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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I have been lurking for a bit, decided to register and have two questions that I need some knowledge on. Firstly, I am a new woodworker - about 3 years - been gathering my tools and machines and building my home shop a bit over this time. Actually, I just sold my first table and benches set to my first customer this afternoon! feels great! But I have 2 questions as of now, and many more to follow, as I search the forums..
1) I got a new orbital sander which is hook & lock (my previous was an adhesive type). I noticed that at my retailer the Velcro type is up to $2.00 more per pack than the adhesive. I'm going to use a lot of these, so I tried to DIY it to make my Velcro sander able to use adhesive pads. I took an old Velcro pad, and glued epoxy it to a piece of 1/8" thick rubber. stuck the Velcro to the sander, and the adhesive sanding disc to the rubber. worked out great!.... until the epoxy melted between the Velcro pad and the rubber under the high heat of the sander after about 35 minutes. so question 1: what do you suggest to use as a high temp adhesive. I've googled of course, but want suggestions from people who know.
2) As stated before I am just starting out my woodworking "business?" and had my first customer today. I am into making different tables and benches, so far out of douglas fir or redwood, as I'm sure many of us started out at. But as I am buying construction grade wood (from my local diy store) I spend up to 50% of my time just sanding the wood to make it usable. This really increases the time it takes to make anything, and therefore increase the cost of making anything. I know there are some options.
a. buy a planer and get rid of that top stuff that sucks. ( great idea but they are quite expensive for me right now).
b. buy from a mill ( but every mill around me wants to charge crazy money for simple pine... like 67$ for a 2x4x10)
c. try to find a place where you can purchase douglas fir/whitewood/pine in 2x4x8 and 1x4x8 and 2x10x8 where the quality of the wood is above the diy stores and not insanely priced ( less pits, breaks, curves)... I have no idea where to find this.

I guess I'm just wondering what you all have experienced as you were starting out, and if this resonates. I could really find a niche if the time it took was greatly reduced in the "sanding of the cheap wood to make it look good" phase could be addressed. I'm looking for all knowledge and appreciate your advice.

Thanks in advance. and this is my first post.. more to come. hopefully to assist others as well.

J.
 

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Master firewood maker
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this guy does it the old school way, with hand planes. if this is more of a hobby/therapy thing with the commissions being secondary. you might consider using a hand plane to prepare the wood. they take some getting used to though, and it is not as quick and easy as passing it through a machine, but it is faster than a sander, and there is a sense of accomplishment there that you won't get the other way.

for me, it is a hobby, so that approach fits my goals very well. that and the fact that it doesn't spew fine dust into the air and all over everything in the garage. masks and dust collectors are not for me.

http://paulsellers.com/
 

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You may be spending too much time sanding and not enough time planing or scraping.

Get yourself a set of scrapers. These will remove material and give a smooth surface faster than sanding.

http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/2020022/19046/Curved-Scraper-Set-of-4.aspx

You will need a method to generate a new burr.

Also get some hand planes. Lots of vintage Stanley at flea markets or EBay.

When you do need to sand, just stay with the hook and loop. Faster to change discs than adhesive.

I purchase my discs from the Klingspor site. The blue zirconia discs cost more, but last a lot longer.

http://www.woodworkingshop.com/abrasive-discs/
 

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Old School
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You can remove the base pad for the Velcro mount, and replace it with a kit for an adhesive mount. Personally, I prefer the Velcro mount. It's much faster. If you buy your sanding discs in bulk, there's not much of a difference in price.


If you buy dimensional lumber at the box stores, it will cost more than dressing your own lumber. You could visit some of your local lumberyards and check out what they have.







.
 

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crosseyed & dyslexic
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Some great ideas here. I personally followed Daves advice and now
only buy Klingspor products. They do last much longer and cut faster.

First things first, you should post your location, folks can't point you in the right direction if they don't have a starting point.

You are in the grips of the age old woodworkers dilemma, if I had this... I could do this....faster, cheaper, stronger etc..
If you're spending 50% of your time just dressing wood there is something wrong. Start with the wood and where you get it. Do some research man! There has to be a local lumber yard that sells it? Find it.
I've been exactly where you are, sold something and got all excited thinking man! this is it. I'm on my way, but hold on there partner.
Sell five more and see where you're at. Selling is tricky business and when you are small potatoes every thing you put into it counts.
When you say it takes longer therefor costs more, who really pays for that added cost? Is it you? because at this point your labor is the cheapest thing there is or do you hope to pass on the extra labor cost to the potential customer who may or may not be all that excited about doing that.
Bottom line is the customer doesn't give an owl's fart how long it took you to dress your crappy lumber, they only care about their bottom line.
I sold my wares part time for five years at a local weekend town market and found out some items are just not going to pay for themselves, either they took too long to make and there was no way I could charge what I had into it or simply design changes that took it to another level and out of the buyers market I was in. If that makes sense.
You'll know when it's time to invest in machinery or hand tools, it's just at what level and expense will that investment be?
Good luck!
 

