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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I recently got a delivery of Festool sanders and a extractor that I plan on using for drywall repairs, wood work and anything else I can throw at them including some ideas I have to put them to the test.

I know a lot of you guys are doing full houses and so these types of sanders are not ideal but for me I get a lot of calls for repairs, popcorn removal, texture spraying, painting of course and I deal with all kinds of wood work. The plan is to eliminate as much hand sanding as possible.

Right now I spend a fair amount of time and extra material costs for things such as plastic and tape. I am going to advertise dustless drywall repair saving me the time and material costs, not to mention the value I will bring to the job by being less of an intrusion into my customers homes. Also I deal with a lot of wood work so there is a lot of sanding to some paint jobs and if a tool makes things faster and better it is a winner for me.

Yes these tools do cost more than some other tools but I believe the ROI is there in the long haul so I see the value. Until recently I thought they were nice tools but did not see them working for me mainly do to cost and I truthfully did not see needing them, after some hands on demos I tried to see how they would work for me.

No doubt I may catch some flack from the guys that do not deal with repairs and that is understandable but I feel it is a worth while thread and will include progress pics as time goes on.

The below pic is just the tools in transport mode without job pics as I just got them. Sorry for the crappy phone pic. I will try and get some better ones.

The set up is CT-26 Extractor, RO-90 sander, RTS-400 sander and a ETS-125 sander.
 

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Worky??? I thought NZ was behind the times?? Ive had one of these sanders and vac for 12 years, I to am a painter/drywaller doing all types of work, Repairs, woodwork, Stripping wallpapers, repairing walls, Full interiors and exteriors, As for these sanders not being suitable for sanding a full interior of a house thats drywalled..............Bollocks, You need the foam pad for it that fits under the sanding disc, 150g, Its fine, Yes you do need to step up and reach more but they actually do have an advantage over the Porter cables etc..............Your looking right at what you are sanding so you dont miss things, Chips, scratches, Trowel laps etc. Its a little slower than the bigger sanders but dont fool yourself its not capable, Most drywallers here in my area only have these sanders, I could still easy sand a large house in a day or less, And these sanders do a better job of corners than the bigger sanders if your doing your corners by hand, Are you Listening Moore :yes:

They float and hover over the drywall very well and do very good job of dust removal. The velco will loose its grip in time but just get another pad for it, Get some foam pads too, A few spares for softer sanding, Man, What are they teaching you over at paint talk, Your not going to tell me they dont have em either are you???:whistling2:
If i sound a bit sarcastic im not dude, Just trying to help :yes:

Heres is mine, See i can fit my Flex giraffe on the vac, I use both sanders, But i just had the festool for years, Old age made me get a bigger sander thinking it would be easier, But its not really, Faster yes, But the festool will get it done for sure.
 

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Worky??? I thought NZ was behind the times?? Ive had one of these sanders and vac for 12 years, I to am a painter/drywaller doing all types of work, Repairs, woodwork, Stripping wallpapers, repairing walls, Full interiors and exteriors, As for these sanders not being suitable for sanding a full interior of a house thats drywalled..............Bollocks, You need the foam pad for it that fits under the sanding disc, 150g, Its fine, Yes you do need to step up and reach more but they actually do have an advantage over the Porter cables etc..............Your looking right at what you are sanding so you dont miss things, Chips, scratches, Trowel laps etc. Its a little slower than the bigger sanders but dont fool yourself its not capable, Most drywallers here in my area only have these sanders, I could still easy sand a large house in a day or less, And these sanders do a better job of corners than the bigger sanders if your doing your corners by hand, Are you Listening Moore :yes:

They float and hover over the drywall very well and do very good job of dust removal. The velco will loose its grip in time but just get another pad for it, Get some foam pads too, A few spares for softer sanding, Man, What are they teaching you over at paint talk, Your not going to tell me they dont have em either are you???:whistling2:
If i sound a bit sarcastic im not dude, Just trying to help :yes:

Heres is mine, See i can fit my Flex giraffe on the vac, I use both sanders, But i just had the festool for years, Old age made me get a bigger sander thinking it would be easier, But its not really, Faster yes, But the festool will get it done for sure.
Thanks for the good post and pics. I know they are capable but was just anticipating all the comments to come about it being slower than say a Planex or a PC set up.

