Author Topic: Possible new Festool owner questions  (Read 1789 times)

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Offline DynaGlide

  • Posts: 60
Possible new Festool owner questions
« on: May 16, 2017, 09:53 AM »
Hello everyone,

I've been dabbling with woodworking the past two years. I'm extremely space constrained with a small 1 car garage that serves as tool, motorcycle, and household storage. I have a DeWalt 12" sliding miter saw, a JessEm 08350 doweling jig, the other usual stuff like circular saw, jigsaw, etc from good companies. So far I've built a few tables. I'd like to make some shop carts, cabinets. I do not have room for a table saw or router table.

I've been considering getting the TS 55 and the CT 26. My budget may allow for one more item. I see with the MFT i could get away with a replacement top and some qwas dogs to save space and get most of the functionality. This would let me get an OF 1400 to use with the TS guide rail, or a RO 125 sander.

I'd like to hear some thoughts from those more experienced.

Thanks

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Offline RobBob

  • Posts: 1164
Re: Possible new Festool owner questions
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2017, 10:04 AM »
Consider the TS55, Midi vac, and MFT/3 Basic.  This will give you a good usable combination.  Don't forget to ask if you can get the holey rail instead of the standard guide rail.

Adding this accessory will help avoid some frustration.  You really don't need the MFT/3 Set if you get this and some Parf Dogs.
Either the GRS-16 or GRS-16 PE



I think you can get all items except the GRS Square from festoolproducts.com, but you may want to buy locally because shipping the MFT/3 can be risky.  Ask @Shane about shipping an MFT/3.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2017, 10:37 AM by RobBob »

Offline JimH2

  • Posts: 492
Re: Possible new Festool owner questions
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2017, 10:17 AM »
It is kind of sad that you recommend an aftermarket rail jig when buying a Festool saw with a rail. Gives a perspective customer a not so good feeling about their pending purchase.

Offline RobBob

  • Posts: 1164
Re: Possible new Festool owner questions
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2017, 10:20 AM »
It is kind of sad that you recommend an aftermarket rail jig when buying a Festool saw with a rail. Gives a perspective customer a not so good feeling about their pending purchase.

How ridiculous.  Why would I want to give a prospective customer bad advice?  Would you have said the same if I had recommended Qwas or Parf Dogs?

Offline Peter Parfitt

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Re: Possible new Festool owner questions
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2017, 10:36 AM »
Hello everyone,

I've been dabbling with woodworking the past two years. I'm extremely space constrained with a small 1 car garage that serves as tool, motorcycle, and household storage. I have a DeWalt 12" sliding miter saw, a JessEm 08350 doweling jig, the other usual stuff like circular saw, jigsaw, etc from good companies. So far I've built a few tables. I'd like to make some shop carts, cabinets. I do not have room for a table saw or router table.

I've been considering getting the TS 55 and the CT 26. My budget may allow for one more item. I see with the MFT i could get away with a replacement top and some qwas dogs to save space and get most of the functionality. This would let me get an OF 1400 to use with the TS guide rail, or a RO 125 sander.

I'd like to hear some thoughts from those more experienced.

Thanks
Rather than getting an MFT3 at an early stage, and after getting the brilliant TS55 and CT26 go for the Domino DF500.

The Domino has transformed my woodworking but it needs a really good extractor (CT26 is brilliant).

I suspect you will be cutting up a lot of sheet goods (plywood and MDF) so the TS55 with that CT26 is perfect.

You can make your own work bench with a top similar to the MFT3. Even more simple would be a pair of trestles and a custom top (part of a sheet of MDF) with just the right number of holes so that you can use whatever flavour of dogs you prefer to guarantee perfect 90 and 45 degree cuts.

Peter

Offline egmiii

  • Posts: 58
Re: Possible new Festool owner questions
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2017, 10:40 AM »
It is kind of sad that you recommend an aftermarket rail jig when buying a Festool saw with a rail. Gives a perspective customer a not so good feeling about their pending purchase.

I'm not sure how to interpret this comment, but the Festool saw and rail are excellent products. Accessories to square the rail and make parallel cuts are better served by aftermarket alternatives. Festool is a large company and they can't compete with the nimble, innovative, and small shops on lower margin accessories.

