Author Topic: Sanders  (Read 1988 times)

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Offline WoodworkTech

  • Posts: 175
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Sanders
« on: February 06, 2019, 12:04 PM »
Looking to get into better finishes.  Currently have the Pro 5 sander and the RTS.  Looking at the ETS EC and Rotex line, what ETS EC and Rotex combo would work best?  I don’t have a lot invested in paper for the Pro 5 so don’t mind going up to 6” sander if thats the best.  Uses will mostly be for plywood cabinets, face frames and edgbanding, table tops, etc.  Not sure if I should go with 3mm or 5mm stroke.  Any advice would be appreciated.
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Offline nvalinski

  • Posts: 80
Re: Sanders
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2019, 12:28 PM »
The Rotex is a 5 mm stroke, so if you go with both, I like having the ability to use that for the most aggressive geared mode and medium aggressive 5 mm orbit. Then finish it off with the 3 mm ETS EC. I enjoy the 6" versions of both for large flat surfaces. Some may argue that you can get just as fine a finish with the 5 mm ETS EC as the 3 mm, though I don't have any experience with it.

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 5980
Re: Sanders
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2019, 12:41 PM »
With your Pro 5 sander and its 2 mm stroke you already have the Festool sander that will give you the best finish Festool can offer. The RTS is also very fine though I much prefer the DTS over the RTS due to better handling.

The Rotex is more for though work. It will do fine finishes also but it's not my first choice for a fine finish, the Pro 5 or ETS sanders are easier to work with. But if you do want to get a Rotex, because it is a great sander, get the 150 mm, it's much better than the 125. More power and more stability, easier handling.

I also haver the older ETS 150/3, it's a nice sander too for fine finishes, so I guess if you get the ETS EC 150/3 you're good.

Offline BarneyD

  • Posts: 73
Re: Sanders
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2019, 06:53 PM »
I do a lot of similar work to what you describe above (I'm a hobbyist). I have the DTS, RTS, Pro5, and Rotex125. I also had the ETS125 but I gave that to my son. I don't think I've used the Pro5 once since I bought the ETS EC 125. That thing is just a dream to use. It's so smooth and it stops on a dime. It is my "go to" sander.

Good luck,
Barney
Barney

Offline ColossusX

  • Posts: 188
Re: Sanders
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2019, 08:24 PM »
If you get the EC 125, you can also use the 150 pad on it.  I have thr Pro5, Ro125 and the RTS. My next sanders will most likely be the EC125 and the RO90

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 494
Re: Sanders
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2019, 10:16 PM »
I found myself proving those who say "you end up with multiple sanders" or "ETS-EC is so smooth" right.

Bought a Rotex 125,  it's just so hard/impossible to control.  Great for taking down material, great for polishing, but not great for regular sanding. So I caved and bought an ETS EC 125,  it is as the say, very nice.  Now I use both.

I didn't understand why the ETS EC existed, "why not just cover it's function with the rotex",  I learned.   [embarassed]


Offline Alanbach

  • Posts: 296
Re: Sanders
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2019, 10:46 PM »
So the 5” Rotex has a 3.6mm stroke and the 5” ETS EC only comes in a 3mm stroke. The 6” a Rotex is a 5mm stroke and the 6” ETS EC comes in a 3 or a 5mm stroke. I believe that your Pro 5 and RTS both have 2mm stroke. So if I am going to have multiple Sanders I want them to have a variety strokes to differentiate themselves from each other. Following that logic you might consider an EtS EC 150/3 and a RO 150 so you have 2mm, 3mm and 5mm strokes.

I did not follow my own logic. I bought an ETS EC 125/3 because I was concerned about the 6” being too heavy for me. Then I bought a whole bunch of sandpaper. THEN, I decided that I needed a Rotex because I was making a lot of end grain cutting boards and the ETS EC could do it but it took some time. Now I make fast work of it with the Rotex for the low grades in geared mode. Then I quickly switch to the ETS EC for the remainder. So I ended up with 2mm (I have a DTS and an RTS), 3mm and 3.6mm but I pretty much only use the Rotex in geared mode to get rough stuff smooth and flat.

Also, I am curious. Could you tell us more about what you mean by “Looking to get into better finishes”? I would love to know more specifics regarding what you feel are the shortcomings of your current Sanders for the specific jobs you have done and some examples of the steps you feel are required to get you to this next level. That might help us hone in on our recommendations!

Offline ktb153

  • Posts: 35
Re: Sanders
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2019, 11:56 PM »
I’d recommend going to 6” I bought the ec125 and then I saw you can put the 150 pad on it so I tried that and would never go back. I also have the rotex 150 and honestly when sanded to 220 I can’t tell a difference which was done with the rotex in fine mode or the ec with 3mm stroke. I’ve never tried the 150/5 but am very tempted to buy one. The ets ec is going to be night and day going from the pro5 so I have no doubt you’ll enjoy it and as far as table tops the rotex flies through grits and will drastically cut sanding time

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 5995
Re: Sanders
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2019, 12:40 AM »
 Better finishes? You already own the best fine finish sander Festool produces.

