Author Topic: Carvex and CMS-PS module first impressions  (Read 23238 times)

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Offline Reiska

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Carvex and CMS-PS module first impressions
« on: June 27, 2012, 02:47 PM »
Since I acquired a battery operated Carvex last month and today my CMS-PS module arrived I thought I'd take it for a little test drive.

I must say up front that I was not very impressed to say the least  [sad]

First of all the Carvex attaches to the CMS-module with the guiderail base which is plastic and if you tighten the CMS-module holder you will press the centre of the plastic base (zero insert part) above the aluminum table level. This is correctable by backing off a bit on the base holder screws tightness, but a bit 'low quality' from the otherwise solid aluminium CMS-system.

53037-0

On a positive note the Carvex detachable base system make the swapping of the tool in and out of the CMS-module a breeze and I can see where JMB is coming from with his repeated requests for a similar attachment for the OF2200 router to the CMS-OF module since it has similarly quick swappable face plates. The attachment of the ADT-PS-400 adapter to the CMS-PS module is the simplest of all CMS-attachments I've seen just one screw and that's it.

53039-1

Once I got the connector plate aligned with the CMS-modules surface I tried it without dust extraction. This proved to be disastrous with dust flying all over the place. Then I attempted to attach the CT to the Carvex dust port to find out that you cannot twist the 27mm AS hose enough when attached to the dust port of the Carvex to lower the CMS-PS module into the base comfortably. Maybe a 90-deg hose connector would make it possible to attach the hose above table, but I don't have one to try.

After wiggling the hose into place under the table and giving it another try of sawing it did markedly better in getting rid of the under table dust and to a lesser extent diminish the amount of dust flying at my face above the work piece. You still have to puff and pant to see your cut line since there is no above table suction or blower and since the stroboscopic light is on the underside of the work piece you have to try to find the blades location from the side since its invisible from the front like any jigsaw would be.

53041-2

When the battery is in place you can barely fit the hose in between the table and the battery and you have to insert it under the table once the module is locked in place. Another annoyance is that since this is a battery model you cannot use the mains on-off button on the CMS-GE to operate the jigsaw but you have to dip your hand under the table to use the switches on the body of the tool.

53043-3

Therefore my first observation is that the battery operated Carvexes are not a good fit for the CMS-PS attachment. This is precisely the reason why I added a mains to Festool battery connector to the wish list and now I would also add to my original wish that the adapter should be made thinner than a regular 15V battery to make more space for the DC hose under here. I'm writing this first part of the review while waiting for the battery to recharge - I got about 15min worth of sawing out of the first run. For the record the battery was not full to start with so we'll see about the runtime after a full recharge.

Another annoyance I found while trying to saw a trivet out of semi-hard wood with a swirl pattern to it was the automatic speed sensing of the Carvex. For some reason you get maximum cutting speed only in automatic mode which takes a bit to react to material contact and resistance and then it kicks the saw to full tilt. This resulted in many ruined round edges on my first practice piece when the sudden speed change sucked the blade an unintended 1-2mm in the wrong direction. Unfortunately the saw doesn't cut very effectively in the next fastest non-variable speed mode (5) unless you add some swing action to it. The wavy line below is the result of the saw not deciding will it stay in full speed mode or not and 'pumping' between speeds at random while I tried to make a circle.

53045-4

Also the blade support of the Carvex seems to let the blade twist a bit when trying to cut tight round corners in table mode as can be seen in the rather mangled zero clearance insert that was pristine before I started and now has a large hole around the blade where it has turned when turning the work piece.

53047-5

This happened when the blade decided to get caught in the cut and threw the whole piece up and did a bit of a rattle dance on the bottom of it:

53049-6

Now that I have a full battery I got to observe another issue with the hose + battery space - you can't insert the battery back in with the hose attached:

53051-7

As you can see the end result of this trial was not anything like the one I did free hand with my old Makita for Christmas  [sad]

53054-8

53056-9

Then I tested another great idea of mine to use it as a bandsaw replacement with the angle guide fence from my CMS-TS module. This turned out to be a disaster too since the blade just began bending out from the fence and cut at an angle outwards. No good. Also the blade will bend outwards from the fence since it has nothing to support it from above to stay square.

