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  • Variable speed sander

    I'm fairly new to woodworking. What is the rule of thumb for speed selection when using a variable speed random orbit sander? High, medium or low for finish sanding?

  • #2
    Re: Variable speed sander

    Good question, as far as I know there is no set in stone rule of thumb for selecting a proper speed setting. I think it's more of a fly by the seat of your pants type decision based on the type of wood being sanded, amount of material needed to be removed, etc, etc........ FWIW, I've never owned or used a variable speed ROS and have never thought I needed that option.
    Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

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    • #3
      Re: Variable speed sander

      I couldn't see a difference on the wood between high and low speed. What do you use to sand, from start to finish?

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      • #4
        Re: Variable speed sander

        Normally I'll start out with a 100 grit paper followed by 150, 180 and finish off with a 220. I have also gone up as high as a 320 grit on some projects but on most I stop at 220.
        Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

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        • #5
          Re: Variable speed sander

          I've also never owned a variable speed ROS and have really never seen the need. I start with 100 or 120, depending on the material, and stop at 180 or 220. On rare occasions I've gone higher, but not often.

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          • #6
            Re: Variable speed sander

            I only use an electric ROS on rare occasions (when I am outside the shop) because I have a huge compressor. I use a pnumatic palm style sander for most of my power sanding. The point being....still variable speed. As stated above, you may not see much difference in the finished product, but you will see it in paper consumption. Slowing down your sander will increase the life of your sandpaper with the added benefit of not throwing the dust around so much. Not only does this save some money, it cuts down on sanding with worn out paper, which is bad too.

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            • #7
              Re: Variable speed sander

              Badger and Sawdust,

              What type of sander do you use or do you sand by hand?

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              • #8
                Re: Variable speed sander

                Originally posted by tgruszka View Post
                Badger and Sawdust,

                What type of sander do you use or do you sand by hand?
                Primarily, I use a random orbital sander and or a finish sander with the random orbital being the most often used. Hand sanding is definitely not one of my most favorite things to do unless there is no other way.
                Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

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                • #9
                  Re: Variable speed sander

                  Originally posted by tgruszka View Post
                  Badger and Sawdust,

                  What type of sander do you use or do you sand by hand?
                  I use a Dewalt ROS w/Klingspor sanding disks. I do a fair amount of hand sanding, but it's far from my favorite shop activity!

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