Progress on the Nightstands

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Has anyone tried Festool paper on other sanders? I used two pieces of 24 grit Saphir paper sanding down some Homasote Spline roadbed with my Festool sander and Fein vac, and while it impressed everybody at the [model railroad] club I can't swing $700 for a "once every year or two" tool. $70 on a Bosch sander and maybe $100 on a decent vac might be doable. Think I'd get anywhere near the performance with just the paper? Enough to make it worthwhile?
I know, this is kinda like putting racing tires on a Buick...
Puckdropper
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On 2/5/2016 11:34 PM, Puckdropper wrote:

The paper is absolutely a major part of the longevity, and a vac. It wold probably work pretty good on any sander/vac combo.
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On Friday, February 5, 2016 at 11:34:43 PM UTC-6, snipped-for-privacy@googlegroups.com w rote:

And think how much better your Buick runs with good tires on it!
On Saturday, February 6, 2016 at 12:15:03 AM UTC-6, Leon wrote:

Leon is right.
No doubt you can get superior performance with the Rotex/Vac Festool combo. But I have very satisfactory results sanding INSIDE homes with my Bosch 5 ", my Milwaukee half sheet, my Ridgid 5" oscillator and my Ridgid 4" finish er. I hook them up to my big shop vac with two sections of hose and put th e vac outside if I am doing a lot of heavy sanding. If I am doing finer wo rk like sanding inside bookcases (refinishing) and not raising much dust, I use the same shop vac with a HEPA or Allergen rated filter in it.
http://www.homedepot.com/s/shop%2520vac%2520hepa%2520filter?NCNI-5
It is almost dustless.
However, my one guy that I trust on Festool use (beside Leon!!) tells me th at the Rotex setup with his Festool vac is about 99% dustless in a house if he watches his technique. He does custom cabinet installs as well as cust om butcher block counter tops. He would know. And as a sidebar, it is a $ 1400 sanding setup. Sure he vacuums after installation so the vac isn't a single use tool, but the primary use of his setup is to sand inside houses.
I would bet that I get most of that performance out of my setup, but it isn 't as elegant, it is uglier, and it is on helluva lot noisier. His setup j ust >>sounds<< more professional!
As far as the paper goes, spend the money on paper. Spend the money on pap er. Spend the money on paper. Your satisfaction with your sanding setup w ill start with the paper you buy, and the paper should be about the best yo u can get. When I was doing a lot of refinishing, I used to buy this stuff wholesale:
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
Good paper, good price. If you aren't going to use a ton of it, then buy t heir combo pack. Worth every penny. Our old friend Robatoy turned me on t o this product as I was using 3M, and this turned out to be much better. L asted longer, and the hook and loop was better.
A good sander doesn't have to be a commercial grade product like Leon has. He USES his a lot, so it makes perfect sense for him. My oldest Milwaukee random orbit is needing to be replaced as there are no more parts for it, but I don't use sanders enough to justify the price of a Festool. If I had a cabinet shop, Leon and Karl have me won over on the value of Festool, so no doubt I would own some of their products. But... I don't. So the next refinish job I get I will either be looking at this if it is a small one, then keep this in the stable of utility sanders:
(Amazon.com product link shortened) =sr_1_40?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid54743747&sr=1-40&keywords=5+sander
or this one, the one I really want. This baby is a really nice sander, mad e in Switzerland so it probably is a rebranded Elu, like my 3hp DeWalt plun ge router. If I buy this one, it is a Robert only sander. I have tested t his and it is so smooth it was sexy just turning it on:
(Amazon.com product link shortened) NZ6EHA/ref=sr_1_33?ie=UTF8&qid54744433&sr=8-33&keywords=5+sand er
It picks up an amazing amount of dust even without a vacuum attachment with its on board filter system.
Do some homework and you can make yourself a great setup for a very reasona ble cost. Oh yeah... and spend the money on paper!
Robert
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Robert you might want to take a look and test drive this sander. Oddly it is in the price range of the "for Roberts hands only" Bosch sander. Although only considered a finish sander it is silky smooth. I played with one at a WW show a few years ago. I was shocked at how I could literally run and guide that sander with a single finger resting on top of the sander.
http://www.festoolusa.com/power-tools/sanders/ets-125-eq-random-orbital-finish-sander-571817
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On Saturday, February 6, 2016 at 6:05:39 AM UTC-6, Leon wrote:

