OSS: How much vibration is too much? Also is this a good tool to sand MDF profiles?

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Forum topic by Propaganda posted 07-17-2010 08:37 AM 1130 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4 posts in 2293 days

07-17-2010 08:37 AM

Topic tags/keywords: sanding mdf oss

Hey hey

Ok, so I am trying to find a solution to sanding the edges of MDF. The thing is the edges are in funky shapes like stars, butterflies, guitars, and such.

I bought a harbor freight spindle sander to try out. Using the 80 grit takes far too much material off and I will be buying a set of 150 grit ASAP to try. (the edges are sealed with Kilz) The vibration on the spindle closest to the table is about .008” and on the top its about .014” (jumps to .020” at times). I am curious to know if higher end spindle sanders have far less runout and also how much runout is too much? As you can tell I basically have no experience at this and I don’t want to be stuck with a $130 tool that does not do a professional job and have to spend $500 on a real OSS.

Are there other solutions to sanding odd shape edges of MDF? Hand sanding for a complicated unit takes 30 minutes! There are a few inside corner radiuses of 1/4” and I think I will take a small dowel cut a slot thus making a super small flapper sander. IDK.



-- "Gentlemen, you can't fight in here this is the war room!"

7 replies so far

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

8098 posts in 2849 days

#1 posted 07-17-2010 11:34 AM

The Rigid OSS is only $70 more and you get a oscillating edge/belt sander with it.
For really small cut outs I built a manual strip sander which is the simple shape of a coping saw cut from 1/4” plywood with a ripped piece of cloth back belt glued to it as the “blade”.
If you use a scroll saw, there are sanding strips that replace the blade and can get in tight places.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View iamwelty's profile


254 posts in 2536 days

#2 posted 07-17-2010 12:12 PM

+1 X 10 on the Ridgid. The Belt really adds to shape option and you can easily change to the spindles as needed, plus you get life time warrant, a large tilting table, dust collection…

-- There is a fine line between eroticism and nausea...

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 2495 days

#3 posted 07-17-2010 01:54 PM

For small odd shaped items, I use a strip sander with either a 1” or 1/2” sanding belt. IMO that is the best way to sand small odd shaped items.

My particular strip sander is an accessory for my shopsmith. I’ve never seen anything quite like it as a stand alone unit. It is capable of doing internal sanding (like the inside of a circle).

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View canadianchips's profile


2310 posts in 2418 days

#4 posted 07-17-2010 05:28 PM

I recommend a !” Strip sander.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View lew's profile


11264 posts in 3176 days

#5 posted 07-17-2010 05:32 PM

My spindle sander has several different sized spindles. If dirt gets into the “threaded socket”, when changing spindles, it will cause this problem.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Propaganda's profile


4 posts in 2293 days

#6 posted 07-17-2010 07:59 PM

Thanks guys, but has anyone taken the time to measure vibration and runout with a dial gauge?

-- "Gentlemen, you can't fight in here this is the war room!"

View Ger21's profile


1047 posts in 2552 days

#7 posted 07-18-2010 01:25 PM

I don’t have any noticable runout on my Delta BOSS.

-- Gerry,

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