Offline Terry Fogarty

  • Posts: 393
Re: Possible new Festool owner questions
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2017, 10:42 AM »
Just get a Domino, it's the ultimate and you won't regret it
.

Offline Bob Marino

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Re: Possible new Festool owner questions
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2017, 10:47 AM »
It is kind of sad that you recommend an aftermarket rail jig when buying a Festool saw with a rail. Gives a perspective customer a not so good feeling about their pending purchase.

How ridiculous.  Why would I want to give a prospective customer bad advice?  Would you have said the same if I had recommended Qwas or Parf Dogs?

 I think  JimH2 was saying it's unfortunate that the customer would need to go outside the Festool system, that's it's not inherent in the Festool system and not directed at you.
Festool  Dealer since 2002; user well before that!
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Offline Peter Parfitt

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Re: Possible new Festool owner questions
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2017, 10:56 AM »
I think that @RobBob makes a fair comment and maybe @Bob Marino is right too so no need to get too worried here.

The point is that Festool cannot be expected to have every possible accessory available to cover every type of working practice.

The MFT3 is a great tool but very expensive and the money would be better spent on the Domino DF500. The role of the after market products from so many companies is to fill the gaps and provide capability to the user without busting his or her wallet.

Qwas, TSO, Lee Valley and Axminster (and maybe many others) are in this game and users can make their choice based on recommendations from FOGgers who have bought into their systems.

Peter
« Last Edit: May 17, 2017, 12:08 AM by Peter Parfitt »

Offline ben_r_

  • Posts: 791
Re: Possible new Festool owner questions
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2017, 11:24 AM »
It is kind of sad that you recommend an aftermarket rail jig when buying a Festool saw with a rail. Gives a perspective customer a not so good feeling about their pending purchase.
LOL this is just TOO funny! Festool does NOT make everything one might need/like, nor do they have/offer the perfect solution to every problem/situation. They are merely the best option out there and most "complete" system offered by any one manufacturer. There is ALWAYS room for improvement and that fact has feed the innovation of MANY third party companies. Anyone new coming into the Festool world should learn quickly that it's not just Festool that will suck all your money away, but also everything else that goes along with it!
If at first you don't succeed, redefine success!

Offline ShadyMaple

  • Posts: 22
Re: Possible new Festool owner questions
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2017, 11:50 AM »
First of all, as someone who took the festool plunge, I have to say the products are great.  There is something to be said for buying a tool that could possibly last my son's lifetime.

You stated:  So far I've built a few tables. I'd like to make some shop carts, cabinets

You could probably get by spending some money on Kreg Jigs and what you have now if this is what you are looking to make.   Or look at some sommerfeld tools.  That being said. . . .

Sounds like you probably don't have a table saw.  A track saw will get you very far with cabinets.  I would start with a TS55 if you do sheet goods - a 75 if you see yourself doing lumber.  The MFT is great and I love it - but you can definitely do a lot with the TSO product mentioned up thread.  You will get square results - no need for MFT.  Just mark your spot and cut!  Check out some of the videos on youtube.

If you don't like the TSO route - I would invest in some parallel guides.  I own the Senecca - but just bought the Woodpecker's one time tool and can't wait to try that.  I use a 'story stick' to set my distance and cut. 

I couldn't live without my MFT now.  Yes - there are other ways to do things, but I've already bought in and gotten used to the workflow.  The one thing I will say if you look at buying one - I DON'T consider this quickly portable (heavy/cumbersome).  If I had to do it again, I'd get a Centipede fold-away and make an MFT top.  Lighter weight and easier/faster to break down.

Personally, I had mixed results with the 1400 and the guide rail.  I tend to use mine in the router table almost exclusively.  I mostly use mine for dovetails or with a slot cutter for dados.  I definitely don't use my router to it's fullest extent.  If I had to go back and do it again, I'd probably get a smaller portable router table with a dedicated motor.  My CMS is definitely a regretted purchase - I'd much rather have the VL version.

The beauty of Festool, IMO, is that every tool you buy comes with very organized storage.  This was the reason I bought in.  I have a little bigger space than you - but I move my shop from basement to garage depending on the weather - and knowing I can pick up my shop and move it pretty easily is a huge bonus for me. 

