Reply by Blake

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Posted on Random Orbital Sander?

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3443 posts in 3903 days

#1 posted 10-19-2007 06:16 PM

My favorite random orbit sander is actually a flat metal rectangle called a hand scraper. Here’s how the story goes…

I refinished an oak dining table for a friend. I did a ton of research on sanders and a good article in a magazine recommended Makita after various tests. So I bought it and loved it. It seemed efficient and smooth. I spent countless hours sanding the table and gradually stepped down my paper grits finer and finer. It looked perfect! So I applied the stain and suddenly all the little swirling sanding circles popped right out. I was horrified. So I started over and sanded the whole thing again, being even more careful…. Consistent pressure, don’t force it, slow smooth strokes over the surface, gradually step down grits…. Same results.

I had bought a scraper but never used it. I gave it a try and it took me about fifteen minutes to scrape the entire table. It was absolutely perfect, and way smother than even the 360 grit sandpaper had produced. And guess what, no dust, no mask, no vibration-numbed hands, and no noise from the shop vac either.

I do like my Makita but it sits on the shelf a lot these days. so if you haven’t bought one yet, try spending $12 on a good quality scraper (and learn how to correctly use it) before you spend $150 on a sander.

-- Happy woodworking!

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