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Author Topic: Ro 150e sanding mode knob is broken...  (Read 2745 times)

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Offline Savvas

  • Posts: 3
Ro 150e sanding mode knob is broken...
« on: April 02, 2018, 10:03 AM »
Hi Folks,
I'm very glad to have found this group - I've just joined in the hope that someone can assist me. About 20 years ago I bought a very expensive but very nice Festo Ro 150e rotary/random orbital sander. Since then it has had pretty heavy use - its had a new motor and I think at least 2 new rubber pads. Anyway I thought I'd lost it a few years ago until today when my brother returned it! It seems that I'd loaned it to him to build his kitchen (along with a number of other tools) and I'd forgotten to retrieve it (and he hadn't bothered to give it back!)
Anyway, I'm glad to have it back. It runs but I'm somewhat dismayed to find the rotary sanding-mode knob on the side of the metal housing has come adrift (or been removed) with the parts - such as they are - in a small bag. There's the green plastic swing-out knob, a small spring, a Philips head machine screw about 25mm long, a small keyed cap-like thing that seems to fit into the bottom of the green knob as well as some unidentifiable, vaguely copper-coloured curved bits of magnetic metal plate which look very broken!
I've had a tentative go at reassembling things but I can't see how it's supposed to work or how it goes together. In fact after checking the parts diagram at mmtoolparts.com it looks like there are also some parts missing. I'm thinking I should just buy a new switch kit (it's part # 487800 at the above web site). Cost posted to Australia will be about US$80!
My questions are:
- how can I find out how to carry out this repair? Is this a straightforward reassembly that would be obvious once I had a new kit of parts in hand?
- I don't yet understand how this mechanical switch works - anyone have any pointers?
- do people think it's worth it? It appears that the sander is 'stuck' in random-orbital mode (which is probably how I'd use it most of the time) but it would be nice to be able to switch it into rotary mode occasionally to make use of the brute power I know this thing is capable of.

Any help or insights would be much appreciated!
best wishes,

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Offline Frank-Jan

  • Posts: 1173
  • Dutch Canadian living in Belgium
Re: Ro 150e sanding mode knob is broken...
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2018, 04:06 AM »
I don't know if you have any local festool dealers, but if I order a festool part here, I don't have to pay shipping, so in your case that part would cost 57,70 AUD including VAT. (according to ekat on the festool.com.au site link to parts diagrams

Personally I would try to fix it myself, if you send it in for repair, you'd get a quote of how much it will cost to get it fixed, and if you find that too expensive there's a chance you get it back dissassembled to the last screw (and you might have to pay an examination-fee). You started with a functional tool and then you have a bunch of parts (happened to me with a shopvac I sent in to Makita repair)
« Last Edit: April 03, 2018, 04:54 AM by Frank-Jan »

Offline Savvas

  • Posts: 3
Re: Broken Ro150e sanding mode switch - how to fix?
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2019, 12:51 AM »

I posted back in 2018 re replacing the busted sanding mode switch on my RO150E. It's taken me a while as Australian spare parts people I contacted weren't helpful, but at long last I've managed to get hold of a replacement kit (part#17 in the diag. here).

I reckon I can put it together ok (I think) but I can't for the life of me see how to install it in the sander's housing. There's a square nylon pad in the kit which seems to install at the inner face of the module and then presses on a rotary collar around the counter weights but I can't see how it fits in. It's a 'square thing-into-a-round hole' sort of problem! I also can't see what holds the switch module in the hole in the housing as it's rotated.

Can someone please enlighten me with a how-to-do-it explanation? Or point me to one online maybe? Do I need to disassemble the whole rotary weight housing? I've tried a couple of unsuccessful forum searches...  [sad]

Many thanks, Sam.

Offline Savvas

  • Posts: 3
Re: Ro 150e sanding mode knob is broken...
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2019, 06:03 PM »
Hi yet again,

well I figured out that I had to take the sanding pad off and then remove the cover plate underneath and then the circular metal sliding 'gear carrier' which essentially functions like a 'dog' gear in a gear box to engage the rotary sanding action. The afore-mentioned nylon 'pad' actually seems to locate on the inner surface of this metal carrier ring. I eventually figured out the orientation required to make this arrangement work.

However - no that everything is assembled back together - my problem now is that, while the simple orbital function is working fine, as soon as I switch to 'rotary' (where the pad rotates as well as vibrates) the whole drive locks solid with the motor unable to turn! Somewhere in the drive train things are clearly jamming up! As I understand it the right-angle drive needs to turn freely for the orbital vibration to function.

As this function is working I deduce that the problem doesn't lie in the gear box or subsequent right-angle drive shaft.  Therefore the problem would seem to be associated with the engagement gear that I've just reassembled! I'd like to try to figure out what's going on before I take it all apart again. Does anyone have any ideas?

thanks, Sam.