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.

Rockin’ the Router Table

It’s never the big parts of a job that take the time, it is all the fiddly bits at the end! Same applies to finishing off the router table, but when you are not in a rush, that time is not wasted or regretted.

With “The Wire” playing on the Shed’s TV, I kept plodding through the various outstanding tasks.  It also happened that a collection of three tools that arrived late last week played an integral role in the activities.  And exemplified themselves as useful additions to the shed beautifully, from cutting openings, drilling holes, driving screws, the collection of Lithium-Ion power tools from Rockwell proved to be as fun to use, as they were effective.

First job was creating access to the router, and I wanted it to be a door that would hold shut when a vacuum was created by the dust extraction that allowed easy access when needing to switch the router off for bit changes, and use the macro-height adjustment of the Triton router.

Cutting the access way

The desired opening was marked out, and where this would often be cut with a jigsaw, the oscillating saw does a great job.  The added convenience of the cordless version was excellent.

Plunging corners

Firstly, I plunged the cutter into each corner, defining sharp corners, then ran the saw from one corner to the next to break out the panel.

Access opening

The oscillating cutter (the Sonicrafter in Rockwell/Worx speak) was then used for sanding – breaking the sharp edges of the MDF.  One benefit of the oscillating cutter is it can work right into the corner, where more classic sanders would bounce themselves out of a restricted area.

A door was then fabricated, with cabinet hinges. Support for the hinges inside the cabinet was made, with pocketholes creating a solid foundation for the door support.

Sealed Hinge Door

I created a seal over the hinge-side of the door – normally disguised by typical cabinet designs.  There are other hinges I could have used, but these were ones I had already.  A handle from another discontinued project worked well here (think it came from the drill press drawer thinking about it).

Triton Router in place

I made sure there was plenty of space below the router – makes for better shape to the air flow for dust collection.  One thing I have yet to determine, is whether extra air-inlet holes are required – I am expecting they would be, except there are large gaps under the cast iron top, so plenty of air can flow through those gaps and flow down past the router to the collection port. I may even need to reduce the gaps to increase the suction through the hole in the router table top – only testing will determine how optimal the dust collection design is.

Starter

The starter was attached to the side of the table – given sometimes the router is accessed from the front, and other times from the right side, this corner is accessible for either operation.  A hole was drilled behind the switch to feed the flex into the cabinet to connect to the router.

The upper opening you can see to the right of the switch is where I am hoping to install some thin drawers to house the Incra templates for the LS Positioner, and the template book.  The lower opening will probably store some other routers. (Yes, I have one or two!)

Wixey Digital Height Gauge

I also found a location to mount the Digital readout from the height gauge that is affixed to the side of my router.  It does jut out from there over the fence, but for the majority of operations it won’t get in the way where it is.  I have attached it using bolts with the same hex heads as the rest of the Positioner (and the supplied hex drive), and butterfly nuts on the other side, so it can be very easily removed whenever it is necessary (routing tall object for example).

Ready to Rock

Speaking of rocking, these are the complement of tools I used, almost exclusively, and I was pretty stoked how they performed.

Rockwell Cordless Collection

If they look a bit dusty, that is because they were being used, not just admired.  I was expecting them to come in a single kit, so was surprised to discover they were each in a separate package.  Although that means you’ve gotten extra chargers, I’m not objecting – just means I can have one at either end of the workshop ready to go!

Quick charger

And the collection of interchangeable batteries won’t go astray either, even though the chargers are quick (15 minutes to 75%, 30 minutes to 100% charge).

Sonicrafter - Oscillating Cutter

The oscillating cutter was used with both blades and sanding attachments, stripping paint off the cast iron edges, cutting the opening, then sanding the cuts and rounding the edges.

10mm Drill

The drill is quite lightweight, but still has a good feel, and worked well with the holecutter, as well as the Kreg Pockethole jig.

Impact Driver

Finally, the rather impressive impact driver.  Never had one before, or even used one, so this was a bit of a first.  Feels solid, and works!  Initially drives smoothly, but when it gets to a particular torque level, the high-frequency impacting kicks in driving the screw (or whatever) home.

The combination of the three proved very effective in covering a whole variety of jobs that I had on, and the ability to interchange the rapidly charging batteries is a definite bonus.

Some more tools Ebayed

Again, starting at 99c (sure hope I don’t get too burnt!)

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Triton Powered Respirator

250mm GMC SCMS

Triton Plunge Drill

Triton Router Template & Accessory Kit

Full description in the Ebay listing.

Edit – have added the GMC 12 1/2″ Thicknesser to the party

Edit2 – Added GMC Rotary Tool and GMC 2400W Blower-Vac

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