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...
On Friday, February 5, 2016 at 11:34:43 PM UTC-6, email@example.com w
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.
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
(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)
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)
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 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
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
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.
On 2/7/2016 3:11 AM, firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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
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.
Could everyone in the back seats move up to the empty ones in the front?
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
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!
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.
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
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.
Add Life to your Days not Days to your Life.
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
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.
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
Believe me I do not take your words lightly, regarding the Domino. I
appreciate your insight into all aspects of ww'ing.
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.
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
A few of us have been down this road many times. ;~)
Here is a short video with the extended tenon option for cabinet
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
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
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
Kudos' to all you guys, especially you and Karl, and others with their
Yes, but then there are finishers, and the real finishers. Which takes
the product to a whole nut her level.
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