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Forum topic by Blair Helgason posted 04-04-2013 08:45 PM 786 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Blair Helgason

169 posts in 2877 days


04-04-2013 08:45 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question random orbital sander porter cable low profile sander

Hi Everyone, it’s been a while. Oh well.

I’m having a problem with my brand new Porter Cable Low Profile Random Orbital Sander. I was really looking forward to using it only ever having a Mastercraft sander I was hoping to up my game with this one. The sander has a bunch a great features and has gotten stellar reviews but right from the start it seems to have a bit of a mind of it’s own. I really want to skip around the work piece and of course causes some pretty poor results in the process (pigtails, digging).

Anyway, I was hoping that maybe it was just that I wasn’t used to a quality sander and needed to get used to it but the problem isn’t going away. Any ideas?

Thans in advance for any suggestions!

Blair

-- Blair


3 replies so far

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Nicky

695 posts in 3555 days


#1 posted 04-05-2013 01:35 AM

A starting point may be reviewing your technique. Take a look at
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGW0XKYeM6o

The sandier should always be moving on your work piece. You should think about a sanding schedule, and by that I mean start with a grit and progressively go higher. I don’t know what your sanding (and it matters, is it hardwood, softwood, plywood etc..) but if you start at let say 80 grit, you will see swirl marks, as you go to 100 grit, the swirls will be less pronounced till you get to the final, where no swirl marks are seen.

If its digging in, most likely the sander is not flat to the work surface, and the edge if the disk is “digging in.”

When you first start sanding, imperfection on the wood grain may want to steer the sander, and may possibly have the sander get away from you. You should not be applying any downward pressure, just holding the sander horizontally as it starts leveling the surface; it becomes easier to steer.

On a hardwood like oak, I’ll start with 80grit, followed by 100, 150 till 220.

On a softwood like pine I’ll start with 120, 150, 220 with the final at 320.

If I’m finishing using a film finish, I will use 320 or 400 between coats.

-- Nicky

View Blair Helgason's profile

Blair Helgason

169 posts in 2877 days


#2 posted 04-05-2013 03:18 AM

Thanks a lot Nicky, I hate to admit it but you’re probably right. I think I’m just used to the smaller and underpowered Mastercraft and need to pay a bit more attention to my technique. Thanks a lot for your help.

-- Blair

View Nicky's profile

Nicky

695 posts in 3555 days


#3 posted 04-05-2013 03:44 AM

I struggled for years with hand planes and scrapers, and never really understood why others spoke of these tools with such respect and reverence until I figured out how to properly setup and sharpen these tools. Now, I don’t sand as much.

We are all continuously learning. You’ll figure out how to use your new sander and progress from there.

-- Nicky

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