Author Topic: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm  (Read 13576 times)

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Offline Rick Christopherson

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RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« on: May 24, 2019, 07:51 AM »
I've had this design on my computer for 3 or 4 years now, but haven't pursued it until now because the cards just weren't right before. About a month ago, everything fell into place, and I discovered that I can actually produce these vacuum boom arms at a marketable price.

My question is, how much interest is there in a production 8-foot articulating boom arm? It has an 8-foot radius, so it can actually span a 16-foot diameter sweep in a workshop. It has one tube for dust extraction, and a second tube for user-defined content, such as compressed air, VacSys vacuum air, electrical power, etc., whatever you need. Over time, I will be offering various options to go with it. At some point, I will probably also offer a smaller 6-foot version too.

This happened so fast that I haven't figured out an exact price-point yet, but I anticipate being able to offer these somewhere between $1200 and $1500. When you consider that Festool's vac-mounted boom arm costs over $400 for only 3-feet of extension, this price range seems very reasonable for nearly 3-times the reach, at 8-foot extension....plus articulated on top of that.

The project is a "GO" and I'm pulling the trigger on the initial production run in the next couple of days, but I would really like to know in advance how much interest there is in them. I've already decided on a minimum first-production quantity, but I am also concerned that initial interest might be higher than expected, and I don't want to get caught off guard. So let me know how much interest there is in these.

« Last Edit: May 24, 2019, 07:56 AM by Rick Christopherson »

Offline RKA

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2019, 08:11 AM »
Not interested at this time, but I think you would need to provide some mounting details as that might restrict or raise concern for some applications.  Stick framed garages and hollow block walls would probably cover 90% of the installations.  I remember from your post many years ago you worked out something to mount it in your basement, but it did require care with 8 ft of span on the arm.
-Raj

Offline nvalinski

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2019, 08:26 AM »
Not interested at the moment, but would be very appealing in a larger shop space. Are there any provisions to have something similar to the energy box that Festool offers? And can the vacuum hose be the lower pipe so that wires/air piping doesn't run into the downward drop?

Offline Rick Christopherson

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2019, 08:28 AM »
Yes, you are referring to my Festool ASA-5000, which is 16 feet long. This boom arm is only 8 feet long, for the very reason you mention. The engineering to mount an 8-foot boom arm is far more simple. Plus, the cost is about 1/5 what Festool wants for the ASA-5000.

Nevertheless, I did design this to capture the best features of the ASA-5000 boom arm in a more user-friendly package for home workshop use.

Here is a picture of my ASA-5000, and you can see the dust extraction hose, VacSys vacuum hose, Compressed air hose, switched electrical power to trigger the CT-vac, and unswitched electrical power. I also have a "tool Balancer" to take up the slack of the vacuum hose when not in use. This will be one of the first options I offer on my boom arm too.

BUT.....not very many woodworkers can afford the $5000 price tag of the ASA-5000, nor will their workshops even physically support one. That's why I designed this for the typical woodworker.


Offline promark747

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2019, 09:21 AM »
Is that the actual color scheme or just what you used on your computer?

Offline Rick Christopherson

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2019, 09:23 AM »
Is that the actual color scheme or just what you used on your computer?

No, that's the SolidWorks model of the design. I use high-contrast colors to help the assemblers to identify parts.

Offline Michael Kellough

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2019, 10:40 AM »
Rick, maybe you could provide a table estimating the loads on the mounting fasteners at full extension with various (likely) loads carried by the arm. This might get so people off the fence who guess they don’t have a way to mount the arm.

Offline Sparktrician

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2019, 10:56 AM »
The shorter unit is of potential interest to me for the future.  Can't use it in my existing scenario, but I won't be here forever... 
- Willy -

 "Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of wood higher up." - Brigham Young

Offline JimH2

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2019, 10:59 AM »
Definitely interested at that price point. Would like to see a functional sample mounted on the wall to see what the final product looks like. Thx for you effort on this. I have all but had it fighting with the boom arm on my vacuum.

Offline zapdafish

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2019, 11:21 AM »
if it could be fitted to a garage support pole and I had the funds I'd be thinking very hard about it  It would be perfect in my garage but  tbh, I'd be very hard to justify it.

I'm a hobbyiest and unfortunately I've discovered another hobby that is more expensive than woodworking, lol.

(not a pic of mine but similar)
CT22, TS55, Kapex, RO150, Domino, RS 2 E

Offline JimH2

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2019, 11:24 AM »
I'm a hobbyiest and unfortunately I've discovered another hobby that is more expensive than woodworking, lol.
Do tell?

Offline zapdafish

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2019, 11:33 AM »
Shooting. Got started with handguns and have an AR Pistol inbound. And you know my tastes considering how I am in the Festool forums, lol. Just didn't want to offend anyone who doesn't like guns but since you asked  [big grin]

I'm a hobbyiest and unfortunately I've discovered another hobby that is more expensive than woodworking, lol.
Do tell?
CT22, TS55, Kapex, RO150, Domino, RS 2 E

Offline elfick

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2019, 12:26 PM »
What are you thinking for diameter of the vacuum tube? I'm wonder if this is extractor/vac only or if it could be used with a larger DC.

Offline Cheese

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2019, 12:26 PM »
The shorter unit is of potential interest to me for the future.  Can't use it in my existing scenario, but I won't be here forever...

I'd also be interested in the shorter unit. I've about had it with wrapping the hose around my neck/shoulder while using the router and also trying to avoid the Festool quick clamps and the corners and edges on an MFS.  [eek] [eek]

Offline Rick Christopherson

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2019, 01:20 PM »
OK, shortening the length is EASY!! What do you guys want for lengths?