53058-10

53060-11

Other observations include:

- Blade change requires the release of the saw from the module which in practice means that you need to flip the module around to access the quick release latch of the saw. Can't be done conveniently from above. (when zero insert is used)
- The Carvex blade column does not stop at the top position of it's travel at power off always which means that to release the blade you need to push manually the blade up for the release latch to get contact with the blade column's release notch
- While in the CMS module the jigsaw cannot be tilted since the guiderail base does not have any moving parts

So to sum up my first impressions:

As far as I can tell this can be used only for cutting free hand along a of reasonably straight line and not much else. As you saw above resawing wood with it is futile since the blade doesn't have support from its tip to stay square against the pressure of a fence nor can it be used in a good way to do tight curves either. So far this seems my worst Festool purchase up to date.  [doh]

I can see the mains version of a Carvex working in this CMS attachment better since it lacks the bulk of a battery, can be patched thru the CMS-GE's power switch and doesn't run out of juice every half-hour. Probably even better idea would be to just get the package PS300 with the module and keep it permanently attached to it and use your Carvex for free-hand/guide rail work only. Or to be honest probably the best idea is to get a proper bandsaw and scroll saw and forget about this module.

Any ideas on what this setup would shine at are welcome.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2012, 02:53 PM by Reiska »
The sky's the limit in my workshop, literally. [big grin]

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Offline RL

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Re: Carvex and CMS-PS module first impressions
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2012, 03:03 PM »
Reduce the size to 800 x 600 pixels.

I am interested in your review as I was considering getting a CMS jigsaw module soon. Do you have any experience with the Trion and its CMS module? I wonder whether it is better than the Carvex. It seems as if many of your complaints are specific to the Carvex and particularly the battery-operated ones.

Thanks.

Offline Davej

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Re: Carvex and CMS-PS module first impressions
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2012, 03:27 PM »
What blade where you using , i tried my mains carvex  bolted upside down with the guiderail base to my prototype work bench and cut 40mm worktop dead square and straight, i also tried a curve with a radius of about 150mm in 18mm melamine and that was almost perfect but only with the thicker fsg blade. If i can take some pics or video and work out how to post them to show you i will . got to agree about the dust tho
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Offline Reiska

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Re: Carvex and CMS-PS module first impressions
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2012, 03:55 PM »
Richard: I don't have first hand Trion experience barring seeing the combination at the Festool showroom. If I can recall correctly it has a more solid attachment to the CMS module - maybe directly with the standard base? That might enable some tilting as well but this is purely speculation on my part.

Dave: For the tight curves of the trivets I used a new Craftomat HCS 3mm deep blade that is identical to the one I used freehand last time for the same task and for the resawing trial I used the Festool HS75 Bi blade. As long as the work piece is not run against a fence or rotated tightly the blades cut square and especially the under side with the zero-insert still intact gave a perfect cut too.

My main gripes are that the battery Carvex does not fit very well into the CMS-module that is clearly designed for the mains operated models and actually was originally designed for the Trion. This mismatch combined with the ergonomics loss of not being able to use the CMS base module power switches just underline the gap.

Also I guess my expectation what one can do with having a jigsaw upside down on a table module have been incorrect since I expected to be able to do this kind of light scrollsawish work with my Carvex and be able to cut circles with a radius <20mm as well as use it as a 'poor mans' bandsaw to cut small strips from boards with the fence setup. Both of these failed miserably and I'm out of ideas what else could this be used for. Unfortunately there is no documentation or usage suggestions on Festools website (UK, Finland) that I could find.
The sky's the limit in my workshop, literally. [big grin]

Offline jmbfestool

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Re: Carvex and CMS-PS module first impressions
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2012, 04:16 PM »
Thanks for the review very nice!  I have been interested in the CMS module for the carvex but have considered making my own because I rather integrate the quick release feature of the carvex.   So basically have a spare metal sqaure base attached to my own module and I can just clip the carvex into place.  Not like how festool does it with more bits and pieces they are just annoying.   Basically if you seen my video of the OF2200 how mine now just clips into place thats how I would like my carvex to be like.

JMB
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Offline Davej

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Re: Carvex and CMS-PS module first impressions
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2012, 04:43 PM »
Thanks for the review very nice!  I have been interested in the CMS module for the carvex but have considered making my own because I rather integrate the quick release feature of the carvex.   So basically have a spare metal sqaure base attached to my own module and I can just clip the carvex into place.  Not like how festool does it with more bits and pieces they are just annoying.   Basically if you seen my video of the OF2200 how mine now just clips into place thats how I would like my carvex to be like.

JMB

my base is permanently bolted to a 12mm birch ply bench as i found that using it on the guide rail was a waste of time due to the play when running along the guide rail  ( you have to push it into the rail to guarantee a straight cut so makes the base a bit redundant really ) . I would think , as i have done , its easier just to leave the base attached to your top and just unclip the jigsaw and clip on standard base for normal operation
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Offline Alan m

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Re: Carvex and CMS-PS module first impressions
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2012, 04:44 PM »
i would buy a second base for it and leave that in the table
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Offline Reiska

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Re: Carvex and CMS-PS module first impressions
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2012, 05:07 PM »
I bought a second base for the CMS module and it works as expected - no need to remove the ADT-PS-400 base from the CMS module - just unclip the Carvex. The extra base costs 11€ so it's a no brainer.

