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Festool owners

Would you buy again?

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Paul Finlay04/04/2008 20:08:00
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285 forum posts

I've just stumbled across this http://www.festool.de/artikel/artikel_weiterleiten.cfm?id=6837

I don't know the price and wouldn't like to guess but WOW! 

Woodworker04/04/2008 20:19:00
1745 forum posts
1 photos
74 articles
WOW certainly is the word! That is amazing. I'll see if I can get some details next week.
Woodworker07/04/2008 16:41:00
1745 forum posts
1 photos
74 articles
Hi Paul, I've just got off the phone with Festool; apparently the vacuum system is a hot new product recently released in Germany. Details are thin on the ground at the moment as to UK availability and pricing but watch the news section on our home page. As soon as I have any news worthy information I'll post it there. Cheers, Ben
Paul Finlay08/04/2008 11:38:00
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285 forum posts

Ben

I know they are launching a few new tools in may, maybe we will know more then.

Paul 

Woodworker08/04/2008 12:01:00
1745 forum posts
1 photos
74 articles
Well, I'll keep digging until then.
Andy King23/04/2008 11:26:00
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170 forum posts
8 photos
19 articles

Hi Ben,

I've seen a similar vacuum system by Lamello, but for some reason, they don't seem to market it here.

I doubt if I could ever run to the expense of a Festool vac clamp, but i've used the MiniMach from Trend loads of times. Same principle, but without the tilt etc.

When I used to bump into Toby Cardew, the inventor (he lives in Canada now) he always had new ideas about making additional jigs to use with the for odd shape and stuff.

There are also a couple of kits available, UMach and BigMach so you can make your own vac clamps to suit.

http://www.trend-uk.com/en/UK/productsubgroup1/233/Vacuum%20Clamping.html

Mike Garnham23/04/2008 12:46:00
4114 forum posts
1 photos

Andy,

I am intrigued by these things! I have never even seen one, let alone tried using one.........when would you use it the most?

I have always managed with various stops or "dogs" (I think they are called) or clamps, jigs etc to hold small workpieces, and just can't think when I might need one of these vacuum clamps. How good a grip do they get? Could you use it for planing, for instance?

Mike 

Andy King23/04/2008 13:14:00
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170 forum posts
8 photos
19 articles
Hi Mike, They grip unbelievably well! The idea is to have a flat surface to sit the Minimach device on, so if you bench has a tool well or dog holes, it would need a temporary board on top. MDF is ideal. The Minimach or your own home made one has a rubber gasket on the underside around its outer edge that sucks down to the flat surface via the valve on the end. The top of it has similar gasket, divided into individual cells, each one with a small ball bearing valve. Put any flat stock on a cell, and as long as it covers the gasket for that cell, the ball bearing depresses and allows the air in that cell to be sucked out and held firmly. The more cells it covers, the better, but I've made small plaques and shields and held them easily on a single cell for routing the edges. Sideways pressure such as planing may cause it to move a little on a single cell, but cover a load of them and you should secure it enough to be able to work, but it does need to be flat to seal the cells. The minimach is capable of supporting half a sheet of 19mm ply overhanging its edge, so has plenty of suction, and works off a standard vac or shop vac. I don't think it's compatible with Cyclone types such as Dysons though. Toby the inventor has some clever ideas, where you can make special shaped jigs to lift away from the main surface if you have an odd profile and need to deep rout an edge where it would damage the main surface for example. Simply cut a piece of MDF to the shape you need ensuring it covers the cells, use spare gasket to form a seal on the top surface, drill a hole and place it on top of the main minimach. Once the suction is applied, the minimach sucks to the table, and once the workpiece is placed on the auxiliary jig to form a seal, the air evacuates from the minimach, and the jig, pulling the workpiece down in the process. Simple but brilliant! Why didn't I invent it... Andy
Andy King23/04/2008 13:30:00
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170 forum posts
8 photos
19 articles
Forgot to add, the downside is, it nicks your shop vac for the suction source, so if you need it for extraction when routing on the minimach, you need another source or a 'Y' connector and a couple of hoses. Not too sure if having a split connector on the hose would compromise the suction power though... Oh yes, it's great for routing stuff, and also for ripping sheet material. Build one big enough and you can do full sheets easily enough. I've been considering building a suction table into the workshop with a cover over it so I have it as a standard worksurface for general use, and also as a vac surface if needed. One for the to do list! Andy PS. Ben, if you you have access to Good Woodworking archive discs or back issues, I did a build your own minimach using the Umach kit way back in issue 102 if you want to scan it and load it up?
Mike Garnham23/04/2008 13:36:00
4114 forum posts
1 photos

Thanks Andy,

I'm really impressed with the idea of being able to plane on it. That shows just how powerful the grip must be. I may make a home-made version one day..........127 other things on the list at the moment, though!

Mike 

Woodworker23/04/2008 15:20:00
1745 forum posts
1 photos
74 articles
Thanks Andy, The Trend vac system looks like a great little unit, nice price too! Dread to think what the Festool will cost, but it looks ideal for production environments. Ben

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