If we had done a “Year in Review” article back in 2011, Festool extraction and the redefinition of HEPA vacs for painters would have been right up there on the list. I am a fan of just about anything that raises the bar for the paint industry, its manufacturers and contractors…as long as it doesn’t make our lives much more difficult.
Festool Extraction makes life Easier:
On September 30, 2011, we shared the news of Festool’s announcement that their current lineup of dust extractors (vacuums) had been certified to be full unit hepa, which it turns out was a considerable and pioneering leap ahead compared to vacuum manufacturers who put out “hepa filtered” shop vacs.
Since that announcement, Festool has been proactive in educating their customers about what that actually means, and they have also sent out free HEPA filters and full unit HEPA certificates to owners of their current generation of extractors, which includes: CT Mini, CT Midi, CT 26, CT 36, and CT 48.
We have been running Festool extractors since mid 2011, when Festool submitted to us their (at the time) new Granat abrasives for our independent and contractor-centric evaluation, which required us to learn their sanding/extraction equipment and continue ongoing testing of their systems. Through our own internal training program and site based project experiences with the tools, we have gained substantial understanding of how Festool best integrates into the day to day operations of a paint contracting company. And we consider this system to be the standard for clean operations in our business, and industry.
Impact of Festool Extraction on Paint Operations:
- quality of life at work for our painters on both interior and exterior sanding tasks
- improved paint adhesion/stain penetration because dust is not ground into grain during prep
- abrasives last longer because with good extraction, surfaces stay cooler during sanding
- less time cleaning up dust because it can’t go airborne and settle anywhere
Each of these bullet points represents quite a number of specific day to day jobsite advantages, which we will continue to compile and share. Anywhere that there is a quality and efficiency gain that can be realized through better equipment and processes, there is a pretty good chance that we have our eye on it.
More on Festool Extraction for Painters:
Our general overview of the Festool system for painters (sanders/abrasives/extractors) was published in the January 2012 issue of American Painting Contractor magazine. As we continue our testing heading into 2013, the CT family of dust extractors continue to be the anchor of the system in terms of dust collection at the source of sanding, and minimizing the need for extensive daily dust patrol onsite.
We will continue to dissect the generalized system overview published in APC, and we will be sharing more specific component analyses, of course with jobsite based footage as always. The extractor line will be a major part of that.
Please share with us any efficiency gains your paint company is making through better gear. And if you have any questions on the extractors, abrasives and sanders mentioned in this article, please ask.