Author Topic: What grit do you stop using the Rotex mode?  (Read 1480 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Mtpisgah

  • Posts: 15
What grit do you stop using the Rotex mode?
« on: August 25, 2019, 07:17 PM »
I flattended a slab yesterday with a router sled and started sanding it today. I have only used my Rotex 125 a few times fro minor projects so today was the first big test.

I started with 60 grit on Rotex mode and the slab is looking great. I am ready to move to 80 grit but and not sure if I should stick with Rotex mode or go to standard mode. When I get to 120 I will switch to the ETS 125.

What do you guys usually do?

Festool USA does not pre-approve the contents of this website nor endorse the application or use of any Festool product in any way other than in the manner described in the Festool Instruction Manual. To reduce the risk of serious injury and/or damage to your Festool product, always read, understand and follow all warnings and instructions in your Festool product's Instruction Manual. Although Festool strives for accuracy in the website material, the website may contain inaccuracies. Festool makes no representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of the material on this website or about the results to be obtained from using the website. Festool and its affiliates cannot be responsible for improper postings or your reliance on the website's material. Your use of any material contained on this website is entirely at your own risk. The content contained on this site is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.


Offline Rich Kline

  • Posts: 36
Re: What grit do you stop using the Rotex mode?
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2019, 07:39 PM »
Working a similar project with a walnut log that will become a bench.  Making it perfectly flat wasn't within my reach because I don't have a router sled.  So I did 80 grit with a belt sander and then 80 grit in rotary mode.  I used the rotex mode in a couple of spots to remove some small branch "nubs"  I will switch to the ETS for 120

Online waho6o9

  • Posts: 1467
    • Garage Door Handyman.com
Re: What grit do you stop using the Rotex mode?
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2019, 07:41 PM »
Great sled work on a nice looking slab Mtpisgah!

After I Rotex the item I switch it to normal mode and sand it up using the same grit as I climb up the sanding grit chart. 

If the Rotex gets too hot I hook up my 150 Festool and sand with the same grit all the way up to 180 or 220.


Offline ChiknNutz

  • Posts: 74
Re: What grit do you stop using the Rotex mode?
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2019, 09:12 PM »
I've made many slab projects, mostly walnut.  I use Rotex up to about 150.  I then switch to the ETS and go back one grit to 120 and finish up at 220.
-Chris
Rotex 150/5 FEQ, CT 36 E, ETS EC125/3, TS75, Domino XL

Offline Alanbach

  • Posts: 396
Re: What grit do you stop using the Rotex mode?
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2019, 10:14 PM »
I agree with @waho6o9 . Follow the 60 grit in geared mode with a fresh 60 in random orbit mode. Then on to 80 grit in geared mode followed by 80 in random orbit mode. Keep going until you are totally pleased with the flatness. Then I use some water or mineral spirits to check the scratch pattern to see if I am happy. Once I am happy with the flatness and that I have the scratches where I want them I then switch to the ETS. Sometimes that happens (for me) after 80 grit but usually after 100 or even 120 occasionally.

Offline SRSemenza

  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 8926
  • Finger Lakes Region, NY State , USA
Re: What grit do you stop using the Rotex mode?
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2019, 11:48 PM »
I would only use Rotex mode for what it is really needed to do ............  remove material. Going to finer grits in Rotex can really add to the amount of sanding that is needed in random orbit to get rid of the Rotex scratch pattern.

Start  with whatever you need to remove material and flatten. In this case 60 (?). I would then do Rotex in 80. Followed by random orbit in 60. I find that backing up one grit when switching to random orbit after Rotex mode really helps get rid of the Rotex swirls.

Be thorough with the back track random orbit grit and the one following it. You do not want to get all the way to the end only to find Rotex swirls still left in the surface.

I would use the RO125 (in both modes) for everything except your final pass. The ETS125 does not have a very big stroke for removing previous grit swirls.

Seth

Offline Mtpisgah

  • Posts: 15
Re: What grit do you stop using the Rotex mode?
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2019, 08:01 AM »
Thanks for all the input. Based on the comments, I think I will go from the 60 to an 80 in Rotex mode and then drop back to the 60 in RO, then 80, and see how it looks. Hopefully I can then keep going up in RO with the Rotex for the bigger orbit until I get to 125 or 150.

