Author Topic: Review of Festool LR32 (583 291)  (Read 7631 times)

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Offline BTDT

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Review of Festool LR32 (583 291)
« on: February 17, 2011, 10:48 AM »
So when we last left our fearless hero, namely me, he had used his trusty TS55 to cut the required stock for a prototype built-in. Given that we want something more functional with shelving we need some way to provide shelving and even better the ability to flexibly adjust the shelving as our family storage requirements change.

Enter the Festool LR32.

Looking in the market there are many alternatives to the Festool LR32. I have not had any experience with any of them so I cannot do a comparative review. When I was making my decision to buy I did take into account the financial cost of the various alternatives. Ultimately I selected the Festool LR32. (I will come back to this in the conclusion.)

Pros
-Although this is not directly related to the LR32 guide the de facto router for the LR32 is a Festool router. I got a kick out of watching the dust swirl around and get sucked away. Totally efficient. (Pictured here are the LR 32 and 1400 ready to go!)

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-The holes were clean and evenly spaced. I worked with MDF as this was what I had on hand for my prototype. Prior experiences with MDF had led me to think that MDF and I had a hate/hate relationship. I am still not on speaking terms with it but I was pleasantly surprised.

-Hole drilling was fast and the mechanics to drill, click and move to the next hole were surprisingly fluid and easy (once I had the guide rail set.) This was my big question about the LR32 and it passed with flying colours. (I also used the tip from Brice/Kreg to work from the far end of the guide rail so that the dust collection hose did not get caught up.)

Cons
-This is related more to operator error and learning curve but I need to develop a better understanding of the 32mm system. At the moment I am doing some trial and error to see what hole placement works for me. I also found that unlike other tools used during this project that the LR32 felt a little unnatural to me. Every other Festool is so well designed that the use seemed intuitive. The placement of the guide rail and holes is something I need to learn.

That said, FOG has a lot of resources to help me overcome this. In fact Kreg’s videos convinced me that it can be easy and I have no doubt the next time I use it that I will be more comfortable. Shown below are the guides that I need to spend more time with to get more comfortable with regarding design/placement options. (Note the guides are easy to use and are pictured here on the far side of the guide rail.)

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- I only did a short cabinet this time but for a taller cabinet the guide rail I have is not long enough. This means that I will need to devise a means to align the LR32 rail with a regular guide rail. (There are plenty of suggestions here on FOG.) This was a cost trade-off decision that I made given that the rail I purchased will cover off 80% of my needs.

Conclusion
The big reason that I went with the LR32 was the fact that it was part of a system of tools. The dust collection, integration with the rail system and clean holes were all pluses. If you plan on using the 32mm system and are a Festool user then I would think that this would be definitely at the top of the list.  (Bonus picture of the holes all ready to go!)

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« Last Edit: February 17, 2011, 11:43 AM by BTDT »

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Offline fritter63

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Re: Review of Festool LR32 (583 291)
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2011, 11:58 AM »
I've never looked that close at a real live LR32 system, so I'd always assumed that the guide rail could do double duty and be used for the TS55 and router guides, but the pictures seem to indicate that it's a different rail altogether.

True?

Offline Tom Bellemare

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Re: Review of Festool LR32 (583 291)
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2011, 12:17 PM »
It's the same rail with slightly elongated holes.


Tom

Offline fritter63

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Re: Review of Festool LR32 (583 291)
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2011, 12:28 PM »
It's the same rail with slightly elongated holes.


Tom

:confused:

So, is the rail pictured above an older version of the Festool rail? It clearly shows only one extrusion ridge (for lack of a better word). Is that
why the current rails are designated FS/2?

Offline Tom Bellemare

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Re: Review of Festool LR32 (583 291)
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2011, 12:30 PM »
Yes


Tom

Offline BTDT

  • Posts: 75
Re: Review of Festool LR32 (583 291)
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2011, 01:25 PM »
Tom got it... I picked the rail up from someone else. The splinter guards are the old solid black ones. Although not necessary, I will be upgrading those to the new transparent ones.

Check out the other LR32 review that was recently done. I think there are some pretty good pictures in there that are likely of a newer rail.

Brad

Offline Tom Bellemare

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Re: Review of Festool LR32 (583 291)
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2011, 02:28 PM »
If you look at the Deflector for Guide Rails, you'll note that it doesn't cover the second ridge. It's a legacy part.


Tom


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