I hate sanding!

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Forum topic by samzdad posted 07-13-2012 08:49 AM 1747 views 0 times favorited 24 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5 posts in 2109 days

07-13-2012 08:49 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

OK… I’ve had it. Other than a handheld RO sander, I’ve never invested in any “sanding/finishing” power tools. What should research and buy? I’m talking something for basic cabinet and furniture work… maybe, from time to time, needing to put a “fine finish” (well, let’s say “good finish”) on 6 or 8 chairs, 15 or 20 cabinet doors, drawer fronts, etc.

24 replies so far

View knotscott's profile


7980 posts in 3341 days

#1 posted 07-13-2012 10:11 AM

I’ve got a 1/4” palm sander and two hand held belt sanders, but use my PC 5” ROS more than any other by far. You could always get a 6” ROS if you wanted the sanding to go faster. I also have a Ridgid EB4424 oscillating belt/spindle sander that I use a lot too and highly recommend.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View BillWerst's profile


5 posts in 2157 days

#2 posted 07-13-2012 12:23 PM

I just picked up a harbor freight multi function tool with the finger sanding attachment to get in between crib rails. It’s already saved hours of sanding on a problematic glue up.

View Bertha's profile


13521 posts in 2658 days

#3 posted 07-13-2012 01:00 PM

I’m not saying you should get a handplane, but you should get a handplane;)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View samzdad's profile


5 posts in 2109 days

#4 posted 07-13-2012 01:16 PM

Thanks guys… for your comments. I have looked at tools like the Ridgid EB4424… and I do own handplane :-)

Does anyone have any experience with the Jet sanders, like this one:

View AJLastra's profile


87 posts in 2194 days

#5 posted 07-13-2012 01:21 PM


Weeeelllllllll, if you looking to put a “good” finish on a project, you might not like hearing this, but, the way to a good finish is GREAT prep work…..............and GREAT prep work goes beyond sanding with a power tool. It REQUIRES hand work…..............knowing how to use a card scraper….........using a spoke shave if you’re doing chairs, using garnet sandpaper by hand for your last sanded surface….............looking into Abralon pads… can get expensive and it IS time consuming. If you have neither the time or the funds, then staining and finishing the Norm Abram way, with polyurethane over everything is the way to go. But you did say you wanted a “GOOD” finish and no power tool by itslef is going to give you that.

View AJLastra's profile


87 posts in 2194 days

#6 posted 07-13-2012 01:23 PM

I have the Delta version of that wide belt sander. It will hog off a lot of wood in a hurry but its not for finish sanding. Its for rough work or for thinning boards too wide to put through a bench top planer.

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3446 days

#7 posted 07-13-2012 01:56 PM

I agree with AJ…prep work before finish is very important. You can spend weeks building something and ruin it by rushing the sanding and finish. I seldom use a palm sander anymore. I tend to use my 5” Bosch ROS, and for big projects I have a 6” Porter Cable ROS. I also use my Fein detail sander a lot. Also a lot of hand sanding. An oscillating spindle sander works nice on curved pieces.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View chrisstef's profile


17307 posts in 2972 days

#8 posted 07-13-2012 01:58 PM

how about a drum sander …. that would cut down hand sanding consideribly. It aint cheap but … ya gotta pay the cost to be the boss. Im with ya on this though … i do not typically enjoy sanding but have found ways to make it tolerable. Music, maybe an adult beverage, listen to a ballgame, recant 33 years of my life in my mind.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View samzdad's profile


5 posts in 2109 days

#9 posted 07-13-2012 02:04 PM

Thanks AJ… I get that… i.e. I understand that “finishing by hand” is/will be necessary. Sorry I wasn’t more clear in my post. I’m really just looking for the right tool(s) to get me as far along as possible… before I go at it by hand.

Someone once said, something like, “all things should be as simple as possible, but no simpler.” I guess I’m thinking “power tools can be used to the furthest extent they can be… but, no further.”

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4183 days

#10 posted 07-13-2012 02:34 PM

A 5” ROS is the most-used sander in my shop. Apart from that, there are several others I really enjoy having when I need them:

1. Ridgid oscillating spindle/belt sander
2. Bosch heavy-duty 6” ROS (I’m pretty sure I could sand an oak tree in half with it.)
3. Hand-held belt sander
4. 1/4 sheet palm sander
4. Dremel tool with various pads/drums

No one machine can do everything. You can always find a workaround, but it’s nice to have a good arsenal of sanding tools to choose from.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View PurpLev's profile


8534 posts in 3614 days

#11 posted 07-13-2012 02:57 PM

to me the maybe, from time to time reference suggests that a ROS as far as power tools go is the way to go. unless you are doing high production and popping out cabinet doors or identical chairs daily a drum sander is NOT NECESSARY – while it can be a nice thing to have.

so if you are asking if a drum sander is nice to have – YES it probably is.
if you are asking ‘how to put a better finish on pieces’ then proper milling is all that’s required. sanding for finishing will only needed to be done lightly. scrapers do a great job as well

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View RogerM's profile


792 posts in 2364 days

#12 posted 07-13-2012 03:12 PM

I have a 26” Shop Fox dual drum sander and have been extremely satisfied with its flexibility and performance. You might look into one of these but be aware that you must have a dust collector which is the case for most power sanding equipment. Also a crepe rubber cleaning block is an absolute must for all drum sanders.

-- Roger M, Aiken, SC

View Mauricio's profile


7144 posts in 3117 days

#13 posted 07-13-2012 03:26 PM

Get you an old Stanley #4, no B.S., once you learn how sharpen and use it, a hand plane IS faster.

I’m not saying hand tools are always better, but when it come to surface prep nothing beats it. Finewoodworking even did a special where they tested who could get parts preped for finish faster, a guys with a ROS or a guys using Hand Planes.

I hate sanding too, I dont do it anymore, only by hand and mostly just for edges and end grain.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3040 days

#14 posted 07-13-2012 03:37 PM

My Festool Rotex 125, connected to a dust extractor, is always hooked up, ready to go and conveniently at hand in my workshop. It is a dual mode ROS that allows me to select the diameter of the orbit. It is my absolute favorite tool.

I know it is expensive. All Festools are. IMO, some Festools are not worth the price (routers) but some are. This one is definitely worth the price.

I think I own just about every style or power sander that exists including a drum, belt, disk, OSS, etc. Yet, this Festool does at least 75% of my sanding.

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

View samzdad's profile


5 posts in 2109 days

#15 posted 07-13-2012 03:49 PM

Thanks everyone, for your comments. As you tell, I’m really just starting to figure this stuff out and your experience and advice is truly appreciated.

showing 1 through 15 of 24 replies

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