I am new to Festool, seen their stuff for some time now but just recently tried them and I am hooked.

They have a longer following over the pond than they do here, but it seems once you drink the kool-aid you are a junky lol.

Yeah some of the painters use them at PT but I think the painters say in the UK use them more and have for much longer.

You have been hooked for 12 years and I tried my first one at the end of November so I am behind. We should of been trading sprayer stuff for Festool years ago lol.

So you do big jobs with the hand sanders? I knew I was going to give it a go but was not sure how many others do. Looking forward to bouncing some ideas off you, it is late and I should of been in bed awhile back but getting new tools is like A kid on Christmas.

Again thanks for showing me your set up. Are you a member of the FOG forum?
 

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Actually i have been using them for more like 15 years, We were doing drywall by hand with harder muds, Self taught so we had trowel laps etc, We were sanding by hand but thought that was a total joke, Messy and slow and hard.

I had a cheap karcher vac for cleaning up our mess so one day i spotted a festool sander, I thought no way in hell it work but im always one to try before judging so the salesman gave me a good deal on it and i taped to the karcher vac and started the play about with it. To my amazement it actually worked :blink:

That sander and cheap vac would have lasted 7 years or so, Yes we did many full houses, Not as big as your places but some big two story places etc, What happened is the sander got a slight off centre shake to it so dug out the wall slightly, This was before they had the foam pads, They will stop that, Anyway. I went and brought a festool new sander and vac and used that soley for another 3 years or so, But i burnt out a bit and got sore from overwork so thought the bigger pcs might be less strain so got one, They are easier and faster, BUT as i said, the festool your up close to your work so you dont miss much, The bigger pcs your away from your work, you cant see it up close so you miss scratches and chips or trowel laps etc so you need to light check more behind the bigger pcs, Also with the festool your up close so you pick up dents etc in the board you missed, Keep a pencil handy and mark it, Get it later.

Good bag management is the key, Take care how you place and remove the bag, Hold the plastic part, dont pull on the bag itself, I can get about 4 emptys from a bag before it gets to soft, They can tear and then dust will clog up the filters, Still not a drama, Just unclip them and bang em agaist a fence and brush em out, And the vac, Put them back in and a new bag and off you go again, Bags are $25 here. I have changed the filters once, I had to wire on another plug the yesterday, Its never died though, Great vac, I like em better than the upright vacs. I have some 80g and 150g discs, I buy em buy the box full, but they last me years. I have used the sander for everything, Interior, exterior, doors, etc.

I dont know what the FOG forum is?? Paintalk is a bit much for me, Its a shame about the time zone thing as i cant chat on forums, Your all asleep so im here when you all are not, Im havent much free time for it really, only later in evening and mornings before work, Famliy etc. Feel free to ask me anything Worky, Its all good, Most things about painting as well, I have my NZ trade cert in Painting and Decorating.

So do you do any wallcoverings?? I think i asked you that before and you said no?? Is it not commom in USA, I dont think it is in Oz either??
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Actually i have been using them for more like 15 years, We were doing drywall by hand with harder muds, Self taught so we had trowel laps etc, We were sanding by hand but thought that was a total joke, Messy and slow and hard.
I am still doing drywall by hand, I normally do a bath here a room there and repairs, every now and then I take a entire smaller house and I think after I get done I need to invest and learn mechanical tools. If this year is anything like last I will have to figure out what is most important and what will benefit me the most and try some new or new to me at least drywall tools.


