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  • Sander recomendation

    Would appreciate any comments on what you use to sand panels etc. Looking at a 5" orbital or maybe 6", I already have a 3" Ridgid belt sander.

  • #2
    Re: Sander recomendation

    I have a DeWalt 5" ROS and I like it. Hooked up to a shop vac (needs an adapter) dust is controlled quite well.

    I also have a Ryobi *cordless* 5" ROS, which I am mostly disappointed in. It has its uses, but when I need to do some 'real' or important sanding, I get the DeWalt out.

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    • #3
      Re: Sander recomendation

      I have several sanders and even a few different kinds of sanding blocks and molded sanders for use with trim molding, etc.

      On the power side, I have two 5" Random Orbit Sanders, one Ryobi and of course the Ridgid. Both are variable speed, which I'm not sure is critically important, although being able to slow the speed does come in handy for some applications, like sanding over woodfiller.

      I'm not sure the cost of going with a 6" ROS is worth it to me. Generally they're about twice the price and you gain very little IMHO.

      I also have the Ridgid 1/4-sheet sander. Actually bought it because it's more economical to buy sheets of sand paper than it is sanding discs. However, I don't use it as often as I thought I would; and buying your discs in quantity for the ROS is the way to go.

      Only negative I can state on the Ridgid, is the slide-thru switch. While it's technically very reliable, it's location is a bit too convenient, as it's all too easy to toggle it off while in use. But that said, it causes no harm and it can be switched back just as readily. I've learned to deal with it and it's not a big deal at all for me.

      I have a Ryobi "Corner Cat" and frankly, that has got to be one of the best bargains on the market. I find I use it on almost every job for getting into those corners and it's weight and shape make it comfortable for sanding edges and easing corners, etc. Only problem is that my local Home Depot doesn't do a particularly good job of keeping up with inventory on the sanding media. I've learned to keep a good stock of sheets.

      My least used sander is my old Craftsman Belt sander. Just too quick and aggresive for anything other than the roughest of work.

      In conclusion, I think a 5" ROS is probably the most used. It is aggressive enough to take down rough work using a harsher grit and also gentle enough to do most finish work using a fine grit. I do confess to doing my last couple of sandings by hand with an old furniture grade felt block, but I'd certainly always have an ROS for most of my sanding need. The Ridgid was my choice because of it's durability, extras like the great case, double sanding heads, longer cord, etc.; and of course, you can't beat the warranty, and the LLSA which should keep the tool in your inventory for years to come.

      Second on my list would be my little Ryobi Corner Cat. You can't do corners with an ROS, and trying to run and edge, the ROS isn't as controllable as the Corner Cat. For $30, it's a good "extra" to have.

      I hope this helps,

      CWS

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Sander recomendation

        For 5" ROS's I own a Porter Cable 333, Makita BO5010 and a McCullough MA8410. The PC and Makita are both excellent sanders and I'd recommend either. The McCullough is pretty much useless when it comes to fine work and I pretty much relegate it to carpentry type tasks.

        If I needed to replace either the PC or the Makita I would seriously consider the Ridgid 5" ROS. I think that today most of the major tool brands of 5" ROS's are all pretty equal and Ridgid's LLSA Program would be the tie breaker for me.
        Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

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        • #5
          Re: Sander recomendation

          This might be a dumb question (I am new to woodworking) but why do ROS's seem to get all the love over palm sanders (the 1/4 sheet kind)?

          Over the summer I was talking to friend about sanding and how its my least favorite part of woodworking. Once he realized I was doing it by hand it said to go out and get a palm sander right away and I wont dislike it as much (he was right). The more I get into this hobby it seems only ROS's are used, I never see anyone using palm sanders.

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          • #6
            Re: Sander recomendation

            Pez,

            Probably it's just a matter of convenience. As I said before, I have several sanders and bought the 1/4 sheet because I figured it would be the least expensive (material wise) and perhaps the most versatile, because the variety of sanding sheets is far greater than what's available in discs. Also, you can even clamp down a scotchbrite or other material on a 1/4 sheet.

            The problem I have with it though is that it never seems quite tight enough. Therefore I get the impression that some of the oscilation is lost in the transfer to a loosely fitting sheet. It also takes much more effort to change the paper; fitting first the rear clamp, pulling the sheet tight, trying to get it properly tucked under the front clamp, hooking the front clamp, positioning the sander in the hole punch, etc. Then I find that as I'm running it, the slightest looseness, causes one of the holes to catch on an edge and rip the darn thing. Personally, I think that a quarter-sheet with a velcro backing would be a terrific idea. But then nobody at this time produces such a tool or a sheet material with velcro backing. I suppose it defeats some of the economics and versatility with materials, but it would make a 1/4 sheet a lot more convenient to use. (Are you listening Ridgid?)