Despite my gripes, it is a joy to use my Festool equipment.  Don't let the haters up thread get to you about the after market accessories.  The truth is - Festool makes great tools but they do have their weaknesses. The strengths more than make up for them, IMO.

Offline grbmds

  • Posts: 1728
Re: Possible new Festool owner questions
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2017, 02:29 PM »
The problem with giving recommendations to people starting out in woodworking is that everyone develops a way of working with wood that, in some ways, is unique to them and how they feel comfortable doing the work.

I love my MFT. Could I get along without it? Probably, but, at this point, I wouldn't want to. I have not found any other method that allows me to do final crosscuts to length perfectly square every time. That's worth a lot to me, but isn't always the prime consideration for others.

Since the poster already has a circular saw, it might not be necessary to spend the money required on a TS55 right now. Does the TS55 with a rail do great work? No question there. There are many after market jigs for circular saws and routers that, while they probably don't duplicate the Festool TS55/guide rail combination, I believe they do the same thing (maybe without the great dust collection). I've seen them at the Woodworking Shows.

It's hard to recommend first, basic tools to anyone because, over time, their methods of work change and evolve into their methods which are no one else's. Because of that, I would suggest buying as little as possible on the front end until you get to the point you know what you really need to work the way you want to and build what you want to build.

I got along with a lot of average tools and still built very satisfactory built-ins, furniture, stained glass window frames, small items, and shop furniture for many years before I was able to afford high quality, much more expensive tools and before all of the great tools on the market today were available. I never bought many hand tools, but that is another option, especially in the area of hand planes. Less mess and they tend to teach more about basic woodworking skills and concepts than power tools.

You might find that, with the TS55/MFT combo you no longer have any use for your miter saw. I did. I sold mine because I found that I could cross-cut, do miter cuts, and do bevel cuts with the TS55/MFT better and more dust-free than with the Hitachi miter saw I had. I don't miss it.

Is the TS55/Festool vac a great combo. Of course and, with the MFT, for me, it is even more valuable for doing quality, dust-free work. Is the Domino 500 a great tool which changes the way you work. Absolutely for me. Again dust-free. Do the Festool routers in combination with guide rails, great dust collection, and center line marks on the base make these either the best or close to the best on the market. Absolutely, again, for me. However, you can do the same work with other, less expensive routers. So, my advice is take it slow. Buy a minimum of tools until you get to a point that a particular tool is almost a requirement. It helps you spend less money over the long run and gets you the tools you really need not the tools that you think you want. It also helps you understand woodworking better because you find that sometimes you can do the same work with just the tools you have. If you're not doing this for a living, what difference does it make if it takes a little longer?
Randy

Offline jobsworth

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Re: Possible new Festool owner questions
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2017, 02:51 PM »
Once you go down the festool route and drink the green kool aid you'll never go back.

Festool is a system .

a system that is adapted to your personal goals.

The basic of that system is a CT, MFT and. TS 55/ TS 75. Once you get those 3 items you build the system on it.

Loving the Calif sun....

Offline antss

  • Posts: 1374
Re: Possible new Festool owner questions
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2017, 04:45 PM »
It is kind of sad that you recommend an aftermarket rail jig when buying a Festool saw with a rail. Gives a perspective customer a not so good feeling about their pending purchase.

I'm not sure how to interpret this comment, but the Festool saw and rail are excellent products. Accessories to square the rail and make parallel cuts are better served by aftermarket alternatives. Festool is a large company and they can't compete with the nimble, innovative, and small shops on lower margin accessories.


I'm in agreement here.  We're talking in broad generalizations when we say Festool is ............

Of course they don't make the best product throughout their lineup. Especially when it comes to accessories.  I also have to say they are probably resting on their laurels with the track saws.  Others have better, cheaper, faster accessories and maybe even rails and saws.   
@TylerC - please pass along to the relevant people.

But as a whole, few if any offer the width and breadth of lineup along with the quality and storage solutions.  That's why Festool is held in high regard.  Milwaukee but not quality, and no storage system.  Mafell more quality, but not the number of tools and the prices are more.  Festool fills a niche.