That sander and cheap vac would have lasted 7 years or so, Yes we did many full houses, Not as big as your places but some big two story places etc, What happened is the sander got a slight off centre shake to it so dug out the wall slightly, This was before they had the foam pads, They will stop that, Anyway. I went and brought a festool new sander and vac and used that soley for another 3 years or so, But i burnt out a bit and got sore from overwork so thought the bigger pcs might be less strain so got one, They are easier and faster, BUT as i said, the festool your up close to your work so you dont miss much, The bigger pcs your away from your work, you cant see it up close so you miss scratches and chips or trowel laps etc so you need to light check more behind the bigger pcs, Also with the festool your up close so you pick up dents etc in the board you missed, Keep a pencil handy and mark it, Get it later.
That is a good long time for a sander set up, even running it regularly for the three you mentioned is a big win compared to the crap ass hand buzzers like the dewalts I have been using for so long.
I played with a Planex for a minute and it was nice and I wish I had one but they are not available here until mid year, also for the size of jobs I do it is over kill, besides drywall joints what else would I use it for other than sanding walls for paint. Although I have wondered if it could be used on a deck or floor and texture removal but the cost for it makes it impractical for me at least anytime soon.

Good bag management is the key, Take care how you place and remove the bag, Hold the plastic part, dont pull on the bag itself, I can get about 4 emptys from a bag before it gets to soft, They can tear and then dust will clog up the filters, Still not a drama, Just unclip them and bang em agaist a fence and brush em out, And the vac, Put them back in and a new bag and off you go again, Bags are $25 here. I have changed the filters once, I had to wire on another plug the yesterday, Its never died though, Great vac, I like em better than the upright vacs. I have some 80g and 150g discs, I buy em buy the box full, but they last me years. I have used the sander for everything, Interior, exterior, doors, etc.
Makes sense to me on the bags, they are about $31 for five bags here of course maybe yours are bigger or maybe you meant $25 for five bags. Either way getting the most bang for the buck out of them is ideal, I was loading my first bag in the vac today and thought to myself there should be a closure that you could open up to dump the debris to prolong bag life. I know they will eventually wear thin and be tossed but the most the better. That is a great run on the vac as well, I hope I have the same life span of mine.
I like their three year warranty and the 30 days no questions asked return policy, not that I will use that but that is something they make clear when considering them.
What type of paper are you using? Brilliant2, Cristal, ect? Have you tried Granat? It is suppose to last way longer than the others, that is what I am going to be running with.
Pretty much what I want to do to, use the sander for what ever I can get away with an eliminate as much arm sanding as possible

I dont know what the FOG forum is?? Paintalk is a bit much for me, Its a shame about the time zone thing as i cant chat on forums, Your all asleep so im here when you all are not, Im havent much free time for it really, only later in evening and mornings before work, Famliy etc. Feel free to ask me anything Worky, Its all good, Most things about painting as well, I have my NZ trade cert in Painting and Decorating.
FOG is the Festool Owners Group forum http://festoolownersgroup.com/index.php They have good informative guys there and access to festool employees, green junkies, hobbyists, tradesmen. Good group. Well organized forum.
At least the message board aspect works still, even on a different schedule and time zone communication is possible on our own times. I appreciate it, I am sure I will drive you crazy with my lack of knowledge on some mechanical's as I have seen your tool pics and look forward to your insight with Festool as well.

So do you do any wallcoverings?? I think i asked you that before and you said no?? Is it not commom in USA, I dont think it is in Oz either??
No I was never taught wall coverings, I have seen some nice styles lately that I would consider in my own home so maybe I will practice one day. In the states we are a bit more wild west. In the UK you have to take a certain amount of classes and followed the apprenticeship and earn your spot while being diverse, in the states you can start up with zero experience pay for some insurance, licenses, comp and off you go, of course we are not all like that I did many years before making partner in a family business and then eventually turning it into my own.