You can unclip the Carvex blindly from the base by feel, but it is safer and easier to rotate the CMS module over to release the saw from the base.
The sky's the limit in my workshop, literally. [big grin]

Offline VSM_4

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Re: Carvex and CMS-PS module first impressions
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2012, 06:21 PM »
I am far from the safety police, but two things in your review concern me:  The inability to turn off the saw immediately, and the automatic speed control. 

I am not sure if I would like a saw that speeds up on its own.  I have never used a carvex, so maybe the auto speed control is intuitive. 

Would you try the same project upright, to see how it compares with your old Makita? 



 
Vinny

Offline Kev

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Re: Carvex and CMS-PS module first impressions
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2012, 06:46 PM »
I'm a fan of CMS in concept, but little things are holding me back ... particularly the fitting and removal processes. Though my CARVEX is mains, this review has me doubting the benefits of CMS if I'd be alternating TS75 and OF2200 modules and adding a bandsaw to the mix (currently undecided about "how big").

Obviously you wouldn't cart a shop bandsaw to a work site and this is where the CMS+jigsaw absolutely shines ... even though that's not an issue for me, space still is.

Sorry to hear this isn't great for you Reiska  [sad]

Offline Reiska

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Re: Carvex and CMS-PS module first impressions
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2012, 07:31 PM »
I am far from the safety police, but two things in your review concern me:  The inability to turn off the saw immediately, and the automatic speed control. 
I am not sure if I would like a saw that speeds up on its own.  I have never used a carvex, so maybe the auto speed control is intuitive. 

I totally agree that the power switch is in an ill position when you need to reach under the table to switch the saw on or off. I seriously do hope that someone at Festool R&D get the message about developing a slim-line mains-to-battery interface adapter so that the battery versions could be converted to mains pluggable version in this situation (or when long running time is required) so that I could use the proper emergency stop switch.

It is quite intuitive (two positions idle - full speed) as long as you make cuts that you have a constant feed going on so that the automatic speed controller senses constant drag on the blade and keeps the speed up. There is a slight delay before the saw goes back into idle mode so you are allowed minute breaks in constant feed, but we are only talking about a couple of seconds delay. What makes it go haywire in this example is the fact that since I'm trying to cut a rather complicated tightening spiral curve into this piece of wood I need to pause every so often to reposition my hands for the next part of the arch and during that time the speed control decides to drop down to idle mode again and then it takes a bit of drag on the blade again to reactivate the speed up. It's this idle-full speed-idle-full speed-idle cycle that ruined the outer curve in the example piece above. You have to press an idling blade into the material to engage the automatic accelerator, then it will 'lunge' forward when the power kicks in, but because you are trying to stay on a tight curve and the lunge effectively runs straight you will ruin the curve.

I did some more trial & error before our evening silence @ 10 p.m. and found that one can do more controllable cutting with constant speed set to 5 and swing set to 1 (instead of zero swing with auto speed). Not as fast, but much more controllable. Still does not make tight curves any easier i.e. at the centre of the spiral I had to cut from both directions and cut the curves wide to 'meet in the middle' instead of being able to just cut along the d=20mm end curve.

I'll definitely try doing a free hand cut tomorrow after work if it doesn't rain since I still have three trivet pairs to cut and just managed to sell off my Makita... I actually hope that here the cordless Carvex will shine since the power cord was constantly in a knot around the saw when I was cutting these with my corded Makita. Just hope that I won't make too many more scrap ones. I'll see if something can be saved with generous rounding with my Dremel, but it will result in a loose spiral pair.

Also I'll try to verify if it is the blade itself twisting with the work piece and denting the zero insert or is it twisting from the saws blade socket - not totally sold on the merits of the Festool blade change mechanism either - it doesn't seem as rugged as my old Makitas one is. At least the Makita will release the blade every time without fail since the lever is more solidly attached to the blade socket whereas the Carves has this push rod in the barrel grip that's supposed to make contact with a small protrusion on the side of the blade socket to twist it open and it will hit thin air if the blade isn't fully retracted into the saw, which it isn't most of the time when I turn the motor off, so you need to manually push the blade in before you can eject it. The Festool showroom one had the release rod somehow bent so badly that it didn't make contact with the blade socket at all ergo you could not eject a blade without pressing the rod against the socket when sliding the release. Of course those showroom tools had all gotten a serious beating so mine will probably never get into that sort of condition with the amount of use it will see.
The sky's the limit in my workshop, literally. [big grin]

Offline Reiska

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Re: Carvex and CMS-PS module first impressions
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2012, 07:48 PM »
As you well know Kev, I'm not going further 'onsite' than my own back yard and have similar space constraints as you seem to have. I can't fit a band saw anywhere nor a scroll saw at the moment so that's why I bought into the CMS system with my OF, TS and now PS inserts.

