Bananas on the Slope

Damn, but this Festool slope sure is slippery!

I was using my Triton ROS for some Xmas presents the other day (like just before Xmas obviously), and I was reminded just how much it vibrated – you come away with your hand tingling from the sensation.  If those fat-buster belts of the 60’s actually worked, my hand would be anorexic by now after the latest session.  That was enough for me – if it came to the point that I’d almost prefer not to sand because of the tool, then it is time for that tool to find a more sympathetic home.

It has been a bit of a debate, which sander to replace it with, and I sought advice on here back in November which gave me plenty to think about (thanks to all contributors).  There was obviously the Rotex, but it is significantly more money, and I couldn’t bring myself to go that route (and in part because I have the Festool Termite, so the orbital capabilities of the Rotex are duplicated in the Termite (which is also a Rotex fwiw)).

So it came down to the ETS sanders.  There is the 125 and 150mm diameter first, and in this case I decided a slightly larger diameter than what I have been using would not hurt.  With the 150s, there are 2 models – 150/3 and 150/5.  The /x number represents the amount of eccentricity the tool can achieve (either 3mm or 5mm), and again, decisions, decisions.

For the fact that I am looking for a bit more capability from one machine, I went with the 150/5, in a Systainer.  It comes with 50 free assorted abrasives, and I got another 100 for 1/2 price (a current Ideal Tools special), as well as a Cooltainer for $20 – after all, you can’t have too many beverages on ice eh!

Given the rapidly increasing stack of Systainers, I’ve also added the roller unit for the bottom so they can be moved around easily, and another Systainer to finally keep my abrasives all neat and sorted.

Finally, another bag of 4mm Dominos, as what I started with took a heavy hit with the recent Toy Kitchen construction.

Hmm – online shopping can be addictive – just keep ticking boxes 😉

Torquing it up

Took the old man out (visiting from NZ) out to the shed last night to have a bit of a closer look at the Torque Workcentre.  Had a bit of an overview of the machine, which was interesting from my perspective because it would not be that much different an approach to talking about one of these machines at a wood show.

We went through setting up for a planing/thicknessing function, and went as far as doing some initial surfacing of some timber I had which was significantly twisted and bowed.  It really is a brilliant tool for this – capable of surfacing (in my case) up to 1300mm x 2200mm.

We talked about a number of the other functions (radial arm saw and drill), as well as some ideas I have for it, such as mounting a belt sander and being able to replicate a massive drum sander.

I’m also just about to use the radial arm drill press function to punch a matrix of 20mm holes through for the soon-to-arrive WALKO surface clamps from Ideal Tools.  Can’t wait for them to arrive – as I have mentioned before I used a set a ways back as part of the WALKO Workbench, and found them to be a brilliant tool, and see them as being an ideal complement to the TWC.  More on this when they arrive!

With the recent rush to Christmas, I didn’t get to really document/video some of the uses of the new tools – using the Domino, routing circles on the TWC, cutting the grill for the toy stoves etc, so now as things settle down for the start of the new year, I will look at getting those done (just not on 35C+ days!)

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