|Review by gko||posted 06-26-2011 04:24 AM||3654 views||3 times favorited||6 comments|
Bosch 1/2 sheet sander
After using 1/4 sheet sanders or random orbit sanders on my table tops I usually end up with a bit of a ripple when I varnish or lacquer the top. I have a planer but even after planing I always seem to have these slight ripples after sanding. In Flexner’s book he uses what looks like a half sheet sander (can’t confirm, a WC owner borrowed my book I bought from him after telling him how good it was) and a carpenter friend said he really liked the 1/2 sheet Bosch so I took the plunge and bought it.
It creates an extremely smooth, flat as a mirror surface. I start with pencil stripes on the surface and then sand with 100 grit until it all disappears. If I planed the surface then I just lightly go over with a 150 grit to get rid of the little knife ripples that show up in staining. In the past I found turning the sander at an angle gave me the smoothest surface. Going parrallel always left lines at the edges of the sander. Having the corners of the sander on the sides of the direction of movement feathered the edges. Turning the Bosch at an angle creates a totally smooth surface with no sanding lines. Once totally flat, going through 150 and 220 sands out the previous sanding scratches really quickly. The scratch pattern is excellent for such a large sander but if I want a nearly invisible scratch pattern when staining with pigment I finish with a PC 330 Speed bloc 1/4 sheet sander. Pigments get caught in the tiny sanding scratches and the PC seems to give me the smoothest scratch pattern without going to a Festool. Of course I finish sanding by hand going with the grain but even that requires just a quick light sanding If I’m not staining I’ve gone straight to the finish from the Bosch. Doesn’t seem to make a difference going to the PC and hand sanding if I’m not staining with pigments.
It has a trigger lock that works the way it should, not all work this nicely. Hand grips in the front and back as well as on top in the center. I like to lightly hold it in the center as I find I tend to lean on the front or back grips and have to concentrate on keep the machine balanced between the front and back.
Again the scratch pattern is very nice and with 100 grit I get almost no pigtails. If you stained at this point it would show a little but its nearly invisible. Among my power tools it second to my PC 330 in giving me a scratchless pattern. But it does a better job of giving me a really flat surface to finish on.
Well, the included dust filter does an ok job but you need an adapter to hook it up to regular vacuums. I ordered the adapter but haven’t gotten it in so I can’t comment on how well it works. An adapter to poke holes in the sandpaper which works well and it looks like the hole pattern would work well with a vacuum. There is a strong ozone odor but it doesn’t bother me much. That’s it for the negatives.
I don’t have a large flat bed drum sander so this is a wonderful way of getting an extremely flat surface. I’ve used it after a planer and hand planning and it easily gets it ready for the stain. I tried messing up a piece of wood with my belt sander and using 80 grit it flattened the surface nicely. It is my go to sander for anything that needs to have a large flat mirror llike surface.
-- Wood Menehune, Honolulu