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I have a ROS. Is there a reason I might need a sheet sander too?

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Forum topic by JohnnyBoy1981 posted 05-21-2017 05:22 PM 2325 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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JohnnyBoy1981

235 posts in 581 days


05-21-2017 05:22 PM

Topic tags/keywords: ros sander

I’m working on an end table made of 2×4’s. Several of the boards have some machine marks. I’m also going to stain it, so I’ve been using my ROS to speed the process.

When reading another thread here, one person wrote that they only used a ROS with 80 grit paper to start, and the rest of the sandpaper grits were applied with one of those square palm sanders that takes folded sheets of sandpaper. I’m curious why there’s a need for two sanders? I have trouble getting into corners and 90 degree angles with the round ROS but it’s not a big issue. Is there an advantage to using both types on one project?


22 replies so far

View JackDuren's profile

JackDuren

388 posts in 1103 days


#1 posted 05-21-2017 05:24 PM

Only time I ever use a square sander is to sand in corners like flat panel doors when finishing….

View AZWoody's profile

AZWoody

1402 posts in 1368 days


#2 posted 05-21-2017 05:30 PM

I have a DeWalt 5” ROS and also a Makita 1/3 sheet sander as well as a 1/4 sheet Rigid sander I got for free with their palm router.

When I need to remove material or inlay, I use the Makita. It actually takes off material faster than the ROS in my experience. I use that for most of the rough sanding and then the ROS for the final 2 grits. Usually 120 and 150 and then I’m done. I rarely use any finer grit before finishing.

View Gaffneylumber's profile

Gaffneylumber

103 posts in 972 days


#3 posted 05-21-2017 05:37 PM

Sheet sanders are great for sanding rounded over edges.

-- Grayson - South Carolina

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

117234 posts in 3721 days


#4 posted 05-21-2017 05:58 PM

Depending on your ROS it may leave little swirls in woods like cherry so sanding with a pad sander after the ROS might take those swirls out.

-- https://www.artisticwoodstudio.com/videos wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Rich's profile

Rich

3650 posts in 733 days


#5 posted 05-21-2017 06:44 PM

I have a 1/2 sheet Makita that I use when sanding panels. The larger surface area helps minimize unevenness. It also is sanding a larger area, so the job is done quicker.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View Carloz's profile

Carloz

1147 posts in 735 days


#6 posted 05-21-2017 06:44 PM

No you do not need it. I’ve never wished I had a sheet sander. Maybe my eyes are not as good as used to be but I do not see any swirl marks after 150 grit, staining or not. But it might be because I usually apply some intermediate transparent layer to control blotching before staining. As Jim said if you have concerns just do a quick run with a sheet of sandpaper along the grain. You do not even need a sander pad, an offcut piece of wood works as good.
Now if you need to sand 100 pieces of furniture with all imaginable tight corners than it could be a different story.

View Loren's profile

Loren

10477 posts in 3792 days


#7 posted 05-21-2017 06:54 PM

The square sanders are less aggressive and
don’t leave the deep swirl marks ROS sanders
sometimes do. The best way to reduce
swirl marks is to use a vacuum attached
to the sander. Loose grit can get stuck
between the pad and the wood and make
havoc.

Swirl marks show up especially when dark
stain is applied.

If you’re careful about sanding thoroughly
at lower grits, cleaning the surface thoroughly
between and moving to the next grit, swirl
marks from a ROS can be almost eliminated.

For final prep before finishing you might
consider hand sanding.

In practice in work for clients I generally have
sanded to 150 using a ROS with a vacuum
and the results in woods like oak and walnut
have been acceptable.