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The hook and loop sanders are probably best for someone that has one sander and changing grits back and forth. I never did like them because it seems like the Velcro wears out too fast. I alleviated the problem by buying a sander for each different grit I use and use the PSA discs. Anyway you can purchase replacement pads to fit your sander that are made for the Velcro.

If the construction wood you are buying is reasonable surfaces smooth I would spend the money for equipment on better sanding equipment. You might buy a drum or belt sander. If you have the space I like a stroke sander. They are lot more versatile. You can glue up wood for a table top and quickly sand it flat and smooth with the sander to where it takes very little sanding with the orbital sander to be ready for finish.
 

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I have both a Ryobi hook and a Dewalt Velcro. I love the dewalt because it's easier and more powerful. Orbitals are pretty cheap to buy compared to most everything else in woodworking, so I'd say if you're not happy, buy a different one.

I couldn't imagine selling the things I make. I get too attached to them. I get sentimental the minute I start a project. Just me I guess.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks so much for the valuable replies. Firstly, I'm in Los Angeles. Actually East LA. I was checking out the scrapers, but I fear that would take too long. I am thinking that a planer from Craigslist might be a place to start - didn't even think it could be in the budget, but maybe i'll get lucky. I am definitely going to check out those discs from Klingspor. And you guys are right, the ease of changing discs is really great. I saw today that at HD - if you purchase 4 discs = $5.00. If you purchase 50 = $20.00 ??? Guess the bulk is the way to go. What do you guys think about the Diablo brand? I purchased a 12" miter saw blade and it is awesome. Cuts like butter. But that may be because I never had a semi decent blade in the set-up for 2 years. At $60.00 bucks for the blade - is it a good one?

Thanks for all the responses and knowledge regarding selling my table sets. I am in the process of making 6 sets at one time - and will see where I land. I can already see improvements in this second larger build - and I expect they will continue to get better. I understand the responses that do this for a hobby and get attached to the products. I do too! In fact, the first table using this design is in my backyard! And even though it is half as quality as the ones I'm making now - I still love it. Anyway, I think I'll keep sanding away with the six sets that I'm building now, but will be looking for a planer on craigs, and may try the scraper method during the search.
Let me know if there is anything that I should be looking for as far as buying a planer - and thanks again for the responses all. :thumbsup:

J.
 

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crosseyed & dyslexic
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In my opinion the Diablo paper is junk, I had to use it once in a pinch. It works as long as you are changing it constantly.
Seriously, there are commercials on tv that last longer than that paper.

Good luck on finding a planer! they're out there.


Oh crap! were you talking about Diablo blades? If so they are decent blades.
 

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I would only be using an orbital sander for final sanding, to take it down fast and rough sanding you need a belt sander. Belt sander and 40 grit takes off some wood FAST. Not as good as a planner but allot cheaper., and will work until you can get a planer.
 

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I'm with Chris Curl and Dave Paine. If you just want to re-surface a piece of lumber, you need to do some planing. If you're going to do planing, you have four choices:

1) Buy some hand planes. A #5 hand plane can be set to take a lot of thickness off very quickly, and will leave a good surface. It's slower than a powered surface planer, but faster than sanding. I've got two of them, and I think I paid around $15 for the one I use, and about $5 for the one I'm planning to rehab. A #4 can leave a nearly polished surface, and a good try plane (mine is a transitional, but about the size of a Stanley #8) works beautifully for taking the bow out of the edge of a board.

2) Buy a portable planer. Some of the 12" ones can be had pretty cheaply, even new. I don't think I'd buy one used, though... many of them are essentially disposable, and there's no telling what a previous owner has done to the motor.

3) Buy a stationary planer. They're big, they're heavy, they're fast, and they're expensive. Given the shop space, I'd probably be watching craigslist for a good deal on one of these.

4) Find someone who has a good planer. There may be a makerspace or shared studio in your area that has one; given that I think you said you live in LA, I'd be surprised if there wasn't. The monthly fees add up, but they may be easier to fit into your budget than a single large purchase.
 
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