Offline mark_hobson

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2019, 01:27 PM »
Any length from 6 to 8 feet would be of interest to me.

Offline Master Carpenter

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #16 on: May 24, 2019, 02:40 PM »
I’m at least interested in seeing how it plays out. 8’ would be too small for my shop, 12’ would be better.

Offline Rick Christopherson

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #17 on: May 24, 2019, 02:59 PM »
I’m at least interested in seeing how it plays out. 8’ would be too small for my shop, 12’ would be better.

I'm actually planning to have the first prototype made at 12' for the shop that's doing the fabrication. For their own use. I wasn't planning ever selling one that long, but if it proves to be stable, I suppose I could.

Offline JimH2

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #18 on: May 24, 2019, 05:11 PM »
Shooting. Got started with handguns and have an AR Pistol inbound. And you know my tastes considering how I am in the Festool forums, lol. Just didn't want to offend anyone who doesn't like guns but since you asked  [big grin]

I'm a hobbyiest and unfortunately I've discovered another hobby that is more expensive than woodworking, lol.
Do tell?

That is the only explanation needed. You have trekked into a second expensive hobby.

Offline JimH2

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #19 on: May 24, 2019, 05:12 PM »
Any length from 6 to 8 feet would be of interest to me.

Same for me though I'd lean towards the 8'. I need to do some measuring though to make it gets the reach I need. Will do after the returning for the weekend.

Offline Rick Christopherson

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #20 on: May 24, 2019, 07:13 PM »
Shooting. Got started with handguns and have an AR Pistol inbound.

Gee, I donno. If you're too girlie to have a full buttstock I'm not sure you could handle a full boom arm either. You'd probably ask me to put extra safeties on the thing too.

 [big grin] [big grin] [big grin] [big grin] [big grin]

Just yankin' your chain...I got 223 myself.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2019, 07:15 PM by Rick Christopherson »

Offline Rick Christopherson

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #21 on: May 24, 2019, 07:31 PM »
I'm really glad I posted this last night, because I'm surprised about the comments regarding lengths. Changing the length doesn't even require any re-engineering or special parts. I can literally change that on the fly. My final fabricators are the ones making the cuts that determine total length. So that's easy.

Tell me what lengths you guys want, and I can make those happen as standard configurations.

Offline Cheese

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #22 on: May 25, 2019, 12:47 AM »
Rick, I’d be looking at a 6 foot unit...works well for me.

As far as 223’s go...I have a Colt HBAR and it’s a tack driver.

I got interested in firearms from strictly a machining standpoint when examining a S&W handgun with the removable side plate...it was truly a thing of beauty. Line to line contact with absolutely no gaps in the fitting. You can do that type of fitment fairly easy with wood but it’s darn near impossible with steel...especially stainless steel...think Model 66.

Offline Rick Christopherson

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #23 on: May 25, 2019, 01:11 AM »
As far as 223’s go...
Stock and Barrel just opened up a new gun club in Eagan just south of you. It is like walking into a ski lodge, but is also super inexpensive. You should check it out. Pretty much no restrictions. You can shoot full auto if you have it, and up to a 50 BMG.

Offline Cheese

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #24 on: May 25, 2019, 01:25 AM »
Stock and Barrel just opened up a new gun club in Eagan just south of you. It is like walking into a ski lodge, but is also super inexpensive. You should check it out. Pretty much no restrictions. You can shoot full auto if you have it, and up to a 50 BMG.

Thanks for the heads-up Rick...I’ve been meaning to go to the range for the last 15 years..but there’s always something else that needs to take precedence.  [eek]

A 50 BMG...I can only wish.  [big grin]

Offline SRSemenza

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #25 on: May 25, 2019, 01:30 AM »
In the current environment perhaps this should stay on the topic of articulated arm. A couple comments is one thing but lets not have this turn into a gun topic.

Thanks,

     Seth

Offline blk65brd

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #26 on: May 25, 2019, 02:35 AM »
Rick, I would be interested in an 8 foot boom arm, would also like a bit more information on attachment requirements, thanks.

Richard

Offline Rick Christopherson

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #27 on: May 25, 2019, 02:41 AM »
Rick, I would be interested in an 8 foot boom arm, would also like a bit more information on attachment requirements, thanks.

Richard

Yes, I plan on having my nephew do some engineering on mounting requirements. Even though I'm an engineer, my nephew is a civil engineer that deals with this stuff daily. He's the one that did the engineering on my own boom arm years ago.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2019, 02:44 AM by Rick Christopherson »

Offline blk65brd

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #28 on: May 25, 2019, 03:07 AM »
Rick, additional question would be size of tubes, could a second tube have power, compressed air and VacSys in the same tube?  It would be nice to have an outlet at the end as well, just trying to cover all the bases here and reduce the amount of things now laying on the floor of the shop.

Offline Rick Christopherson

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #29 on: May 25, 2019, 03:23 AM »
Rick, additional question would be size of tubes, could a second tube have power, compressed air and VacSys in the same tube?  It would be nice to have an outlet at the end as well, just trying to cover all the bases here and reduce the amount of things now laying on the floor of the shop.

Yes. The upper tube is specifically intended for a CT-vac, and is 2 inches diameter. The lower tube is also 2 inches, and is intended for running various hoses and wires. My own personal boom arm runs VacSys, compressed air, and electrical through the lower tube. Anything you can fit inside the lower 2-inch tube you can run to the end of the arm. That's the whole point.

It's not shown in my graphic, but both the upper and lower tubes are connected together across the 8-foot length with a flexible tube between them. It's all continuous.


« Last Edit: May 25, 2019, 03:26 AM by Rick Christopherson »