View JohnnyBoy1981's profile

JohnnyBoy1981

235 posts in 581 days


#8 posted 05-21-2017 07:00 PM

Right now I’ve got a Porter Cable ROS and a Ryobi belt sander. The ROS doesn’t seem to get out the machine or mill marks very well. I usually just use it for finishing. I’m leery about using the belt sander; I’ve had too many instances where I’ve gouged or otherwise damaged the wood with it. I thought about a card scraper but that would be time consuming.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5089 posts in 2637 days


#9 posted 05-21-2017 07:20 PM

I haven’t used a square sheet sander since I got my ROS, except (as mentioned above) for corners sometimes. I do always finish up the job by hand sanding with the grain, tho’. If there are any pigtails, that gets rid of them.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Kazooman's profile

Kazooman

1144 posts in 2096 days


#10 posted 05-21-2017 07:29 PM


I m leery about using the belt sander; I ve had too many instances where I ve gouged or otherwise damaged the wood with it.

- JohnnyBoy1981

You should look into a belt sander with a sanding frame attachment. It keeps the surface of the belt flat against the work preventing gouges from digging the rollers or an edge into the piece. Most of them have fine adjustment mechanisms to adjust the aggressiveness of the sander. Some even have dust collection. I flattened a lot of end grain cutting boards with my Ryobi before I got a drum sander.

View papadan's profile

papadan

3584 posts in 3512 days


#11 posted 05-21-2017 07:38 PM

I’ve got a couple sheet sanders I will give anyone that wants them. My PC ros replaced them years ago. That said, I do have an old B&D Mouse sander that is what I use to get into corners. My Fein Multimaster has attachments for sanding inside special shapes and moldings.

View bigJohninvegas's profile

bigJohninvegas

490 posts in 1606 days


#12 posted 05-21-2017 07:50 PM

I just replaced my ridgid 5” ro sander with a Bosch 5”. Huge difference in performance. The ridgid quit working after about 2 years of minimal use. With that said, I discovered that my Makita pad sander gets me faster and better results at 180 and above. Most of the time, I have only used the RO when working end grain cutting boards or needing to use a grit below 100. I recently did a live edge table project and chose to buy both a belt and the new RO Sanders. I live the new Bosch RO. It performs way better than the old ridgid. However I have discovered thst once I have removed the worse of the mill marks the pad sander is the better option.

-- John

View JoeinGa's profile

JoeinGa

7739 posts in 2151 days


#13 posted 05-21-2017 08:42 PM

Used to be all I had was a Makita 1/4 sheet sander. Then I got a Dewalt ROS. I GAVE away the Makita and never looked back.

Only change I made after about 3 years using the Dewalt was I got a Milwaukee variable speed ROS and after 2 years using it, I just gave the Dewalt to a friend last week.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View JohnnyBoy1981's profile

JohnnyBoy1981

235 posts in 581 days


#14 posted 05-21-2017 11:30 PM

Well, I decided to hit the more gnarly wood pieces with my belt sander. It did well, but definitely left tracks on the wood. I’m going to switch to my ROS next and work up to 220 grit for a gel stain. I got cute and tried to use the front roller of the belt sander to get into some tight joints. I got some nice gouges on those pieces for my trouble. Not the machine’s fault. It was a bad gamble on my part. Now THAT would have been a good place to use a sheet sander, or a Mouse. Thankfully the gouges should be fairly well hidden.

View Rich's profile

Rich

3650 posts in 733 days


#15 posted 05-21-2017 11:57 PM



Well, I decided to hit the more gnarly wood pieces with my belt sander. It did well, but definitely left tracks on the wood. I m going to switch to my ROS next and work up to 220 grit for a gel stain. I got cute and tried to use the front roller of the belt sander to get into some tight joints. I got some nice gouges on those pieces for my trouble. Not the machine s fault. It was a bad gamble on my part. Now THAT would have been a good place to use a sheet sander, or a Mouse. Thankfully the gouges should be fairly well hidden.

- JohnnyBoy1981

A great tip I got somewhere or another is to set the belt sander down flat on the wood with the power off, hold firmly with both hands and switch it on. It’s pretty difficult to set it down while running without a gouge.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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