Since I need to do both sides, I might switch it up on the second side and see which I like best. I will have a day or two to sand this week, then it is two weeks of vacation. I will try to give up an update when I get back to it.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2019, 09:13 AM by Mtpisgah »

Offline nvalinski

  • Posts: 97
Re: What grit do you stop using the Rotex mode?
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2019, 09:01 AM »
Shockingly, my most recent projects have just taken me up to 1500 in Rotex mode, no ETS-EC. But if you are stopping midway stop Rotex ~120, finish up to 220), then you need the ETS. 1500 looks fantastic on even just normal wood surfaces. Not worth it on legs and stuff though.

Offline Mtpisgah

  • Posts: 15
Re: What grit do you stop using the Rotex mode?
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2019, 09:15 AM »
Shockingly, my most recent projects have just taken me up to 1500 in Rotex mode, no ETS-EC. But if you are stopping midway stop Rotex ~120, finish up to 220), then you need the ETS. 1500 looks fantastic on even just normal wood surfaces. Not worth it on legs and stuff though.

How do you keep from removing too much material in Rotex mode through all those grits? I know as you get to finer grits it will remove less, but it still seems like it would remove too much to easy. Also, what about the swirl pattern from the larger orbit?

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6385
Re: What grit do you stop using the Rotex mode?
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2019, 09:53 AM »
Here's a video where Larry Smith from Festool goes from 40 grit to 1500 grit and then polishes the walnut all in the Rolex mode.

I know there are others on the forum that do the same thing.

« Last Edit: August 26, 2019, 09:56 AM by Cheese »

Offline SRSemenza

  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 8926
  • Finger Lakes Region, NY State , USA
Re: What grit do you stop using the Rotex mode?
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2019, 10:05 AM »
Shockingly, my most recent projects have just taken me up to 1500 in Rotex mode, no ETS-EC. But if you are stopping midway stop Rotex ~120, finish up to 220), then you need the ETS. 1500 looks fantastic on even just normal wood surfaces. Not worth it on legs and stuff though.

Yes, when getting into the really fine grit you start getting into the polishing realm which is where the Rotex mode starts helping again.

Seth

Offline Mtpisgah

  • Posts: 15
Re: What grit do you stop using the Rotex mode?
« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2019, 11:55 AM »
Interesting. As I said, I have not used it much yet and bought it mainly for smoothing slabs after flattening. I may have to do some more playing with it and see how fine a finish I can get.

Would it work to polish epoxy too?  I have done some non visible patching with epoxy that did not require polishing, but want to do a table with full depth epoxy in the center this fall.

Offline nvalinski

  • Posts: 97
Re: What grit do you stop using the Rotex mode?
« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2019, 11:57 AM »
Epoxy is the exact reason I went this high in the first place. Works fantastic going up to 1500, then polishing with anti hologram compound.

Offline rvieceli

  • Posts: 1043
Re: What grit do you stop using the Rotex mode?
« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2019, 08:31 PM »
@Mtpisgah I work with slabs a lot and my sanding sequence is to go Rotex mode from 60 to 150 then I switch to the ETS EC150 and sand from 150 up to usually 320. Works for me in walnut, cherry, oak and maple.

I am finishing with OSMO Polyx.

Ron

Offline Mtpisgah

  • Posts: 15
Re: What grit do you stop using the Rotex mode?
« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2019, 09:07 PM »
I made it to 120 on one side last night and that is likely all that will be done for the next two weeks due to vacation.

It is super smooth in most areas, but there are a few areas I can feel little cracks so I think I need to go back down a few grits and work through those. I epoxied the visible cracks and some worm holes but missed some non visible stuff.

I think I was too excited about the results and did not feel the whole slab, only the pretty parts.


Offline Untidy Shop

  • Posts: 2744
Re: What grit do you stop using the Rotex mode?
« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2019, 09:36 PM »
As can be seen from the varied answers here there is no definitive answer! It all depends on the timber species, soft or hardwood and the intended finish(s).

