Anyone use a 1/2 sheet sander anymore?

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Forum topic by Bill Szydlo posted 03-06-2011 10:05 PM 7186 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Bill Szydlo

67 posts in 2865 days

03-06-2011 10:05 PM

Just curious what advantages there are to 1/2 sheet sanders. I am completely remodeling a house including making all the doors and cabinets and sanding is beginning to be a drag. Currently I am using 5” & 6” ROS and 1/4 sheet finishing sanders. After looking at the Bosch 1293D on Amazon I am wondering if it would speed up the process? Any thoughts would be appreciated as I do not want to invest the money for little gain.

Thanks in advance,


7 replies so far

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5623 posts in 3890 days

#1 posted 03-06-2011 10:45 PM

I still have one but to be honest I have not used it in quite some time. It is an older B&D one so it vibrates pretty badly and makes my hands ‘buzz’ after a while…I just don’t like it. I’ve not noticed a decrease ability to sand with my 1/4 sheet sander, I suppose if you were hoping to ‘level’ off a board with your sander the longer half sheet would not follow the dips and hollows so much.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 2862 days

#2 posted 03-07-2011 01:10 AM

I didn’t know they sold 1/2 sheet sanders anymore since the ROS came into play. I rarely use my 1/4” anymore other than to get into corners where the ROS can’t reach.

You mention an old house (I’ll skip the warnings about lead paint since you have already made that decision) which tells me you are trying to sand off several coats of old paint/varnish. I don’t think there is a machine made to handle that without “loading” the sand paper. My experience is that the sanding tends to heat up the surface to “muck” and your sanding material has a life expectancy of about 30 seconds per foot.

You might be stuck trying to chemically strip it and scrape it first (maybe hitting it with a heat gun while you are at it).

On big surfaces, have you thought about a belt sander (3×21 or better)? The belts seem to do a better job of clearing the build-up as it moves around the sanding surface but you have to be careful. They gouge wood pretty quickly if not held flat and kept moving.

View ChrisForthofer's profile


150 posts in 3244 days

#3 posted 03-07-2011 03:44 AM

Festool makes a 1/2 sheet sander, I have seen it on Rough Cut, Tommy Mac’s show. I cant speak for how well it works as they only used it momentarily but it also has the dust collection that is typical of the brand. They arent cheap I’m sure, like any of their stuff, but its an option and I am sure one of the better ones out there at the moment.


Found a link.

-- -Director of slipshod craftsmanship and attention deficit woodworking

View JasonWagner's profile


527 posts in 3357 days

#4 posted 03-07-2011 03:59 AM

no reason to… I do sometimes use a “mouse” sander to get in the small spaces. my ROS does 95% of the work.

-- some day I hope to have enough clamps to need a clamp cart!

View Ritty's profile


63 posts in 2974 days

#5 posted 03-07-2011 04:10 AM

i have a 40 year old 1/2 inch sheet sander and love its heavy so i dont have to put pressure on the sander and it covers more area and it doesnt leave the sanding marks and i alo use it with 600 grit and up sand paper for finishing its a wonderful tool to have but not really needed, well i gess it depends how u look at it

View Resurrected's profile


671 posts in 2869 days

#6 posted 03-07-2011 05:38 AM

You know now that I think of it my dad has one of them and it was his father. I wonder if he has it. Don’t think I’d have a use for it but it would be a great talk piece. (My great great grand daddy once ??)

-- Who can I block now???????????????????????

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3825 days

#7 posted 03-07-2011 07:08 AM

They can get into corners of course.

They come in two varieties: orbital and linear.

The linear ones are useful for sanding finishes.

They are also useful for flat sanding marquetry and things like that
where you’re dealing with sensitive materials that need a flawless
glass-like and perfectly level finish.

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