The New Festool Cordless Vecturo OSC 18

Well, it looks as there’s another new tool entering the oscillating tool market in Australia with Festool announcing the release of their new cordless Vecturo, the OSC 18.

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Due for release in the UK in April 2019, when it hits the Australian market I would anticipate the price to be in the vicinity of $1200 to AUD 1300, for the set version. The set version for release in the UK comes with a dust extraction device, positioning aid, depth stop, adapter, 3 blades, a single 3.1ah battery, and TCL6 charger, all packed in a sys 2 t lock systainer.

The battery interface appears to suit the standard 18v platform so if you have more batteries with a higher amperage you should be set as I don’t feel you’ll get sufficient run time from a 3.1ah battery to suit most applications.

Whether Festool Australia keeps this configuration or changes, it is anyone’s guess. From the video and available images, it appears to be compatible with the Fein star lock blades though I am concerned that on the marketing information it states that it has a star lock plus tool holder. I’m hoping that this is a Festool version of the Fein Multimaster blade because if it’s different, it means you’ll be looking at a whole new blade system. I’d also hope that Festool has included an adapter so that customers who purchased the corded Vecturo can use their existing blade stock, (which is the old style supercut blade) with this tool

 

 

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 Starlock Plus Blade

 

To watch a video on the OSC18 in action please click here:

Watch this space for more updates on configuration and release dates.

As always, your comments and questions are appreciated

Bryan

Setting Up The Workshop

As the commercial furniture market becomes saturated with mass-produced pedestrian objects, more and more people are exploring the option of designing and making their own unique pieces. The first question that is often asked is, “what tools do I need?”.

As a power tool trainer and specialist tool salesman for over ten years, my advice is to buy the tools as you need them for a particular project and when you decide on a plan, look at the tools you will need to perform each of the stages of the build. Generally, there are five stages of any project, and you need to have one or two tools from each group to make the piece. The stages are: dimensioning, cutting, joining, detailing, and finishing. Let’s look at each step individually.

*Dimensioning *: The first part of this stage involves transitioning the timber from the milled slab or board size to the size you need for the project. Power tools for this stage include both table saws and handheld electric saws, as well as band saws. Traditional tools for this stage include panel or carpenters saws as well as bow saws.

The second part of dimensioning involves dressing the timber to ensure a flat smooth and most importantly square surface so you can accurately cut and join the various components of the workpiece. Power tools for this stage include thicknessers, jointers, and drum sanders, while a variety of hand planes are generally used to complete this stage in a traditional build.

*Cutting:* When cutting board stock rather than sheet material, the most commonly used power tool to achieve this stage is the slide compound mitre saw. While you can complete this stage with a handheld circular saw it is a lot easier and safer to use a mitre saw. If your project contains sheet material components such as plywood or particle board, you’ll need to use either a circular saw or a table saw. If you’re following the traditional path, then a right quality panel saw and tenon saw would be your preferred tools.

*Joining:* The joinery stage involves the assembly of the various components of the project to achieve its close to finished form. If you want to use power tools at this stage you’ll need a cordless or corded drill, which will enable you to use things like pocket hole jigs or dowelling jigs; otherwise, tools such as biscuit or domino joiners allow you to complete a successful joint. The hand tool path is more complicated at this stage and calls for the use of hand saws and chisels to cut mortice and tenon or dovetail joints. While more complex this is a technique that is well and truly worth learning as it will raise the overall standard of our pieces to a much higher level.

*Detailing:* The detailing stage of the build is where you add ornamentation such as round overs, bevels or inlays to the edges of the piece to enhance the overall design. If you’re building using power tools the primary tool you’ll need is a router which, with the correct cutters will enable you to create a variety of decorative treatments. In the traditional build, you’ll need a router plane or a selection of moulding planes as well as a variety of chisels and scrapers.

*Finishing:* The finishing stage is the final part of the build where the surfaces are fully sanded before the application of the lacquer or varnish. The most commonly used power tool for this stage is the random orbital sander. Often available in either 4 inches, (125mm) or 6 inches, (150mm), a variable speed random orbital sander will become one of the most regularly used tools in your workshop. If you’re following a traditional build, you’ll need a sanding block and a range of sanding sheets ranging from 80 grit to 1000g grit to hand sand the surface to a satisfactory finish.

When you’re buying tools, either power or hand, always try to get the best tool you can for the budget you have.  If you need to get some savings somewhere, I would forgo purchasing a thicknesser initially as most timber yards will cut timber and dress it to size for you for a minimal cost.

As usual your questions and comments are appreciated

Cheers,

Bryan

Welcome Aboard Proxxon

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It’s been a while now since Bosch Australia pulled the pin and removed themselves and their subsidiary brands such as Dremel from the bulk of specialist tool stores in Australia. They aimed to focus on the big box outlets and while their corded and cordless tools were easy to find replacement brands to cover; the problem we’ve had, was to find a suitable replacement for the range of Dremel rotary tools that we had sold.

