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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I hate sanding wood, always have and probably always will. It's probably is the No1 reason why I just can’t get into fine woodworking. I started out as a framer building houses and I don’t know once a framer, always a framer”. I love framing houses and even dream of it, but my body is just too broken down any more to do it. I like measuring, cutting and assembly, but finishing well thats not for me. Don’t mind nailing on trim to pretty it up some as long as it doesn’t entail sanding. :no:

Anyway enough of my rant about sanding. Since I must sand, I want it to be as quick and painless as possible. I’ve bought a number of sanders over the years to help me and still haven’t found anything that really makes it easy. :shifty:

This is my arsenal of portable sanders. I also have a B&D Straight-line/Orbital sander that my daughter is borrowing and i don't think i want it back. ;)



So what am I missing? Is there a better way than this? I was thinking about buying a new sander, but I don't see anything different, maybe I'm just not doing it right.
 

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John
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Hi Johnny - What I see missing from your arsenal is a random orbital sander. They remove stock very quickly, much faster than a palm sander like the yellow and black one you show, but not as aggressive as the belt sander. They will also leave a pretty decent finish. They can be had for under $50 to whatever your level of pain is in this area. I'm not going to recommend a "best" for obvious reasons but here is some reading you might be interested in
http://www.popularmechanics.com/hom...random-orbital-sander-comparison-test#slide-1
:smile:
 

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I'm not a big fan of sanding either, but I find that if you go through all the grits (80, 100, 120,150, 180, 220, 240, 320), you don't have to spend too much time on each grit. On flat surfaces, I use a random orbit sander up to 180, then hand sand with the grain for 240 and 320. I don't always do 320, but I find that when I do, it makes it easier to get the finish to level more easily.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Handplanes and scrapers. The golden ticket out of the realm of sanding. Next train leaves in ten minutes. All aboard.
I did buy a scraper set last year and put it up because i wasn't sanding anything at the time and forgot I even had them. I bought a set of different shape and sizes, but they are kind of small.

Right now I'm trying to sand a 36"x18" piece of plywood and the more I sand the more it looks like hillside. I'm trying to get it as flat and smooth as I can. Also when I try to do the edges I end up with rounded corners. :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi Johnny - What I see missing from your arsenal is a random orbital sander. They remove stock very quickly, much faster than a palm sander like the yellow and black one you show, but not as aggressive as the belt sander. They will also leave a pretty decent finish. They can be had for under $50 to whatever your level of pain is in this area. I'm not going to recommend a "best" for obvious reasons but here is some reading you might be interested in
http://www.popularmechanics.com/hom...random-orbital-sander-comparison-test#slide-1
:smile:
I thought I had one of those, but after looking at it again, I see that it just an orbital sander. I don't know anything about random orbital sander. I may have to buy one of those to check it out. Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Sandblasting , beats sanding every time :laughing:
and it's more fun :thumbsup:
Now I could live with that, I like the rustic look :laughing:
 

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One problem is you are using a hand held belt sander and finishing sanders. Sanding would go so much easier if you would either get some kind of wide belt sander, drum sander or I use a stroke sander for larger pieces. Then for finish sanding a random orbital sander would sand much faster and better then any of your finish sanders.
 

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Sounds like I'm too late.....I don't sand plywood! The outside veneers are usually no more than 1/128". I have rubbed it off with my thumb, just to prove a point.
What I do with plywood is to seal coat it with shellac and smooth it out with 4/0 steel wool. But don't use steel wool if you're going to use a water based finish. The little bits left on the finish will rust. Use a yellow 3M pad (320 grit) instead. Then I use wipe-on poly until I like the look; usually 3-4 coats.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
One problem is you are using a hand held belt sander and finishing sanders. Sanding would go so much easier if you would either get some kind of wide belt sander, drum sander or I use a stroke sander for larger pieces. Then for finish sanding a random orbital sander would sand much faster and better then any of your finish sanders.
I used to hangout in my uncles stair shop after school when I was a kid and they had a giant belt sander with what I believe was a 4’’x 8 sliding table. They would set something on the table and step on a pedal to raise it up and then just rock it back and forth. It was so easy that they even let me do it at times. :yes:
Now if I had something like that I wouldn’t mind sanding at all or at least the big stuff
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Sounds like I'm too late.....I don't sand plywood! The outside veneers are usually no more than 1/128". I have rubbed it off with my thumb, just to prove a point.
What I do with plywood is to seal coat it with shellac and smooth it out with 4/0 steel wool. But don't use steel wool if you're going to use a water based finish. The little bits left on the finish will rust. Use a yellow 3M pad (320 grit) instead. Then I use wipe-on poly until I like the look; usually 3-4 coats.
Thank you. I admit that I usually don't care about sanding plywood because I'm just not that much of a perfectionist. the only reason I'm doing it this time is that there are some scratches and one piece is over 25 years old and has yellowed. It kind of stands out next to the newer pieces.
 

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I used to hangout in my uncles stair shop after school when I was a kid and they had a giant belt sander with what I believe was a 4’’x 8 sliding table. They would set something on the table and step on a pedal to raise it up and then just rock it back and forth. It was so easy that they even let me do it at times. :yes:
Now if I had something like that I wouldn’t mind sanding at all or at least the big stuff
This is how a stroke sander operates. I can usually sand 30 oak cabinet doors in about an hour and a half with it to where it only needs minor sanding with the orbital sander afterwards.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
This is how a stroke sander operates. I can usually sand 30 oak cabinet doors in about an hour and a half with it to where it only needs minor sanding with the orbital sander afterwards.
Yes that looks like it. Wow! It’s been 50 years, but I’m pretty sure my uncles had long step that ran all the way across the bottom to raise the table up. I think I would have remembered the hand thing, because I was 12 at the time and I don’t think I would have been strong enough to do that in the photo. :no:

Wow that sure brings back the memories. They would give me 50 cents to sweep up and I could buy 10 candy bars
 

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Sanding isn't my favorite either. What helped me was to get a good sander with dust collection. I have a couple of Festool's, and their trigger actuated vacuum, and that helps a lot. Planes and scrapers, like mentioned, is also a good way to go.
 

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Yes that looks like it. Wow! It’s been 50 years, but I’m pretty sure my uncles had long step that ran all the way across the bottom to raise the table up. I think I would have remembered the hand thing, because I was 12 at the time and I don’t think I would have been strong enough to do that in the photo. :no:

Wow that sure brings back the memories. They would give me 50 cents to sweep up and I could buy 10 candy bars
The sander cuts pretty agressively. It doesn't take very much hand pressure to use it. Mine has a lever operated foot pad that makes it where you don't have to work it by hand like the picture but I seldom use it. I prefer to use the sander as shown. It gives you a lot more control.
 

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Old School
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Yes that looks like it. Wow! It’s been 50 years, but I’m pretty sure my uncles had long step that ran all the way across the bottom to raise the table up.
Some stroke sanders have the long foot pedal and some don't. For an alternative on large areas, you can make some large block sanders using hand held belt sander belts. They come in a variety of sizes. You cut an insert from any type of 5/8" or 3/4" stock, and when measured close will tap onto the substrate making a tight flat sanding block that's easy to use. You have two sides to use. You could have several set up with different grits, and just mark the edge for the grit. Looks like these.
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11l0y2u.jpg






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