The first time I used a Bosch sliding compound miter saw, with up-front bevel lock, I didn’t like the saw at all—it weighed too much. But after working with it for six months, I loved it (as long as someone else would carry it!). And when I first starting using a Kapex, I didn’t like it at all. Other than the fact that I could carry it myself, I just wasn’t comfortable using it. Within a month, I loved it. Tools are like that. You have to use them before you really get to known them, and some you end up loving.
Which brings me to Festool’s CT Wings.
Before I go any further, I should note that the CT Wings are a “coming soon” item—they have yet to be released to the public (the release date and market price are both TBD). But keep an eye open! Festool’s CT Wings are a new “gadget” that you’ll soon hear folks laughing at, because it sure seems like a silly idea to use a $400.00 dust collector to hold up molding. But you’ll also hear people laughing about the CT Wings because it’s handy and someone should have thought of it sooner.
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When I got my hands on the CT Wings, I quickly discovered my dust collectors (I tried every one) aren’t powerful enough to support a 16-ft. piece of molding from the center.
|But I was able to hold up a 12-ft. piece of 4-in. crown—from the center.|
|And the CT Wings had no problem supporting an 8-ft. Stabila R-Beam level, which is probably the heaviest level I use.|
Watch this video and you’ll see why the new vacuum attachment is firmly in my vacuum parts Systainer. I know I’ll be using those CT Wings whenever I’m working alone, have my dust collector nearby, and want to hold something on the wall until I can get a nail through it.
Like me, a lot of readers will question this new gadget. These are some of the questions I had, along with answers:
How much weight can CT Wings support?
The CT Wings are designed with a neoprene ring for better sealing and maximum suction force. The Wings can hold up to about 6.5 lbs (3 kg).
What is the maximum material thickness/height that the CT Wings can take?
The movable fins can be adjusted to accept material up to 2″ thick/high.
Why are there so many fins and why are they adjustable?
The fins allow for different molding profiles/heights. Each fin has a tacky raised surface for better grip and positioning of the workpiece.
What is the sliding green portion for?
The slide allows the suction to be broken to move the CT Wings without having to switch off the CT Dust Extractor. So, if you are up a ladder or scaffold where the CT is not in reach, you can move it simply by releasing the suction.
What is the little eyelet on the base for?
You can utilize the eyelet to hang a plumb line from the CT Wings.
How can the CT Wings be used for alignment?
The CT Wings have a center-line indicator on each side of the base for easy alignment.
$400? really? it’s plastic. they planning on recouping development costs on selling 10?
Read it again.
I think the dust extractor is $400, not the vacuum wing.
I mostly work alone, that’s one reason why I started (years ago) buying Festool products. There has not been a tool or an accessory that I didn’t find very useful.
Using the Festool system as a whole makes you think and work in a more professional & more efficient way.
I can see where I would use this attachment. I am interested in seeing this in the near future.
Another Faster. Easier. Smarter product from Festool
A clever idea.
I’m not sure I like the idea of basically plugging the intake of the vacuum and letting it run. Isn’t that about the hardest thing you can do to a vacuum?
Actually the Festool extractors work less hard by design when the flow is restricted. Why, has been explained to me many times and I couldn’t repeat why without mucking it up. With most shop vacs the air coming thru the hose is the saw’s cooling air. Festool doesn’t use that air for cooling. They have a separate method of getting cooling air to bypass the debris collection air stream. Also because the vacuum has pulled the air out of the hose, the motor doesn’t have to work so hard to try and pull more air so the main motor doesn’t have to work so hard.
Sorry I couldn’t provide detailed explanations.
Your explanation makes sense to me.
If they could incorporate a steel area for a magnetized laser level, that would be stellar. I hate balancing them on a cornerbead.
The wings are a good idea. I have been using a home made set for a while powered by my Midi Vac. The suction is good enough that on the high setting I have to hang on them to get them off a painted sheetrock wall. They are very handy for hanging large crown, chair rail, wainscoting, and with a larger shelf I use them to set smaller stand alone cabinets that aren’t worth using a lift.
The 6.5lb. weight limit is a reflection of the gasket seal not the power of the vacuum. They would be far more useful if they had more weight capacity.
Can this gizmo be adapted to any shop vac? Do we have a price yet? Will it be cheaper then a 8 penny nail and a small tub of spackle?
What model nail gun is Gary using? Grex/Cadex?
Cadex. It fires both pins and small-headed brads.
Cheaper Shop Vacs will burn out. The vac needs a bypass motor, one of the reasons Festool, Fein, and other high quality vacs cost more than typical shop vacs.
Bypass motors are also used in HVLP units. There you will have a choice of 1 to 4 stages which basically refers to the number of fans moving air.
The link below shows the construction of a bypass motor.
Gary, as usual very good article and I also love Festool. My question doesn’t pertain to the tool itself, but the shorts you’re wearing, could you please indicate the brand where they are available.
I think this is them. They also have a reinforced right-hand pocket so sliding the clip on your knife over the pocket does NO damage.
I don’t have a Festool CT but I’ve burned through a number of Shop-Vacs in my day which makes me think I need one. Anyway, I’ve found that Shop-Vacs overheat and burn out pretty quickly when airflow is impeded (wood chip lodges in the hose and goes unnoticed) and I feel like using the airflow to suction to the wall would be a similar situation. Is this not an issue for the Festool CT?
I think you’re talking about the same thing other readers mentioned, and Michael Kellough did a nice job of explaining why a Festool CT is able to handle the job. See his comment above.
I burned out a lot of shop-vacs, until in 1996 I purchased a Fein, and it’s still going so I had no issues with purchasing a Festool CT, and I have the vacuum going every day, and all I do is buy bags. Well worth the money.
Nice mention of the Fein. In practically all independent tests, it rates substantially superior to the Festools.
Pretty cool. How well do you think it’ll work on textured walls?
I have a festool midi vac. Will the wings fit that or do I need one from the ct range?
Yes, it will–it’s the hose size that matters, not the dust collector size.
Off topic but I have not seen a curved jigsaw base before as used at the start of this film. Could you give me details of the item I would like to see if I could get one here in the UK. Thank you.
That’s a Collins Coping Foot. Great for coping baseboard, crown, chair rail, making cutouts in counter tops, etc. etc.
David Collins makes several other VERY handy tools.
Thank you very much for the swift reply Gary. Off to have a look now.
They look super handy for someone that works alone. When will they be available?
Unfortunately we don’t know. As I said the story, the release date has yet to be decided. :)
Lamb Ametek makes vacuum motors for many many different vacuums. Central vacs, car wash vacs and most of the shop vacs sold worldwide use them. Bypass cooling is pretty much a standard of the industry and it doesn’t cost any more to use a design that has a separate cooling air supply for the motor. Vacuum chucking and hold downs is a well known technique for clamping and fixturing hard to support parts. No reason not to use whatever vacuum you have handy and a roll of closed cell self adhesive foam tape to make your own clamping fixtures if this appeals.
Most shop vacs pull 80-120 WC inches of vacuum at the canister inlet. If your vacuum pulls 30 water column inches at the chuck located at the end of your hose, that is roughly 1 pound per square inch of sealing surface. A 5 inch diameter chuck will stick to your wall with almost 75 pounds of force and will support 10% of that load or at least 7 pounds when it is perpendicular to the sealing force. Just like magnetic clamps that are much harder to release when pulling directly against the force versus sliding it away.