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dkame
05-09-2016, 11:08 AM
I wanted to get your thoughts on random orbital sanders. I have a palm sander that works nicely but doesn't remove material very quickly or can leave swirl marks with coarser grits. Any comments or cautions on random orbitals? If you think I will find it useful and what grits you use for different jobs.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
05-09-2016, 02:05 PM
The idea behind sanding is to leave progressively smaller scratches using grits of sandpaper in descending order (From say, 80 grit to 400) until you can no longer see the scratches without magnification. So what you are experiencing could be normal with the coarser grits.
However, the particular sander you have (and sandpaper to a lesser extant) will make a world of difference in achieving a smooth surface quickly. For years I've primarily used Porter cable and DeWalt. Recently I've replaced all my RO sanders with Festools. My only regret is that I waited so long to do so.

dofthesea
05-09-2016, 05:45 PM
What Chuck said, Once you use one you will refuse to work with any other inferior sander.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
05-09-2016, 06:51 PM
What Chuck said, Once you use one you will refuse to work with any other inferior sander.

And the vacuum system is da bomb!

sequoia
05-09-2016, 09:06 PM
I use Dewalt because it is a yellow color. When it comes to ROS, yellow is the way to go! Otherwise I have no opinion. Works for me. Blue might be good too... Oh also: Riobi 60 grit on a Dewalt ROS just melts wood. Deep scratches? You betcha.

DPO
05-09-2016, 09:38 PM
I wanted to get your thoughts on random orbital sanders. I have a palm sander that works nicely but doesn't remove material very quickly or can leave swirl marks with coarser grits. Any comments or cautions on random orbitals? If you think I will find it useful and what grits you use for different jobs.

Hmmm I only ever sand with the grain.

Harold O.
05-10-2016, 01:41 AM
Festool random orbit sanders have three major benefits. First, the dust extraction system works very well. Allows you to work indoors and not create a cloud. It also holds the sander to the surface better than a sander alone. Second, vibration is minimal. Saves your hand from carpal tunnel drama. Third, they are fairly quiet, even with the vacuum running. Use ear plugs for prolonged sanding bouts regardless.

Only drawback is initial cost. But you can cuss at it once or cuss at it every time you use it.

strumsilly
05-10-2016, 05:42 AM
I use a Bosh and I like it just fine, but those Festools look awesome. One of those you get what you pay for deals. I guess it depends on how much you are going to use it. Pro or hobby?

FarmerBill
05-10-2016, 06:11 AM
Add a vacuum to your RO sander and it will sand faster and have much less dust, a win win. I have 2 Dewalt sanders and could buy several more for the price of the Festool which is a great sander just too much for me.

resoman
05-10-2016, 07:47 AM
I've been using the Hitachi ROS for a couple of years and at like $68.00 it's a pretty good bargain. I got mine as a factory reconditioned for about $50.00. Fairly light weight and has good dust extraction. BUT, the Festool is in my future for sure. These ROS really save a lot of time and the finishes are great.

resoman
05-10-2016, 07:51 AM
Which Festool model are you guys using? I just looked and one of the models can be had for as little as $125.00. The one I had looked at some months ago was $440.00.

Kekani
05-10-2016, 08:49 AM
Can't work without my DeWalt, vacuum attached. Considered going air with Dynabrade, but really scoping out the Mirka Ceros, not sure why. That one puts Festool to shame when it comes to cost, last I checked. Sort of like getting a Fuji HVLP turbine to replace my Sata conversion; it doesn't make sense, until you get it.

photoshooter
05-10-2016, 10:23 AM
Woodworker here, not luthier. I use a DeWalt sander with vac attachment and Mirka Gold sandpaper discs with it.
The sander has worked out well for me and I highly recommend the Mirka abrasives.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
05-10-2016, 11:22 AM
Which Festool model are you guys using? I just looked and one of the models can be had for as little as $125.00. The one I had looked at some months ago was $440.00.