Well, I have to say I have never seen that sander. We don't get wood worki ng shows here for some reason, they never have manufacturer demos at our lo cal equipment distributors, and I haven't been in a Woodcraft in years. So ... never seen it. My first impression was, no... I don't want a Speedbloc type sander, but then I watched the video and that isn't it at all. It lo oks pretty well though out for the grip.
I read a ton of reviews, some professional and some not, some on FOG. They all say the same thing, this is a finish sander, and does great finish wor k. In fact the only complaints I read about was that it didn't do more tha n finishing. Users recommend to buy the next sander up for an overall util ity sander. That's not a deal breaker for me as I have a stable of sanders for hard work, including one old Ridgid I have used to sand concrete more than once with a 40gr pad. With quality paper, my other sanders work fine, although they are noisy as hell and the dust collection isn't as good comp ared to the newer stuff.
The $200 isn't scary at all, another surprise. I paid that for my Milwauke e half sheet sander 20 years ago!
Thanks for the heads up.
Have you used the Mirka gold paper? This is the stuff I usually get, and w hen I do I get this package most of the time since I am really on board (as are just about all serious finishers) of working through the grits with no skipping.
http://goo.gl/uw2nEY
The only thing I don't like about the Mirka gold is that they are stearate coated. This has on occasion fouled finishes, especially when dying wood. Cheaper stearates can foul anything when they get hot. Looking around at the Festool discs they say they are "coated" but it doesn't say with what. Have you ever used the regular Festool discs? They aren't cheap, but they really aren't that expensive when you put them in as a "disc per project" cost. Not talking about the Granat stuff... it's expensive!
I miss my old sandpaper connection. When I was doing a lot of finishing an d refinishing I used sandpaper like guy with a cold uses tissues. I got hi s contact info from a finishing forum. I found that he bought all the roll ends of Klingspor and Mirka he cold, then took them back to his machinery and punched out 5" and 6" discs on his own. He only bought upper end paper and had some odd grit sizes, but his price was about .35 a disc or less de pending on what he had in stock and how much you bought. Apparently the che ap sandpaper from China a India did him in as he couldn't get as cheap as h is big production shops demanded. And he had stearated and non in most gri ts. He is no longer in the paper business.
Robert
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On 2/7/2016 3:11 AM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Well you should go to to Woodcraft to try it out If you put it on the short list. I don't own it but again I was really surprised that I could guide it with a finger on the top and it did not bounce around like many ROS sanders if you don't have a good hold. And it is likely to last a very long time.

That would be my bone of contention. The Rotex will just about keep up with a belt sander in aggressive mode but two hands are required in either mode. My Rotex replaced an old right angle PC ROS which was also aggressive. BUT I do have the small rectangular Festool finish sander and it can get into corners, something that round disk sanders do not do. Otherwise I would strongly consider it if any of my Festool sanders actually wear out. I did wear a PC Speedbloc out. ;~)
Users recommend to buy the next

I don't recall any of the Festool sanders being noisy.

sure!

Not on a sander. Before Festool I use a lot of 3M which I did not have to pay for. I acquired it in 250 disk rolls. That was when I worked for a 3M distributor. We looked into taking on Mirka way back when as many of the GM dealerships that we sold to used that brand in the body shops. I do use Mirka Goldflex Soft 4.5" x 5.5" tear off pads. These come on a roll and tear off. They are foam backed and great for easing edges and uneven surfaces but are strictly for hand sanding. They last pretty well and the foam backing gives them just enough stiffness to easily use them with out a block of wood, sand with just your hands on the paper. Several months ago 3M came out with a rubber backed paper that was supposed to last a long time. I tried a couple of sheets and was unimpressed. I have been using the foam back Mirka for hand sanding for about 4 years now.
This is the stuff I usually get,

I have strictly used Festool paper since switching to the Festool sanders. It is expensive but it lasts a long time. I started with the Rubin "red" paper which is interned for bare wood. And used up until I discovered the Granat which is also good for removing paint and finishes. The Granat is very expensive by comparison. BUT the 5" disks I bought in a 10 pack for $13.00. That was many months ago, last Spring maybe and I think there are 6 discs left. And no kidding I have been on a single disk on 3 different pieces of furniture that I have built including removing a finish on all three. Expensive until you realize that the paper lasts 4~5 times longer because it does not load up.
On another note, if you remember a customer's Mexico imported small table in my office, the one we were talking about at Christmas and what may have been used used as a finish and you mentioned "tar", I thought used diesel motor oil. I absolutely think tar was part of the finish. This was not new furniture but it did load up the Granat paper when I sanded the legs. No other modern finish has loaded that paper up at all after it has dried.