As long as you have dedicated machines to put into the inserts like the TS75 & OF2.2k and maybe a Trion and use a TS55, OF1010 and a Carvex for hand held operations and keep the permanently attached machines in the modules on a shelf (or dadoed into a cupboard frame to be the shelves themselves) it's literally a matter of seconds to swap from one machine to another and the main work will be with conversion to router mode with the heavy router fence installation and the moving of the electric plug & DC hose. Attaching and detaching the machines from the inserts is not too time consuming either, but is a slight hassle.

Now on the downside of the CMS system is that when you do get into getting the extension tables, sliding table and precision fence you will suddenly have a large pile of accessories lying around that don't fit into a systainer of any size nor in most cupboards unless they fit vertically in it. So the space you save compared to stationary machines will be somewhat lost to the jigsaw puzzle of loose parts unless you can keep the base unit out and assembled most of the time.

I also find the tilting of the TS saw not very convenient to set under the table with two knobs compared to proper table saws with a single cogwheel for setting the angle precisely.
The sky's the limit in my workshop, literally. [big grin]

Offline Timtool

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Re: Carvex and CMS-PS module first impressions
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2012, 02:27 AM »
In my homemade jigsaw table i found that the carvex works best with the speed set as low as possible, there is less vibration and a lower tendency to catch and throw the workpiece in the air. Also the automatic speed thing will not work if the speed is not set on "5", and the strobe light turns off when you put the saw upside down.

My carvex is a mains one, so i need to block the switch in on position with the special little key, connect it to the vac and turn it on/off with the vac button which feels rather safe.

Personally i find the on/off switch dangerous on the barrel carvex, it's a push switch that doesn't stay in position, you push it forward to turn the saw on, the switch comes back in position, and to turn it off you must push it forward again. I cannot reach the switch with any of my fingers when i am holding the saw normally, it's too far up front. So to turn it on/off i must hold it upside down or on it's side and crawl my hands forward or let it slip down so i can reach the switch, and i have normal sized hands.
I see no practical reason why they did that, other than making it more annoying/dangerous to use.
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Offline Nigel

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Re: Carvex and CMS-PS module first impressions
« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2012, 12:02 PM »


Now on the downside of the CMS system is that when you do get into getting the extension tables, sliding table and precision fence you will suddenly have a large pile of accessories lying around that don't fit into a systainer of any size nor in most cupboards unless they fit vertically in it. So the space you save compared to stationary machines will be somewhat lost to the jigsaw puzzle of loose parts unless you can keep the base unit out and assembled most of the time.



If you use a dedicated shelf system it all stores quite well. I think Festool make something specific like that for the modules and accessories. I always have the base unit assembled with at least a module though.

Offline RL

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Re: Carvex and CMS-PS module first impressions
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2012, 01:02 PM »


Now on the downside of the CMS system is that when you do get into getting the extension tables, sliding table and precision fence you will suddenly have a large pile of accessories lying around that don't fit into a systainer of any size nor in most cupboards unless they fit vertically in it. So the space you save compared to stationary machines will be somewhat lost to the jigsaw puzzle of loose parts unless you can keep the base unit out and assembled most of the time.



If you use a dedicated shelf system it all stores quite well. I think Festool make something specific like that for the modules and accessories. I always have the base unit assembled with at least a module though.

Nigel,

Festool make something to store the modules, but Reiska is right when he says there are a ton of accessories that remain "homeless." I just have the CMS router module, but I have a systainer dedicated to all the bits and bobs it comes with, and the fence itself is somewhere else. I wish there was a way to store it all more conveniently.

Richard.

Offline Nigel

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Re: Carvex and CMS-PS module first impressions
« Reply #15 on: June 30, 2012, 07:48 AM »
Richard,

Well I just have shelves for the fence and modules. All that's left is the locating tongue ' thingy' which screws to the module and then that leaves the curved routing accessories ....unless I've forgotten something Yes there are some bit's to store . I just don't think it's anything like having stationary machines which was Reiska's comment. How much space would you need for table saw with sliding table,a band saw and a router table or spindle moulder etc ? If you have a belt sander and module you could add that as well.  Using the shelf type system the sliding table,module,fences and extension tables can be easily stored in a small wall space the only thing left that I can think of is the curved routing gear and clearance plates which is tiny...I store all those with my cutters.

