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!



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.

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!

Festool on the Doorstep

What better than coming home to find a brand new Festool tool sitting on the doorstep?

I ordered the Festool CXS cordless drill (plus) in a systainer. This version comes with the right angle adapter. The XS indicates its purpose: extra small. It weights 900g. It is designed to get into tight ares (such as when doing cabinetry), and although rated for 10.8V, its brushless motor offers more torque than a brushed motor of similar size.

If I need massive torque, I’ll use my old corded drill, but it can’t get into the tight spaces this one can, and drill around corners when it can’t.

It is also worth knowing Ideal Tools currently have these on special at $150 off.

It is the sort of styling I love in a tool- no fancy bits of inlay rubber without a purpose, no Battlestar Galactica Cylon look, just a tool designed for one purpose- to be an exceptional tool.

It also comes with 2 batteries, and a 20 minute charge time, so you should not run short when you need it. Recently upgraded to a 1.5Ah (from 1.3) Li-ion battery. It has the typical Festool driver chuck, and a standard Festool drill chuck for drill bits from 1mm to 8mm. This doesn’t mean you cannot use larger bits, but it just needs a set that has a smaller diameter shaft (or a hex shaft).

There has been quite a bit mentioned that you can only use Festool driver bits because of a different hex size, and although this is true for the FastFix chuck, if this is removed, there is a standard hex size behind. And in any case, the bit holder takes standard driver bits (with magnetic hold).

Let’s face it- you can either buy a brand that has taken the output of a Chinese factory and rebadged it/enshouded it with a pastic case of their design, or take a tool designed but then sent off to,the cheapest bidder to have it made, or buy quality from the ground up- design and manufacture, and German engineering is still revered.

I’ll report back once I’ve had a chance to really put it through its paces.

Ideal Tools undergoes Mitosis

And finds itself replicated across the ditch!

(For those not in the region, “crossing the ditch” refers to crossing the Tasman sea, or in other words moving between Australia and New Zealand. It implies the distance between the two countries is so small, that moving from one to the other is no further or harder than traversing a small ditch)

So in news today, Ideal Tools has launched a dedicated New Zealand website.


This provides a dedicated store in New Zealand for their Festool and Protool customers, located at

This means that NZ customers can get:

Free delivery for all orders over $250.
Rapid shipment from Auckland to all over New Zealand (rather than being shipped from Melbourne, if NZ customers were purchasing from the Australian site in the past).
A local 0800 phone number for sales and support
New Zealand specific woodworking articles and discussion, specials and product offers

Thought you might be interested to know!
Australian website is still

Dungeons & Dragons

The Sword Saw was a device made and wielded by the gnomes, being either steam powered or magically enchanted in AD&D.  Seemingly incredulous even in a fantasy environment, let alone a woodworking workshop!

But there are real Sword Saws, and there are more than I realised, all for the workshop.

Other than the SSP200, Protool have others in their range.


That is some serious cutting depth! 380mm at 90 degrees.

Speaking of cutting depth – how about this one for mortising!

And if overall size is of interest, what happens when you take a circular saw, and feature it in the movie “Honey I blew up the kids”?

Would you believe 165mm of cutting depth, and a 420mm blade???!!!

If that isn’t enough, then kick over to the Protool portable bandsaw

285mm cutting capacity, and again something that looks well suited to being fitted to the Torque Workcentre!

Perhaps Ideal Tools and Torque Workcentres need another chat!!

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

Thou art adorned with trinkets.

Got this Christmas tree card (sent out to subscribers) from Ideal Tools.  Now this is my sort of tree!

Not so sure about the red and yellow ornaments, but those green ones definitely look like something I’d like seen wrapped under my tree! (And then in my shed 🙂 )

Festool in the Mailbox

Nothing beats coming home to find the mailman has turned up with some Festool!  In this case, it was an upgrade accessory for the dust extractor, but who’s complaining.

As you may know, I have the CT36 Cleantex Extractor from Ideal Tools.  One of the benefits of this extractor is that it has onboard power for your tools, and it is auto-start – so when you turn on the tool, the extractor starts (then stops automatically when you are finished).

I decided it would also be handy to have a second socket beside the first that provides continuous power.  Yes, I could just plug into a wall GPO, but that isn’t always as convenient as having power right there on the extractor, so now I have the best of both worlds.

There is also an optional autostarting socket that is for compressed air, if you have a collection of air-powered tools that need dust extraction.

Back to my green-steam powered tools – I had a real toss-up between getting a second socket that also auto-started, or one that was more of a repeat of a standard GPO.  In the end I went with Anthony’s suggestion (from Ideal Tools) to go with a continuous current socket, as I can always add a powerboard to the autostart socket to get multiple tools working (one at a time!), so this gives me both options.  You wouldn’t want to do this in a workshop with multiple people sharing the tools – there is every possibility of two people trying to draw power from sockets on the extractor at the same time, exceeding the supply from the Cleantex.

Now I just have to find a powerboard in Festool colours 🙂

Spring Clean

Been Spring Cleaning the shed, and funnily enough, it is actually Spring.  Having the recommissioned dust system has been a big influence on this, and has been very beneficial.  The combination of the Carbatec dust ducting kit, the Rockler blast gate mounts, and the flexible concertina hose from Carbatec has made for a system that is very suited to shed cleanup.  It has also been working well for the bandsaw and tablesaw – it will be interesting to see how it works when I try some jointing and planing (the most sawdust intensive operations).

It has included a significant sort out of the wood stores in the shed, and a bit of a realisation that there is quite a bit of value in timber out there.

I’m also realising that it is time for the Jet 14″ bandsaw to be relocated to the other (storage) shed, as I don’t have the space to justify 2 bandsaws in the main shop.  That is one step off disposal, so it is a big move.  There isn’t enough room in the lower shed for it to fit yet, so it is time for a shed (eBay) cleanout.  I’ve already started a small pile of items to include:

Triton Cordless Drill
Triton 8″ Bandsaw
Triton Wetstone Sharpener
Triton 185mm Circular Saw
(there is a bit of a theme happening here)
10″ SCMS (double bevel w dual laser)
Air Compressor

Unfortunately there is not enough in that collection to substitute it all for what I’d actually like to replace it with (yet) – a Festool Kapex 120 from Ideal Tools.

Festool Kapex 120

Might be able to get a Tradie-O in the meantime 😉


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