Protool becomes Festool

This is old news for some I am sure, but Protool and Festool have combined, and the Protool brand has been absorbed.  In one way, this is kind of confusing, seeing as the two brands were really one anyway under the Tooltechnic banner – at least from an outsiders perspective!

The company used the Festool brand for more woodworking type applications, and Protool for other contractor tools (concrete cutters and grinders, heavy-duty drills and other heavier duty products).  They have decided to combine these under the single Festool brand banner.  It means the Protool tools will receive a makeover, becoming the classic Festool dark blue and green, and it won’t be possible to say definitively that all Festool is made in Germany (a few of the Protool range are not), but it will end the “when is a Festool not a Festool” question (as in “when it is a Protool”).  So what does this all really mean?  Not a lot to be honest, just means if you are a fan of Festool (or have been sorely tempted by their range), as far as the Festool branding (and green/blue coloured tools), that range is getting bigger.

festool-protool-electroportatif-scie-chaine-univers-ssp-200-eb-300x300

One of the early cab-off-the-ranks is the SwordSaw

FESSSU200FS

 

And many other products in the Protool range will be receiving the same treatment.

I know not everyone is into Festool products- to each his own.  What I can I say – quality is addictive!

 

 

 

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.

20120510-020032.jpg

This provides a dedicated store in New Zealand for their Festool and Protool customers, located at www.idealtools.co.nz

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 www.idealtools.com.au

Festool Articles & Discussion

Over at Ideal Tools, Anthony is gathering together an ever-expanding collection of articles as a resource for those interested in his product range (primarily Festool, Protool and Walko). Included with articles he has gathered from other sources are some I have been contributing as well (and there are still a few he has to release once they are formatted (etc)) The topics are wide and varied- there is much to discuss!

Along with the longer articles, he is also going to be looking for tips and tricks owners have to get the best out of their tools, whether that be a particular technique, a way to improve accuracy (if that is even possible with Festool), so it is time to put on those thinking caps, re-examine how you work with the tools you have, and if there are any particular tricks you use that you can share with your fellow woodworkers.

So something to keep an eye on- for those who have decided to invest in the tools, you will definitely want to ensure you are getting the best use out of them. And if you have something yourself, share that information around: it can only improve the experiences of everyone!

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.

SSP200

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!!

SSYTC041 The Angle Grinder Grows Up

This is the AGP 125, in the Protool range, as seen at the Festool Media event.

Never really felt any real interest in working with concrete/tile etc, or owning a tool capable of doing so….until now that is.

This tool has two setups – a shrouding for cutting, and a second for grinding/smoothing. Both lend two significant advantages: dust control and operation control.

Tile/Concrete Cutter

For cutting/grout-line grinding etc, the tool is held on a sled that can also engage the Festool/Protool rails and controls the depth-of-cut.  The orange-shield can be flicked open during grinding to see the end of the blade so you can stop right on a point when needed.  The orange shield is just that – extra shielding, and improves the dust collection.  The dust control doesn’t need much discussion – you cut, and the dust goes away.  What is normally a very dusty operation (dry cutting) is instead rendered dust-free.  The use of the Autoclean Vac is a particularly good idea – the amount of concrete dust the system collects would completely block a filter with a thick crust very quickly.

Dust-Free Concrete Cutting

From this angle, you can see the grinder component, and that the guide/shield is an attachment.

Blades

Some of the blades available – check out the kerf on the bottom one!

Grinding the Groutline

It will cut pretty straight when used hand-held, or dead straight when used with the Festool/Protool rail.

The Big Brother

And if you need more than the standard unit, there is also a big brother on its way.

Polisher

If you’ve finished with cutting, perhaps a polished finish would be in order.  Once again dust free, and where it comes to control, the last thing you want is the edge of the surface grinding blade digging into the surface. (The equivalent of a belt sander doing damage if not controlled properly.)

Surface Treatment

Other than the powerful surface polisher blade visible here, there is the disk around the outside that can be set to a specific height to prevent edge dig-ins. Just inside that ring is a ring of brushes to control dust leak.

Real Smooth Shave

Grinding, polishing dust free – sounds like the way to do these jobs!

SSYTC041 The Angle Grinder Grows Up

If I had one of these, I’d have a very smooth/shiny shed floor!!

The Green Dream Thing

Had an interesting start to the morning, and very much the result of being part of “the new media”.   I was invited along to the new product launch for 2011 of Festool and Protool products and it turns out they are only about 15 minutes from home.

There will be more specific info over the next day or two resulting from the launch (I took plenty of photos on your behalf!) so stay tuned for that.

On arrival, we met the (surprisingly small) contingent in Melbourne – only about 5 others which rather amazed me for a city of 4 million. Not sure what all the others who were also there did – I only knew of one other who was specifically media (Connection Magazines).  So does that make me pretty much it for woodworking-focused media in Melbourne/Victoria?? (Or at least woodworking focused, and interested in the quality tool end of the market).

That is either really cool for Stu’s Shed, or really sad for Victoria!

The start of the day (after a bit of an informal chat, and a bit of a look at some of their naked tools) was a sit-down presentation in their training room, where each of the new tools was introduced (via power point).

Naked Tools

More Naked Tools

Full Metal Jacket....uh.....gears

The start of what makes a good tool – real bearings (not plastic fantastic), and metal gearing.

The training/ marketing centre is a bit like the retail marketing space that is created in the premium stores.

Getting to that room takes you right past the warehouse.  As much as they don’t think it is interesting, this is shelf after shelf of Festool and Protool: how could I not get excited (oh the possibilities for a small workshop represented right there!)

So that is where I was, and in the next article or two, I’ll cover what we were shown!

Festool Clearance

Ideal Tools have just opened an on-line clearance store for new, used, returned, shop soiled, discontinued etc products, offered between 15% and 50% off retail (the majority between 15% and 25% off, depending on whether or not they are new or lightly used).

So if you are particularly enamoured with Festool and cannot afford the ticket price, then this might just be something of interest!

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