First page of the Kapex KS-120 archive.

Festool Kapex 120 “Mate” – support on a budget

Posted by is9582 on December 3, 2015 with No Commentsas , , , , , , ,

Yesterday I wrote about purchasing some wood for a new workbench top, and I just may also have enough to make a new base, too. This morning I started getting ready for the impending delivery. I pulled out three nondescript pieces of some wood, that wouldn’t upset me if they were damaged, to use to keep the boards elevated off of the driveway.

I planned to use my Festool Kapex 120, which is truly the most awesome piece of gear to break down some pretty danged large sticks of wood. I knew I’d want to support the wood on both sides of the Kapex, to reduce or eliminate it binding the blade as the cut completed, so it needed to be the same height as the Kapex. I measured the distance from the bottom of the Kapex, to it’s cutting deck, and sought out some offcuts that were large enough to fit the requirements (approximately 4.35″). I also grabbed a couple of narrow pieces that would get inset 90-degrees across the main boards, and help prevent the supports from falling/tipping over.

I started out cutting the larger boards so they were just oversized, and planed them down to the target dimension. I also planed up the narrow pieces so they would be either square, or leaning towards a very slight taper, so they would  tighten up with a light tap.

5/4 Poplar offcut still in rough state, but plane passes starting to show.

5/4 Poplar offcut still in rough state, but plane passes starting to show. After flattening the edge, there was very little left to remove to hit the target size.

I laid the two boards across each other, and marked the dimensions directly from the narrow board, onto the bottom of the tall boards. I used my Lie-Nielsen cross-cut saw to cut close to my lines, and to full depth.

Marks from cross piece, with saw kerfs next to them.

Marks from cross piece, with saw kerfs next to them.

Since I used Poplar boards, it was easy enough to use a chisel and mallet to pop most of the waste out pretty quickly.

Waste removed from space for the narrow cross piece.

Waste removed from space for the narrow cross piece.

I pared the base of the opening down to the scored line, and did the same for the two sides. After checking that the narrow piece locked in place with a light tap, I ultimately decided to use some yellow glue to make sure they would stay together, since the large Soft Maple boards these would support, were quite heavy.

Cross board glued and tapped until completely tight.

Cross board glued and tapped until completely tight.

I repeated the process on the second “Kapex Mate” (seemed like the appropriate name for these, don’t you think?), and then it was just a matter of time for the glue to dry.

Both new

Both new “Kapex Mates” waiting for their glue to finish drying.

When I started breaking down the Soft Maple boards, it was great to see just how impressive these simple accessories performed. I have a number of Systainers but none are Systainer 1 size, which is the same height as the Kapex.

It was nice to see just how well these supports performed, with only using a few pieces of left-over wood and a squeeze of glue, while dealing with some of the largest boards I’ve every used. That is impressive, and if they ever get damaged or disappear, another set is just a few minutes away.

I plan to write an article regarding the performance of my Festool Kapex, in the near future, for Highland Woodworking’s blog. Keep your eyes peeled and check both blogs regularly.

Thank you as always, for stopping by to check out my blog. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.

New additions – an iPhone 6+ and …

Posted by is9582 on April 27, 2015 with No Commentsas , , , , , , , , ,

First off I wanted to apologize for more time between posts, than I would like. I’m hoping things are about settled back down, so I get back to a more consistent stream of information for you folks.

Now for the new stuff. I’ve had an Apple iPhone 5 since they first came out, and often that’s what I have available, when taking photos while working on a project. The photos it takes are much better than most of my earlier cameras, and certainly better than any previous phone, but it still leaves a little to be desired. Enter the new iPhone 6 plus (I know it’s not just breaking into the market, but I just got mine), whose photos look much better to my eyes.  I took a quick photo of my mountain bike, after I took a ride last week, in a sense documenting both the ride and the iPhone.

A photo of my mountain bike, that I took with my new iPhone6+.

A photo of my mountain bike, that I took with my new iPhone6+.

For those that don’t know, I continue to spend time with my exercise programs, which now includes putting in some miles on my mountain bike, and I’m getting closer and closer to feeling as if the last three years (primarily the two back surgeries) never happened. I personally find it is much easier to complete the exercise routines, if you can either find one mode you really love, or if you alternate between a number of modalities. I have almost always been one of those people that just loves to do anything exercise related, and even more so if it connects to a sport. I also found a really cool app for my iPhone that keeps track of my rides, giving me a breakdown of details after I’m done, including a nice little map showing where I rode. The app is called MapMyRide (my best friend told me he uses a sibling app called MapMyRun, which also sounds very useful) and all I need to do is click the orange “Start my ride” button in the lower portion of the screen. That’s it! I just click my iPhone’s power button to shut off my screen and put it into my pocket, and then start riding. It is super simple and FREE! They do of course offer an upgrade, which does have fees attached, but the basic version is absolutely free. Below is a screen capture of one ride.

 

MapMyRide screen showing path ridden in red, along with distance, speeds broken down per mile and other details.

MapMyRide screen showing path ridden in red, along with distance, speeds broken down per mile and other details.

I have another addition to tell you about, other than the iPhone, and its back in the woodworking arena. I got a Festool Kapex KS-120 for the shop. I’ve owned an old Craftsman chop-saw for almost 30 years, and it is one the old 10″ guys that hinges, but does not move along any rails, severely limiting the size board it can cut. For smaller pieces of wood, this can still perform the basic function, but if any have much width to them, you’d better have an alternate solution.

Festool Kapex KS 120 with it's sliding rails and superior accuracy, is such an amazing tool.

Festool Kapex KS 120 with it’s sliding rails and superior accuracy, is such an amazing tool.

This new Kapex (also a 10″ saw) can cut up to a 12″ wide board, is amazingly accurate, produces a glass-smooth cut, and has just gobs of functionality. Festool just seems to understand what is needed in a tool, and then translate their team’s findings into a tool that is easy to use, yet has world-class abilities. Oh, and when it is connected to a Festool dust collector, it is in the 94% captured range. Very similar in fact to their Domino and my Rotex 150 (6″ rotary sanding tool) has even less escaping dust. I realize I regularly lean towards hand tools, but I like to have an integrated shop. Power tools and hand tools work together very nicely, and I use each for what they do best.

Thanks for stopping by and please let me know if you have any comments or questions.

 

Lee Laird