This is kind of a review and a quest for a little feedback too…
I have debated for several months, or since it came out, to get the Festool Surfix Finishing system. Like a lot of us, I am a bit fearful of taking on a new finishing method because we know many a nice project has been ruined (at least for me) by finishing. Its painful to get through quality woodworking just to get to the point of finishing and the bad finish degrades the whole project. I think Ive made my point on how delicate but important finishing can be, unless you are Mr. Neil, whom I respect and read everything I can on what he has to say-he’s always right.
Anyway, If you appreciate Festool’s approach to their ‘systems’, you will like the Surfix. If you like an oil finish, you will like it also. It is an oil finish and doesn’t really shine. I have come to appreciate a less-shiny finish as I like to see the grain, color, and texture of the wood and not the shine.
In the Systainer you will get 3 bottles of finish-light, heavy, and outdoor. I believe they are tung oil based with a few other things thrown in. You get a green and white set of scotch-brite pads for buffing and a few 6in sanding disks for an RO150 sander. You get 5 applicator sponges and a tin to store it in whilst the finishing is being completed. Again this is a system and should take you through the whole project.
I had a few questions-
Can you fill the bottles with say, General Finishes wipe on poly (My personal fav) and essentially, yes.
Can you put the wipe-on poly over it? Yes. I did a small sample and it turned out nice. I don’t like a high shine, but I use the furniture I make and i think it needs the protection of the poly finish.
Can you use the pads on an RO125 sander? Yes, or when you purchase the replacements, order them for the 125.
Which is the best, practical finish for everyday furniture use? MY opinion is the heavy duty. It doesn’t look much different, but its a little thicker, which may lend itself to being more sturdy.
Can this system be improved? Of course. The applicators could be half the size they are for smaller projects. It would also be nice to see a poly-based finish like this.
PLEASE give me your feedback and questions the Surfix. I believe its great but I may not be taking full advantage of the system. Or, if you have the Surfix, what is your experience and results? Thanks!
-- I'm him