First footage using the Axis360

The panning slider has arrived, so have done a very quick test to see how it can work.  Smooth!  Going to be really interesting to incorporate it into the video equipment lineup.

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(Video test only – no sound)

Rail Saw

I’ve been flat out recently getting the next magazine articles together (so sorry for being so quiet here – the combination of everything has been overwhelming, so I had to let some areas slip right).

One of the projects has involved making quite a bit of use of a rail saw, and in this case it was the Festool Tracksaw system, including the MFT/3 (multifunction table) that was extensively used, and as much as some are going to hate hearing it, it is bloody awesome!

This was the first time I had a chance to start putting them through their paces, and I was doing jobs on it that I would have struggled to work out another way, at least finding another way that was as easy.  The more I use it, the more it becomes apparent that it is incredibly useful in the workshop.  It doesn’t remove the need for a good tablesaw, or a SCMS, and both the SawStop and the Kapex got a heavy workout as well, but it was a real pleasure to use the right tool for each job.

hb_mft3_495315_p_01aThe MFT/3 with the rail that flips out of the way was brilliant.  Being able to drop the rail down in a consistent location meant that at one point I needed to shave off about 1/2mm, and I was able to set up for that accurately, and quickly.

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If the MFT/3 was good, the TS55 running on the rail was even better.  Precision height adjustment, accurate tracking made very easy given the saw is captive on the track.

I’ll shoot some videos of these doing their thing soon – cool tools.  There are always many ways to skin a cat, some just make it so quick, easy and accurate.  When I used to look at a circular saw, I saw a rough machining tool, inaccurate, noisy and dangerous.  (My old man almost killed himself one year with a circular saw).

The Festool version is like comparing this:

Lada 2103 1300 1978 frontwith this:

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Both will get you from A to B.  Sort of.

Some people can’t see the point to anything more than the Lada.  Or justify the price difference (the cost of a good coffee, vs a small house!)  Although they both have 4 wheels and a motor, but that is about where the simularity ends, and the same applies to the difference between a basic Bunnings $50 circular saw, and a $1000 Festool.  The longevity of one tool over the other is just one small factor in the decision.

Suck it up

A new (and relatively cheap, at about $35) tool caught my attention at a recent Festool demonstration, which I mentioned briefly at the time.  It is the Festool Dust Removal Nozzle, and it just goes to show that sometimes the best ideas are so simple, you ask yourself “why didn’t I think of that”. It isn’t the first time that a vacuum based system or similar concept has been used, but it certainly is a good example of one!

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Drilling can be a messy business, especially when inside the house and the room where you need to do the work is perfectly clean otherwise, (well, again, relatively speaking!)  I’ve had this situation a number of times, and often in the kitchen when you want to install something above the kitchen bench.  You drill a hole, and the plasterboard produces that talc-fine dust that falls down from the hole you are drilling and lightly coats the bench surface.  You spend more time trying to wipe up that damned powder than the time it took to drill the hole!  That includes those plaster wall anchors that you either drill a hole for, or those that drill and self tap a hole.

I’ve seen many examples over the years of how people have tried to solve the problem simply and cheaply, even resorting to post-it notes

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The Festool solution is a dual chamber system, which allows the dust collector to adhere to the surface (rough or smooth), as well as collect dust that is produced.

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It isn’t a drill guide per-say (although I know Dennis is working on a mod for his one that does just that!), but it sucks onto the surface, and collects the dust right at the point that it is being produced, which is the best place to do so, especially rather than trying to wipe off the residue from the clean kitchen bench below!

As mentioned, overhead isn’t a problem, nor is rough surfaces, such as concrete, even when both ‘challenging’ scenarios occur simultaneously

19431So there you have it – a cool tool, Festool, and yet you don’t need to break the bank to have one!  And just think of all the times you’ve had to clean up after drilling into plasterboard.  Use post-it notes for writing reminders (or your next art work)

post-it-notesFor keeping drilling dust under control, there is a better solution!

New Festool Product Demo

Headed along to Carbatec this morning to see the new Festool products that had launched. Unfortunately the edge bander was not on show- demo’ed at a recent session, but now saved until some show in Brisbane.

Saw the new cordless hammer drill, and yes, impressive if that is what you need. Lightweight, shock absorber built in etc.

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Comes with a really neat dust collector.

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It sucks itself onto the surface, and gathers dust right from where the drill bit is in contact with the wall (or whatever you are drilling). Also available as a separate item for about $35. Definitely have to get one of those!