Yes, I use/used the Ruben Festool paper. Good paper but it does eventually wear out. LOL. If I am sanding flat surfaces I have to stop the sander and feel how sharp the paper is to determine when to change it. With the dust extraction the paper does not change color and there is no dust to judge if it is still cutting or not. You literally have to feel the paper with your fingers to determine if it has been worn out or not. AND it does have a relatively stiff backing, stiffer than 3M gold.
Not talking about the

LOL, but that stuff lasts a loooong time in my shop. AND this paper seems to be a bit more flexible than the Ruben which lead me to think it might tear more easily. That has not been the case yet. It does seem to be more touchy about sanding with the grain with both my ROS and finish sander. That is the reason that I have had to sand down and reapply the stain finish in places on the last 3 projects. I had scratches show up at the joints. Resanding and paying attention to grain direction instantly solved the issue. I had to be careful with the Rubin but it did not seem to be quite so touchy at the joints.
I bought a 100 pack of 180 grit Granat for the finish sander and IIRC it was about $58. BUT I suspect that it is going to last me for a few years, maybe 3~6. The Ruben 50 packs were lasting me 1~2 years. Of course that all depends on how much work I am doing. But seriously the Granat seems to last at least three times longer than the Rubin and sanding dried glue and finishes is not an issue at all, the paper remains clean. I seldom wipe off glue squeeze out any more.

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Is the ETS125 different than the RO125 in its less aggressive mode? IOW, is there an argument for having both?
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On 2/7/2016 4:31 PM, krw wrote:

Could everyone in the back seats move up to the empty ones in the front? ROTF
Welllll.. The RO125 in aggressive mode will remove material at an alarming rate, and in regular ROS it is more normal but IMHO still not a finish sander. Its sanding stroke is 9/64", that is a hair under 1/8". So I typically start my sanding in aggressive mode on solid wood only at the joints with the Rotex. I then switch to the RO mode with the same paper. Then I switch to a finer grit, 150 in RO mode and finish up with the RTS 400 finish sander using 180 grit. Both the RTS 400 and the ETS125 have a 5/64" sanding stroke, about half that of the Rotex Ro125.
So yes the ETS125 is different than the RO125 as far as fine sanding goes. If you are staining you will probably have to go additional finer grits to keep from seeing the swirls. With the finish sander I typically stop at 180. Going finer grits typically means that the stain will come out lighter too.
If you are looking for a good Festool finish sander I would recommend the RTS4000 or the ETS125. If you want to speed up initial sanding, the sanding to make joints smooth and remove glue, the Rotex is going to do that 10 times faster in aggressive mode. With the Granat 120 grit paper. The Rotex can smooth out a glue joint with an undetectable by touch glue line 3~5 seconds, that includes removing glue squeeze out. In regular RO mode probably 10~15 seconds. It can do either with the regular Rubin sand paper also however the glue will load the paper pretty quickly. I have yet to see any loading on the Granat paper when doing this procedure.
As for as an argument for having both, I have always owned, in the past 25 years, RO sanders that were never really considered finish sanders. And I burned through a couple of PC SpeedBloc finish sanders during that time period. The SpeedBloc was a great sander but lacked any kind of dust control. I like a square pad finish sander simply because it gets into tight corners. That said in the past 4~5 years I have changed up how I finish and assemble. While it takes significantly longer to finish and assemble I prefinish parts that would be difficult to finish after assembly. Soooo the ETS125 would probably work better for me these days. I did not do any edge sanding with one but it seems to be quite easy to control and does not require much more than a finger to guide it.
So again, With both sanders, the Rotex and a finish sander, I could see you cutting sanding time down to 1/3 of the time than if you were doing all sanding with a finish sander. The Rotex is really a game changer when considering speed of initial sanding as you are tweaking the fit of the joints especially if the joint surfaces are not on the same plane. After that initial sanding you could finish the rest of the grits with a finish sander in about the same time as with the Rotex in RO mode.
With that in mind, the Rotex might be good enough right down to the finish "polishing" if you are mostly using coarse grain woods like oak AND use a clear finish, no stain. Festool has videos of the Rotex demonstrated on a rough cut slam of "whatever". They use no varnish but in the end steps they use a polish and the wood surface is amazing.
Now I keep mentioning Aggressive, Robatoy turned me on to the Rotex and I recall him cautioning to be careful in Aggressive mode. In that mode the sander removes a lot of material fast. It is not a big concern of controlling the sander, in aggressive mode, so much as the material disappearing pronto. And especially if you are using a vac for dust collection. You will see basically nothing as far as dust is concerned so you don't know how much you are removing unless you check the progress every 3~4 seconds when working on a particular problem area like a joint.
I personally would not consider not having both. They are both equally important tools in their own rights. They both bring something to the table of equal importance, speed and finer finish sanding.
And remember I build a lot and speed is important to me when sanding.
Thank y'all for coming out tonight!
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explanations make up for the loss of sight because of the fat guys in front of me. ;)
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I'm going the other way. I'm looking at a finish or detail sander.

