Author Topic: Greetings from a Pacific Northwest Veteran  (Read 2572 times)

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Offline DavidZ

  • Posts: 4
Greetings from a Pacific Northwest Veteran
« on: August 01, 2016, 03:51 PM »
Hello FOG. 

I do not know if my path to the land of Festool is a common one.  However, I'm willing to share my story in the event that it may help someone else out there, even if it's just a new perspective.

As the title suggests, I'm a disabled Army veteran living in the NW, stoked to get my first home.  I was finishing a small project, just sanding drywall but once the dust began to accumulate, BAM, major triggers.  Later found out dust can be triggering (sand over their is uber fine) and that the trigger can develop years after deployment.  Well... crap.

Quite unfortunate. After consulting a family member who knows what he's talking about. I was advised that it was Festool or part ways with yet another thing that I enjoy doing.  Needless to say, I chose Festool. 

One Mini / ETS 125 combo later I was experiencing the neeed joy & satisfaction of a job well done!  Equally important, WAY less physical pain / body fatigue / mental drain.  I was even inspired to do another project a short time later :)

Thus, with my physical/mental challenges, Festool is the only product line that I can now use that doesn't, well, make me just plain hurt afterword:

Unfortunately, my PTSD took a nasty nosedive recently and I went through some troubling times.  Glad not to be a statistic, but was (and still am) shook up nonetheless.  I needed to make an investing im myself. Off to Woodcraft I went, determined to create from within!...

Of course, after the new Festool-phoria wore off I realized I have no funds for material.  Let the the Craigslist / dumpster behind lumberyards search begin!  Any suggestions on finding clean scrap that would otherwise be thrown out would be appreciated...

Well, FOG, thanks for allowing me to introduce myself.  I'm looking forward to meeting some FOG's in my neck of the woods one day.  Perhaps I'll be able to turn my garage/workshop into a safe place for the vets that are a few steps behind...
« Last Edit: August 07, 2016, 05:55 AM by DavidZ »

Offline Peter Halle

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Welcome to the FOG!  My family's thank you to all who have served and our additional thoughts who have come home with such terrible illnesses and injuries.

It was refreshing to read your post and I wanted to let you know that we have many members in and around the Seattle area.  My guess is that if you ever need personal interaction with a Fogger we can find you one.

Please let us know how the journey progresses!


Offline HarveyWildes

  • Posts: 819
I've found a lot of ways to recycle wood over the years.  In order of the amount of work (from easiest to hardest) to re-use, here is my experience in getting wood that doesn't come from the lumber yard.

Check out some local cabinet shops and see if they'll let you take cut-offs.  I've gotten usable pieces 1-2 ft long, and sometimes #2 grade wood in longer pieces.

Check with flooring contractors.  They have cut-offs as well.  I've got about 200 lf of 1x3 to 1x4 walnut flooring in my shop from a kitchen that got a new floor.  I had to trim off the tongues and the grooves.  The easiest way to get rid of the staples is just to rip off the narrow strip of wood (usually right on the tongue) that has them, rather than trying to pull them out.  Some of the pieces were over 5 ft.  Getting the finish off is a problem if you don't have a planer with carbide blades - the dust and dirt that gets ground into flooring will eat up high-speed steel blades.

I've gotten hardwood from pallets before - by the time a pallet is surplus, the pine is usually trash.  You have to make sure you get the nails out.  Also, I got some wood from a steel building - they come in packages that have a lot of wooden packing material with minimal nails and screws.  That wood was actually pretty nice dry oak, but it did require some planing.

If you know anyone with a sawmill, you can look out for urban lumber and have it milled.  I have local urban oak, maple, ash, apricot, plum, and cherry in my collection that I've had milled and then air dried myself.  Air drying isn't too hard in my semi-arid climate - I'm not sure about the humid northwest.

Finally, look for local wood guys that don't go through lumber yards.  There was a guy that drove from Iowa to Colorado every month to sell lumber that he harvested from managed Iowa forest.  He sold wood out of a couple of storage units.  In general he was about 2/3 the cost of the local wood sources, but he would have fire sales every once in a while when the stock was getting low and he was about to replenish it.  I still have some very nice pieces from his visits.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2016, 04:40 PM by HarveyWildes »

Offline RKA

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Welcome and thank you for your service.  Sorry to hear what you're going through.  I just wanted to share my perspective on dust in case it helps you.  I've sensitive to it for other reasons and previously posted that I was reacting to small amounts in the air after sanding.  The long and short is for extended work, I need a mask with particulate filters at a minimum (3M sells them for about $30-40).  On the high end of the scale there are battery powered respirators which might be more comfortable (don't know, I didn't try).  So there are a few things you can do if you need to supplement the native dust collection capacities of Festool.

