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I need advise on upgrading my sanding equipment

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Forum topic by mazzy posted 391 days ago 763 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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mazzy

51 posts in 1165 days


391 days ago

I started woodworking about 2 years ago and have done well graduating from a clueless newbie to a somewhat okay advanced beginner.

I have been mainly building furniture for my house and small art projects. To get a feel for what I do check out my website www.woodworkwonders.com.

Recently I took on my first paying project…building a cabinet to house two drawers and a sink for a bathroom. The contractor I’m working for has been very patient and given me some tips to enable me to increase the quality of my work.

He told me that the DeWalt Random Orbital Sander I’m using is causing me a lot of extra work. It leaves small swirl marks which need to be constantly chased and corrected. He suggested purchasing a Festool Orbital sander. I went to their website and found http://www.festoolproducts.com/Festool-567696-RS-2-E-Orbital-Sander-p/567696.htm. Would this sander be a good upgrade?

I’m also interest in increasing my work flow by decreasing the amount of time I spend sanding and preparing for finishing. I’m sure the above Festool will help. How about a stationary drum sander? I remember reading about the “Sand Flee”. Are they still being made? Would it be a good investment?

You Lumberjocks have given me great advise before. If you have the time please look over my questions and point me in the right direction.

Thanks,
Mazzy

-- Mazzy, San Francisco Bay Area, http://www.woodworkwonders.com


16 replies so far

View bandit's profile

bandit

23 posts in 861 days


#1 posted 391 days ago

I would go with this: http://www.festoolproducts.com/Festool-571794-ETS-150-5-EQ-Random-Orbital-Sander-p/571794.htm. If you have a Festool Dealer close by you can try it out for 30 days and return it if you’re not pleased with no questions asked

-- Michael Garrett

View waho6o9's profile (online now)

waho6o9

4697 posts in 1162 days


#2 posted 391 days ago

+1 for Bandit.

A hard pad for the ETS150 would be a great addition as well. Consumables last longer
with the dust extraction and the better dealers will let you purchase consumables piece
meal, like 10 at a time instead of purchasing a whole box.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

111999 posts in 2162 days


#3 posted 391 days ago

I have never owned a Festool sander but those who have owned one seem to say good things about them. I own 7 different brands of ROS some have larger more aggressive swirls than others, my favorite of the ones I own is the Milwaukee brand .
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Milwaukee-5-in-Random-Orbit-Sander-6021-21/100609940#.Ub3DzufVDgQ

It’s possible you are not you going through all of the grits of sand paper to get a smooth enough finish or your working with one of the woods(like cherry) I find your better off using a pad sander for the last 3 grits 120,150,180.
http://www.amazon.com/PORTER-CABLE-330-Speed-Bloc-Sheet-Sander/dp/B0000222Y9/ref=sr_1_28?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1371391684&sr=1-28&keywords=porter+cable+sander+pad

A drum sander is a great tool for the construction end of sanding but I think you would be better off getting a sander that you can feed material into rather than a Sand flee style sander.

http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200450953_200450953?cm_mmc=Aggregates-_-Shopzilla-_-Woodworking>Woodworking%20Sanders-_-123582

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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a1Jim

111999 posts in 2162 days


#4 posted 391 days ago

I have never owned a Festool sander but those who have owned one seem to say good things about them. I own 7 different brands of ROS some have larger more aggressive swirls than others, my favorite of the ones I own is the Milwaukee brand .
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Milwaukee-5-in-Random-Orbit-Sander-6021-21/100609940#.Ub3DzufVDgQ

It’s possible you are not you going through all of the grits of sand paper to get a smooth enough finish or your working with one of the woods(like cherry) I find your better off using a pad sander for the last 3 grits 120,150,180.
http://www.amazon.com/PORTER-CABLE-330-Speed-Bloc-Sheet-Sander/dp/B0000222Y9/ref=sr_1_28?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1371391684&sr=1-28&keywords=porter+cable+sander+pad

A drum sander is a great tool for the construction end of sanding but I think you would be better off getting a sander that you can feed material into rather than a Sand flee style sander.

http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200450953_200450953?cm_mmc=Aggregates-_-Shopzilla-_-Woodworking>Woodworking%20Sanders-_-123582

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View mbs's profile

mbs

1418 posts in 1525 days


#5 posted 391 days ago

I like the festool Ro 150 eq. I use a spindle sander, disc sander and vert belt sander quite a bit to clean up curves cut with a band saw.