With an intended  oil finish I have usually left ROTEX behind by 120, moving back to 80 and then back on upwards to 220/240. But that is with Australian Hardwoods.
If you don't like Signatures, just go to Look and Layout and tick No Signatures.

“The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you. There isn't any other test. If the machine produces tranquility it's right. If it disturbs you it's wrong until either the machine or your mind is changed.”
― Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values

Offline Mtpisgah

  • Posts: 15
Re: What grit do you stop using the Rotex mode?
« Reply #16 on: August 28, 2019, 09:48 PM »
As can be seen from the varied answers here there is no definitive answer! It all depends on the timber species, soft or hardwood and the intended finish(s).

With an intended  oil finish I have usually left ROTEX behind by 120, moving back to 80 and then back on upwards to 220/240. But that is with Australian Hardwoods.


Yeah, I agree. This is a piece of American oak and I am making a waterfall coffee table with it. It is a gift for my wife’s best friend so I get  to play with it some and try different things.

And i am just a beginning hobby woodworker, so I know almost nothing. I just have access to some good wood and bought good tools.

Offline zapdafish

  • Posts: 531
Re: What grit do you stop using the Rotex mode?
« Reply #17 on: August 30, 2019, 11:01 AM »
with red oak I rotex to 80 then give it pass on non rotex mode then maybe take it to 120 on an ets. all the other grits just sit in a drawer, lol
CT22, TS55, Kapex, RO150, Domino, RS 2 E

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6385
Re: What grit do you stop using the Rotex mode?
« Reply #18 on: August 30, 2019, 11:52 AM »
Would it work to polish epoxy too?  I have done some non visible patching with epoxy that did not require polishing, but want to do a table with full depth epoxy in the center this fall.

Here's a white oak slab that I turned into a kitchen counter top.



There's a 2 mm thick West epoxy coating across the entire surface. I started with 60 grit and went up to 1500 grit using a RO 125. I didn't want a highly polished surface as it looks too plastic-like for my taste. However, you can still see the reflections of the stainless pot on the stove, the under cabinet lighting in the upper cabinet & the stainless backsplash.






The last photo is a worm hole and that helps you see the thickness of the epoxy top coat.


Offline ultane

  • Posts: 28
Re: What grit do you stop using the Rotex mode?
« Reply #19 on: September 10, 2019, 08:46 PM »
So Cheese, you sanded the wood, or the Epoxy up to 1500?
I might be wrong… Just ask my X...

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6385
Re: What grit do you stop using the Rotex mode?
« Reply #20 on: September 11, 2019, 12:51 AM »
So Cheese, you sanded the wood, or the Epoxy up to 1500?

I sanded the oak to about 180/240, can't remember exactly, just to flatten everything out and give the wood some tooth.

I then applied the epoxy and sanded that to 1500. Here's a shot of the various discs I used. Some have holes...some don't, some fit the Rotex 125, some don't...just to let you know that using the proper grit paper is ultimately more important than using the correct sized paper.

Of course, this situation could be easily corrected if Festool decided to offer packages of abrasives in quantities of less than 100 each.  [poke] [poke] [poke]


Offline Mtpisgah

  • Posts: 15
Re: What grit do you stop using the Rotex mode?
« Reply #21 on: September 11, 2019, 06:18 AM »
Cheese,
Woodcraft sells Festool paper in smaller packets, 10count I think, up to a certain grit size. It is what I have been buying since I am just a hobbyist.

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6385
Re: What grit do you stop using the Rotex mode?
« Reply #22 on: September 11, 2019, 10:08 AM »
Cheese,
Woodcraft sells Festool paper in smaller packets, 10count I think, up to a certain grit size. It is what I have been buying since I am just a hobbyist.

Ya, the local Woodcraft originally sold everything in quantities of 10 each, including Platin  [smile]...then they went to a simple package of 10 each 80-120-180-220 grit assortment which really was pretty useless, and now even that's discontinued.

Festool Nirvana offers custom assortments in Granat & Rubin 2.

https://www.festoolnirvana.com/search?q=custom+abrasive+assortment

Offline Mtpisgah

  • Posts: 15
Re: What grit do you stop using the Rotex mode?
« Reply #23 on: September 11, 2019, 10:42 AM »
I did not know they had discontinued the small packs, that sucks.