Here are the things that I have found make the dust propagation worse. 
1. Sanding over the edge of your work piece.  Turn up the suction in the mini if you have to do this.
2. Sawing without keeping the blade encapsulated on both sides and the bottom.  So that's your work piece, the offcut and usually a foam board underneath if we're talking about a tracksaw. 
3. Bevel cuts on the kapex.  At least that's what I think leads to more dust.  It helps to put a 5 ft 36mm host between the Kapex and the dust extractor to maximize flow and suction.  For more than a few cuts, the mask is necessary for me.  They claim 90% dust collection, the reality is if you're sensitive to dust, that remaining 10% is quite a bit.
4. Routers are just messy by nature, even with the under/over table dust collection.  I just mask up.
5. Using the mini with a close to full bag (>75%).  It just doesn't have the same suction, which matters little for the sanders, but for the saws and routers, it matters.  Yeah, you have to lift the top off and feel the bag.  It's got a small bag, so saws and routers will fill it up fast. 

Adding a fine particulate air filter to the shop would be a good addition, but only after the dust extractor and mask.  Be mindful about cleaning up regularly too.  Every horizontal surface will accumulate some fines which you will eventually kick up when you're looking for something.

Maybe others with more experience can add a few more tips.  Best of luck to you and once again, welcome!

Offline Wooden Skye

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I just want to say thank you for your service!  Enjoy the new tools and the woodworking journey!

TS 55, (2) 1400 Guide Rails, 1900 Guide Rail, MFT/3, Domino DF 500, 2 domino systainers, ETS 150/3, RO 90, CT 26, (2) OF1400, RO 150. RTS 400, LR 32 set, PS300 jigsaw, 3 abrasive systainers, (2) sys toolbox, (2) sys mini, clamps and other accesories

Offline Don T

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First I want to thank you for your service.  Second welcome to the FOG.
RO150, C12, DF 500 Q, CT33, TS75, MFT3, Kapex 120, MFT3/Kapex, MFK 700, RO 90, ETS150/3, CT22, Centrotec Installers Kit, Parallel Guides & Ext, Carvex, OF1400, LR32 Set, MFS400 w/700 rails, KA UG Set, First Aid Kit, RTS 400 EQ, Vecturo OS400 Set, CT Wings, CT Drill Guide, Pro 5, CXS, C18, HL850, Vac Sys set

Offline McNally Family

  • Posts: 614
  • Festool Atomic Phaser Particle Blaster (APPB Set)
Greetings DavidZ,

While I am sorry to hear about your medical issues, I am happy and supportive to hear you are finding some degree of relief in woodworking.   As long as you don't seek perfection in everything you do, you will avoid the harmful stress that can be detrimental to your condition.   Allow yourself to make mistakes, and consider them learning experiences. 

Above all, don't allow financial stress to be added to your list of triggers by going too fast building your collection of Festool tools (which is not hard to do).  Pace yourself, and only buy something when the project at hand calls for it, and even then, watch both the FOG classifieds and your local Craig's List, for bargains.   Keep in mind, people here on the FOG have been known to list what it is they want to buy, if they can't find it already listed for sale. 

Another savings you may want to consider is purchasing products from on-line dealers, who don't charge sales tax (for sales shipped outside their home states), and provide free shipping.   The Washington (WA) state sales tax rate is currently 6.5%, and as you know depending on local municipalities, the total tax rate can be as high as 9.9%.  With Festool prices, as I'm sure you already found out by shopping with Woodcraft, the tax portion of the purchase really adds up fast.  We are fortunate here on the FOG to have several extremely knowledgeable and experienced dealers, who can not only answer any questions you might have, but maintain an extensive inventory of product, so availability is usually never an issue. 

Above all else, never hesitate to ask for help.  As you have already seen, there are many experts on the FOG that can provide a world of solutions/suggestions on a moments notice and are eager to help!
GREEN: In order of purchase = | CT26  |  RS 2 E | Hose w/ Sleeve 3.5m | 115mm X 226mm Hand Sanding Block | 80mm X 133mm Hand Sanding Block | HSK D21.5 5m hose | CT Boom Arm Bundle Set | 1080 Plate for custom MFT | OF 1400 EQ Router (metric) w/accessories | SYS-Rock BR10 | Cordless Sander RTSC 400 Set |  Cordless Delta Sander DTSC 400 Basic | Linear Sander LS 130 | PDC 18/4 set | CXS  2.6Ah Set | Installer Cleaning Set (2018 version) |  New style Festool hose D 27/32 x 3,5m AS/CT | Replacement Hose Garage | Remote control CT-F I/M-Set | MFH1000 work stool | Next purchase: TBD

RED: // Mafell P1cc  //  MT55cc  // Next purchase: TBD

Offline Mercury

  • Posts: 26
Welcome to the FOG.
It's great to hear that you are managing to move forward, it must be hard but you will find plenty of support on here.
Thanks to you and your family for your sacrifice, and the best of luck for the future. Keep us up to date with your progress.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Offline Holmz

  • Posts: 4010
The sense of smell is one of our more primal associations, so it seems to make sense that it could trigger PTSD.
Therefore mitigating the dust as a preventative measure is wise both mentally, as well as for the rest of the body.
A sound plan often has multiple approaches, and could include a psychological based treatment such as CBT.

