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FESTOOL DISCUSSIONS => Festool Tool Reviews => Topic started by: Scott Burt on June 05, 2012, 12:42 PM

Title: Surfix Review and Demonstration
Post by: Scott Burt on June 05, 2012, 12:42 PM
For all you wood snobs...

http://topcoatreview.com/2012/06/surfix/ (http://topcoatreview.com/2012/06/surfix/)

Video demo of Surfix application sequence included. 

Title: Re: Surfix Review and Demonstration
Post by: ScotF on June 05, 2012, 01:41 PM
Thanks for posting this, Scott.  Good video and review.  Have you tackled any projects without wide open expanses?  How has the Surfix worked in those situations?

Scot
Title: Re: Surfix Review and Demonstration
Post by: Scott Burt on June 05, 2012, 02:17 PM
Thanks for posting this, Scott.  Good video and review.  Have you tackled any projects without wide open expanses?  How has the Surfix worked in those situations?

Scot

Scot

Thats a great question. Several layers to the answer.

Door panel details are a typical example of where we need surfix to be capable.

The dispenser sponge is thick and soft and can do detail. Vlies on a 6" sander is challenged in detail work. So a workaround is necessary. We have been messing with jigging up 3 other sander types for the green and white vlies steps. The stock kit is not ideally suited for all details so we are looking into vlies availability for non 6" sanders, and modifying vlies to fit for now. Will likely have video of what works best with the system.
Title: Re: Surfix Review and Demonstration
Post by: Timtool on June 05, 2012, 04:05 PM
I have been using it for over a year now, i sand to 230 grit and apply the oil with a paper tissue that i burn after use. the sponges are too expensive in the way of being single use, and oil thirsty. I wait a couple minutes and wipe the excess oil off, and wait again 20 to 60 minutes for the oil to penetrate enough before going over it with the green vlies pad. If you use the vlies too rapidly it will load instantly with goo and become ineffective, i suspect these are intended to be single use as well. But i manage to use em on 4-5 projects.
for the second coat i wait at very least 24 hours, and often i should wait more because the oil hasn't cured enough to be sanded again with 230 grit which gives a much smoother finish. Then i apply the oil again and repeat the process, except that i use a white vlies pad.

I have the impression that if you use it by the books, that you need to spend over €10 on consumables (sponge and vlies pads) per project!
I am sold on the vlies pads, and like the applicator to spray the oil, but have completely given up on the sponges.
Title: Re: Surfix Review and Demonstration
Post by: Scott Burt on June 05, 2012, 04:34 PM
I have been using it for over a year now, i sand to 230 grit and apply the oil with a paper tissue that i burn after use. the sponges are too expensive in the way of being single use, and oil thirsty. I wait a couple minutes and wipe the excess oil off, and wait again 20 to 60 minutes for the oil to penetrate enough before going over it with the green vlies pad. If you use the vlies too rapidly it will load instantly with goo and become ineffective, i suspect these are intended to be single use as well. But i manage to use em on 4-5 projects.
for the second coat i wait at very least 24 hours, and often i should wait more because the oil hasn't cured enough to be sanded again with 230 grit which gives a much smoother finish. Then i apply the oil again and repeat the process, except that i use a white vlies pad.

I have the impression that if you use it by the books, that you need to spend over €10 on consumables (sponge and vlies pads) per project!
I am sold on the vlies pads, and like the applicator to spray the oil, but have completely given up on the sponges.


Tim

I think starting at a lower grit like 150-180 allows better penetration into the wood, especially with the mechanical buff. This is key to the 6 hour turnaround. At 230, the grain is not so open, so you are buffing more on the surface, which can also be a nice finish, but in my experience it lacks the depth and intent of oil penetration, and complicates the dry/recoat times considerably.

I agree that the green vlies takes it hard, but I havent seen a significant on task decline in its performance. We definitely discard it after one round of use. The white holds up better for us, doesn't load so much at that stage.