Hmm, choices. So many choices! What are your thoughts on the DTS400?

your lesson a few dozen more times. ;-)
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On 2/7/2016 8:15 PM, krw wrote:

That you are. LOL The To 125 is not going in that direction. although I have no doubt that you would use it a lot if you bought one. But the Rotex IMHO is NOT a one size fits all.

I have not used a DTS400 however I think it is essentially the same as the RTS400. They both use the same size paper, total length and total width but the DTS has the "iron" shaped pad so it actually has less paper on the surface than the RTS, sanding will be a bit slower.     I'm not sure how much better the tapered point will be at getting into corners than the square corner of the RTS unless you are going into acute angled corners. Though with the rounded sides on the pad and paper, sanding the bottom of a bucket might be easier done with the DTS over the RTS. I don't often run into that at all.
Swingman IIRC owns the DTS400 so he might have a thing or two to mention about that sander.
As far as the *TS400 sanders go they are good finish sanders. They are a little smaller than some finish sanders but do a great job. Again this sander used with a vac compared to and just coming off of the PC SpeedBloc finish sander 7~8 years ago I thought I had made a bad choice. The SpeedBloc with NO dust control and raised a pile of dust quickly and did a great job. The Festool RTS400 left no dust and as a result the red colored Rubin paper stayed red with very little dust sticking to the paper. That was discerning because you saw no evidence of how much work it was doing. I'm sure the DTS400 has the same effect. So I would say that you will certainly, with dust collection, need to change your methods of determining progress a little. You are going to have to feel the surface with your hand to judge progress and you will need to compare the sharpness of the used paper to a new sheet to judge when to change the paper out. That said when the paper stays clean it lasts longer too.
I would not consider either of these sanders as detail sanders however the DTS might offer some degree of detail sanding with its pointed end.
When I think of detail sanders I think of those that offer the profile inserts for sanding round overs or coves. PC used to offer a terrible detail sander. Many of us probably regretted buying that one, I know I did. The Fein Multimaster offers detail sanding profiles.
Then there is the baby Rotex. It offers a much smaller 3.5" diameter pad and operates like the bigger Rotex sanders plus a change out for a triangle pad and paper for tight spots. I would want to try that one out before pulling the trigger on that one.
http://rotex.festoolusa.com/sanders/models/RO90DX/
And finally there is the LS130 that offers multiple profile detail sanding. IMHO this is the true detail sander and IIRC uses the same paper as the RTS400 for regular finish sanding. IIRC also this sander has a linear action vs. orbital so you are going to have to really pay attention to the drain direction. Both this sander and the smaller RO90 Rotex are north of $400. The RTS and DTS 400 sanders are about $250 each.
https://www.festoolusa.com/power-tools/sanders/ls-130-eq-linear-detail-sander-567852

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On 2/5/2016 4:03 PM, Leon wrote:

I also have a Delta Mortiser. The only thing good about it is it is cheap, and is always set up ready to go. I recommend you go with the Domino rather than waste your money (and space) on a dedicated mortiser. If I were younger, and planned on making lots of furniture, I would get a Domino or possibly another brand that does the same thing, if one exists. A mortiser takes up space and unless you have a really nice one, (not a cheapie like the Delta) they are less than stellar. Domino seems to be a stellar piece, quick and easy to use and very, very useful.
--
Jack
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I would get one in a heartbeat if I was younger. Still wood (Freudian slip) if I saw one used at a good price. But for now it'll be either a router or chisels or both.
or my biscuit cutter.
To me it is more than intriguing when they drill, slice and dice, and swing the bit all at once. My first up close view reminded me of the knives in the casket top or was it a chest top of an Edgar A. Poe story.
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On 2/7/2016 8:35 PM, OFWW wrote:

