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News from Ligna 2005, woodworking show

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Extract from show report from a good source, might be able to get some photo's later. I Thought some forum members might be interested in the new Festool machines etc.

As for tools, there were not a lot of new things. The German
unemployment is 11%. There are now only 2 German solid woodworking
machine companies (Altendorf and Martin). Five years ago there were
more than 30. Once again German booths were crowded and Italian and
far east sparse.

We spent a good bit of time at Festool. I saw their line of
circular saws which are going thru UL testing. They will introduce
five saws by the end of the year. Their newest drill, a D-handled
version, has a great feel. The are upgrading their Basic System and
will import to US. This is a well designed interchangeable system.
There are modules for a router, jig saw, belt sander, and saw that
all fit in the same small portable sliding table. The system is
nice. They also had 3 apprentices building complex tables with only
the festool system. Impressive.

I checked out Mafell but they are really geared towards the timber
frame industry. They did have a saw on a guide rail that was
motorized. You just put the saw down, push a button and will cut a
sheet a plywood long ways. Push another botton and it returns.
Mafell also has a flexible guide rail for curved surfaces.

Protool is a sister company of Festool that competes against Mafell
for the specialized timber frame tooling. Protool is made in
Eastern Europe like many products. The Festool marketing director
told me that Protool had their most advanced factory
 
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