The Rotex, A review.

Well what can I say? Thank you Charlieb and Robatoy for getting me started on the slipper slope with Festool tools. I started a small cabinet for a customer today that is relatively tiny but the he wants to put it in with some high end Korean black lacquer furniture that is 95% covered with mother of pearl outdoor wild life scenes. My cabinet gets to hold a friggen Boom Box., oh well. I told him I don't to this finish but he wants relative cheap and of course it has to fit in the small area, under this thing, and hold speakers, sub woofers, and the amplifier. Yeah I know..;~) I took him a sample of birch stained black with 2 coats of glossy ArmRSeal. He like the look except for the wood grain that showed through, so I suggested MDF and he OK'ed the job.
Like plywood, MDF needs to have the edges hidden/covered and I am using Poplar to trim the front edges of all the MDF. As most every one that adds a 1" to 2" trim to panels to hide the edges knows, there is always a lip because of panel inconsistencies. I anticipated plenty and had plenty but thanks to the Domino these differences only amounted to 1/32" to 3/64". I thought I would deal with smoothing this all out by running the panels through the Performax drum sander but I was a bit concerned with running the MDF through and screwing every thing up.
Humm, what a great time to try out the new RO125 Rotex sander. I started and finished with 180 grit so that there would be little scuffing or damage to the MDF surface. I set the Rotex to aggressive mode and began. This is the first time I have actually sanded a "flat" surface and was amazed at how the sander /vacuum combination actually made the sander stick to the flat surface. Small pieces would actually lift as I picked the sander up. As you may have guessed with this kind of suction there was darn little, to no dust to be seen. After 2 or 3 seconds of working the poplar to MDF joint line I picked the sander up to give it the feel test. Humm I must have started at a perfectly flat spot. I felt for a spot that needed more attention and began sanding again for 3 or 4 seconds, picked the sander up and gave it another feel, perfectly flat again. I wish I would have had a mirror to look into as I probably had a big smile on my face. Not much more to tell except that you could see the joint lines but could not detect the joint line by touch and it was as smooth as a baby's butt. The smooth MDF ended up being smoother after sanding.
I paid $360 for this particular sander and while that is a lot of money for a sander I feel it is worth every penny and it is a true pleasure to operate. If you can afford the Festool Rotex and are thinking about getting a new sander, buy the Rotex and the Festool Vacuum if you don't have one.. If you are not satisfied you have 30 days to return it, but you won't.
Now I have a right angle PC ROS and 2 or 3 boxes of assorted grits of PSA sand paper to get rid of. I cannot imagine ever using it again.
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You're definitely adding to the Festool mystique...I can't justify the cost right now...and I will say, i use a bosch 6-inch ROS (the 3727, I think) hooked up to a vacuum and it provides tremendous suction, as you describe, and virtually dust-free sanding, and very smooth surfaces...
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