festool, fein vacs?

the other day i went to the local woodcraft store to see this festool vacuum.  its pretty darn expensive, but boy was it quiet!  i like the vac, and they say that there is no dust, but do any of you all have a festool setup?   i heard the fein vacuum is a good one also, but its about the same price.

right now i have a 6 gallon rigid that hooks up to my random orbital sander,  and it works pretty well, but its loud and there is still some dust.  i forgot to mention that the dust makes my allergies go crazy!  thats the whole reason for this vacuum research.

 

thanks!

 

jonathan 


22 replies:

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RE: festool, fein vacs?

We had a Fein vac when i painted at the University, used it with a drywall sander.  It WAS quiet but did not get all of the dust. (OK, so drywall is really dusty). They are very expensive compared to the competition so i'd be inclined to spend the extra money on a good respirator.  But i don't have your allergies to deal with.  Good luck.

RE: festool, fein vacs?

 

Here in the shop we have eight of the Fein TurboVac II's.  They do yeoman's work year-round.  I like them because they're rugged, astonishingly quiet, and will attach to any sander with a dust port.  You can stand next to one while it's running and hold a normal conversaton.  We use 5-inch Porter Cable random orbitals with the Feins, but also connect them to big grinders or beltsanders as needed.  With the Porter-Cables I think we capture about 95% of the dust.  We'll end a one-week class with pounds and pounds of epoxy dust in the hoppers. 

I have one of the Fein 6-inch random orbitals.  It is a glorious piece of engineering.  I guard it jealously.

The bearings go on the Feins after awhile.  I've used the Festool collectors extensively and didn't like them as much, maybe because I was just used to the Feins.  The Festools were harder to adapt to a range of different sanders.

RE: festool, fein vacs?

Not sure why anyone's worried about the noise level. No matter how quiet the vac, the sander vibrating a resonant boat hull is going to make conversations (even if sending morse code via gunshots) inaudible.

I remember being in the CLC showroom trying to make a purchase while one of the guys was sanding a boat in the shop (with the door shut) and conversation was out of the question.

Laszlo

 

RE: festool, fein vacs?

maybe i will just build a box for my rigid vac that i have now to quiet it down.  i have a great respirator,  3m 7000 half mask p100 cartridge.  its great because its silicone and comes in multiple sizes.  i'm just always looking for something that might help my sneezing fits that i have after tons of sanding.  i'll go and check out the fein vac also.   i hate the loud noise after a while,  and my neighbors might complain about it too.  

thanks for the input everyone! 

RE: festool, fein vacs?

  I bought a Porta-Cable vac that has a bag filter and turns on and off with the sander. The sander, a Porta-Cable 5'' orbital, makes more noise than the vac. I don't notice any dust when use this combination. This vac was a little cheaper than the Festool. One of these vacs really helps keep the dust down. A must have for boat building I think.

ROGER

RE: festool, fein vacs?

I remember thinking the Fein was cheap after looking at the prices on Festool:) You can get a 1 micron filter element for the Fein and also internal bags that may help with the remaining dust emissions. Or at least make them even finer (Feiner?) and more deadly! The bag may make it easier to clean the thing out when it needs to be emptied. Of course, wear a serious dust mask during operation. If at all possible, operate outdoors. And I always terminate any recreational sanding session by dropping all clothes into the washing machine, and heading immediately for the shower with a bottle of saline solution to be used for nasal irrigation. Not kidding about this.

The local drugstore carries plastic squeeze bottles called "Neil-Med" that are excellent for completely flushing out the sinuses. Good for flushing out sanding dust and excellent for generally keeping the sinuses amazingly clear without the side-effects that might accompany the use of typical decongestants. There is an ancient traditional device called netipot that can also be used for this purpose. Neil-med comes with fifty or so pre-mixed packets of saline solution. When those ran out, I just got some Kosher salt (pure, unadulterated Sodium Chloride) and use that. I started taking this especially seriously after reading that a major component of epoxy is Bisphenol-A, now making regular headlines as a scary endocrine disruptor.

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Ogata (eric)

RE: festool, fein vacs?

I am all about the neti pot.  that thing has saved my life.  

that is definitely my standard opp procedure when sanding,  emptying my rigid vac out is one of the worse things ever for me.  but then again, so is dusting the apartment.  yikes!  

interesting that epoxy has BPA in it,  i got rid of my nalgene water bottles and traded them for the sigg water bottles.  cant get away from this crap

 

jonathan 

RE: festool, fein vacs?

The nalgene scare turned out to be another hoax, didn't it?

RE: festool, fein vacs?

Bisphenol-A and epichlorohydrin, two of the primary components of epoxy are suspected endocrine disruptors or artificial estrogens. There is still significant controversy regarding the danger of exposure to BPA or other endocrine dispruptors. The plastic industry argues for their safety. There are many who argue otherwise. The US FDA released a statement last fall that BPA does not pose a health risk, going against the advice of at least one of their own advisory panels. In December they agreed to re-examine this statement:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/15/AR2008121502920.html

I don't think it is clear yet what are the real dangers from exposure to BPA, whether it comes from Nalgene bottles, linings used in canned foods, or from other sources. But for the time being, I'll take every reasonable precaution to reduce my exposure.

