Author Topic: New-User Mind Dump -- RAS 115, RO 150 FEQ, CT Midi, and new RO 90 DX  (Read 6848 times)

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Offline N475

  • Posts: 1
One User’s Festool Mind-Dump
RO 150 FEQ  |  RAS 115  |  RO 90 DX  |  CT Midi


I’m new to Festool in the last eight months, or so.  These tools, and the people that represent the company that makes them, have had enough of an impact on me that I thought it might be helpful to others to share my experiences.

Recently, Festool was kind enough to provide me with an RO 90 DX on a test basis.
I’m probably unworthy of such generosity, but am nonetheless grateful.

Initially, I was very hot to try out this tool.  I am in the middle of a pretty large project (maybe 300 hours of sanding) to remove latex paint from the interior of a yacht.

I started this project months ago, using an RO 150 FEQ matched up with a CT Midi.  I chose the RO 150 using the logic that bigger is better.  It worked okay, but not spectacularly, and I became frustrated with slow progress.  When I was originally looking at which sander to purchase, I also looked at the RAS 115, but was a little intimidated by the tool, felt it was a challenge to control, and that it might be too aggressive.

Not being satisfied with progress using the RO 150, I purchased the RAS 115, to give that a try (the 30 day satisfaction guarantee made that decision a lot easier).  And it’s true, it does take a while to get used to this tool.  However, after many hours of use, I have to say this tool is fantastic for removing paint, and I have become very comfortable using it in any position, either one handed, or with two hands.  In thinking about why it removes paint so well, I have come to a few conclusions – for one, bigger is not necessarily better.  I think the smaller contact area allows the abrasive disk to more aggressively attack the surface.  Paint literally flies off the surface in grains, not dust.  The second conclusion is that pure rotary is more aggressive than rotary orbital (like on the RO 150).  I have been using 24 grit Saphir, which seems to hold up pretty well, but would love to try the Granat, if that becomes available for the RAS 115.

What got me interested in the RAS 115 is that I was looking for a variable speed grinder and came across the 115 in my searching.  I really think the ability to control speed has a big impact on performance in the various situations the tool may be used.  I do wish it had a 5/8” spindle, so standard angle grinder attachments could be used.  I have put a spindle mounted, 5/8” thread, 4 ½” diameter, 36 grit 3M Scotch-Brite™ Bristle Disc Bristle Dischttp://www.shop3m.com/61500189164.html on this tool, and that seems to work okay, but is not a perfect fit.
In general, dust pickup is okay, but not great – but I can understand the limitations.
Bottom line: I really like this tool!

I have a Bosch 6” DA sander that I have used for years, and like a lot.  It has started making strange noises, and the RO 150 makes a nice replacement for that.  The rotary orbital feature is a real plus for fast sanding on surfaces like fairing and high-build primer, then switch to random orbital for finer sanding.  I have no regrets on purchase of the RO 150.

On lots of previous projects, I used the Bosch 6” connected to a standard shop-vac, and did the manual on-off thing to get dust removal from the sander.  This worked, but the manual steps were a pain, and having to knock the dust buildup off the vacuum’s primary filter was dirty work, let alone having to dump loose dust out of the vacuum into the trash – messy.  The CT Midi has been a huge improvement.  It’s the kind of thing that one wonders why / how they ever did it the other way!

I had quite a problem with the paper bags in the CT midi splitting open, and was pretty frustrated with that.  It made a huge mess inside the CT-Midi and clogged the main filter – took about 20 minutes to cleanup each time.  This is where my opinion of Festool took a big jump to the upside.  I called tech support and spoke with someone about this a couple of times.  The first time, the tech sent me a box of replacement filters, thinking I must have had some defective bags.  I thought that was pretty decent and was hopeful.  Tried the replacement bags and had the same problem.  More frustration, so I called back.  The tech had not heard about others having this problem, and had no further ideas, so he suggested I email someone higher on the food chain, and gave me an email address.  Unheard of – I got an almost immediate response.  Apparently I was not the only one, and Festool had just developed a new style bag for the CT Midi, somewhat like the bags in the new, larger models (CT 26E and CT 36E).  I was sent a supply of these new bags, and they have performed flawlessly.  I cannot image receiving this level of service from many other manufactures – I think it is this kind of experience and service that makes people lifelong fans of a product.  The CT Midi has been great for getting into more confined work areas and is perfect for what I need.

