole unit rolls very easily from place to place, and takes up minimal room when folded away. I could have included the outrigger arms in the stand as well (held together with their custom strapping).
You could leave it like this, or maximise the amount of material support with the outriggers.
One way or another, this is now a substantial work station, and something I have long been missing in my workshop. I have had to compromise for ages, using the tablesaw (without a sliding table) to lengths of timber down – not the best practice at all. I did have a couple of SCMSs in the past, both GMC, but sold them at different times in expectation of getting the Kapex. It was only a few years wait!
With the Cleantex connected up, this saw now has 91% dust extraction. Not bad for a SCMS! In other workshops, I have seen all sorts of jury-rigged setups, boxes set up behind the SCMS to try to catch the waste. Among other things, Festool cannot be accused of ignoring the safety aspects of their tools, in the way the guarding works with (and not against) the operator, and a highly refined dust collection system. (And yes, I am still using the Oneida cyclone on top of my vac from Professional Woodworker Supplies). Been a LONG time since I have had to change the dust bag in the Cleantex. Never in fact!
Ready for the very first test cut. Dual laser on, hold down holding down. It is almost disappointing how quickly and easily the Kapex does its job. You don’t get enough time to really enjoy the quality before the job is done!
I would have been interested if the Flai U blade would have worked well in this, but that blade was wrecked a few months ago when it hit a hidden nail, chipping a number of teeth.
May become one of the only Flai blades in the world that will meet its final end by deliberately embedding it into a SawStop brake! Just as an aside, and not that I am going to try it, but I have wondered what would happen if the ultimate saw braking system met the ultimate cut-everything blade of the Flai Mustang! Sure it would come to a stop, but it may also be the only blade that could legitimately survive the collision to live another day!
Where it comes to the new workshop, I already have a pretty fair idea where this tool will be (semi) permanently set up – along the western wall, parallel to the tablesaw. It is going to be so good being able to dock timber to length easily again. Not that I know why I say again, I have never had a permanent SCMS or drop saw setup, so this will really be a new experience.
A new Festool object caught my eye the other day – a new version of the Systainer dolly.
This one is a cross between the dolly and a handcart. Where the original dolly is specifically designed for moving around the flat floor of the workshop, this one is very much for moving from job to job, including stairs and via vehicles.
It has a set of large wheels at the back for curb-hopping, and the small multi-directional castors at the front. A height-adjustable strap holds the systainers in place (given that they lock together). Has a drawer in the bottom as well for odds’n'sods.
So that was pretty interesting. And the original dolly has also been upgraded as well. (Also known as a roll-board)
Now if you want to sit down on the job, you could always employ the MFH Workstool, complete with consumables storage. Especially if there was a Cooltainer nearby, and tunes on the Festool Radio.
Now I was always very impressed with the Protool Swordsaw. Now even better that it is in Festool garb!
There are are some other bits n pieces (there is always a new drill or 3 for some reason), concrete cutters and grinders and paint stirrers.
If you haven’t seen it before, check out Marc “The Wood Whisperer” Spagnuolo’s latest workshop. (Click for a larger view)
That is a killer workshop – size of a small football field, with an acre of space around each tool. A glistening epoxy floor (or looks like), and Powermatic and Festool all the way (with a splash of Bessey for good measure). Click here to head to Marc’s page on the workshop, including a full tool list, and links from them to the tools available through Amazon. Don’t try adding it all up however, the value will floor you!
Don’t forget the obligatory drum kit at one end!
Many would be aware that Festool used to be called Festo. The Festool portion of the company was spun off in 2000 to concentrate on the tools that we know and love (if you’ve been able to justify the purchase).
However, Festo has not vanished, and the company has been concentrating on automation technology.
A couple of interesting products that have come out of the Festo company includes the Smartbird (an automation of a seagull), and the BionicOpter, which is the automation version of a dragonfly. Pretty incredible engineering! Festo then take the lessons learned from these proof of concepts, and apply them to real-world automation applications.
Thanks to Dennis for sharing this link with me. It doesn’t matter in the slightest that the entire video is in German- there are plenty of ideas to pinch from this video!
With a prolific use of Veritas, Incra and Festool, this is one versatile workbench. Check out the Festool storage system in the background too- neatly made. Tool and vice mounting, saw and router. All revolving around a single workbench, which makes a great option for a small workshop while maintaining the functionality of a larger one.