Festool Random Orbit Sander - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 Old 09-18-2019, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
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Festool Random Orbit Sander

I have an older model Porter Cable Random Orbit Sander. It leaves circles when I use it for sanding between coats.

I keep reading that the Festool Random Orbit Sander doesn’t do this.

Are these Festools all they’re cracked up to be? By the way, I’m talking about the $200 5” palm sander, not the bigger more expensive models.

I’d appreciate any input from people who have a Festool Random Orbit Sander.
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post #2 of 14 Old 09-18-2019, 08:48 PM
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I use a DTS400 for detail and finish sanding, and an RO150 for large jobs. Paired with a dust extractor they making sanding clean and less tedious.

That said, when I sand between coats of finish I usually sand by hand since all you are trying to do is knock down the raised grain and imperfections.


In woodworking there is always more then one way to accomplish something.
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post #3 of 14 Old 09-19-2019, 09:19 AM
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I have drank the green Kool-Aid (a couple years ago is all) and find it a superior SYSTEM. I emphasize system because that is what you are buying into. At first I was very skeptical and thought it ludicrous to spend hundreds of dollars on a sander followed by more hundreds on a vacuum. I now have two sanders and the vacuum, plus a domino...and a track saw...oh and some of their clamps...ya I have been assimilated. I was introduced to them by a friend you does slab tables for a living. While I do find the actual sanding to be more enjoyable, it is not so much better that you couldn't achieve the same results with more inexpensive sanders. What I do find superior is the dust collection. I grew tired of everything in my purview being covered in sanding flour. It is all but completely a dust free experience now, the best being when used on a flat surface. You still get some escape when on edges and corners, but still better than any other sander I've used.

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post #4 of 14 Old 09-19-2019, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Quickstep View Post

Are these Festools all they’re cracked up to be?

Yes! Aside from performance, one of the notable features w/Festool is dust collection. It is very superior to a shop vac. Pair the sander with the dust extractor and you will have very nice setup.

Last edited by DrRobert; 09-19-2019 at 10:38 AM.
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post #5 of 14 Old 09-19-2019, 01:31 PM
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I read a writeup on the Festool sander recently either in a copy of Fine Woodworking or in their annual tool reviews, I can't remember. They said that on the high setting (which required a two hand grab) it removed wood more than twice as fast as any other sander. They did say that the onboard dust collection was not up to the task and a vacuum is required.

I would note that I have my Festool track saw hooked up to my shop dust collection and I also use it with my Rigid shop vac. Both work well, though the Rigid is very noisy. I ordered a Bosch vacuum hose to hook up to the Festool (much cheaper than the Festool hose).
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post #6 of 14 Old 09-19-2019, 03:04 PM Thread Starter
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The feature of the Festool sander I thought seemed good was the variable speed.

While I understand that I should just be removing nibs and the occasional imperfections with my between coats sanding, my spraying skills are sufficiently poor that it’s a bit more sanding for me between coats. Also, I saw a guy using the Festool sander on a low speed to do between coat sanding and to sand 600/800/1000 before polishing and it did that beautifully.

Or - Maybe I just have the itch for a new tool...
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post #7 of 14 Old 09-19-2019, 03:53 PM
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The feature of the Festool sander I thought seemed good was the variable speed.

While I understand that I should just be removing nibs and the occasional imperfections with my between coats sanding, my spraying skills are sufficiently poor that itís a bit more sanding for me between coats. Also, I saw a guy using the Festool sander on a low speed to do between coat sanding and to sand 600/800/1000 before polishing and it did that beautifully.

Or - Maybe I just have the itch for a new tool...
Sounds like you'd be better served trying to improve your spraying skills, rather than getting a new sander. Personally I don't ever grab a power tool for sanding a finish unless I'm trying to take it all off. Hand is the way to go, more controllable and it shouldn't take much work to get a surface smooth between coats.

Course, if you're in a production shop making 8 foot table tops all day every day a power sander looks a little better, but life will still be easier if the finish off the gun looks the best

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post #8 of 14 Old 09-19-2019, 04:52 PM
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What grit sand paper are you using between coats?


George
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post #9 of 14 Old 09-20-2019, 07:31 AM Thread Starter
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What grit sand paper are you using between coats?


George

Iím using 320 or 400 between coats. When sanding by hand; with the grain , I can see the sanding lines below the most recent finish coat. I figure a good random orbit sander might eliminate that too.
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post #10 of 14 Old 09-20-2019, 02:43 PM
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Between coats I sand with very light pressure. I watch to see that the finish looks dulled and that it feels smooth. Light pressure seems to do the trick.
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post #11 of 14 Old 09-20-2019, 10:45 PM
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To the OP. I own a variety of festool sanders RO90 , RO150, RTS 400 and ES150/3. They are very good sanders. But the trick using them and not have any swirrel marks is to reduce the suction on the vacuums. I have the Festool Vac to and I turn the suction down about have way when sanding.
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post #12 of 14 Old 09-21-2019, 12:20 PM
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OH I didnt see a edit button so Ill post this as a separate reply.

Festool also offers different pads for their sanders that do different things. For example I swapped my RO 150s pad for a hard pad. That works extremely well for flattening boards / panels after glue up. The RTS 400 (the rest of them have one to) has a accessories called a interface pad. That helps extrememly well in sanding rounded surfaces, when I use wax they offer a pad that loooks like sheepskin I use to buff the wax out.

Festool for some reason doesnt spend a lot of time showing what accessories they have for their tools that makes our woodworking life a lot easier. Ive never really understood that.
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post #13 of 14 Old 09-21-2019, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by sancho57 View Post
..............................
Festool for some reason doesnt spend a lot of time showing what accessories they have for their tools that makes our woodworking life a lot easier. Ive never really understood that.
Most people have to live on a budget like it or not. Festool tools are way above the run of the mil brands in quality and price. If a woodworker on a somewhat limited budget decides he wants a Festool sander , for example, he decides he will save up for it anf in s few months, he will own one - which is great news. Then he decides that he wants some with the 'necessary' accessories also. Now all of a sudden, the $600 sander is now thousand dollars and so he decides it is not worth it to him and abandons Festool. And this is why they dont promote their accessories - maybe. This is an unsubstantiated wild guess so take it for what it is worth. I am not a marketing person, just a consumer.

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post #14 of 14 Old 09-22-2019, 01:24 AM
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Tony,

I know I know, they have a couple of new tools coming out that id like to get. Im trying to figure out how to swing it They aeint cheap by no means
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