Random orbital sanders

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Random orbital sanders

Postby Roly Nelson » Wed Apr 12, 2006 1:50 am

I have been sanding on my woody for 2 days, in an effort to get a suitable surface for another coat of Varnish. The first coats were put on 3 years ago, quickly, usually just before midnight, and with a cheap throw-away brush. Many loose brush bristles and runs were the result of this hurried brushed on finish. Now I have spent a lot of time, hand sanding, and only late this evening, did I finally get smart and give my random orbital sander a try.

Wow, what a labor saving tool. I thought that it would leave sanding swirls in the existing finish, but to my surprise, it did a fine job, removing runs and brush hairs with no scratches at all. Now, why didn't I know about this before? My experience with spinner sanders, years ago left deep sanding marks, and I thought hand sanding was the only answer. So, if any of you older, less informed woodworkers, (like me) didn't know that this tool would do such a nice job.........well now you know. I sure wish I knew about this sooner, it would have saved a lot of time and sore fingers.

Just thought others might want to know. Now, it is ready for another coat of spar varnish prior to the trip to Sweetwater, this coming weekend.

Roly, hoping that the rain Gods favor us again this year.
See the little 1/2 Nelson Woody constructions pics at: http://gages-56.com/roly.html
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Postby Gage » Wed Apr 12, 2006 2:03 am

Now Roly, you know the rest of the story. ;)

Have a good day & I'll see you Saturday.
:thinking:
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Postby Melvin » Wed Apr 12, 2006 12:26 pm

If you are good with a belt sander they can work well for this too.
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Postby Joseph » Wed Apr 12, 2006 12:35 pm

Rather than a brush, try those little contractor's paint rollers. They're available at all the mega-hardware stores and they work great! :thumbsup:

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Postby Bandit » Wed Apr 12, 2006 4:12 pm

The circular sanders were very bad for any finish. The faster it spun the deeper the gouges.
The new orbital sanders actually work in a very tight circle and do a very fine smoothing job.
It is amazing all the labor and time saving power tools that we have access to.
Can you imagine setting all your screws with a screw driver?
Or leveling all your edges with a hand planer instead of a router and trim bit?
How long do you think it would take to build a TD with all manual tools?

ANYONE WANT TO UNDERTAKE THE "OLD SCHOOL" CHALLENGE?
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Postby Nitetimes » Wed Apr 12, 2006 5:58 pm

Bandit wrote:Can you imagine setting all your screws with a screw driver?

What's a screwdriver? 8)

Bandit wrote:Or leveling all your edges with a hand planer

A who?? :thinking:
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Postby mikeschn » Wed Apr 12, 2006 6:09 pm

Nitetimes wrote:A who?? :thinking:


:rofl: :laughing1: :rofl2:
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Postby Chris C » Wed Apr 12, 2006 6:14 pm

Like every power tool...........or any tool, for that matter, random orbital sanders have their place. They are exceedingly good at what they do. They make millions of tiny circular scratches in your wood. If you are very careful and work dilligently through 3 or 4 grades of abrasives, they will get you to a point where you can then hand sand (or scrape) a final step to a nice finish. But remember, ANY scratches on the surface will hold the ground up particles in stains and will make those scratches visible to the eye. So always finish a sanding job sanding by hand and a sandpaper block in the direction of the grain only.
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Postby Gage » Wed Apr 12, 2006 7:27 pm

Bandit wrote:<snip>
It is amazing all the labor and time saving power tools that we have access to.
Can you imagine setting all your screws with a screw driver?
Or leveling all your edges with a hand planer instead of a router and trim bit?
How long do you think it would take to build a TD with all manual tools?<snip>
:thinking:

It'll take at least 2 1/2 years doing it with those vintage tools that I could only afford and no plans. And if I might say so. I don't think I did that bad of a job.
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Oh, here's the tools that I used.
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Have a good day.
:thinking:
By the way, how is your tear coming?
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Postby Miriam C. » Wed Apr 12, 2006 8:01 pm

Gage wrote:
Oh, here's the tools that I used.


I see the sander so your one up on me. I however have a table saw so it might take longer. :lol: :lol:

Your tear is :thumbsup:

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Postby Joanne » Wed Apr 12, 2006 9:42 pm

Bandit wrote:
Or leveling all your edges with a hand planer instead of a router and trim bit?


Since I don't know how to use a router and trim bit the way you are saying, I have been using a hand plane to smooth out a lot of boards. I also used one to smooth out the door edges before I finished them. The small block plane was perfect to do the final fitting of the interior paneling. I've become quite fond of those planes. Two of them are old ones that my dad passed along. For me, the key was reading on how to tune them up and buying a Veritas sharpening jig to sharpen the plane blades. Sharp blades make all the difference. Dad's old chisels are sharp as can be now too!

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Postby Bandit » Wed Apr 12, 2006 9:52 pm

I still count (4) power tools in that line up!
:) :D
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Postby rainjer » Wed Apr 12, 2006 9:54 pm

Since I don't know how to use a router and trim bit the way you are saying, I have been using a hand plane to smooth out a lot of boards.


The router is one of the most misunderstood tool & the most versatile tools you can have. I happened to own 4. I have three 1/4" & one 1/2" shank. I have one mounted in permanently mounted in a router table.

I have built many piece of furniture with my circular saw router & cordless drill.

I would recommend going to the library a check out a few books on routers. You will be amazed what you can do with them.
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Postby Joanne » Wed Apr 12, 2006 10:35 pm

rainjer wrote:
Since I don't know how to use a router and trim bit the way you are saying, I have been using a hand plane to smooth out a lot of boards.


The router is one of the most misunderstood tool & the most versatile tools you can have. I happened to own 4. I have three 1/4" & one 1/2" shank. I have one mounted in permanently mounted in a router table.

I have built many piece of furniture with my circular saw router & cordless drill.

I would recommend going to the library a check out a few books on routers. You will be amazed what you can do with them.


That's a good idea!

I have the normal Sears 1/4" chuck router and one of their router tables. I used an ogee bit in it last weekend to finish a piece of wood and it worked quite nicely. I used it to cut the lap joints for my walls, but that's about it. I read about what some of the things folks say they do with their routers and it's obvious I'm not beginning to use it to it's potential. After the tear is done I don't know how much I'll use the router again though.

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Postby rainjer » Wed Apr 12, 2006 10:47 pm

Joanne,
I was going to recommend you take a router basics class at Rockler or Woodcraft but it appear they are not in the area.

You my want to look and see if you can find these videos.
http://www.routerworkshop.com/

They are not bad.
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