Author Topic: ETS 125 REQ Sander Question  (Read 966 times)

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Offline nicholam77

  • Posts: 26
ETS 125 REQ Sander Question
« on: February 25, 2020, 04:09 PM »
Hey all,

Probably a dummy question, but I recently got my first Festool, the ETS 125 REQ orbital sander. I've had some time to use it now, and I am perplexed by how jumpy it feels. By this I mean it seems to be skittish and jump around the surface, a bit hard to control. I also have a DeWalt 5" orbital sander for comparison and it operates much smoother when it contact with the work piece. The ETS 125 leaves an excellent finish and perfect dust collection so I want to love it, but I am just wondering if I am doing something wrong? Starting with the wrong grit? Or is this normal?

- I have tried all speeds and pressure, different hand grips with similar results
- Sander is connected to dust collection (ShopVac vacuum)
- Only have used the single piece of 120 grit paper it came with
- Work pieces have been birch plywood and hard maple, same result on both

Thanks for any tips!

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Offline Alex

  • Posts: 6446
Re: ETS 125 REQ Sander Question
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2020, 04:14 PM »
Turn the suction on your vac all the way down. If the suction is too high your sander will act like a vacuum clamp and stick to the surface. On low suction your dust control will be just as good, and now your sander can move freely.

Offline nicholam77

  • Posts: 26
Re: ETS 125 REQ Sander Question
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2020, 04:46 PM »
@Alex Thanks for that. That makes sense... unfortunately my vac does not have variable suction as it is just a ShopVac. That's kind of a bummer, although I have been eyeing the new CT15. We shall see...

Offline Rick Herrick

  • Posts: 170
Re: ETS 125 REQ Sander Question
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2020, 04:49 PM »
I am in the same situation as the OP.  Just got my ETS EC 125/3 a week ago.  I too noticed the jumping.  I am using a simple garage vacuum and I don't think I can adjust it any.  Do any regular shop vacs have settings like that?  I am going to get the CT26 but need a couple more paychecks first.. [big grin]

I only did a single 3/4" oak board that was 8 feet.  I used 5 grits just to test them out.  I was talked into Klingspor paper by my dealer as they are a Klingspor store.  Was hoping that wasn't the issue.  It was so much cheaper and both Festool guys that work there love it.  So fingers crossed.  Will be getting some granut at some point just to make sure.

I did take off the pad and there was quite a bit of dust there.  And thats just one short sanding session.  I was concerned that there was a bunch that needed to be cleaned up. 

Offline mrB

  • Posts: 689
Re: ETS 125 REQ Sander Question
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2020, 05:49 PM »
If there is the option in your hose connection setup, maybe a few holes drilled can lower the suction, and be taped over when not needed?

But test without extraction first to be due this is the cause of the issue:)
there's nothing like the right tool for the job

Offline grbmds

  • Posts: 1988
Re: ETS 125 REQ Sander Question
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2020, 06:42 PM »
I found that this particular sander is sensitive to whether the pad is completely flat on the surface being sanded. The way I consistently ensure this is happening is to hold the sander with one hand and lightly support the dust collection port/hose because I found that the weight of the vac hose may just slightly tip the sander in that direction. Because of the sander’s light weight and profile it is a bit subject to tilting.

I have also found that making sure the piece being sanded is well secured makes vibration less likely.

It is also possible, but not likely, that the pad is a little out of balance or round. I replaced mine and this helped eliminate a tiny bit of vibration.

I love the results from the sander though.  I also own the ETS150 and love that one also. It is a little heavier and the profile is lower thus much less susceptible to vibration. Sometimes it’s just a little too big for the job.
Randy

Offline xedos

  • Posts: 315
Re: ETS 125 REQ Sander Question
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2020, 07:24 PM »
It's also possible you got a bum steer !

I remember a discussion a few years ago when the Pro5 came out in which a few people had the same issues.  As I recall they had to go back for repair / replacement . 


Offline Tom in SoCal

  • Posts: 116
Re: ETS 125 REQ Sander Question
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2020, 09:09 PM »
@Alex Thanks for that. That makes sense... unfortunately my vac does not have variable suction as it is just a ShopVac. That's kind of a bummer, although I have been eyeing the new CT15. We shall see...

Concur that your problem is likely too much suction.

Since you can't throttle your shopvac, try adjusting the paper so that the holes in the paper don't line up with the  holes in the pad;  that should reduce the suction.

And as others have said, lift up on the hose port while sanding to ensure that it is flat on the work.

Good luck.  I have an ETS-125 and had similar issues when I bought it.  Reducing suction and keeping it flat fixed the problems for me;  I hope you have the same result.

BTW -- my Festool vac is my favorite tool;  good suction and flow, but quiet enough you can use it without ear protection.  And being able to plug in your ETS-125 so the sander controls the vac is another benefit...

Offline Alanbach

  • Posts: 553
Re: ETS 125 REQ Sander Question
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2020, 10:27 PM »
The first thing that I would do if I was you is go grab it and sand something for a minute or two with no vacuum connected. If too much suction is the problem ( and I agree that it probably is) it is only going to take you a minute or two to feel the difference. If you don’t mind try that and report back.

Offline Rick Herrick

  • Posts: 170
Re: ETS 125 REQ Sander Question
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2020, 11:08 PM »
I like the troubleshooting technique of mis-aligning the holes, thats cool.  I did start using one hand on the sander and the other lightly holding the other end and that made things much nicer.  I just hope, in my case, that this non Festool paper isn't a problem.  Got it on sale too, as I bought the sander the same day. 

Offline nicholam77

  • Posts: 26
Re: ETS 125 REQ Sander Question
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2020, 10:53 AM »
Awesome, thanks for all the suggestions everyone! I will try it without the shop vac attached, great idea to determine if that is the issue, although I am expecting it will be. My shop vac has new filter and bag, and attached to cyclone separator, so suction is quite strong.

I have previously made sure the sandpaper disc was centered and was holding the sander flat to the surface. What I've been experiencing is not so much a problem with vibrations, but it tugging in random directions at times. Too much suction totally makes sense to me but I will report back!

Offline nicholam77

  • Posts: 26
Re: ETS 125 REQ Sander Question
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2020, 12:02 PM »
Just a little update, I ran the sander with no vac attached (just dust bag). That definitely helped, although I could still feel the random orbital movement more than my DeWalt, and it still felt like it wanted to move around a little. Overall it feels like the ETS 125 needs more control to keep it where you want it. I've taken care to ensure the sandpaper is perfectly centered on the pad.

The paper that came with it was a P120 Granat I believe so that's all I've tested, on maple and plywood. Is this what I should be using? What is the difference between the Granat and the Rubin 2 abrasives? I see Rubin 2 says it's for wood processing so should I be using that instead, and would the type of abrasive make any difference in my original issue?

Thanks!

Offline grbmds

  • Posts: 1988
Re: ETS 125 REQ Sander Question
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2020, 12:34 PM »
Granat seems best for me.

Is the piece being sanded held onto a flat surface securely. I found the 125 to be particularly sensitive to vibration from the board being sanded. That does translate to what you seem o be experiencing.
Randy

Offline nicholam77

  • Posts: 26
Re: ETS 125 REQ Sander Question
« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2020, 01:49 PM »
@grbmds Thanks for the input. I don't think I had the board clamped down, just a larger piece of plywood holding it on my bench with my other hand. I'll try securing it better. Not using the vac definitely improved things, so if the sander is just sensitive to vibrations thats no big deal to me. Just wanted to make sure it's normal but it sounds like it is. I'm going to practice using it a bit more and then I might have to look into getting a CT dust extractor  [scared]