Saw the new cordless saw in operation too. Brushless EC-TEC motor, takes either 1, or 2 batteries, and that can be a mix of 15V and 18V. Depending on the available voltage, the max speed varies from around 3500RPM to around 5000RPM

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Without batteries fitted

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Dual batteries fitted, each with charge indicators.  The saw must have a battery in the lower slot to operate.  The second battery in the top position is optional.

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Has a different handle, that prevents the saw being used on the CMS system.

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New lever to allow saw to be tilted to -1º

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Has a new design to the Fast Fix system, which allows the blade to be locked and lowered in a single operation for blade changes.

For a saw that can be used onsite, away from any available external power supply, I’m sure it will be of definite interest to many.  If you are in a shop-situation, you’d still stay with the TS55R (the corded version).  This one would be awesome to use with something like the Centipede Workbench to break down sheets before bringing them into the workshop.  No need to run cables etc outside!  Also if you were working in difficult-to-access locations (such as in a roof space), the portability would pay off well then too.

Saw with 1 battery attached.  Note, this was the first time the saw had been used with the rail, so you will see the sacrificial plastic of the rail peeling off as well.

Saw with 2 18V batteries attached.

Stu & Jess’ Shed .com

Spent much of the day in the workshop, finishing off the kitchen I gave Jessica 18 months ago. Nothing like promptly getting jobs done!

Edges were rounded over using the Festool laminate trimmer (OFK500) I bought for the task 17 months ago. Sides were sanded, and the big (outstanding) job tackled- remaking the wooden hinges for the cupboard door that had broken while carrying the unit into the house for that Christmas all those months ago.

The door, finally attached, and it was onto giving both units (sink & oven) an oil (Danish). Took a lot – lots of surfaces! I really need to prefinish more!

However, despite the long list, I didn’t do it all myself. For almost 5 hours, Jess was a constant companion, and helper. She oiled one entire unit, and sanded much of it as well with the ETS150/5. And had a ball doing it. It was her suggestion that the shed needed the name alteration!

I’ve created a monster! (Awesome!!)

Woodworking inspiring the next generation.

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Sliced bread? Step aside!

Yet more evidence of the phenomenon that is the Centipede SawHorse – had another job on (cutting some polycarb roof), and again the Centipede absolutely nailed the task.

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Needed to cut some sheets at 90º and 45º, and the Centipede’s ability to both support the sheet, and provide plenty of clearance for the tool to make a full depth cut (without having to worry about cutting into the table) was invaluable.

The simplest concept success is the 2×4 support that plug into the holes at the end of each upright.  Absolute genius.  You don’t always need to use them, but for a particularly flexible material, it was the difference between an ok setup, and one that absolutely nailed the task.  I was flicking from left to right on that front length to get the angle cuts I needed, and the flexible sheet was supported all the way along the length of the cut.

untitled-2You can set it up anywhere – I would have done this job out on the grass (even being a bit uneven), but due to a persistent drizzle, found working under the back deck was a good solution.  The Centipede created the working surface in seconds, and was a real asset to the job, not just a bench, or a couple of sawhorses, but actually made the job easier (and therefore achieved a better than expected result).  Can’t tell you how much I love this thing!!

As you can see in the photo, I am using the Festool rail, but instead of using the TS55, I used it with the Dremel, mounted in the plunge router attachment.  I did try the TS55, but without the right blade, I got too much cracking and chipping of the edge.  The dremel with a shear cut bit did the trick.  When I get the Festool router, and attachment to be able to use it on a rail, it will be even better.  The Ti15 impact driver got a really good workout!

So what was it for?  The new dust extraction section of the shed.  It was a trapped corner, between the shed and the (45º) fence, and with a new wall, and roof (polycarb), the outdoor area becomes another internal, sheltered, but separate room.  It provides easy access to the dust extractor, and yet isolates the noise and any leaking dust away from the shed itself.  I’ve now also decided to do a little rerouting of the air system, so the air compressor can go into the same area, again for ease of access.

untitled-3The floor is crushed rock – I will continue to revisit the space, but it is perfectly functional.

And finally, the dust extractor has a home, and one that I can easily route the dust extraction system to it.

Can’t wait to get it all connected up, and back up and running.

More Festool Specials

The end-of-financial-year sale is on again for Festool products, over at Ideal Tools.

Once again, it is a matter of resisting (which is futile) the attraction of Festool (and some Protool) gear marked well down!

 

Vacs, drills, sanders, saws, accessories – worth a look at the specials page to be sure.  There is not as much there as the previous sale, but still, if you are in the market for anything that is there on special, obviously a good time to get it!

Of particular note, some of the Surfix Festool finishing oil is there, marked down from $50 to $15, which isn’t too shabby, and a good time to get it if you use that finishing system (good time for me to stock up as well).

 

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