Part of my job in the store I work at is to source and evaluate new product lines to enhance and expand our range, so the demise of Dremel created quite a headache. I looked at some alternatives but found that on the whole, they were only offering a tool, with just a few accessories. While the tools on offer were adequate, I was looking for something better.

 My idea was to replace the Dremel range, which was a good DIY product, with a selection which was exceptional. 

A few months ago one of the sales reps that visit our store mentioned that his boss had the opportunity to secure the distribution rights to Proxxon in Australia, and wanted my opinion. While I hadn’t heard of the brand for years, I was familiar with it as I had a 12v Proxxon rotary tool back in my early woodworking days in the mid-’80s. I remember it was a robust little unit so my recommendation to him was to go for it. 

Proxxon began in the small German town of Nierbasch in 1977 and has grown to become one of the worlds leading manufacturers of precision power tools. Specialising in high-quality power tools for model builders, precision mechanics, mould makers, tool makers, opticians, goldsmiths, watch-makers and more; Proxxon is giving users high-performance power-tools in a size never offered before. The Proxxon  Micromot system offers tools ranging from benchtop table saws and thicknessers to small angle grinders and polishers, as well as an extensive range of rotary tools and bits.

If you have a delicate and detailed project, then Proxxon have the tools to help you make it happen.

After a month of negotiation, they managed to secure the rights and I was delighted when my boss gave me a catalogue and price list and told me to choose what I wanted, (sometimes I love my job!).  

For our initial offering, I decided on two rotary tools, the FBS 240E, and the IBS/E, the power carver, MSG, the awesome micro belt sander BS/E and the Long Neck angle grinder, LHW, as well as the full range of accessories for all these tools.

Given the extensive range offered I felt that this was a good beginning to our relationship and I’m certain the range will grow when I get more of a feel for what our customers require. 

In the following posts I’ll go into the more details of the features and accessories of the individual tool, so please watch this space.

Thanks for reading, and as usual, your questions and comments are appreciated.

Bryan

 

Calibrating The TS55R Blade

Five Minutes With Festool – The TS55

Let’s assume that we’ve just had a blade sharpened and we need to check the calibration between the cutting depth and the depth scale. Remember that when a  saw blade is sharpened, you invariably lose a small amount of the blade diameter. After one sharpen it may not be noticeable, but after two or three sharpens there can be a  variation in your cutting depth.

 This method can also be used to fine tune the cutting depth if you’re using the saw on a different brand of guide rail, (not that I’d recommend that), as there can be a variation in the standard 5mm thickness between brands. 

To calibrate the blade on a TS55R, place the base of the saw on a piece of paper (A4 copy paper is ideal), on a  flat, smooth surface and set the depth guide to zero. As we’re not on the guide rail make sure you use the unmarked indicator rather than the FS indicator.

Set To Zero
Depth Gauge set to zero. Note the blade calibration knob to the right of the FS mark.
plunged
Fully Plunged, note the plunge stop resting on the calibration knob.

Once set, gently plunge the saw down until it stops and look to see if the tips of the blade are touching the paper

Blade too high
Blade too high

Adjust by turning the calibration knob on the top of the saw until the tips of the blade just touch the piece of paper and you’re done.

Blade Set
Blade set correctly

 

 

A good habit to get into is to periodically check this to make sure that your TS55 is working at its best at all times. 

I hope you found this “Five minutes with Festool” useful and as always your questions and comments are appreciated.

Have fun and be safe,

Cheers

Bryan

Festool, technique, training, TS55R, cool tools, blades, woodwork, power tools,

Five minutes with Festool

Five minutes with Festool is the title of a new series of articles I’m working on which will give you an in depth view of a wide variety of Festool tools and accessories tied up in a bite sized package. With each article being about 500 words they’re intended to be a quick and informative read.

Being the lead salesperson in one of the busiest dealers in Melbourne I field a lot of questions about the whole range Festool products and this article, which covers the range of blades available for the Festool TS55 , will hopefully address some of the questions you may have about them

Please click on the link below to read the full article.

Festool Blades 

 As always your questions and comments are appreciated and I’ll endeavour to answer as many as I can. 

See you next week for the next instalment.

Cheers

Bryan

 

  

 

 

    

  

I’m back in the saddle…..

Well, I’ll admit that it’s been a long time between posts and a hell of a lot had gone on in the last few years. The most significant change, which has shocked most of you who know me personally, is the fact that I’ve gone from a weight of 178 kg down to a meagre 74kg. I had some quite severe medical problems which resulted in 7 hours of surgery and me losing 75% of my stomach.

That was back in Dec 2016, and while the body healed a while ago, it’s been a challenging 18 months dealing with all the changes to my body and working on getting my head in the right place so that I can focus on writing again. A big thanks to those of you whose words of support have helped me move forward and I must admit that It would have been a damn sight harder to get through this without the love and support of my wife Sharon and children.  Love you all guys.

Cheers,

Bryan

It’s Back!!!

After an absence of nearly two years the Festool SSU 200 is back on the shelf. With 200 mm depth of cut and running on a standard Festool rail this bad boy is the ideal problem solver for lvl's, timber slabs or sleepers.

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