I'm not going to try to persuade you to get the Domino if you can't wrap your head around the price yet. Notice I said yet. LOL At a certain point Festool prices no longer seemed to be a real deterrent for me. You are getting what you pay for a majority of the time and top quality. The thing that made me think and rethink buying the Domino was if I would/could justify the expense. As it turns out I use it on "every" piece I build. I have come up with unique ways to use it other than what you might think too. If you are into about woodworking and it is not a faze in your life you most likely will use the Domino on every thing you build.
On that drawing I sent you for the night stands. The drawings don't show it but there are Domino floating tenons in every FF joint. That includes the back FFs lap joints. All totaled so far on these night stands there are 40 mortises and floating tenons. Now think about cutting 40 precise mortises with a bench top mortiser. I'm not sure I cut 40 mortises with my mortiser total. And FWIW the mortiser chisels have to be kept sharp, and from the factory sharp is not sharp enough. There is a lot of friction on those chisels and you want a mirror surface on the outside surfaces. And then the smaller bits break easily and those are special bits.
I would advise using jigs and a router over purchasing a bench top mortiser. Mortisers are a lot like band saws. You have to buy a good one to get good results. Cheap does not get you there.
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On 2/8/2016 8:10 AM, Leon wrote:
Correction, 40 floating tenons and 56 mortises.
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In thinking about my cabinet doors, Freud makes a nice router set that makes a tenon on the rails, when done properly, but the stile still requires a way of making a mortise. And as far as ff's go and reading your posts it just seems like the domino is the way to go and the hardwood tenon is far superior to the soft biscuit. So naturally I drooled at the prospect of a domino, but at this point I also have enough to learn and develop the proper skills that will keep be busy for a while, and when the time comes then necessity will motivate the move to domino's, or a suitable clone.
On my cabinet/island I am putting in a 4 drawer bank, using your idea's for the front end of the drawers and at the back end using a vertical riser with notch's cut out to put the back end of the rail that the drawer slide is mounted too. In design it looks fine. Using a dado joint there could be useful as a "floating joint" to reduce any stress.
Believe me I do not take your words lightly, regarding the Domino. I appreciate your insight into all aspects of ww'ing.
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On 2/8/2016 1:11 PM, OFWW wrote: Snip

If I understand what you are talking about,,,,, I would strongly advise against that set up. Those sets do a good job but you can do much better with a dado set. Unless!!!! you are looking at a cope and stick set of bits. The problem with the tennon set/bit is that it makes a fixed thickness tenon. Your panel probably will not fit properly in the groves that the tenon will fit onto. Most likely the panel will be loose.
I cut a grove in my stiles and rails centered to accept the exact width of the panel or plywood panel that I will be using. Cut a grove slightly off center on the edge of a scrap. Flip the piece end for end and cut again. This method will perfectly center the groove. Sneak up on the fence setting until you have that groove perfect. I cut that groove 1/2" deep
Next with a stacked dado set set the blade to cut 1/2" wide or a little wider and use a sacrificial fence to partially bury the blade and to index how long the tenon will be cut repeatedly. Cut both ends of the rails on both sides and both ends to form a tenon to perfectly match the width of the grooves on the rails and stiles.
You get this.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/lcb11211/24903479425/in/dateposted-public/
And as far as ff's go and reading

It is and the 5mm thick tenons are about 3/4" wide so the you don't have to worry about the biscuit slot being too wide for the end of a rail.
So naturally I

Understood.

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doors.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BlCC9SsdMNY#t

Which requires a mortise in the stiles. Our plan was to make cathedral style doors, and in the corner upper cabinet doors to use glass and have a stile and rails on the face of the glass of the two doors. The rest of the doors I would rather not have raised panels, but flush or inset, where you can see a small grove on the back of the panel where you can see part of the normal tenon. I hope I am clear enough on that. I also like the hidden tenon option, but if it is not seen some people might think the joint was just a box joint.
Would you mind post a picture of the back of your night stand to see? Funny, but without seeing it, the project is not completed in my minds eye. :)

Which would make my life considerably easier. I realize that with the doors comes the hinge options and once my drawings are completed the I was going to focus on that part of it before I actually start building the cases. I've been considering the options, and I know that where I have drawers behind doors that I need to be sure they swing wide enough open.
Funny, In the HVAC trader there are seven other trades that we have to be fluent in. All the skill sets, and then interactions with carpenters and the like. So I know I can do most any trade if needed, but getting involved with wood working and its various options and their integrations is a new animal to me. Hanging the cabinets should be easy enough as I did that for our control jobs, but in this case I am the one building the cabinets and responsible for their continued usage.
Kudos' to all you guys, especially you and Karl, and others with their niche's.

Yes, but then there are finishers, and the real finishers. Which takes the product to a whole nut her level.
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Lousy spell checker in Forte' and I do mean lousy! " 'nuther"
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On 2/8/2016 6:16 PM, OFWW wrote:

Welcome to my world. ;~)
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