There is a nice explanation of some of the chemistry behind epoxy here:

http://pslc.ws/macrog/eposyn.htm#epoxy

and here:

http://pslc.ws/macrog/epoxy.htm

--

Ogata (eric)

RE: festool, fein vacs?

Why on earth do you DRY sand?   Surely wet-&-dry sanding, especially of the larger elements such as hulls and decks, whether sanding epoxy or (later) undercoats, paints, and/ or varnishes, is the way to go.   Quite apart from the completely obviating the health hazards noted above, w&d sanding gives far quicker results and a much better final finish.   I wouldn't do anything else.   Admittedly I can move my craft outside when at this stage (maybe hard for those working in lofts or basements) but I strongly recommend the practice wherever possible.

Wordsmith

RE: festool, fein vacs?

Probably because wet sanding with with a power sander has immediate negative consequences.

Laszlo

 

RE: festool, fein vacs?

Wet sanding is good. Since I prefer to operate manually using a fairing board and sanding blocks anyway, I wet sand as much as possible. But I also use a Fein TurboVac II, same as the ones used at CLC, for general dust clean up. I have a 1 micron filter and disposable paper collection bag inside the vac. While wet sanding eliminates the immediate dust problem, that stuff does have to go somewhere and water eventually evaporates. So the problem area is moved to the ground or floor where it may be more difficult to clean up, depending on the situation. I always sand epoxy outdoors and eventually moved farther from the house to avoid tracking the dust inside as much as possible. After sanding epoxy, by whatever means, I hose everything down and dry it off with a microfiber towel which then goes in the washing machine with my sanding clothes.

I still love the smell of epoxy in the evening. It is probably my favorite thermoset plastic! Though I gave up my Nalgene bottles for stainless steel a couple years ago. But I try not to become complacent about exposure and keep things as clean as possible. Life if full of unknown risks that are impossible to fully eliminate. And, BPA? BPA?!?!, hell, it's the varnish that'll kill you! :)

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Ogata (eric)

RE: festool, fein vacs?

Nobody mentioned wet sanding with a  power sander, Laszlo.   I still maintain that hand w&d sanding can be as quick and easy as dry sanding with a machine, and give a better finish.   I find it extremely quick and easy.

 

Wordsmith 

RE: festool, fein vacs?

Wordsmith,

I know, the smiley face indicating a jest didn't make it into the post and there's no way to edit once the "Post Message" button is pushed.

Seriously, I also like wet sanding exactly for the lack of noise and dust that you and Eric mentioned. I usually get up pretty early, and if I'm building in the summer I can watch the sun come up and listen to the birds while sanding, all without disturbing the wife or neighbors.

Laszlo

 

RE: festool, fein vacs?

Wordsmith: With Lasz's posts, always assume the smiley face, even if he forgets to type it.  This rule always works, and saves him having to make an apology.  If you've ever seen one of his boats, you know he's already got enough to apologize for.

RE: festool, fein vacs?

Camper,

So true, so very very true. That's why I'm so extremely fortunate that you let me borrow your boat, instead.

Laszlo

 

RE: festool, fein vacs?

Was wondering where it had gotten to.

 

RE: festool, fein vacs?

In the pic above, which of the two faces is Laszlo/ Camper?

Love you guys!

Wordsmith

RE: festool, fein vacs?

I've seen this photo before, and have always assumed that the bald-headed chap in the front seat with the inflatable red nose was Laszlo.  But you bring up a good point, he could be the fellow in the back with the beard and hat.

I think the pix is from one of those kayak or CLC get-togethers that lucky Easterners and Texans get to do.  My wife won't let me go.  So it's definitely not I.

 

RE: festool, fein vacs?

I did some checking on the BPA health risk issue.

From everything I have read, it's a health scare with no scientific basis.  It appears that it is being kept alive by the news media, conspiracy theorists, and political ideologues who are simply quoting each other about the existence of "reports" and "arguments", without being able to produce any facts.

The FDA's report states that "based on all available evidence, the present consensus among regulatory agencies in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Japan is that current levels of exposure to BPA through food packaging do not pose an immediate health risk to the general population, including infants and babies."

Here's are links for those who would like more info.

http://www.junkscience.com/ByTheJunkman/20080508.html

http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/NEWS/2008/NEW01908.html

 

 

RE: festool, fein vacs?

Originally, I was going to say that the good-looking guy with the beard was me and that the "figurehead" was one that Camper mader while looking in a mirror, but the truth is:

1. I am indeed the one in the boat.

2. The image is a composite of one from  an Annapolis Demo Night. It was made by Matt at CLC as part of a very witty response to a post I made about the WindPaddle collapsible sail rig.

Laszlo

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