Festool Owners Group

GENERAL DISCUSSIONS => Workshops and Mobile Vehicle-Based Shops => Topic started by: Sjur on August 31, 2014, 09:38 AM

Title: Planning a garage - which machines to choose
Post by: Sjur on August 31, 2014, 09:38 AM
Hello friends,

My name is Sjur, I'm 17 years old, and I live in Oslo (Capital of Norway). I live with my grandmother in a relatively affluent part of the city. I want to become an engineer, but I have furniture-making as a hobby. Because my grandmother sold her car, she had a spare two-car garage. Next to the two-car garage is an oddly shaped single-car garage that my uncle uses stores his car. I am seriously lucky to be allowed to have my machines in the 2-car garage, but also my compressor and a potential dust collector in the 1-car garage (The car would still fit).

I'm not sure if curriculum is the correct word for it, but the curriculum I have at school is that I have 3 weeks at school, having physics, chemistry, math, (etc.), but also carpentry. After 3 weeks is finished, I have 2 weeks at a large construction site as a carpenter, with apprentice pay. In addition, as I live with my grandmother, I am given extra scholarship. This is how I finance all of this.

The dilemma at hand: I have purchased a long belt sander(as in 4m long and 2m deep) for $900, but I haven't picked it up yet, due to it being winter at the time and the roads were slippery. Summer has come, and almost passed, and to transport it to my garage, I would probably have to hire some guys for $200. However, if I don't pick it up, I've essentially lost $900 of my hard earned money.

I have a standard, 1HP dust collector with god-awful bag filters, and if I buy the long belt sander, I would need a more powerful dust extractor. I've spoken with ClearVue, and I contacted them during a discounted shipping event, so it ended up being around $1500, including shipping (which is still a whopping sum for a 17 year old). Because the cyclone is able to stay in the single-car garage, I could have a really powerful dust collector with minimal noise. This is a luxury not many have, or even build sheds to accomplish. However, in addition to the cyclone, I would need piping. Setting up pipes is also an issue, as the garage door opens from time to time and the pipes would be in the way. Also, pipes cost money.

I have given thought to replace the garage door and switch it out with an insulated wall, with windows so that I get more light (currently there is only 1 small window in the garage). Also, by being able to open the windows, I can push long planks through. In that case, I plan to have the wall wedged between the ceiling, the walls and the floor (and not bolted), so it can be removed if my grandmother passes away and I have to move. My grandmother is very healthy, so I hope it's a long time before something terrible like that is due.

I have a 5-1 minimax combination machine (TS, shaper, horizontal router, planer and jointer). I want to buy the domino DF 500, the Rotex 125 and the CTL26. By milling all of the lumber and assembling them with the DF500, do I even need the huge belt sander? Is the Rotex 125 enough? I guess I can switch filters of the 1HP dust collector and make a thien seperator that I can use for the combination machine. If I transport the belt sander and buy the cyclone, I still plan on buying the festool tools, but that would be a lot longer down the road (as in several years).

What I've covered above is a small part of the issues I have, but if someone can help me out, then I can "untie" the rest of the knot. I realize what I've written above is in a fumbling manner, so if there are something you didn't understand - ask, and I'll try to clear it up.

Title: Re: Planning a garage - which machines to choose
Post by: Peter Halle on August 31, 2014, 10:06 AM

Welcome to the FOG!  To be your age and have the opportunities you have on the horizon would be so wonderful.

As you build your furniture you will require several sanders.  The RO125 and the large sander will compliment each other but neither will replace each other.  The domino will offer you numerous design and assembly options, but sanding afterwards will still be required.  I would suggest that with the education and training available to you you try and get the RO125 and the Festool Dust Extractor sooner.  You are in the time of your life where creating good work habits in shop safety will be easier so take care of your health.

Title: Re: Planning a garage - which machines to choose
Post by: #Tee on August 31, 2014, 10:28 AM
wow 17 with garage space at your disposal and festool as your first choice!? youre way ahead of the game [big grin]
Title: Re: Planning a garage - which machines to choose
Post by: shed9 on August 31, 2014, 10:57 AM
To be your age and have the opportunities you have on the horizon would be so wonderful.

This is so true and all the more pertinent if you recognise it as well.

Welcome Sjur  [smile]

Personally I would hang fire on purchasing further big machines for now. It's not uncommon for people to build their Festool arsenal and then either stop or sell on their heavy fixed equipment.