Good talking to you I did not get much sleep but it is about time to crank the coffee pot and start getting the kids ready for school which my wife does most of and prepare for another day. Take it easy. :thumbup:
 

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You dont need to much in the way of drywall tools with what your doing, Homax banjo for tapes, and a CP tube and flusher kit and mudhead for topping corners would greatly help you, You can still wipe corners by hand, And trowel it. You have the sander. That would start you off without a divorce.

I use my festool sander for many things, As i said we have wallcoverings here, From 1930 on, Right when Plaster board first came here, This old wallpapers need stripped and the glue was just flour and water, It stuck very well to the board paper, Its hard to strip off and the walls need sanded and patched up, The festool with an 80g or less is great for this, Cleaning the fuzz and old glues off ready for new wallpaper, Also, Doors, Flat panel painted doors with old enamel oil paint, Windows, Interior or exterior if they are big enough, Exterior weatherboards if they are bad enough. Its not really fine detail sander, I just hand sand or i have a small black and decker mouse sander if i want to use one.

No i did mean the bags are $25 each, not for 5, There is a long life bag for $300 but why bother. And Nortan and 3m are the main sanding disc brands here, At the moment i have 3m, They go good.

Heres spme Pics, I have all the vac attachments for cleaning up as well, Thats a laddermax, Do you work off ladders much, This clamps to the top rungs of a ladder to keep you off the wall, Great for waterblasting, Painting spouting,eves. http://www.haxnicks.co.uk/gardening/diy-builder-products/laddermax/

Thats a wall of my shed, And thats a wallpapering machine, Made in nz, And thats a wallpaper book you chose wallpapers from. There are hundreds of different looks.
 

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I have the Starmix vacuum for the PC Caz, I'm supposed to use it with bags but never have, I just blow the filters off after each use and occasionally wash them, a while back I washed the filters and while they were drying the boy grab the Starmix to vacuum out his car..... with no filters in......aaaaaargh!!! :furious: and I'm talking teenagers car too (rubbish bin), they must be good quality because it still goes.
 

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For repair work, what are the advantages of the festool over the pc?

I will always go the festool over a PC for repair work or bathrooms, smaller rooms, toilets, hallways, wardrobes etc, Its much easier to move about, And like i said you looking right at your work so you dont miss anything, Also with a festool you can "Shape" your work/ patch, Take more or less off here and there to suit, A PC just wants to make it flat, Hence blown tapes on raised butts/patches. Just adjust the speed control on the festool to suit, It can sand very fine if you can.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
You dont need to much in the way of drywall tools with what your doing, Homax banjo for tapes, and a CP tube and flusher kit and mudhead for topping corners would greatly help you, You can still wipe corners by hand, And trowel it. You have the sander. That would start you off without a divorce.
Thanks, that is what I was thinking too, the cheaper tools like the banjo. lol Yeah the wife does not like a lot of spending during the winter.

I use my festool sander for many things, As i said we have wallcoverings here, From 1930 on, Right when Plaster board first came here, This old wallpapers need stripped and the glue was just flour and water, It stuck very well to the board paper, Its hard to strip off and the walls need sanded and patched up, The festool with an 80g or less is great for this, Cleaning the fuzz and old glues off ready for new wallpaper, Also, Doors, Flat panel painted doors with old enamel oil paint, Windows, Interior or exterior if they are big enough, Exterior weatherboards if they are bad enough. Its not really fine detail sander, I just hand sand or i have a small black and decker mouse sander if i want to use one.
:thumbup:
No i did mean the bags are $25 each, not for 5, There is a long life bag for $300 but why bother. And Nortan and 3m are the main sanding disc brands here, At the moment i have 3m, They go good.
That is so crazy. I am looking into another hose to add and the prices are like wow.