Offline Holmz

  • Posts: 3978
Re: Possible new Festool owner questions
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2017, 08:41 AM »
...
I've been dabbling with woodworking the past two years. I'm extremely space constrained with a small 1 car garage that serves as tool, motorcycle, and household storage. I have a DeWalt 12" sliding miter saw, a JessEm 08350 doweling jig, the other usual stuff like circular saw, jigsaw, etc from good companies. So far I've built a few tables. I'd like to make some shop carts, cabinets. I do not have room for a table saw or router table.
...

A track saw is great for cutting sheets, and chisel or a hand plane totally suck for sawing sheets.
A chisels and plane are great tools for working sticks of wood.

Are you cutting sheets to make cupboards for the garage?
or what are you making?

The no brainer Festools are the Domino and the belt sander... And maybe the RO sanders.
Even the DX93 and RAS have Bosch or other equivalents.
While the ETS/EC is pretty good, it is not unique as there is the Mirka.
^This^ is a long way of saying "it is not the tools", and what you have has been working so far.

I would think a proper bench or an MFT may be good ???
- Proper-bench if you hand plane
- and the MFT is nice for glueing and clamping.

On the other hand a track saw can be used in a driveway on a folding table or saw horses, with out an MFT, and also without a vacuum.

But I would be making storage with a tight garage, or I would be doing small projects mostly using hand tools for the finish work.
But really my situation is not wholly dissimilar, and I just work in the driveway a lot.

Offline SRSemenza

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Re: Possible new Festool owner questions
« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2017, 09:26 AM »
Hello everyone,

I've been dabbling with woodworking the past two years. I'm extremely space constrained with a small 1 car garage that serves as tool, motorcycle, and household storage. I have a DeWalt 12" sliding miter saw, a JessEm 08350 doweling jig, the other usual stuff like circular saw, jigsaw, etc from good companies. So far I've built a few tables. I'd like to make some shop carts, cabinets. I do not have room for a table saw or router table.

I've been considering getting the TS 55 and the CT 26. My budget may allow for one more item. I see with the MFT i could get away with a replacement top and some qwas dogs to save space and get most of the functionality. This would let me get an OF 1400 to use with the TS guide rail, or a RO 125 sander.

I'd like to hear some thoughts from those more experienced.

Thanks



Hi,

    Welcome to the forum!  [smile]

    You will need / want a lot of tools and accessories from many sources. And others have stated your individual set up. space, method of work, tools you already own, etc. will differ at least to some degree from other peoples so tool recommendations will come from a wide variety of perspectives.

    Here's my  2 cents based on the info you have provided .............

           TS55 (comes with 55" rail),
            75" rail, second 55" rail (and connectors) unless you have space to store a 2700 or 3000 rail.
           CT Midi or CT26 Good size and good handling for you situation.
           OF1400 with rail and edge guides, D36 Hose for better DC in your smallish multi-use space.
           ETS150/5 with additional pads. Broad range sander that will do nearly everything you want for less than a Rotex.
           Kreg jig greatly aids assembly no matter what other joining tools / system you use.
           

    There are a number of ways to do your measuring and marking but you can start with whatever you have. Add as you decide which items will work for you.  Just make sure you have at least one accurate square and something you can use for consistent measurements.

   There are a number of joinery methods. Domino is awesome but will put a huge hole in your budget ..... get it later.

   Specialized squaring tools, parallel guides, etc. are great. But can all be done without until you get going and can figure what you really want to use.

   MFT is great but I would add it later  if you decide you want it. Save the dollars and build your own work benches and tables. It will give you some practice with the new tools and help you figure out what additional things you need.

      There is a ton of stuff that could be added. And the quantity of tools , specialized tools, and accessories available is daunting to sort through. Almost impossible until you start working on things.


Seth
« Last Edit: May 17, 2017, 09:31 AM by SRSemenza »

Offline BigfootBuilder

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Re: Possible new Festool owner questions
« Reply #16 on: May 17, 2017, 11:19 AM »
I didn't read through all of the above yet where there is doubtless tons of good info as is the standard here, but I very much agree with Seth's post above ^

There is no better tool than your imagination, creativity, and some tenacity/problem solving when it comes to woodworking. Even knowing your goals, all we can do is offer advice based on our own experiences, which will vary greatly from yours.