I bagged my own Table saw, Planer Thicknesser and Bandsaw from a woodworker who switched completely to Festool and stopped using it. I must admit that whilst I have no intention of getting rid of it, I also use it less since I started buying Festool as well.
Title: Re: Planning a garage - which machines to choose
Post by: Sjur on August 31, 2014, 11:01 AM
Thanks for the replies, guys [smile]

Backstory: I started building treehouses at the cabin when I was 5. The latest treehouse I built (insulated and equipped with several windows) was a two-story, 15sqm treehouse, 11meters from the ground to the roof. If the trees were any wider in diameter, I'd build it taller. I built it with free "scraps" from the lumber-store, which was a 15 minutes drive away from the cabin. It weren't really scraps, but I become known over there for building treehouses, which they thought was cool, so I guess they were nice determening what was scraps and what wasn't.

Then, when I was 15, I had a project at school. I built a table with a chess pattern inlaid. I used mostly hand tools (cutting 16 tenon and mortises took some time).

I should add that I already have the Kapex and the tracksaw (altough with makita rails, which essentially is the same, without the holes for the router).

Peter, I was under the assumption that the Rotex could do normal sanding (eg. 40-60-80-150-240-400-600), and act as a finnish sander inbetween coats. Of course the ETS would be better suited for the latter, but the price ads up. Originally, I was thinking of the RO150 instead of the RO125, but I figured the 125 would be more comfortable to hold, and I wouldn't think too much of the extra time spent sanding. I do hate sanding though.


Title: Re: Planning a garage - which machines to choose
Post by: mattfc on September 01, 2014, 06:32 AM
Would love to see some pictures of those trees houses.. 11m up is quite a working height!
Title: Re: Planning a garage - which machines to choose
Post by: Reiska on September 01, 2014, 10:02 AM
Welcome to FOG Sjur

As a hobby user without the possibility to have any permanent machines since I don't have a dedicated shop I would say that big machinery isn't necessary, but some would make more of a difference if I had them.

First off I would love to have a planer/thicknesser combo machine with long beds to mill lumber and secondly a bandsaw would be high on my list of things to have. And as much as I love my MFT/3 table I would still prefer having a proper work bench with vices to hold work pieces in place when working on them by hand. 

With regards to the size of a hand sander I would like to point out that you will be investing a fair bit of money on the sanding paper that you need for the sanding schedules so standardizing on a single size is beneficial. i.e. don't get a RO150 and an ETS125 unless you really need both sizes. I went with RO90 for the versatility and ETS150/3 for large surface sanding and have been very happy with my choices even though I need to have a supply of three different paper sizes (90mm, triangular pad, 150mm) in all different grits.

If I were on the market to do it again I would hang out to get the new ETS150 replacement that's coming soon and think hard about getting a RO90 for detail sanding. Even my ETS150 with its 3mm action will remove material pretty quickly with a coarse paper like 60 grit Granat.

Of course if you are looking to get only one hand sander a RO150 could be the multitallent you are looking for (rough sanding in Rotex-mode, finer sanding in random-orbit-mode and polishing in Rotex-mode), but you still won't get into small corners or tight curves. That's where the RO90 comes into play with its small round pad and triangular pad for corners.

Also you will notice that sanding with a Festool sander connected to a vacuum won't be as much to hate than cheap sander that throw dust every which way.
Title: Re: Planning a garage - which machines to choose
Post by: Slartibartfass on September 01, 2014, 11:25 AM
Check this board out:

http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=15375&showall=1 (http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=15375&showall=1)
Title: Re: Planning a garage - which machines to choose
Post by: Sjur on September 01, 2014, 01:18 PM
Would love to see some pictures of those trees houses.. 11m up is quite a working height!
I don't have any pictures of the finnished product. I'll definetly take some pictures next time I'm there, but I only have 4 weeks vacation per year (I usually have to work), so it might be a while untill I go there.

Reiska, thanks for the input, it's much appreciated. I think I'm going to realize my $900 loss, and just go with the festools. Man, this is going to help me plan a lot easier!

Truth be told, I hadn't really researched all the different types of sanders from festool at the time I wrote this post. Confusing with so many choices, haha! :) I just wanted to get the point across when I wrote the main post, but I'll definetly consider getting two sanders. RO90 and ETS150 does seem like a very good combination. I didn't know the RO90 could be equipped with a triangular pad!

We don't have a festool dealer here in Norway (we have a supplier that has monopolized the brand though, so prices are high), but I'm considering taking a trip to the festool dealer in Sweden, which is roughly 3hours away by car. It looks like the new model of ETS is already available here in Europe. I'll check it out.