Heres spme Pics, I have all the vac attachments for cleaning up as well, Thats a laddermax, Do you work off ladders much, This clamps to the top rungs of a ladder to keep you off the wall, Great for waterblasting, Painting spouting,eves. http://www.haxnicks.co.uk/gardening/diy-builder-products/laddermax/

Thats a wall of my shed, And thats a wallpapering machine, Made in nz, And thats a wallpaper book you chose wallpapers from. There are hundreds of different looks.
Thanks for the pics, we have similar different stand offs but I had not seen that one before. You have access to a pivot tool over there? http://www.provisiontools.com/
I have a couple of them along with ladder leg levelers on a few of my ladders. Yes I use ladders, everything from a 4' step up to a 40' extension.
For repair work, what are the advantages of the festool over the pc?
For me having had the opportunity to get some hands on with Festool and learning about them I saw the value. Mostly dustless repair work, tools with 3yr warranty and a 30 day no questions asked return policy are all perks. Having talked to the people at Festool I got a good feel for them and it was quickly apparent to me the pride they took in their tools. If you send a tool in for repair they will try and get it back to you in 2 days after receiving it, or you can get the parts to repair on your own.

Something to consider with the Extractors is that all the new models have the same motor with a hepa filter which is good words to use since it is a term your customers will understand so if you buy a small one you are getting the same power as the big one but a smaller capacity. Also the sanders and the vac can be turned up or down so they can be dialed in just where you want them for the task at hand.

So over all they cost more initially but the ROI is there imo and you will be offering a cleaner service to your customers with less material and labor costs.

If you are considering festool I recommend calling and getting a rep to meet you if you do not have a store near you, this way you can investigate festool by asking questions and get some hands on time with the tools and if you are like me you will be looking for reasons to say yes to festool.
 
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That pivot thing looks good, I just use blocks of wood etc, Bit dodgy really.

Festools are the best power tools there are, My first old model festool, I listed that for sale saying it was a little off centre, It sold in minutes, For 40% of the cost of my new one.

But i think there bigger drywall sander hasnt worked out well for them.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
That pivot thing looks good, I just use blocks of wood etc, Bit dodgy really.

Festools are the best power tools there are, My first old model festool, I listed that for sale saying it was a little off centre, It sold in minutes, For 40% of the cost of my new one.

But i think there bigger drywall sander hasnt worked out well for them.
The pivot's work really well, I have two of them and they are good in all kinds of places. We all do sketchy stuff from time to time.

The resale on festool here in the states are amazing, a used sander will bring around 70-90% of original cost.
Not sure about the how well the Planex is doing there but here in the states is not available. until something like 06/12. I am interested but want to know the price point. Below is a pic for any members who do not know what we are are talking about and a pic with me trying it at Festool Indiana head quarters.

This will not do you any good but for people in North America they have a monthly giveaway http://blog.festoolusa.com/post/2012/01/31/Win-a-Festool-Kapex-and-CT-26-HEPA-Dust-Extractor!.aspx
This month it is a sweet package, if other members look into this it is something new every month so bookmark the page and keep trying.
 

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I bought a Planex a few years back, before that I had a Portercable one, and the Planex is far superior, for one you don't need to be continually cleaning and greasing the cable. The Planex is virtually maintenance free, A small light starts flashing when the sanding head needs blown out but thats about it.
The best feature is the fact that you can have it suck from the center of the sanding disks, this makes the entire disk contact the board evenly , the portercable one tended to dig in more round the perimeter and leave swirly marks on skimmed walls. The Planex can gently sand a skimmed wall very evenly even with softer compounds.
The vacuum cleaner has a huge filter that periodically "bangs" the dust off itself so that you don't have to keep taking it out to clean it like the portercable ones, swapping fliters though is tricky as dust invariably get s into where its shouldn't, I probably should get a can of compressed air to blow the dust out before fitting the new filter.
Down side is that the main hose tends to be a little soft and kinks alot blocking the suction, and the Vacuum weighs a ton.
They're marketed and being good for wall paper removal but they absolutely suck at it, excuse the pun...I've only used 80 grit pads though for that.
 

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Hey Workaholic,

When you tried the Planex, how much dust made it to the floor?

I used my RO 150 once, just to see, and dust was falling (very very little). I decided to mask and do it the old fashioned way.

The reason I'm asking is: I sanded an acoustic scrape today (someone else scraped it), and all told I spent maybe an hour to an hour and a half actually sanding. The other 6 hours were spent masking, sweeping, and vacuuming. That's ridiculous.

I'd need to find a way to borrow the $1750 to pay for the sucker (would want the AC model for longevity and productivity), but it would pay for itself real fast........IF it's dust free.
 

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Hey Workaholic,

When you tried the Planex, how much dust made it to the floor?

I used my RO 150 once, just to see, and dust was falling (very very little). I decided to mask and do it the old fashioned way.

The reason I'm asking is: I sanded an acoustic scrape today (someone else scraped it), and all told I spent maybe an hour to an hour and a half actually sanding. The other 6 hours were spent masking, sweeping, and vacuuming. That's ridiculous.

I'd need to find a way to borrow the $1750 to pay for the sucker (would want the AC model for longevity and productivity), but it would pay for itself real fast........IF it's dust free.
Sorry I missed this Slim.

I only used the Planex in the Indy facility, no real life experience with it but on the demo wall there was practically no dust. In the sunlight you could not see hardly any dust and on the floor there was practically none.

I want to buy a Planex for this very purpose but have not had the right job to justify the cost yet but I am sure it will come soon.

I have been using the ETS sanders for what you described and the dust that does fall is also very small and it is usually from pulling the sander off the ceiling so it is more operator error. The ETS works well but you have to use a ladder and it has a smaller pad. I think the Planex would smoke the ETS and would work great for what you described. There are a couple threads on it at PT and also the Festool forum.
 
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Sorry I missed this Slim.

I only used the Planex in the Indy facility, no real life experience with it but on the demo wall there was practically no dust. In the sunlight you could not see hardly any dust and on the floor there was practically none.

I want to buy a Planex for this very purpose but have not had the right job to justify the cost yet but I am sure it will come soon.

I have been using the ETS sanders for what you described and the dust that does fall is also very small and it is usually from pulling the sander off the ceiling so it is more operator error. The ETS works well but you have to use a ladder and it has a smaller pad. I think the Planex would smoke the ETS and would work great for what you described. There are a couple threads on it at PT and also the Festool forum.
Airborne dust is the major concern for me, because that means it can get in the rest of the house. However, if you can bag a doorway, sand, and then do a quick pass over the floor I'd be okay with that (unless there were gaps in the hardwood or tile grout for it to get trapped in.) I think the tool would pay for itself in 7-8 small jobs, and possibly generate more business once word got out what you were up to. However, in my area no one is using drywall sander/vac combos, so I would seem like a fancy-pants. Which wouldn't be so bad:whistling2:

Thanks for the reply mister:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Airborne dust is the major concern for me, because that means it can get in the rest of the house. However, if you can bag a doorway, sand, and then do a quick pass over the floor I'd be okay with that (unless there were gaps in the hardwood or tile grout for it to get trapped in.) I think the tool would pay for itself in 7-8 small jobs, and possibly generate more business once word got out what you were up to. However, in my area no one is using drywall sander/vac combos, so I would seem like a fancy-pants. Which wouldn't be so bad:whistling2:

Thanks for the reply mister:thumbsup:
For what I do I use the Festool (although most customers do not worry about the brand) as a selling feature that shows the customers I care about the occupied home and is a selling feature. 100% dust free is not accurate I would say 99%.
 

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For what I do I use the Festool (although most customers do not worry about the brand) as a selling feature that shows the customers I care about the occupied home and is a selling feature. 100% dust free is not accurate I would say 99%.
99% works for me:thumbsup: I tell people "I'm going to do my best to get it all, but it's impossible." Then secretly I'm thinking about how I could make it possible. The dust sticking to the plastic is the worst.

Customers may not care about the brand, but I do!
 
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