Nigel.

Offline Reiska

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Re: Carvex and CMS-PS module first impressions
« Reply #16 on: June 30, 2012, 02:42 PM »
My comment regarding the bits and bobs stem from my lack of a dedicated or even semi-dedicated shop space. Therefore I need to dismantle everything after every use entirely and pack them away. I don't have a large enough space to purchase the CMS storage tower from Festool, but I'm looking seriously into converting the space I have under the stairs to host the entire CMS system in an orderly fashion. Just need to make up my mind will I ever get the belt sander module to round up my collection or not ;-)
The sky's the limit in my workshop, literally. [big grin]

Offline Bainiet

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Re: Carvex and CMS-PS module first impressions
« Reply #17 on: June 30, 2012, 04:13 PM »
Hi Reiska,

Sorry to hear that you have so much trouble with the new carvex and the CMS. I have the Trion PS300 and it works great. Changing a blade is a breeze and if installed with a original Festool blade (check their thickness) I normally don't experience any bending of the blade.

Like you I would like to add the CMS BS 120 but the paper size is holding me back. I fear that once Festool stop producing the sander, I can't get hold of new sandpaper.  :'(

Fortunately my CMS can be stored on top of the MFT3 with the sliding table and extension table still attached but the loose pieces must be stored separate in a box or something. Just take that pill and store the pieces in a box or something and keep them handy. I store my 'spare powercords', curved routing gear + clearance plates + key, the spanners for the MFT, the transparant OF-FH 2200 (495246 an ideal extended baseplate by the way), spare zero clearance pieces for the Trion and the TS75 and some more stuff in a dedicated box. A similar box contains my measuring tools and squares. I don't have any problem with that, store it properly and you can find it easily. The additional guiding rail, the MFS700 and of course several dedicated jiggs are on the wall. Everything has it place now and I plan to keep it like that the upcoming years. Think SYSTEM and expand it to make it work for you...
Why does the stockpile of white+green boxes grow? It started with just 1, now it's over 27. Where does it stop?

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Offline Nigel

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Re: Carvex and CMS-PS module first impressions
« Reply #18 on: July 01, 2012, 03:17 AM »
My comment regarding the bits and bobs stem from my lack of a dedicated or even semi-dedicated shop space. Therefore I need to dismantle everything after every use entirely and pack them away. I don't have a large enough space to purchase the CMS storage tower from Festool, but I'm looking seriously into converting the space I have under the stairs to host the entire CMS system in an orderly fashion. Just need to make up my mind will I ever get the belt sander module to round up my collection or not ;-)

Reiska,

That must be a pain having to pack everything away all the time. You don't have to have space for the module tower. I just use simple adjustable shelf brackets like these as hangers/pegs for the various parts which sit on instead of the shelf. You could get something in a small space or under the stairs. Very cheap [smile]

Nigel.

http://www.terrific-designs.com/adjustable-shelf-brackets-pictures-selections-and-galleries/adjustable-shelf-brackets-4/

Offline jmbfestool

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Re: Carvex and CMS-PS module first impressions
« Reply #19 on: July 01, 2012, 04:15 AM »
My comment regarding the bits and bobs stem from my lack of a dedicated or even semi-dedicated shop space. Therefore I need to dismantle everything after every use entirely and pack them away. I don't have a large enough space to purchase the CMS storage tower from Festool, but I'm looking seriously into converting the space I have under the stairs to host the entire CMS system in an orderly fashion. Just need to make up my mind will I ever get the belt sander module to round up my collection or not ;-)

Reiska,

That must be a pain having to pack everything away all the time. You don't have to have space for the module tower. I just use simple adjustable shelf brackets like these as hangers/pegs for the various parts which sit on instead of the shelf. You could get something in a small space or under the stairs. Very cheap [smile]

Nigel.

http://www.terrific-designs.com/adjustable-shelf-brackets-pictures-selections-and-galleries/adjustable-shelf-brackets-4/

I use the same shelf brackets
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Offline Kev

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Re: Carvex and CMS-PS module first impressions
« Reply #20 on: July 01, 2012, 04:51 AM »
My comment regarding the bits and bobs stem from my lack of a dedicated or even semi-dedicated shop space. Therefore I need to dismantle everything after every use entirely and pack them away. I don't have a large enough space to purchase the CMS storage tower from Festool, but I'm looking seriously into converting the space I have under the stairs to host the entire CMS system in an orderly fashion. Just need to make up my mind will I ever get the belt sander module to round up my collection or not ;-)

Reiska,

That must be a pain having to pack everything away all the time. You don't have to have space for the module tower. I just use simple adjustable shelf brackets like these as hangers/pegs for the various parts which sit on instead of the shelf. You could get something in a small space or under the stairs. Very cheap [smile]

Nigel.

http://www.terrific-designs.com/adjustable-shelf-brackets-pictures-selections-and-galleries/adjustable-shelf-brackets-4/

I use the same shelf brackets

Me too - particularly handy for guide rails, etc ... you can set them fairly close.