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

View waho6o9's profile (online now)

waho6o9

4697 posts in 1162 days


#6 posted 391 days ago

“Would this sander be a good upgrade?” In a word, Yes.
Your patient contractor is giving you sage advice, it’s in your best
interest IMHO.
http://www.festoolusa.com/default.aspx
Under the contact drop down menu you can participate in the Festool
forum for added insight.
http://www.festoolusa.com/power-tools/reconditioned/
I purchased the Rotex 90 during the last reconditioned sale and I’m stoked with
it’s perfomance.

http://www.bobmarinosbesttools.com/Default.asp?bhcd2=1289531945

View Loren's profile (online now)

Loren

7162 posts in 2233 days


#7 posted 391 days ago

A 6” ROS has about 30% more surface area than a 5”.

Festool sanders are generally excellent. They have
effective dust collection and are balanced in such
a way that it takes longer to make your arm numb –
though it will still happen.

I have the 6” rotex sander.

If you want to sand less, learn about scrapers.

I have drum sanders and they take a lot of fiddling -
there’s definitely a learning curve to getting the
results you want without wrecking the paper. I
buy it in 50 yard rolls and that keeps the costs
down a lot.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

111999 posts in 2162 days


#8 posted 391 days ago

Sorry I thought I deleted the double post

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1554 days


#9 posted 391 days ago

If the DeWalt ROS was a terrible machine, they wouldn’t have sold so many of them. I think your problems are more down to technique than the sander itself. Work through the grits as Jim says, don’t apply a lot of pressure, check the paper frequently for corns (gummed up bits), connecting it to a shop vac will help as well.
It’s worth trying these things before splashing out on a new sander, I have also found using the yellow DeWalt Siafast discs gives better results than using just any fits-all ones from the hardware store.

View Carl Webster's profile

Carl Webster

82 posts in 1383 days


#10 posted 391 days ago

I have used a Dewalt ROS for several years and get good results. Let the sander do the work. Uneven pressure will result in gouges and uneven results.

-- Carl in SC

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2163 posts in 1436 days


#11 posted 390 days ago

Rate of feed, always of interest in woodworking, is a factor here.

Recommended rate is one inch per second. Make that single change, assuming you’re going through the grits, and your problems will be very close to being solved, if not gone forever.

Kindly,

Lee

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View mazzy's profile

mazzy

51 posts in 1165 days


#12 posted 390 days ago

Additional data…I checked at WoodCraft and the guy told me that if you clean out behind the pad on the DeWalt ROS, especially the area where the belt is, it will help do away with the swirl marks.

Thanks for all your advice,
Mazzy

-- Mazzy, San Francisco Bay Area, http://www.woodworkwonders.com

View reedwood's profile

reedwood

858 posts in 1261 days


#13 posted 390 days ago

How many different good sanders could you buy for the same money?

Do you drive a $ 40K new truck to work? Then, the Festool brand is a good choice. I guess you can afford it.
If you buy it, you’ll want to buy the vacuum too. There goes, what?....a grand?..... Geez.

I noticed your boss didn’t offer to pitch in to help buy it for you to use on his jobsites. Ask him. Who knows?

Unless you’re in a shop, you probably won’t use the vacuum attachment 90% of the time. A good dust collector “bag” (cloth bags tear) that is easy to remove and empty is more important, to me.

I own several 5” sanders made by PC, Bosch and Makita. I found my 6” Makita requires two hands so I don’t use it as much. But, no unusual swirl marks with any of them so it’s probably technique as suggested by Mazzy rather than your sander, unless it’s beat up and the shaft is bent from dropping it.

-- mark

View sprucegum's profile

sprucegum

323 posts in 583 days


#14 posted 390 days ago

I picked up a stroke sander drive at a auction a few years ago and finally built one last winter. for drawer fronts and cabinet doors and even face frames you can not beat the control. I really enjoy using it I am always working at a comfortable height, there is almost no dust as it is hooked to my collector. On the down side they take quite a bit of room and belt changing is a little time consuming about five minuets on my shop built machine. There have been some plans posted here on how to build one. They are not a very expensive build but they are pretty pricey to buy new.

-- A tube of calk and a gallon of paint will make a carpenter what he ain't

View RodNGun's profile

RodNGun

117 posts in 889 days


#15 posted 390 days ago

Waho6o9 is showing the two best ones IMO

showing 1 through 15 of 16 replies

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