T7 the big kid on the block? Not any more.

Tormek have released the T8 grinder for the ultimate in sharpening.  Available in Australia in July 2016.

While the changes over the T7 are probably not enough to make all T7 owners want to run out to get one, if you are in the market for a new grinder, the T8 is definitely worth considering.

They are currently available on pre-order from Ideal Tools.

The changes include a repositionable water trough, useful for the changing dimensions as the grinding wheel wears (of course, you have to do a fair bit of grinding to wear the wheel away!  Mine is still pretty close to original dimensions.  There again, if I used it more, I’d have sharper tools too.  Doh!)

The body is now cast zinc, and the drive wheel is also zinc.

The body is enclosed, and there is better splash and run-off management (and that is a good thing – I get quite a river happening after a long sharpening session!)

Tormek_T-8_w.accessories-768x629

While many still struggle with the whole concept of a wet stone grinder costing north of a $1000, for those who have been able to justify the expenditure, there is no question about just how good the machine is in achieving its purpose in life.  Ultimate sharpness.

More detail can be found on the Tormek website

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.

ts-55-r-fs-2

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:

00_Masterbild_1230x692_e_klasse_cabrio_NEW_1_1179_582

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!

bs__d27bsd_500483_z_01a_derivat_jpg_300dpi

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

img_8815

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.

00504066_perforateur_bhc18li_festool_g4_1

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!

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).

 

How would you like to kickstart your Festool Collection?

Ideal Tools has a few ex-demo tools available, including the following collection, being sold as a package for $6600 (saving $2400)

(Of course, if you had $9000, you could either buy the same package new, or buy this one and my TS10L!!!!)

CMS Stand
TS-55-R Saw Module
TS-55-R Plunge-Saw
1400mm Guide Rail
OF Router Module

OF-2200 Router

OF-2200 Accessories Systainer
CMS BS 120 Belt sander Module

CMS-VB Extension Table

2 x CMS-VL Extension Table
CMS-ST Sliding Table

CMS-LA Rip Fence

Saw Garage and Y-Extraction-Hose

Check out the details of the package on offer here

There are other ex-demo tools also available, including some Centrotec bit sets – something I am somewhat interested in as well, particularly for my Ti15 (I’m finding using non Centrotec bits becoming very frustrating, as they don’t stay locked in the driver).

Episode 94 Dr Kapex

Episode 94 Dr Kapex

Testing the true depth of cut of the Festool Kapex.

Also see (briefly) the Kapex stand in action, and the Promac generator.

Ideal Tools Sale – Last Day!

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.

zoom_06_isp330eb_765331_p_01a-600x600That 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!

ssp200eb_638591_a_07a-660x439

 

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.

zoom__hs_ks120ebugset_561415_p_01a

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.

8384575086_2c787114db_zThat 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!

%d bloggers like this: