Author Topic: Review of the Festool Workcenter WCR 1000  (Read 22786 times)

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Offline Brice Burrell

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Review of the Festool Workcenter WCR 1000
« on: March 08, 2011, 08:58 PM »
My review of the Workcenter, it's a work in progress since I'm still figuring out how I'll be using it.  I'm sure someone will ask so I'll address it now, I paid full price for the Workcenter just like the rest of you guys.  You can check for updates on the WCR review on my site. Anyhow, here's what I've got so far...

 
Text and photos by Brice Burrell, copyright 2011 (except the Festool's product description of the Workcenter)

Review of the Festool Workcenter WCR 1000
The new Festool Workcenter is an accessory to help organize your workspace. It mounts to any of Festool's larger dust extractors, CT 22, 26, 33, 36 and 48 extractors, it's also compatible with the boom arm. In a nutshell, it's an adjustable platform for storing and organizing your tools and accessories with pegboard, tool hooks and shelves. I believe the Workcenter is going to change the way I view workspace organization.
   
A closer look at the Festool Workcenter
Let's take a closer look at the Workcenter. Festool lists the min. height as 21 1/2" and max. height about 31", that's without being mounted to a vac. On my CT26 it stands about 51" off the floor at max. height. There is a rotating shelf with adjustable height, a drill tool hook, a sander hook (will hold two sanders) and six hooks and one shelf for the pegboard.
   
In the video below I take a closer look at the WCR 1000.

Festool Workcenter product tour


The Festool Workcenter: The solution to my Problem?
I’m not too proud to admit I have a problem, a workspace clutter problem. My workspace at home is small and it’s rarely much different on my jobsites. As my projects get into full swing the tools and the accompanying accessories start coming out of their Systainers. The tools pile up until I end up knocking things off the table. Or I literally trip over them as I start stacking them on the floor in an attempt to get them out of the way. We’ve all run into this problem at one time or another and it really hampers productivity.

The dust extractor is the heart of the Festool system, so it only seems logical to center a work station around, or in this case, on the extractor. And that is just what the Workcenter is, a mobile and customizable work station for your Festool extractor.



Here's what Festool says about the Workcenter:
Introducing an entirely new way to think about project workflow! The CT Workcenter WCR 1000 is designed to change the way you organize and arrange your workspace, helping you to work more efficiently than ever before. The CT Workcenter provides a convenient way to keep your tools and accessories close at hand, without cluttering your valuable workspace.

The CT Workcenter can be mounted easily to all of Festool's larger Dust Extractors, enabling freedom of movement throughout the shop or jobsite. The CT Workcenter features numerous options for hanging an assortment of tools and accessories, plus height adjustable columns, allowing for easy storage of task-specific Systainers, keeping critical items within arm's reach.


Okay, Festool's product description got me off to a good start but how can I adapt the Workcenter to fit my workflow and make it solve my workspace challenges?



First, let me talk about some of the options already available and why they don’t necessarily work for me. Festool has an outstanding tool storage solution, the Systainer. These uniform tool boxes are great at storing and transporting my Festool tools. I like the compact storage they offer and being able to clip a stack together to get my tools to and from the jobsite. But that’s where the convenience ends for me. Inevitably the tool I want will be in the middle of the stack, so I have to shuffle Systainers. With the tool and accessories inside some Systainers are overly crowded making it harder to get things in and out easily. I do believe the new T-Loc Systainers will be a big improvement and should make accessing the contents much easier, especially when stacked. Festool has the Sysport, a tool chest for Systainers to help make accessing your tools more convenience. This looks to be a nice way to store and organize Systainers without stacking them. However, the number of Sysports I’d need to organize my Systainers the pricing puts these outside of my means. Besides, they wouldn't travel easily to the jobsite. Of course there are things that help, the MFT/Kapex and roll board (Systainer cart) come to mind. I use the small MFT/Kapex as a place to store tools or stage area for materials during a project. Also, the roll board allows me to easily wheel around stacks of Systainers when they need to be relocated.

So, where does the Workcenter fit into all this? I getting to that, I promise, just bear with me a little longer. When a tool comes out (and the Systainer goes back on the shelf) it has to go somewhere when not in use. That usually is in the hose garage of the vac or on the MFT/Kapex-but those spaces fill quickly during a project. Now, this is where the Workcenter is going to come in, a place to store tools and accessories. Okay, thank you Captain Obvious.

Wait a minute, let me explain. You may have seen Festool’s promotional pictures and video for the Workcenter where they show it being used in an auto body shop. They have a sander, a cordless drill, a couple of Systainers, sandpaper and a few other small items that I joking refer to as knickknacks hanging on the Workcenter. I can’t help but feel the Workcenter would never be able to earn its keep if I couldn’t make better use of its potential. I envision using the Workcenter as platform to store numerous tools, far more than Festool shows the Workcenter holding. Check out the video below to see what I mean.

Festool Workcenter


The Festool Workcenter: Power Tool Central
So, in the video you just seen I placed twelve tools and a few other items on the Workcenter. Even with that many tools it wasn't too crowded to easily access everything. Also, it's robust and isn't likely to tip over.

You may not want to store twelve tools on your Workcenter but you certainly could if you choose not keep your tools in Systainers. I’ll admit that if all the accessories that come with the tools were also on the WCR it would become quickly overrun. Realistically, you’d be able to get 4-6 tools with a full set of accessories without overcrowding.



In the picture above I have my four drawer Sortainer with the WCR to keep accessories organized. I have a piece of anti-slip matting to help to keep tools from sliding off the top. Also in the picture I have my mini compressor on the WCR with 23 gauge pinner. My Veto OT-LC tool bag also fits in the WCR dock, that thing is pretty heavy so it’s nice to be able to wheel it around.

In the video below I talk about some neat things I've figure out to do with the Wrokcenter.

Festool Workcenter ideas


The Festool Workcenter: The Tradeoffs
There are some tradeoffs for the convenience. One of the tradeoffs is a less mobile dust extractor. Wheeling the extractor/WCR around is no problem even fully loaded with tools. However, the WCR really needs to removed to carry extractor. Also, changing the filter bag in the vac is more effort with the WCR mounted on my CT26. With the older models CT22 and CT33 the WCR needs to taken off to change out the filter bag. Removing the WCR is very challenging in itself; it collapses quickly to its stored position. You do, of course, need to clear off most, if not all, of the tools to collapse and remove it from the vac. Another thing to keep in mind is the tool/Systainer dock on the WCR is a solid piece of plastic so you can’t reach the hose garage on the vac. I think the benefits of the Workcenter far outweigh these small inconveniences.
   

The Festool Workcenter: In Use/Closing Thoughts
I’ve not owned the WCR long so what I’ve written thus far is more of a first impression than an in-depth review. I have gotten to use the WCR for a couple of small projects at home and one in the field. Everything seems to be working out very well so far. I didn’t find the WCR hard to take to the job at all and once setup it was a real asset. You still need to make an effort to keep things organized on the Workcenter. Keeping the tools organized is easy but you need to pay some attention with what you do with the accessories to stay efficient. In other words, don’t be tempted to pile on the accessories until you’ve got a cluttered mess on your hands. While the Workcenter isn’t large enough to organize everything I’d need for all of my projects, it is a good first line of defense against my workspace clutter problem. It’s not that it just gives me a place to store tools out of the way; it helps me neatly organize them while still having them right at hand. I liken the WCR to the boom arm, it just makes life a lot easier. That has a real value to me.

I plan on adding updates to this review as I learn more at this new accessory. In the mean time you may want to check out Paul Marcel’s blog, Half-Inch Shy for some good info and few informative (and fun) videos on the Workcenter.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2011, 08:43 PM by Brice Burrell »
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Offline PaulMarcel

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Re: Review of the Festool Workcenter WCR 1000
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2011, 09:35 PM »
I like the variety of pictures you put there of different configurations that would be handy for a jobsite.  The little wrench rack to inserted into one of the swinging table slots looks pretty useful; did you put something underneath to center and keep it in place?

Definitely agree that it helps a lot with organization; even for a weekend job in the driveway, it was nice to have everything right there including 4 powertools out of Systainers.

Nice! "Captain Obvious" haha :)
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Offline Tezzer

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Re: Review of the Festool Workcenter WCR 1000
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2011, 09:37 PM »
Excellent review Brice.  Its now on my must buy list.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2011, 09:44 PM by Tezzer »
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Offline Brice Burrell

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Re: Review of the Festool Workcenter WCR 1000
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2011, 10:21 PM »
....The little wrench rack to inserted into one of the swinging table slots looks pretty useful; did you put something underneath to center and keep it in place?...


Yes, I traced the inside of the slot on one piece and then traced the outside of the shelf on the second, over to band saw to cut them out, glue and there you have it, black paint optional.

...Definitely agree that it helps a lot with organization; even for a weekend job in the driveway, it was nice to have everything right there including 4 powertools out of Systainers....

Yeah, this this has quickly become my favorite Festool accessory, sorry boom arm.  I've got a few more neat things in store for the WCR I'll post later in the review (you can cheat and go see what they are now if you visit my YouTube channel).

Excellent review Brice.  Its now on my must buy list.
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Offline Noah Nordrum

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Re: Review of the Festool Workcenter WCR 1000
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2011, 11:32 PM »
Only two videos at 5 and 3 min each?!? Where's the 30 minute three-part video review? you call this a FOG review?

:D
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Offline Brice Burrell

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Re: Review of the Festool Workcenter WCR 1000
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2011, 02:51 PM »
Only two videos at 5 and 3 min each?!? Where's the 30 minute three-part video review? you call this a FOG review?

:D

Yes, it's a written with videos! [tongue]

I added the rest of the review to the first post.
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Offline PeterK

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Re: Review of the Festool Workcenter WCR 1000
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2011, 03:30 PM »
Hey Brice - are you going to put a boom arm on that or keeping it as is to be most portable?

Any issues having a boom arm as well as the WCR?

Love all the tips and ideas. Thanks.

Offline Brice Burrell

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Re: Review of the Festool Workcenter WCR 1000
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2011, 03:59 PM »
Hey Brice - are you going to put a boom arm on that or keeping it as is to be most portable?

Any issues having a boom arm as well as the WCR?

Love all the tips and ideas. Thanks.

I have the CT22 with boom arm that stays at home, I use the 26 on the job.  No problem with the boom and WCR getting along, you may want to relocate some stuff like Paul did in his preview video. 
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Offline fritter63

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Re: Review of the Festool Workcenter WCR 1000
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2011, 04:13 PM »
Thanks for doing that shake test for those of us living out here in "Shake-n-Bake" land.

Offline PaulMarcel

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Re: Review of the Festool Workcenter WCR 1000
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2011, 01:38 AM »
Only two videos at 5 and 3 min each?!? Where's the 30 minute three-part video review? you call this a FOG review?

:D

haha, i resemble that remark  [scared]  Brice is just more direct.

Since the preview video, I've had a full weekend working with the WCR and boom arm and a couple shorter evenings this week.  Definitely doesn't impact being able to use the boom arm other than what I pointed out in the video about a CT-26/33 requiring the boom arm to be on the right-side mounting hole (when looking at it from the back).  Otherwise the bump in the bottom of the WCR hits the arm.  Only other issue I could think of with the boom arm is if you have the dual sander hook for the boom arm (not an issue with the WCR sander hook); if you don't raise the platform like I did, it will still fit, though you won't be able to raise the top of the WCR without impacting its utility.  In my case, I did want that boom-arm version of the sander hook for my power cord so I drilled a transverse hole in the arm.
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Offline kdzito

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Re: Review of the Festool Workcenter WCR 1000
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2011, 10:11 AM »
I received the Work Center yesterday and set it up last night.  Wow, I'm really impressed as it really took care of the clutter.

My initial comments are:

1.  I love its height since I'm tall and in the top tray I set in the colored boxes (to store fastenters) from my SYS-BOX systainer.

2. At the both ends of the top tray there are 2 holes and this is where I put my quick clamps, safety glasses, and clamping elements.

3. On the rotating tray I have put large handled screwdrivers in the wide long open slots.  I saw that Brice Burrell made a wood insert for this slot which is a great mod; however, for my needs I didn't have to do it.

4. I found that the Universal Hook and Double Hook Tool Rest that are shown as mounted to the ends also have the same hole pattern as the peg board.  What I mean is that you can mount these to the pegboard as well. To me, this way is much more secure than using the single "slip-in and fall-out hook".  I'll definitely get at least 2 more of the Universal Hooks and have a total of 3 Universal Hooks on one side of the pegboard.  Voila!!! Now I still have 6 prongs without the aggravation of the Single Prong Hook.  Since only 1 Universal Hook came with the Work Center I'll have to make due with it now until I get the 2 more.    

5. I used the shelf for all my finishing cans and glue bottles.  I also have ordered another shelf.

6. I'm not a big fan of the single prong hooks that slide into the peg board.  I can see myself buying more of the double prong hooks and fastening them to the peg board.

7. I placed 2 Sortainers in the Work Center's base.  This set up reminds me of my rolling tool chest.

8. Once I had the Work Center all loaded up I found that my vac bag was full and will have to change it soon so this is my DUH moment.

All in all the Work Center is a wonderful investment and so far has helped immensely.

Oh, my final comment about the Hooks and Peg Board!!! It became very clear not to get 2 more universal hooks (at $50 a pop) but to take the single prong hooks and drill out their tabs and then I can fasten them to the peg board with oversize washers and the appropriate cap screws & nuts.  And I won't have to wait to do this mod.  It's off to the wonderful world of McMaster Carr!!!!!!!!
« Last Edit: March 10, 2011, 01:48 PM by kdzito »
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Offline Brice Burrell

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Re: Review of the Festool Workcenter WCR 1000
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2011, 10:17 AM »
....4. I found that the hooks that would mount to the ends also have the same hole pattern as the peg board.  I fastened the double pronged hook to the peg board......


What did you use, was it regular round pegboard prong/peg?
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Offline Alan m

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Re: Review of the Festool Workcenter WCR 1000
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2011, 10:19 AM »
pics or it didnt happen.
 [unsure]

cant wait to see how you set it up. are you saying that the double pronged drill clips fit to the peg board. if so will the sander hanger fit also.
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Offline kdzito

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Re: Review of the Festool Workcenter WCR 1000
« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2011, 12:05 PM »
....4. I found that the hooks that would mount to the ends also have the same hole pattern as the peg board.  I fastened the double pronged hook to the peg board......


What did you use, was it regular round pegboard prong/peg?

Brice, sorry, to be more specific about the part it is actually the Universal Hook (497 473) and the bolts/nuts that came with it and fastened this to the Work Center pegboard.  I really can't stand the Single Prong Hooks (497 475) as even though that I got them to seat in the peg board I found out by giving them a good "pop" that they fall out.  These Single Prong Hooks need to be only used in a Festool store fixture where the consumables and accessories are hung for display.  Kurt  
« Last Edit: March 10, 2011, 12:08 PM by kdzito »
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Offline kdzito

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Re: Review of the Festool Workcenter WCR 1000
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2011, 12:07 PM »
pics or it didnt happen.
 [unsure]

cant wait to see how you set it up. are you saying that the double pronged drill clips fit to the peg board. if so will the sander hanger fit also.

Alan, it most undoubly should as it has the same hole pattern as the Universal Hook.  Kurt
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Offline kdzito

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Re: Review of the Festool Workcenter WCR 1000
« Reply #15 on: March 10, 2011, 12:14 PM »
....4. I found that the hooks that would mount to the ends also have the same hole pattern as the peg board.  I fastened the double pronged hook to the peg board......


What did you use, was it regular round pegboard prong/peg?

Brice, sorry, to be more specific about the part it is actually the Universal Hook (497 473) and the bolts/nuts that came with it and fastened this to the Work Center pegboard.  I really can't stand the Single Prong Hooks (497 475) as even though that I got them to seat in the peg board I found out by giving them a good "pop" that they fall out.  These Single Prong Hooks need to be only used in a Festool store fixture where the consumables and accessories are hung for display.  Kurt  

Brice, I just modified my comment in my original post to reflect my comments from above. Kurt
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Offline Demetrius

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Re: Review of the Festool Workcenter WCR 1000
« Reply #16 on: March 11, 2011, 08:43 PM »
Thank you Brice for the review and wonderful video.  You convinced me once you stored all the tools and accessories located previously on the MFT3 on the WCR1000.  The biggest problem one encounters on a work site that require multiple tool usage is where to place them in order that they are readily available and in proximity of the work surface.
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Offline honeydokreg

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Re: Review of the Festool Workcenter WCR 1000
« Reply #17 on: March 18, 2011, 01:48 PM »
Bryce. Thanks!  Again for removing $375. From my bank account!!!

Going tomorrow to buy it as I can see it being helpful in my daily routine as a whatever I am!!!
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Offline honeydokreg

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Re: Review of the Festool Workcenter WCR 1000
« Reply #18 on: March 18, 2011, 05:11 PM »
What is the height of the it on it's shortest setting and from floor with vac. My van has about 48-50" clearance to put things in height wise. Want to see if I have to remove it to put in van or not. Thanks
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Offline shoe maker

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Re: Review of the Festool Workcenter WCR 1000
« Reply #19 on: March 18, 2011, 05:23 PM »
cut a hole in the roof of your van

Offline Tom Bellemare

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Re: Review of the Festool Workcenter WCR 1000
« Reply #20 on: March 18, 2011, 05:43 PM »
What is the height of the it on it's shortest setting and from floor with vac. My van has about 48-50" clearance to put things in height wise. Want to see if I have to remove it to put in van or not. Thanks

That depends on what you set it on, Kreg. It's about 21" or 535mm from the bottom of the unit to the top. It sits in the tray part of the Sys-Doc.


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Offline Brice Burrell

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Re: Review of the Festool Workcenter WCR 1000
« Reply #21 on: March 18, 2011, 05:51 PM »
Kreg, I'm always happy to help FOG part with their money. [thumbs up]  The one issue you'll run into is you'll need to remove the WCR to carry the vac.  The good news is on my CT26 the height is about 51" tall fully extended, so collapsed you'll have no problem storing it in the van without cutting a sunroof.   
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Offline honeydokreg

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Re: Review of the Festool Workcenter WCR 1000
« Reply #22 on: March 18, 2011, 08:16 PM »
Okay thanks !  Lol about cutting hole in roof. Thanks Tom

For the measurements. But  sounds like I will have to pop it off any way but I will see  tomorrow when I pick it up!

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Offline ccarrolladams

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Re: Review of the Festool Workcenter WCR 1000
« Reply #23 on: March 18, 2011, 08:35 PM »
Kreg, do you use a ramp to roll your tools into your van? I ask because sometimes the height of the doors and the angle of the ramp become a problem. In the old days when I supervised the set up and load out of many traveling shows, even using semi-trailers and box trucks the ramp angle could be a problem. It was a major PIA with vans.

The WCR 1000 does seem like a wonderful thing for those who need it and those in large shops with smooth floors.


Okay thanks !  Lol about cutting hole in roof. Thanks Tom

For the measurements. But  sounds like I will have to pop it off any way but I will see  tomorrow when I pick it up!



Offline honeydokreg

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Re: Review of the Festool Workcenter WCR 1000
« Reply #24 on: March 19, 2011, 05:04 AM »
No ramp just heave ho and up it goes!
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Offline BobKovacs

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Re: Review of the Festool Workcenter WCR 1000
« Reply #25 on: March 19, 2011, 06:38 AM »
Kreg, I'm always happy to help FOG part with their money. [thumbs up]  The one issue you'll run into is you'll need to remove the WCR to carry the vac.  The good news is on my CT26 the height is about 51" tall fully extended, so collapsed you'll have no problem storing it in the van without cutting a sunroof.   

Wow- at 51" high, Kreg will need a ladder to get at the stuff on the top shelf..... [big grin]

Offline honeydokreg

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Re: Review of the Festool Workcenter WCR 1000
« Reply #26 on: March 19, 2011, 07:44 AM »
Thanks bob!  Lol. Oh don't forget I still have that Festool shirt and cap I got you ,,,  at this rate it will just be the shirt. Med.
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Offline honeydokreg

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Re: Review of the Festool Workcenter WCR 1000
« Reply #27 on: March 23, 2011, 07:45 AM »
Did not get a chance to pick up the center yet worked late all weekend. So going to Jlc and will pick it up next week and put it to use
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Offline Deke

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Re: Review of the Festool Workcenter WCR 1000
« Reply #28 on: March 23, 2011, 11:22 PM »
Brice, you are dangerous. I have a small shop and quickly dismissed this as something I do not need, but now I am thinking about how I have difficulty managing all the things I use over and over and am constantly putting here,there and everywhere. My Festools in and out of Systainers and the vac hose connected to all, my drills, marking tools, tapes, squares and rules... I have thought about building a little mobile cart, but maybe, just maybe, this could be the item that gets my act together? Again, like all the newer Festools the price is at a point where it hurts a little, but not enough to say no. 

Offline honeydokreg

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Re: Review of the Festool Workcenter WCR 1000
« Reply #29 on: March 24, 2011, 12:12 AM »
cant wait to get back from JLC Live in Providence, ( a convention for contractors)  to go and get my work center.... do you really think it would be helpful?
pay attention to the details.... they make the difference... festool does
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