The Pro5/ETS 125 sanders are the same and they only have a 2 mm orbit.

If you want to knock out sanding projects at a faster rate, consider the ETS EC 125 with a 3 mm orbit and the ability to accept 150 mm pads. It’s a direct swap out of pads.

The Rotex 125 or 150... it’s that love 💕/hate relationship. I’d never sell mine but in the geared driven mode, it’s the equivalent of a Milwaukee 4” belt sander on 70-80 volts. Not quite a belt sander and not quite a finish sander. Compromises will always be compromises.

For your face frames I’d suggest the RO 90...it’s sweet for those applications. Be sure to purchase a hard pad.

Offline WoodworkTech

  • Posts: 175
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Re: Sanders
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2019, 09:41 AM »
Also, I am curious. Could you tell us more about what you mean by “Looking to get into better finishes”? I would love to know more specifics regarding what you feel are the shortcomings of your current Sanders for the specific jobs you have done and some examples of the steps you feel are required to get you to this next level. That might help us hone in on our recommendations!
[/quote]

Thanks for the reply.  I'm just learning about woodworking.  Sanding is the portion I never really took the time to understand and read on.  I read you have to go through the different grits in order to get the best result.  I also read where some woodworkers use difference sanders for the different grits because of the different size strokes.  So I'm looking to get the sanders I'm missing from my collection so I can do the proper job and practice.  I have some cabinets to build for my own home so figured now is the best time to try the proper steps and see how it comes out before doing pieces for others or as a possible side gig.  So it seems like adding the ETS EC 125 along with the 6" pad for it gives me the transition between my Pro 5 and the RO150 is I get the 6".  I want a Rotex to apply stains like Rubio Monocoat as I saw a video of a guy using it and it seemed to go on very smooth using the Rotex and scotch brite pad.
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Festool FS 1400/2-LR 32 Guide Rail
Festool LR32 Router Hole Drilling Set

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 3942
Re: Sanders
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2019, 10:17 AM »
@WoodworkTech said,  “Iwant a Rotex to apply stains like Rubio Monocoat as I saw a video of a guy using it and it seemed to go on very smooth using the Rotex and scotch brite pad.”

This is where it gets complicated. Most stains require some texture (scratches in the surface) which is the opposite of what is generally considered “finer finish”. If your wood/stain needs more scratches to build up density to deliver the color you want then the Rotex might be efficient, but those scratches will be arcs across the wood grain, which is even further from “finer finish”.

You’ll need to do a lot of tests to find the right combination. You might end up going for a smooth finely sanded surface (not Rotex) and then sanding by hand with the grain with a medium grit.

Offline Alanbach

  • Posts: 296
Re: Sanders
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2019, 10:23 AM »
Based on your response, if I was you I would buy an ETS EC and start using it. I think that you will discover that it fulfills your needs. If down the line you run into a task that the ETS EC can do but it is progressing slowly and you feel like you need more power then get the Rotex. The a rotex is a powerful beast but it requires two hands and some lion tamers finesse to coral the beast. Most of the work you described starts as flat and smooth so the sanders you have and the ETS EC will do fine. When you start making table tops and other things out of hardwood glued up into panels and other things that need to be flattened and smoothed before you can even consider finish sanding that is when you might need a Rotex.

Sanding is just scratching the wood until it is flat and smooth. Then continuing to scratch the wood with progressively finer abrasives until the scratch marks get smaller and smaller until they can’t be seen or detected by the naked eye under a finish. In the case of random orbit sanders and orbital sanders the scratch marks happen as a result of the combination of the size of the grit and the size (circumference) of the orbit. The higher the grit and the lower the orbit equals a finer finish. The trick is patience and thoroughness because if you leave a lower grit too early the next higher grit may not polish out the scratch marks left by the previous grit. I would try some test pieces. It’s tough at first to know if you have done a good job until you apply the finish. Then you quickly find out because the finish will reveal every imperfection. I hope this helps.

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 5995
Re: Sanders
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2019, 12:47 PM »
I want a Rotex to apply stains like Rubio Monocoat as I saw a video of a guy using it and it seemed to go on very smooth using the Rotex and scotch brite pad.

I use my Rotex to buff out the cars & motorcycles.  [big grin]

Are you going to do an entire floor in Rubio or just a couple of boards?

Offline WoodworkTech

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    • My Personal Blog
Re: Sanders
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2019, 01:21 PM »
I want a Rotex to apply stains like Rubio Monocoat as I saw a video of a guy using it and it seemed to go on very smooth using the Rotex and scotch brite pad.

I use my Rotex to buff out the cars & motorcycles.  [big grin]

Are you going to do an entire floor in Rubio or just a couple of boards?

First projects would be applying Rubio to boards and tops.  I would eventually like to try a floor after all other projects are done
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Festool OF 1400 EQ-F-PLUS
Festool CT MIDI HEPA
Festool Domino DF 500 Q-PLUS
Festool PRO 5 LTD (ETS 125 REQ)
Festool FS 1400/2 (x2)
Festool FS 1400/2-LR 32 Guide Rail
Festool LR32 Router Hole Drilling Set