Offline DavidZ

  • Posts: 4
Thank you everyone for all the well wishes and tips. Really means a lot!

It appears to me that I have a nice little road map now for the next year or longer. Awesome. All the suggestions gave confidence, all the well wishes banished the doubt that, stealthily, arises in-between the moments of confidence...

- Step by step material finding instructions? Sweet. The 'easiest to hardest ordering was way cool.  Dig that attention to detail, thank you for taking the time. This tip I'll begin maƱana.

- The breakdown of the dust propagation? Can't thank you enough. Sure enough, my mini was >70% full. Between swapping out the bag and putting on a mask I was able to create enough workable space in one day... Vs work, recover days, work, etc.

- Yeah, the '10%' tax does add up fast. Really appreciate the advice of online dealers, and FOG classifieds. The sincere and kind insight in the first paragraph really blew me away.  Need to print that out and tape it on the peg board.  After all, given a wise mind I'll choose 'pursuit of fun' over 'pursuit of perfection' any day of the week :)

Night FOG. 'Nuff Said!
« Last Edit: August 07, 2016, 06:03 AM by DavidZ »

Offline Mort

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Re: Greetings from a Pacific Northwest Veteran, Healing Through Festool
« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2016, 09:28 AM »
Hi David. I grew up in Lake Stevens, worked in and around Everett up until 3 years ago. I'm now over in the Methow Valley but I make it to my mom's house in North Seattle regularly. So we're practically neighbors.
I hate signatures.

Offline Billedis

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Re: Greetings from a Pacific Northwest Veteran, Healing Through Festool
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2016, 05:30 PM »
Welcome David and thank you for your service.  Bill

Offline Sparktrician

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Re: Greetings from a Pacific Northwest Veteran, Healing Through Festool
« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2016, 05:47 PM »
Welcome to the FOG, David.  I dare say there are a number of members who are veterans, myself included.  Sorry you're having issues that trigger your PTSD.  I do think that once you get a top-quality dust respirator, you'll find that working with wood will be healing to both body and soul.  You may find that wearing the respirator will be reminiscent of wearing the NBC gear, so it might be a good idea to put it on and try it for brief periods so you can get used to wearing it in a safe environment.  In any case, thanks for your service. 
- Willy -

 "Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of wood higher up." - Brigham Young

Offline Phil Beckley

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Re: Greetings from a Pacific Northwest Veteran, Healing Through Festool
« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2016, 05:56 PM »
Hey David
 Welcome to the FOG community and welcome from the UK side of the forum............ reading your post put a few things into perspective, thank you.
If I can help in anything from the UK let me know
Festool U.K Employee | Festool UK Website

Offline Kev

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Re: Greetings from a Pacific Northwest Veteran, Healing Through Festool
« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2016, 08:16 PM »
I've seen some interesting downdraft finishing stations / sanding tables .. I'm guessing they're not only good for dust, but for some fumes as well if properly vented.

I hate dust (and mess) .. one of the primary reasons I got into Festool.

 [welcome] to the FOG from down under [wink]

Offline jobsworth

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Re: Greetings from a Pacific Northwest Veteran, Healing Through Festool
« Reply #15 on: August 06, 2016, 02:00 PM »
Hey brotherman. 5 deployments finished the last one up Jan 2013. Understand  completely.  I didn't know about the dust thing but makes since. But wood don't have that yellow/ gold tint to it and I don't feel it grinding in my teeth , get into my nose don't have wrap a haji scarf around my face to breathe  [big grin].

What I do here in the UK because wood is expensive here is I found a wood recycle yard. A guy owns a construction and demo company and sells the salvaged wood.

 Old timber is better quality then new timber. It does take some patience to get it prepped but. Well worth it.

 I served at the VBC, Balad and Taji and the desert resort known as COS Kalsu  ( I did time in AFG to )

Well come home bro. It will pass
« Last Edit: August 06, 2016, 02:07 PM by jobsworth »

Offline felkadelic

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Re: Greetings from a Pacific Northwest Veteran, Healing Through Festool
« Reply #16 on: August 06, 2016, 07:46 PM »
Welcome to the FOG! 

I'm in your neck of the woods (unincorporated SnoCo, just north of Mill Creek)
CT Mini, RO 90, ETS 125, TS55REQ, DF-500, MFT/3, OF1400, CXS, CT36, Kapex, MFT/Kapex, DF-700, RO 150, LR32

Offline DavidZ

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Re: Greetings from a Pacific Northwest Veteran
« Reply #17 on: August 07, 2016, 06:16 AM »
Thanks everyone for the continued well wishes. I was able to score some good wood pieces for free off of CL!  I'll be sure to take before & after pictures of my learning to woodwork projects.

...yeah, I hear you about the free dehydrated desert toothpaste you come to know so well.  I'm just grateful that if I forget to use a dust mask in the garage, I'm not mining for black gold :)

Offline jobsworth

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Re: Greetings from a Pacific Northwest Veteran
« Reply #18 on: August 07, 2016, 03:33 PM »
Oh another shop tip,

Don't for get to wear your reflective belt when your in the shop.