As a finisher, $10 in sundries for a high level finish is not very much. Especially when compared to the cost of operating sprayers (tips, filters, strainers, resp carts, etc).
Title: Re: Surfix Review and Demonstration
Post by: ScotF on June 05, 2012, 05:01 PM
Thanks for the feedback and insights...I had asked Shane on a different thread if there were plans on offering the green and white Vlies for other sanders and currently there are not plans.  Hopefully this will change as it would be great to get this in the RS2E and DTS sanders for corners and edges and I could see a need for the RTS/LS squares for other profiles. 

Scott -- your take on sanding to 150-180 is also interesting.  I typically sand to 400 and sometimes higher before applying an oil finish.  So far I have had great results, but maybe the oil does not penetrate as much and perhaps the lower grits would yield a better result.  I know that Maloof and Charles Brock mention sanding to 600 or 800 grit and using these types of pads for the final finishing with oil.  I need to do so  test pieces and see what looks good and how the two vary.

Scot

 
Title: Re: Surfix Review and Demonstration
Post by: Scott Burt on June 05, 2012, 05:15 PM
Thanks for the feedback and insights...I had asked Shane on a different thread if there were plans on offering the green and white Vlies for other sanders and currently there are not plans.  Hopefully this will change as it would be great to get this in the RS2E and DTS sanders for corners and edges and I could see a need for the RTS/LS squares for other profiles.  

Scott -- your take on sanding to 150-180 is also interesting.  I typically sand to 400 and sometimes higher before applying an oil finish.  So far I have had great results, but maybe the oil does not penetrate as much and perhaps the lower grits would yield a better result.  I know that Maloof and Charles Brock mention sanding to 600 or 800 grit and using these types of pads for the final finishing with oil.  I need to do so  test pieces and see what looks good and how the two vary.

Scot

 

There are many schools of thought on preliminary sanding. I have always been of the school that a penetrating oil or stain works best performance wise and attains the deepest richness visually if the grain of the wood is open. As soon as I get to 220 I can feel the wood grain closing down. This blocks penetration, and also makes adhesion difficult which is why oils will sit there for so long in a clammy state trying to dry.

To me, if I want the finish to be on top of the wood, I would rather be using a satin or semi poly, something more suitable to that life.

What Maloof and Charles are talking about is "walking" up through the grits during each round of finish. With each coat, sanding to a higher grit. Not sure what the white vlies grit is, but I wouldnt be surprised if it was 800. Getting to that high of a grit in two rounds of oil is what kind of intrigues me about the Surfix. There is something interesting in the oil formulation and how it relates to the vlies.
Title: Re: Surfix Review and Demonstration
Post by: b_m_hart on June 06, 2012, 01:47 AM
Does anyone know what grit the two vlies pads included in the kit are?  There are vlies for the D93 head on the RO 90 - which is something that would be of great interest to me, as I have a ton of doors to strip and stain when I can get to it.  Obviously I'd have to do some work by hand on the panel detail, but that's fine.
Title: Re: Surfix Review and Demonstration
Post by: Tutorwood on June 06, 2012, 07:22 AM
Hi Guys,

The green vlies pad in the surfix kit is equivalent to 220 grit and the white vlies pad is classed as a polishing pad and containes no abrasive particles.

I've done some tests on the Surfix system system and found that I had to make some changes to the Festool technique due to our climate. The results are on my blog site at www.tutorwood.com (http://www.tutorwood.com).

During my time as National Trainer for Festool Australia I did some testing on some Biofa oils provided by one of my German colleagues. The oils I tested, exhibited very similar properties to those in the Surfix system so I feel it's fairly certain that they source  them from Biofa.

Drop me a line if you've got any more questions,

Cheers

Bryan
Title: Re: Surfix Review and Demonstration
Post by: Tim Raleigh on June 24, 2012, 08:40 PM
Scott:
Great review and demo.
Thanks.
Anyone used this on Teak counter for a bathroom?
I have a client that wants Teak counter in their bathroom and have been trying to think of the best coating for this. They don't want a high gloss finish and don't mind re-coating annually if required.
Tim