Offline Reiska

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Re: Carvex and CMS-PS module first impressions
« Reply #21 on: July 08, 2012, 02:37 PM »
They sell those shelving systems here under the Elfa brand and I have some in the walk-in closets.

I was thinking about building a frame with dadoes at suitable width and heights to slide the different modules lenghtwise under the stairs since the space is 900mm deep and make cubbies on the floor level to store the CMS-GE base module and my Bosch mitre saw on its plywood rollerboard.

If space permits I'm hoping to make a few 900mm deep drawers or shelves there too to store the large random bits.

I'll need to find some quality time with Sketchup and a tape measure ;-)
The sky's the limit in my workshop, literally. [big grin]

Offline Reiska

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Re: Carvex and CMS-PS module first impressions
« Reply #22 on: July 14, 2012, 03:47 AM »
Oh, jolly great - now that I reread the manual of the CMS-PS (which is btw. in a sealed plastic bag so one cannot really ask it to be opened at the store) to find out in the fine print that the module is not even supposed to be compatible with ANY OF THE BATTERY OPERATED CARVEX MODELS and happily this not mentioned in any reasonable way on any of the Festool websites.  [mad] [censored]

For example the UK site states:

--- Snip ---
Description:
•    for installing the PS 200, PS 300, PSB 300, PS 2, PS 1 as a jigsaw module
•    PS 400 can be used via adapter table ADT-PS 400
--- Snip ---

From which the casual reader should somehow understand that only the PS400 and the PSB400 are compatible and that neither the PSC400, that I have, nor the PSBC400 models are not compatible with the darn module!?!

No wonder I had all that trouble in using and getting DC connected up with my PSC400 Carvex... Bummer that we don't have a 30 day return policy in Finland [sad]
The sky's the limit in my workshop, literally. [big grin]

Offline Frans

  • Posts: 113
Re: Carvex and CMS-PS module first impressions
« Reply #23 on: July 16, 2012, 09:50 AM »
My comment regarding the bits and bobs stem from my lack of a dedicated or even semi-dedicated shop space. Therefore I need to dismantle everything after every use entirely and pack them away. I don't have a large enough space to purchase the CMS storage tower from Festool, but I'm looking seriously into converting the space I have under the stairs to host the entire CMS system in an orderly fashion. Just need to make up my mind will I ever get the belt sander module to round up my collection or not ;-)

I sold my CMB120 and bought an old Basis 3 module (disc and spindle sander). This fits nicely into a Systainer 4, except for one of the plates which is about 2cm too tall. Would fit a Systainer 5 though.


Offline Acrobat

  • Posts: 469
Re: Carvex and CMS-PS module first impressions
« Reply #24 on: February 11, 2013, 06:15 PM »
Also I'll try to verify if it is the blade itself twisting with the work piece and denting the zero insert or is it twisting from the saws blade socket - not totally sold on the merits of the Festool blade change mechanism either - it doesn't seem as rugged as my old Makitas one is. At least the Makita will release the blade every time without fail since the lever is more solidly attached to the blade socket whereas the Carves has this push rod in the barrel grip that's supposed to make contact with a small protrusion on the side of the blade socket to twist it open and it will hit thin air if the blade isn't fully retracted into the saw, which it isn't most of the time when I turn the motor off, so you need to manually push the blade in before you can eject it. The Festool showroom one had the release rod somehow bent so badly that it didn't make contact with the blade socket at all ergo you could not eject a blade without pressing the rod against the socket when sliding the release. Of course those showroom tools had all gotten a serious beating so mine will probably never get into that sort of condition with the amount of use it will see.

Reiska, That was a great write up and excellent photos, really shows  exactly what's going on and how to fit all etc.
Have you had a play with any of the new Carvex blades or even the trion blades?
I am thinking of getting the exactly same CMS/carvex set up, as I have ordered a cordless carvex and am picking up a second hand cms table. I probably wouldn't be using the jigsaw much in the cms, so it's handier for me to go cordless with that. A bummer its not specifically made to go in a cms module, but from your attempts it appears very close and achievable, so in the times I need it there I'll give it a go. Would love to have it working as a poor mans bandsaw as well.
Next, how long did the battery last?

