Well, I broke down and added a new power tool to the arsenal. I picked up a 4.5” angle grinder from the big orange home store. I’ve been wanting one for a couple of years and had hoped to turn one up at the local thrift shops, but no such luck. With an upcoming instillation of hardwood floors and the need to undercut our existing existing cobble stone hearth I figured it was about time to crack open the wallet.
While in the spending mood, I also picked up a 60 grit flap disc and thought I’d give it a go at knocking off the weathered exterior of my bench. Talk about a tool that offers no quarter. With even a gentle touch it created a furious maelstrom of dust. What I thought was going to take a couple hours of careful work took less than 30 minutes. Leaving me and everything in a 20 foot (6 meter) diameter covered in saw-dust.
After roughing things out with the grinder I switched over to the Random Orbital Sander; tame by contrast but still much quicker than hand sanding.
This work is tough on the sander as a lot of time is spend sanding with the edge to get into all of the nooks and crannies. It will be about time to replace the velcro backing pad ofter this job. A good 80% of the sanding can be done with the ROS, but there are some area’s it just can get, so I’ve been putting in a good bit of hand sanding as well.
I’ve got most of the wood sanded to 100 grit. I spent the last hour of today with the 150 grit. that’s usually where it gets easy to spot the bad areas where I’ll need to really spend time getting things smooth.
I am pretty pleased with the progress I made today.
The grain is starting to pop a bit which helps me continue on the tedious path of sanding. Even though this will be the bottom of the bench, I want to get it as flawless as possible.
Also, all of my sanding unearthed a nice surprise; a fist sized rock is encased by part of the bench
I’ll have to figure out how best to manage that. A lot of that surrounding wood looked to be a pretty punky bark layer, so if it’s only loosely encased I’ll probably have to remove it.
The plan for the rest of the weekend is to get the bottom layer sanded up to about 220, then I’ll set this upright again and start focusing on the top and sides.
That’s all for now, thank you for following.