Author Topic: Rotex 125 Skipping  (Read 952 times)

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Offline Dove_Tail

  • Posts: 34
Rotex 125 Skipping
« on: March 20, 2020, 08:00 PM »
I have a Rotex 125.  I pulled it today out to smooth a large glue-up.  It feels very hard to handle.  It tends to jump/skip a lot.  It does this in both modes and with any grit paper.  The glue joints are very smooth and even, so that's not the problem.

Has anyone experienced this and do you have any suggestions?
« Last Edit: March 21, 2020, 01:33 AM by Dove_Tail »

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Offline Alanbach

  • Posts: 536
Re: Rotex 125 Skipping
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2020, 12:38 AM »
Was your vacuum on full suction? Turn the suction all the way down and try that.

Offline Dove_Tail

  • Posts: 34
Re: Rotex 125 Skipping
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2020, 01:35 AM »
Yes I thought that might have been an issue and tried it with the suction turned down. That didn’t help

Offline mrB

  • Posts: 642
Re: Rotex 125 Skipping
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2020, 06:21 AM »
It’s feisty sander that one. Not as mannered as the 150 at all. Took me a little while to learn hire to handle it when I first got it, just takes a little more consideration, and can’t be whisked around the surface in any and all directions like most sanders.

I promise that practice takes care of the issues, but I’ve had two for 5 years or more and as much as I LOVE their performance and versatility, they are a bit of a handful compared to most other sanders, like I said the ro150 is way smoother in use.
there's nothing like the right tool for the job

Offline RJNeal

  • Posts: 433
Re: Rotex 125 Skipping
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2020, 07:27 AM »
mrB hit the nail on the head. I owned the RO 150 for a short time and then picked a RO125, it was a different beast and was hard to settle down. I finally quit using it and thought about selling it when a time got rough. Then one day i needed to do a little sanding and it was close at hand, we’ll we learned to get long together.
I know there’s some members here that think the sanders need a break in period.
And some members that say it’s not necessary. I’m in that later camp, the only break in period that is needed is the operator.
Hang in there,  grab some scape wood and get some “stick time”.
Rick.
Have you walked your saw today?

Offline Pompeio

  • Posts: 66
Re: Rotex 125 Skipping
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2020, 08:21 AM »
Try placing your one hand atop the sander and the other on the cord where the plug connects to the sander.  This will allow better balance and should eliminate the skipping.

Offline rubber_ducky

  • Posts: 30
Re: Rotex 125 Skipping
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2020, 09:34 AM »
I experienced the same thing with my RO 90.
The thing moved around like I didn’t have my hands on it


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Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 3886
Re: Rotex 125 Skipping
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2020, 10:18 AM »
@Dove_Tail, were you ever in the military?  If so, do you remember those 18-24" floor buffers we used to use to buff the barracks floors?  Remember how we used to have to learn how to balance the buffer on the brush so that the buffer wouldn't throw us across the room and sit there laughing at us as we picked ourselves up off the deck?  Once we got the hang of balancing the buffer, we could maneuver them easily with one hand as we did the barracks detailing.  The same principle applies to the RO 125.  You have to find the balance point, then "let the tool do the work" (quoted from His Sedgeliness).  Hand placement is also critical, as noted by Pompeio.  Hold the sander by the power and suction connectors to lengthen the lever in relation to the fulcrum, and put very little pressure on the RO 125 head.  Again, "let the tool do the work".  Also, take a good look at Larry Smith's video on YouTube -


He's using the RO 150, but the data applies to the RO 125. 
- Willy -

 "Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of wood higher up." - Brigham Young

Offline Shane Holland

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  • Posts: 10824
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Re: Rotex 125 Skipping
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2020, 10:30 AM »
Try placing your one hand atop the sander and the other on the cord where the plug connects to the sander.  This will allow better balance and should eliminate the skipping.

+1

This is the technique to reduce or eliminate the sander feeling unstable.
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Offline Dove_Tail

  • Posts: 34
Re: Rotex 125 Skipping
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2020, 11:34 AM »
Guys,

Thanks so much for your helpful input.  I am encouraged to stick with this sander.

Can anyone talk about:
1) What grits you go through in Rotex for rough smoothing and
2) Then what grit you start with your finish sander?

I use an ETS EC 125 for finish sanding.  When I don't have this smoothing to do, I normally go 80 or 120 down to 220, then apply Arm-R-Seal.

Cheers,

Mark

Offline rst

  • Posts: 2308
Re: Rotex 125 Skipping
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2020, 11:40 AM »
Any sort of tilt to the pad will cause the jumping.  There is a learning curve, the smaller the pad size the quicker the machine is to jumping.  Excess pressure will also exacerbate the problem.  Been sanding things since 1971...a couple weeks ago.

Offline Alanbach

  • Posts: 536
Re: Rotex 125 Skipping
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2020, 12:07 PM »
A few years ago, not long after acquiring my Rotex I attended a Festool roadshow in Houston. When I complained to what was clearly a very knowledgeable woman she helped me with some very useful tips. The first part of the tip was what Pompeo and Shane said. The second part was to put your right arm under the vacuum hose before you grab the back of the sander. This causes the hose to wrap around your arm and really helps maintain the flatness of the sander on the workpiece. It gives you much better leverage to keep the sander in the right position on the workpiece. It works, try it.

Offline ScotF

  • Posts: 2742
Re: Rotex 125 Skipping
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2020, 01:39 PM »
All great advice. Also, if the surface is not flat you or the grain is wild, you can experience so bouncing.

Offline Alanbach

  • Posts: 536
Re: Rotex 125 Skipping
« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2020, 07:09 PM »
A couple of more thoughts on this. If you follow Pompeii and Shane’s advice be careful about that left hand on top of the sander. Do not apply pressure, just a light touch to steer, downward pressure is really not needed. One of the hardest things for me to get used to about Festool sanders, especially the Rotex, is to let it do the work, light touch, be patient.

The next thing is break in. I know that someone brought this up. I don’t have a strong opinion about breaking in a sander and exactly what that would like like but I do know this. Use it, use it a lot, somehow this jumpiest you describe does get better with use.

Watch every video you can about proper Rotex use. Sometimes just picking up that one little thing can change your approach enough for you to feel your way to a better place. Once that happens you will be on your way.

Also, inspect the pad that you are using. In rare cases they can warp and that will exacerbate any problem that you are having.

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 7022
Re: Rotex 125 Skipping
« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2020, 09:58 AM »
FWIW...I constructed a 10' long walnut countertop and used Larry Smith's method in the video. I finished up by using 2000 grit Platin. The finish/gloss/feel was fantastic but the color of the walnut was light tan/pinkish.

I turned the slab over and sanded a small spot and applied Boos Block Mystery Oil. That dark brown rich color suddenly appeared. So I decided to re-sand the entire countertop surface with 280 grit and then oil it with Boos Oil.  [cool] 

Offline jeffinsgf

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  • Posts: 232
Re: Rotex 125 Skipping
« Reply #15 on: March 23, 2020, 10:46 AM »
To follow up on Alan's comment...I'm not sure which is being broken in, the sander or the user, but I will absolutely confirm that the more you use a Rotex 125 the easier it gets and the more you'll like it. If it weren't for the weight, I would say it is the only sander I need at all. Given its weight, I might add a palm sander to the arsenal some day, but the Rotex 125 has shelved my Bosch random orbit