From what I've read here, there seems to be two distinct camps regarding peoples experiences with the carvex. Old 400 versions not the best, new 420s much improved with alot saying they are happy with them but some seem to have major issues even with the new version 420's. Most seem to indicate the blades make the biggest difference, so I assume getting and using the latest carvex blades are the way to go.

I'm a tad nervous in getting the carvex, but at least the 30day right of return is applicable here in middle earth, so it may be upgraded to the more expensive corded version if necessary.



Don't wake me, I'm livin' the dream!

Offline Reiska

  • Posts: 1175
  • Hackers build things, Crackers break them.
Re: Carvex and CMS-PS module first impressions
« Reply #25 on: February 11, 2013, 07:57 PM »
Hello Acrobat,

I actually gave up with the PSC400 I had after a couple of fruitless back & forth to TTS Repair Service and a week of light treatment each time and still the blade jumping out of the guide every time I tried to cut tight curves.

Ended up ebaying the PSC400 and instead I've now purchased a corded barrel grip PS420, after the generally positive feedback its gotten on the forum, to stick into my CMS module.

Haven't had a chance to try it out yet but will probably do an update to this write-up once the snow melts from my back yard and I can get my "workshop" back up and running for the summer.

As you can see from my write-up above, you can technically attach the battery models to the CMS-PS insert and use the jigsaw without dust collection.

Its just quite dodgy with the power switch under the table, no emergency off switch and shortish battery life of about 15min / battery (2.6Ah/15V).

The battery model has enough runtime for the odd cut here and there in a non-trivial place, but I would not try to use one for any time consuming tasks or at least be prepared with min. three batteries to swap in and out & recharge every few minutes. I only had one battery for the jigsaw and I don't own other C/T-type Festools with batteries so working a bit less than it takes to recharge the battery leads to frustration really quickly.

I've got a few of the thicker (or actually non-tapered front-to-back) Carvex labelled blades and I did try them on the PSC400 before I gave up. They did cut better and didn't wander/jump out as frequently, but that just isn't good enough for me since mostly I use the thinnest possible 'scrolling' blade for cutting shapes into hardwood. Can't use the thick 'carvex' blades for that.

Now that I've read a bit more about how you are supposed to use a band saw/scroll saw (i.e. feel the natural twist of the blade and adjust the freehand feed direction to the band saws characteristics) I guess one could do something similar with the CMS-PS mounted Carvex or Trion, but clearly re-sawing against a fence and expecting table saw like precision won't work because the jigsaw blade has nothing to support its tip from twisting vs. band/scroll saw blade is guided from both ends so its not so prone to flex from the pressure of the wood trapped between the blade and the fence.
The sky's the limit in my workshop, literally. [big grin]

Offline Acrobat

  • Posts: 469
Re: Carvex and CMS-PS module first impressions
« Reply #26 on: February 11, 2013, 09:04 PM »
Hi Reiska,
I have an old Triton router table I still use quite a bit, and it came with an insertable jigsaw module, which has an overhead stabiliser attachment that fits onto the side of the table through a hole, .and when fitted, it tries to eliminate the blade wander. I haven't used it in years and forgot all about it, and am now curious to see what happens when placing a festool jigsaw in it. (Not sure how the whole assembly would fit in a festool cms table though- their plate is a different size altogether).
Heres what Triton came up with for their Router tables jigsaw insert, something that festool may look at and see if they can improve on perhaps.
http://www.tritontools.com/Product/330010. A very inexpensive attachment, even has a hose for dust extraction.

Note it uses little blocks of Hardwood either side of the blade, which are adjustable to fit blade thickness to help prevent wander. Not sure how effective they are from memory but since I have it I'll give it a go. It might just do the job for those few times I need to put a jigsaw in a table and it might be a down and dirty bandsaw:-)

As for the battery running out quickly thats surprises me it went down after 15 mins, but I do have other festools and a charger so for me not a major problem to swap and have one on charge as well.

If I get time I'll test it all out and post pics and report on it here
Don't wake me, I'm livin' the dream!

