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Author Topic: Can I use ETS/dust extractor combo to sand aluminum and steel?  (Read 1166 times)

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Offline Aniline_Kohlrabi

  • Posts: 6
Hello all,

I am helping my employer buy new equipment to sand aluminum, acrylic, steel, and wood. We already have the LEX air tool/dust extractor combos for the paint department, but we want to get something cheaper for the wood, plastic, and metal shops, like the ETS 125.

I was told by Festool Customer Service over the phone that I cannot use the sanders and dust extractors on any metal. Does this apply to just the dust extractor, or any of the sanders, too?

-A

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Offline Alex

  • Posts: 7549
Re: Can I use ETS/dust extractor combo to sand aluminum and steel?
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2020, 01:25 PM »
I was told by Festool Customer Service over the phone that I cannot use the sanders and dust extractors on any metal. Does this apply to just the dust extractor, or any of the sanders, too?

This really is the oddest thing I have ever heard. Festool has an entire department directed at the automotive sector. Guess what they sell? Sanders. Guess what cars are made of? Steel.

I grew up in a car body shop. Over time we diverted into spraying anything, really anything. We often had metal structures for industrial applications, air ducts, grain silos, scissor lifts and even small bridges. We always used our sanders on them, with extraction. We used Rupes sanders and not Festool, but that makes no difference, the idea is the same.

I still use my (now Festool) sanders on a daily basis, and I often sand metal with my CTL Mini attached, and it works fine. In the 11 years now that I work with Festool sanders, I have never had the slightest notion sanding metal somehow didn't work.

Now why in gods name would their customer service say such a thing?  [blink]

Maybe they're afraid of sparks. But with a sander? It's not a grinder. Farfetched.

What country are you in?
 

Offline Svar

  • Posts: 2402
Re: Can I use ETS/dust extractor combo to sand aluminum and steel?
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2020, 01:42 PM »
Aluminum dust is combustible. Look into proper way of handling this.
Other than that I don't see any problem using sander/dust extractor on common metals.

Offline Aniline_Kohlrabi

  • Posts: 6
Re: Can I use ETS/dust extractor combo to sand aluminum and steel?
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2020, 01:46 PM »
I was told by Festool Customer Service over the phone that I cannot use the sanders and dust extractors on any metal. Does this apply to just the dust extractor, or any of the sanders, too?

What country are you in?
 

I am in California, United States. The Customer service rep specifically told me they "don't sell the spark arrestor" anymore, so I guess that's why they were on the cautious side.

This is very disappointing. We may be buying up to 10+ sanders over a period of time with possibly that many dust extractors, and this "No metal" rule really throws a wrench into our plans.

Offline jeffinsgf

  • Retailer
  • *
  • Posts: 409
Re: Can I use ETS/dust extractor combo to sand aluminum and steel?
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2020, 02:07 PM »
Contact Festool corporate and ask to talk to someone in the painting division. Alex is right, they're aggressively approaching that market and I don't think you'll get the same answer from them.

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 8722
Re: Can I use ETS/dust extractor combo to sand aluminum and steel?
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2020, 05:21 PM »
I've used every one of my Festool sanders including the LS 130 on metal surfaces, usually stainless or aluminum but on occasion carbon steel also. They run through either a CT 22 or MIDI Festool vac.

Here's what Alex was talking about, this pretty much ends the conversation.  [huh]

https://www.festoolusa.com/company/segments/auto

The spark trap was usually used for grinding or when cutting steel with a TS 75.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2020, 10:37 AM by Cheese »

Offline Holzhacker

  • Posts: 1010
    • www.aic-chicago.com
Re: Can I use ETS/dust extractor combo to sand aluminum and steel?
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2020, 10:15 AM »
My guess is that person told you that under the usual CYA to avoid liability.
I've sanded some steel and a whole lot of aluminum with my ct22, ct26, rotex, ets125, dts, 150/3 with no problems at all works great. No spark trap. Don't really see any need to use one.
If you experiment with the right compound to use when sanding aluminum you can make it look brand new. It takes a bit of time, at least for me, to figure out compound, speed, technique but once figured out results are great.
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