I have two Festool sanders, the ETS 125/3 EQ model. One i use for wood working. I have it hooked up to their mini dust extractor which mounts nicely on a shelf under my work bench. The other I dedicate strictly for wet sanding lacquer so as not to introduce any sawdust onto my Abralon pads.
This place is the only dealer I know that offers free shipping (even to Hawaii which is pretty much unheard of.) :

http://www.toolnut.com/?gclid=CjwKEAjwjca5BRCAyaPGi6_h8m8SJADryPLhtrA99hD ah2w1_R9VAt4MzJfFrwT05wbtpGke8BN6xhoC1r_w_wcB

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
05-10-2016, 11:34 AM
The other thing to keep in mind in using a ROS successfully is choosing the right pad. Some manufacturers, like Festool, offer various degrees of firmness (from ultra soft to extra firm) that you can mount on your sander. These are expensive ($40+) and take a bit of time to change. I find it much easier to use an interface pad like the one in the link below. I use the firm pad that came with my Festool if I want to sand flat surfaces and keep corners crisp. For sanding contours like those found in waists and necks, as well as for sanding lacquer, I simple place a soft interface face pad between the factory pad and my sanding disk.

http://www.amazon.com/3M-Sanding-Interface-28322-Diameter/dp/B007XIMYXS/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1462912011&sr=8-4&keywords=hook+and+loop+interface+pad

rudy
05-10-2016, 05:02 PM
I use a random orbit 5" A LOT for a wide variety of purposes. I keep mine outfitted with 220 Mirka Gold and don't switch grits. The random orbit is aggressive enough that switching grits isn't necessary in most cases. I use them hard to the point of abuse, so buying expensive RO sanders isn't in the cards. My favorite is the Black and Decker shown in the photo. I buy 2 or 3 at a time when they are on sale $25-$30 and switch out to a new one when the bearings or pad starts to go. I think I'm on number 5 at this time, and I'm positive spending more wouldn't be any more cost effective. My favorite trick is to use a momentary foot switch with these, essentially allowing you to "pulse" them for very fine control of the sanding action. This combination is super-effective for a wide range of sanding operations.

91036

91043

A quick video showing the foot-controlled ROS in action:

https://youtu.be/hF9boR-0FxE

chuck in ny
05-11-2016, 03:31 PM
let's talk about spending the money we don't have. a legitimate 2 stage compressor is the heart of any industrial plant. you pay and cry once and thenceforth have plenty of air.
dynabrade DA sanders among others used to be $125. back in the day and are now almost $200., 5" or 6" take your pick. without the electric motor they hold closer to the work for vastly improved feel. that is the deal with air tools. it takes vastly more power to compress air to run an air motor rather than use the electricity to run a tool motor in the first place. it's worth doing this to have small ergonomic tools that work quickly without all the bulk. as well as the improved feel the DA air sander works <very> quickly and would make easy work out of say feathering a soundboard.
i am aware of the deal with a lot of your shops and many don't have the juice as well as the cash to bring 220 electrons to bear. some of the small chinese compressors are very rugged including the porter cable pancake with contractors running multiple framing guns simultaneously and the little buggers going flat out for extended time. other pancakes you see will cost far more and bite the dust in short order. i have one of the porter cables for handy take to locations, a heavier dewalt oil compressor, and the ingersoll 5 hp 2 stage that sits piped in the corner of the wood shop. back to the hundred buck porter cable. you could run some hose to a slave air tank, anything you can find or adapt 20-60 gallons, and wind up with enough air to do instrument work. you could do the same with the compressor's 6 gallon tank, and pausing and being patient. i could gang up the 110v dewalt/emglo i already own with the porter cable pancake and have enough air to run my shop if the ingersoll needed service. redundancy can be your friend.

resoman
05-11-2016, 04:41 PM
I've used and still do use air tools on occasion. In my machine shop I don't mind so much because the compressor is outside and you can't hear it. In my wood shop, the compressor is inside and I just hate to hear it run which it does a lot with air tools. That's my main objection. Plus you have the hose which is a lot bulkier and harder to handle than an electrical cord. As in all things, your methods may vary and this is what works for me and it's all good. :)
My Festool ETS 125 ROS came today and I used it for maybe 1/2 hour and it's wonderful. Very quiet, variable speed, pretty light, practically vibration free and really easy to handle. Ya, it was kinda expensive but my hands love it! One thing I really like, it stops spinning almost as soon as you turn it off as compared to my other ROS's that freewheel for a pretty long time.