            With an ROS, it's simply place it, press it, and off you go. I get no snags and the disc holds together quite well and it adheres entirely, not just on the ends.

            But, I mentioned the "Corner Cat" which is basically a palm sander, but with a cloth's iron shape. Those sheets fasten down with velcro and like the ROS they're easy to change and last relatively long, compared to the 1/4 sheet. I find myself using the "Cat" as much I do the ROS, if not more. It just depends on the job required. If you don't need the expense of an ROS, give it a try. The only negative is the material cost. I haven't found a source for bulk material. Black and Decker and I'm sure other brands offer competitive units.

            CWS

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Sander recomendation

              The main reason that ROS's are more widely used over palm/finish sander's is simply that they do the job better and faster than a palm/finish sander. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't own one. Personally, I prefer to use my palm/finish sander over my ROS when I edge sand.

              BTW, most woodworkers would probably agree with you that sanding is their least favorite thing to do. I know I do.
              Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Sander recomendation

                Random orbiters can sand faster and leave a better finish due to the random sanding direction. Palm sheet sanders tend to rotate a smaller distance in mostly one direction. I find both are must have's. The problem with ROS is they are no good on corners, edges, or pieces smaller than the pads which get messed up easily in those situations. 1/4 sanders are a lot more practical there. I have the Bosch models for both and would highly recommend them. The ROS sander is great and the dust collection is excellent. Their 1/4 sander is a step above the rest on the clamping system alone.

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                • #9
                  Re: Sander recomendation

                  I have the ridgid and dewalt ROS, the porter cable mini belt sander, a craftsman 3x21 belt sander and a sanding pad for my fein multimaster. I like the ridgid though I find the dewalt has better dust control when they are hooked up to a vac. For my purposes--roughing up cabinet faces--I use the belt sander most.

                  CWS--for my multimaster, which is like your corner cat in the shape of the pad, I was able to locate hook and loop sandpaper on a roll online. I needed a really coarse grit for the MM, and it was not offered by fein--not to mention their prices for replacements. Now I just cut new sheets to fit as I need them. I got a roll that is something like 4 1/2" by 25' or something. The paper is not the best quality, but at the price and abundance I can afford to freshen it up often.

                  I can't remember the site anymore but it was easy to find on google as I recall.


                  Eli
                  A good carpenter makes few mistakes, a great carpenter can fix his own.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Sander recomendation

                    Thanks for the great info, excellent answers to a question that has been bugging me! Looks like my next tool purchase is going to be a ROS.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Sander recomendation

                      Eli,

                      Thanks for the recommendation on velcro-backed roles. That would be ideal if I can find it. I've looked at a few supplier catalogs, but mostly for velcro-backed sheets that I might cut to fit the "Corner Cat". I never really thought of "rolls". I'll do some looking and let you know what I find.

                      Thanks again,

                      CWS

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Sander recomendation

                        CWS

                        Well it must be fate because I opened my email this morning and the very site I was talking about sent me an email with a $5 off coupon code. You have to spend $75 to get it, which is more than I plan on spending in there for a long while (read-ever), but at least I can give you the link now!

                        http://www.onlineindustrialsupply.com/

                        I do have to warn you, I bought a big stack of cheap disks from them in 40 grit and was not too pleased with the performance. Again since they were so cheap it ended up being worth it, and I did not really check out any of the different qualities they offer. But check em out for yourself and see what ya think!

                        Eli

                        PS the promo code at checkout is fFIVEOFF if you do end up splurging.
                        A good carpenter makes few mistakes, a great carpenter can fix his own.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Sander recomendation

                          Originally posted by texan123 View Post
                          Would appreciate any comments on what you use to sand panels etc. Looking at a 5" orbital or maybe 6", I already have a 3" Ridgid belt sander.
                          Texan (who lives in OK) - I have 5" and 6" Porter Cable ROS's. Both are good tools. If I only had one, it would be the 5": I use it probably 30x more often then the 6". I have to be sanding a pretty large surface to break out the 6".

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                          • #14
                            Re: Sander recomendation

                            Thanks CJH20 for the info and yes I am a Texan living in Ok. Blame it on the grandkids and the Lady of the house.

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