So, this finally gets to the new RO 90 DX.  I was really excited about the opportunity to try out this tool on the project I’m working on.  There are a lot of small areas, inside corners, and convex shapes that I thought it would work great on.  What I had not fully realized is the big difference between pure rotary (RAS 115) and rotary orbital, like the RO 150 and RO 90 DX.  I think of the RAS 115 like a planer and the abrasive disk like a planer blade – it just cuts through the work.  Rotary orbital just does not have the same “cutting” action.  Trying to put it up on an edge, and use the outer radius of the paper to “cut” into a convex shape doesn’t seem to work very well (works great on the RAS).  It more vibrates, rather than cuts.  So, in terms of what I had initially hoped to use it for, I have to say I’m disappointed.  I do think for finer work, later in the yacht refit project, that this will be a great little sander, but it just does not have the raw material removal power (even on a size-proportional scale) that I have come to expect after using the RAS 115 (I have gotten pretty good at working the RAS into odd spaces, without letting it cut into the work and leave swirl marks).  Also, trying to use paper with too course a grit (I cut down some 24 grit disks to try on the RO 90 DX) does not seem to work well.  The grit spacing is too large for the orbital action to overcome, so the disk seems to get stuck in place, rather than move and cut – that’s my picture, anyway.  Not sure if it’s even possible, but pure rotary on the RO 90 DX would be very cool!  To be clear, I was disappointed because of my expectations, not by the tool.  I look forward to using the RO 90 DX in the situations it was designed for – it's really unfair to compare the material removal capabilities of the RAS 115 and the RO 90 DX.

Overall, I have been incredibly impressed with the products Festool sells, and the people who represent the company.  The tools are expensive, but that is balanced by the quality of the tools, the level of support offered, the 30 day satisfaction guarantee, and the 1+2 warranty.  It seems like a great deal of thought has been put into the designed and engineered of these tools, which makes them both more effective, and more enjoyable to use – tools designed by engineers, not accountants!

« Last Edit: February 22, 2011, 09:08 PM by N475 »

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Offline Brice Burrell

  • Posts: 7388
Re: New User Mind Dump -- RAS 115, RO 150 FEQ, CT Midi, and new RO 90 DX
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2011, 08:55 PM »
Great first post and welcome to the FOG! [thumbs up]

Offline Sal LiVecchi

  • Posts: 1377
Re: New-User Mind Dump -- RAS 115, RO 150 FEQ, CT Midi, and new RO 90 DX
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2011, 09:33 PM »
My question is about the CT Midi new bags . I have had my share of problems with my midi and I wonder where I can obtain the newer style Midi bags
Life is too short and the road is too long to drive anything less than a Festool

Offline Brice Burrell

  • Posts: 7388
Re: New-User Mind Dump -- RAS 115, RO 150 FEQ, CT Midi, and new RO 90 DX
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2011, 10:20 PM »
My question is about the CT Midi new bags . I have had my share of problems with my midi and I wonder where I can obtain the newer style Midi bags

Nowhere...yet.  We'll see if/when they make it to market.

Offline GaryB

  • Posts: 87
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Re: New-User Mind Dump -- RAS 115, RO 150 FEQ, CT Midi, and new RO 90 DX
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2011, 03:47 AM »
Good info on  the RAS. I've been pondering on whether to get one myself as the size and aggressiveness might be just what I need. The RO 150 is a nice sander but having experienced 24 grit on even a 2" disk was an eye opener as to how fast material can be removed for shaping.

Offline ScotF

  • Posts: 2887
Re: New-User Mind Dump -- RAS 115, RO 150 FEQ, CT Midi, and new RO 90 DX
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2011, 10:17 AM »
Just curious - since the RO90 has not shipped yet, how have you been able to get your hands on one to try out? 

Scot

Offline jonny round boy

  • Posts: 3227
Re: New-User Mind Dump -- RAS 115, RO 150 FEQ, CT Midi, and new RO 90 DX
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2011, 10:58 AM »
Just curious - since the RO90 has not shipped yet, how have you been able to get your hands on one to try out? 

Scot


Recently, Festool was kind enough to provide me with an RO 90 DX on a test basis.


 [big grin]
Festoolian since February 2006

TS55R EBQ saw - CTL26 - CTL Mini - OF1400EBQ router - KS120 Kapex SCMS - ETS150/3 sander - RO90 sander - DF500 Domino - PDC18/4 drill - PSC420 jigsaw - OFK500 trimmer

Wish list (in no particular order!): Anything not listed above....

Offline USPcompact

  • Posts: 95
Re: New-User Mind Dump -- RAS 115, RO 150 FEQ, CT Midi, and new RO 90 DX
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2011, 10:11 PM »
Just curious - since the RO90 has not shipped yet, how have you been able to get your hands on one to try out? 

Scot

It's shipped.   ;D