Given that you're fresh into woodworking, I'd advise to go slow with your purchases and get only the things that you need at the given time, and become comfortable with their functioning as you realize your next need and move on from there. I'm of the school of thought that you need to learn to use a handsaw before a chop saw, a hammer and nail before a nail gun, etc. It has a way of inspiring more respect for the tools when you realize truly how the mechanical tools aids the process once done by the hand, and you know, it's not the tool that builds the table, it's the tool user.

That said:
-The track saw (TS55 REQ) has revolutionized the way that I work. I do think this is something that every carpenter should have, especially if you are new into woodworking it is MUCH safer than a table saw, when used properly.
-Dust extractor - yes. By all means, yes. I have a CT 26, works great for my needs so far, and perfect if you're in a small space.
-RO 125, don't have a Rotex but I hear they're nice. I have the ETS 125/3 EC which is the finish sander of the same size, I love it, but it did just start giving me problems. If you can afford it go for it. These sander/DE combos are veerrrry nice.
-OF1400 is also great, all of this stuff is great. Do you have need for a router right now?

-I don't own the MFT, so I can't comment on their use, I know many love them and wouldn't work without them anymore. They're expensive, and I feel you could put your money elsewhere at this point in the game. Use your new fancy tools to build yourself a workbench that fits in your space. Look up the Paulk Workbench, and maybe buy his plans (like $20) and you could scale it to fit in your shop? The plan is for a 4'x8' bench, which I personally need to build the stuff I build, I can't hang with the 3'x5' size. Too small. Also, I feel that beyond the incredible function of the Paul bench, it will also give you the satisfaction of building AND customizing your own table for your own needs, it allows for storage of tools and materials, and breaks down fairly easily. I like, nay, insist on building things rather than buying them, but this is again, just my personal preference.

Let us know how it goes!

« Last Edit: May 17, 2017, 11:22 AM by BigfootBuilder »

Offline DynaGlide

  • Posts: 60
Re: Possible new Festool owner questions
« Reply #17 on: May 17, 2017, 01:26 PM »
Thank you all for the wonderful advice. I am on the road but will update when I'm home and make a decision. I need to digest some.

Offline grobkuschelig

  • Posts: 161
Re: Possible new Festool owner questions
« Reply #18 on: May 17, 2017, 02:04 PM »
I think all has been said, but when I'm searching for purchasing guides, I also want to hear all the opinions I can get, so here are my two cents.

I do woodwork wherever space permits. (Family property, girlfriend's balcony, living room) so I know about space constraints.
That was my biggest reason to get into Festool.

My suggestions:
CT26 - I think the midi is too small in capacity and anything above the 26 gets hard to move around.

TS55 - My only saw at the moment, and a brilliant one!

GSR-16 - Bought this when I first found it on the web (Christmas morning..;) has been THE single best accessory for the Guide-rail! (TS & OF) just snap it on and off you go! A must have, in my opinion.

DF500 - brilliant if you join anything. Had an old biscuit joiner and sold that the minute the Domino arrived and never looked back!

Sander - I'd always go 150 / 6" just for the size benefit and being quicker on larger material.

OF - I use a 1010, which has covered all my needs this far. Like it because it is so small, but the 1400 has the nicer collet. Choose according to your needs.

Anyways, as long as the tool keeps pushing your woodworking forward, it is the right tool, regardless of color. ;)

Enjoy!

Online Jmacpherson

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Re: Possible new Festool owner questions
« Reply #19 on: May 17, 2017, 03:19 PM »
As a newer Festool user, almost 12 months now my start down the green hole was different, I didn't go the TS55/CT route at first.

I started out with a HKC 55 and I haven't looked back.

Jump forward 12 months and in that time I added the PDC 18/4, CSX, RO90, ETS 150EC (love this sander), CT, TS55 and recently the MFT. Domino 500 is round the corner.....

Personally I think how comfortable a tool feels and how much enjoyment you get from using it is a huge factor.
I can honestly say that I enjoy using all of the tools I bought from Festool.

As for the MFT, considering I bought one a week ago. For its time its understandable that there are issues and hence there are aftermarket accessories. I'm busy sourcing Parf dogs.

If they designed and released the MFT in 2017 none of the rail issues would exist imho, they would probably include a square or even sell it as an expensive optional accessory (probably the latter  [tongue])
But I'm still happy with my MFT purchase and it meets my needs.

imho if you can afford their products and they have something that suits your specific needs then go for it.