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Thread: Hardwood Floor / RO Sander

  1. #1

    Hardwood Floor / RO Sander

    Hello, I am planing on upgrading my orbital sander.
    I need to do some hardwood floor work in our hallway and need something more that my little palm orbital sander.

    Looking at the Bosch ROS65VC 6 or ROS65VC 5

    Just wondering what you think about size...the 6" or the 5" ?

    I'm thinking the 6" for starters beings I will be on the floor doing some large areas. Then later getting the 5" plate.

    Any suggestions ?

    Thanks
    Last edited by Mike Burke; 03-06-2019 at 9:35 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Toronto Ontario
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    9,289
    I would suggest renting a floor finishing sander for that job....Rod

    If you want a ROS, buy a Festool or Mirka......Rod

  3. #3
    The depot rents RO floor sanders now and they are great. If you are doing a significant amount of floor they are worth getting.

  4. #4
    Thanks Rod...
    I will be renting a floor sander. I have done 4 bedroom floors so far but now we are in the hallway and the Douglas Fir flooring is running perpedicular to the walls.
    The hallway is only 43" wide so I cant run the drum sander against the grain....so I am have to use the edger on all of it.

    The RO is for the last finishing stage of sanding...and scuffing in between coats of the finish.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Pueblo, CO
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    271
    I'd check around a bit and look for a jitterbug sander. Think vibrating sander that uses 12x18 or larger sanding sheets. I rented one from HD in MA many years ago to do a floor and it worked great. Easy to control, gets right up to the edges, never needed and edge sander.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Concord, NC
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    2,244
    I have this Bosch sander and think this may be better for your need. It's a great sander, but I wish they had a 5" version;

    https://www.amazon.com/Bosch-Variabl...a-567687828882
    Richard

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
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    Lowes, around here at least, rents these. It is a giant, heavy ROS with three heads. It would do your job fine, and is not hard to operate. Much, Much better than on your hands and knees.

    https://www.amazon.com/Rust-Oleum-20.../dp/B0078IUXO0

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    New Hill, NC
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    2,225
    Quote Originally Posted by Rod Sheridan View Post
    I would suggest renting a floor finishing sander for that job....Rod

    If you want a ROS, buy a Festool or Mirka......Rod

    ^^^ What Rob said.

    ^

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
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    An edger is a lot of work, and it's easy to screw something up with one. You have to run it bending over, and it's a straight disk sander.

    The machine I linked to had three random orbit heads. The disks are hook and loop, and come a few to the pack. Buy more than you need, and any unopened packs can be taken back to Lowes with no questions asked. It would be almost impossible to screw something up with it.

    The machine is heavy though. That's what does the work. It might weight a hundred pounds. The dust collection is very good. The little bag does need to be emptied fairly often, but it's not hard to do.

    I have a lot of experience finishing floors, or at least one every year for 33 years, and a few since then. I used to own a drum sander, but sold in the early '90's. I used the machine I linked to for finishing an Oak floor in an addition on our house in a 16 x 24 foot room. It might have taken a couple of hours to go through all the grits, but I don't remember exactly. It's not much work running it. The work is in getting it in, and out of the truck.

    There are a number of variations of such RO floor sanders, and any of them should do about the same thing that this one will.

    I'd advise to skip the edger. I've never seen a pro run one that didn't end up needing some scraping here, and there, and you are guaranteed to have some gouges in that floor with one.

  10. #10
    Thanks Tom,
    Have you used the machine you linked...or any RO floor sander for refinishing old floors ?
    You might see in my photo that ours is old fir that has shellac on them.
    How do they cut the old shellac off ?
    Thanks

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    Once. I refinished a 1934 Pine floor with one. I can't remember the size of that floor, other than it was 40 feet long on the third floor. It did a nice job. Don't skip grits. They have information at the machine display, in the paint department of Lowes, that includes how many disks you need per square foot.

    Start with the coarsest grit, and it will cut the finish off. It's certainly not as hard to take off as a modern floor finish.

    Tilt the machine up in the store, and make sure the Velcro is in good shape. Also, pick one that the skirt is complete all the way around, and have a strong helper handy so you don't break one of the plastic pieces that holds the brushes around the perimeter. I unloaded one by myself once, and broke one of those pieces. The handles on top of the lower, round part are in the right place, but it's much better with two people.

  12. #12
    I have used a drum sander on our other rooms so I understand about the grit progression. These Douglas Fir floors tend to me a little soft in areas and sand pretty easy once you get down to the fresh wood.
    Nice Straight grain though.

    How close do these machines get to the edge ? Will I still need to get the edger for the edges ?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    You will not need an edger. I scrape the corners. You don't say where you are, so I have no idea what you have access to. I use scrapers sold by Horizon Forest Products, which is a chain supplier to floor pros.

    They have scrapers made, with no brand name, but use Red Devil blades. I like them better than any I've used before, and I doubt I have missed trying many. I use a 1", and sharpen it with a 6 or 8 inch smooth file. You might think a wider scraper will do more work, but you can put more pressure on the narrower blade. Their plain, wooden handles are large enough to press down with one hand, and pull with the other.

  14. #14
    I live in southeast Iowa...there is a menards close by and looks like they have the machine that you linked to for rent.
    I can scrape and sand the corners easy enough. I have had to do that on the other rooms I'v done.
    A lot of the shellac chips of when I scrape it...that old shellac is nasty stuff. I always wear a mask.

    So they get right up to the base board ?

    I do have 3/4" quarter round that I put on the bottom of the base.

    I'm looking at your site...impressive !!

  15. #15
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    It's been a while since I've used that machine, but I don't remember having to do anything along the edges. I think the disks go out to the edges of those brushes. If not, it won't be much, and with what you've done so far, I'm sure you can figure it out.

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