May 152007


We were fortunate to have Dan Durant of Festool on hand demonstrating the impressive line of Festool tools during the Highland Woodworking Spring Tool Sale on May 5th. Then last week on a trip to see my daughter who is studying in Germany, my wife and I had the opportunity to visit the Festool factory. Festool is a world-renowned tool manufacturer known for its high quality, precision and reliability. The factory is located in Wendlingen, a beautiful small town south of Stuttgart. Mr. Raichle, a representative for Festool, greeted us and kindly gave us a complete tour of the factory.

First, we visited the manufacturing section where we found the heart of Festool, the motor. They cast their own motor housing and wind the armature after turning the shafts with zero tolerance. Festool feels that the motor is the most essential part of any of their tools, and therefore will never outsource its production.

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Mar 222007

Turned Cowboy HatWhat a treat. At the Georgia Association of Woodturners March meeting here at the store, Chris Ramsay turned a cowboy hat out of sugar maple. Chris has been turning hats for years and “THE” George Bush has one of Chris’s hats. There was standing room only for Chris Ramsay’s demonstration. Chris started with a 20″ piece of sugar maple. He rounded it and started to cut it back so he could get a mirror frame, regular hat and a mini hat out of the same piece of wood. I took a lot of pictures so you could get an idea of how he turns it.

He uses a faceplate and a chuck and at first reverses several times before he starts to profile the outside of the hat. Once the brim is cut to less than 1/8″ the crown is shaped. He leaves the top most attached to the faceplate and then reverses the hollow on the inside so he can put it on a special chuck to finish the outside crown. The pictures don’t do justice to what the members got to see. Hope you enjoy!

Phil Colson

Watch Chris turn a hat in the video slideshow below!

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