Offline Acrobat

  • Posts: 469
Carvex first impressions
« Reply #27 on: February 13, 2013, 06:07 PM »
Well, got the Carvex 420 barrel grip model yesterday, came as a "Basic" kit, i.e no battery or charger, so a much cheaper package as I already have a few batteries and a charger from my drills. First off, a couple of things...
Barrel grip is quite large and boy its a heavy tool, and I am finding the on/off switches hard to reach whilst holding it. I have not got big hands so think someone with large hands it would suit better. I find I have to use my other hand or remove my hand and reposition it to find the switch to turn it on/off. I feel it feels unsafe doing this. I would like it to have trigger switch preferably, so may end up changing it over to the standard shape jigsaw and try that.
In reading the manual that comes with it if one can call it that :-), it states to tighten the blade so there is just a slight bit of play either side of blade. This seems a bit of guess work and I found I tightened it up to what I thought was correct only to find the blade travels back and forth in the v guide. Seems alot of play there?  So I ended up pushing the blade back hard against the stop and adjusting the guide width to the narrow width then letting the blade flop forward. Seems to work, but I don't get why the play in the first place. I guess its the pendulum motion so it must require that sloppyness movement? At least the blade didn't travel sideways and kept in the v guide ok. Not much marking on sides of blade so it must be fitted ok.
Tested out a few cuts in 17mm ply and 18mm mdf, seems fine to me, but I did notice halfway along a cut (about 300mm (-12 inches) it suddenly slowed and felt like it was jamming, it appeared the dust extraction wasn't doing much, and some chips were getting in the path of the cut. Once physically blown away it seemed to go fine again. I did set the vac on full and on manual start but still heaps of chips.
I got the circle cutter attachment and foot on special as well, so thought I'd try it out.
Tried the foot buy itself on a guide rail. Bit of a sloppy fit and there is no adjustment possible so had to push it hard against rail else it wandered a mm or so. Think I will put some tape inside the plastic foot to get a tighter fit if I use it with rail. Apart from that it did do a nice straight cut in the ply. No wandering off. Cuts pretty well 90.
Next I tried the circle cutter. So wanted to try this out.
What a great gizmoy! I clamped down a board, drilled the 4mm centre hole and drew the circle. Drilled a larger hole near the initial cut for blade to fit, then attached it to the jigsaw and proceeded to cut in the recommended anti-clockwise direction. Sweet as your nanna. I'm impressed, but the size of the hole is different to the size I was expecting. Unless I am doing something wrong, there were no detailed instructions on its use, so I may have set it up wrong. I'll make a few attempts and see. Maybe its something to factor in, blade width I'm guessing or simply didn't set the tape size right.
Next I just went crazy and wandered with the jigsaw all through some boards seeing how tight or straight I could do freehand, chip out was minimal on top once I installed the chip splinter guard, none underneath, . Of course I didn't read the manual (duh) and so inserted it and pushed it in a bit, turned the jigsaw on then pushed it all the way in flush with shoefront straight away. Manual states to leave it 3mm forward so one can use it again and re fit it for extended use. Never mind, it's on and works a.o.k, and I assume (but cannot find on website any reference to spare splinterguards) one can get spares of that cheaply enough.
Battery ran out half way through a cut, but I had played a bit with it a bit, so I'm hoping it has enough juice to do most DIY and general reno work I need it to without changing too often, but alot quicker drain that any drill I have, so that's something that took me by surprise, yes even though I read it here beforehand.
Lights are good and I get the upside down - off thing. Lights work fine for me as they are, so I doubt whether I will change their default settings.
Manual is a bit vague on settings in my opinion and I agree with Peter from England there. I've never used a pendulum jigsaw before so no idea what means what and what each setting does or how it effects things.
Tool itself seems quite tough, solid and blade change is sweet. I really like that - my other jigsaw has two screws to hold a blade in - B&D, circa 1756 or something ha ha, so a leap from that for me. The foot changing is easy too. Like that. But unless one changes the foot you can't have it set to any angle other than 90. Seems a shame to have to swap shoes to just do that.
All in all for a first evenings trial, I like it, apart from the hard to reach power switch, I may just be retiring my old faithful B&D jigsaw.
First job to trim some bargeboards up high on a ladder so I'm glad it's a battery model.


Don't wake me, I'm livin' the dream!

Offline Reiska

  • Posts: 1175
  • Hackers build things, Crackers break them.
Re: Carvex and CMS-PS module first impressions
« Reply #28 on: February 14, 2013, 09:14 AM »
The body of the handle model is about the same size as the barrel model, but the handle itself is actually quite thin - to the point of not being comfortable in my medium sized hands.

If you like using a handle model jigsaw and have smallish hands you might actually like it and the handle trigger is also 'analog' in the sense that you can control running speed with the amount you depress the button vs. the on/off behavior of the barrel models power buttons.

I find the barrel models power buttons to be a bit too far front for one hand use too, but can't say its a show stopper. I preferred my old Makita's switch positioning and solid on and off positions that a visually distinguishable.
The sky's the limit in my workshop, literally. [big grin]