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Thread: Power Sanding

  1. #1
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    Power Sanding

    I am a woodturner.I make flutes and bowls...Ive done it a while...more or less self taught except for the ?s Ive asked everybody.


    Anyhow I have some arthritis in my hands...Dr. says he is pretty sure it is the osteoarthritis or the kind from overuse. It doesnt look like the rheumatoid kind to him...


    Anyhow the arthritis bothers me some and I want to keep doing as much as I can. Sanding the flutes and bowls bother me. I use a "Sanding Wonder" and it is great but I was thinking about power sanding.I have plenty of 2" ,3" and even 5" hook and loop pads that I got from Vinces WoodsNWonders. I want a good right angle or close quarter one. I have heard a drill doesnt last very long sanding and even if you have something that is a sander you have to blow it out .Anyhow I am very open to suggestions. Thanks a bunch!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Turner View Post
    I am a woodturner.I make flutes and bowls...Ive done it a while...more or less self taught except for the ?s Ive asked everybody.


    Anyhow I have some arthritis in my hands...Dr. says he is pretty sure it is the osteoarthritis or the kind from overuse. It doesnt look like the rheumatoid kind to him...


    Anyhow the arthritis bothers me some and I want to keep doing as much as I can. Sanding the flutes and bowls bother me. I use a "Sanding Wonder" and it is great but I was thinking about power sanding.I have plenty of 2" ,3" and even 5" hook and loop pads that I got from Vinces WoodsNWonders. I want a good right angle or close quarter one. I have heard a drill doesnt last very long sanding and even if you have something that is a sander you have to blow it out .Anyhow I am very open to suggestions. Thanks a bunch!
    I sometimes use a Harbor Fright right-angle drill for sanding. It cost around $30 and I've used it for about 2 years. One of these days, I'll need to blow it out. But it seems to "keep on ticking". I'm not implying that it is the best R.A. drill out there, but it was cheap and if I have to replace it at some time in the future, I won't lose any sleep over the issue.

    I have read that there are some drills out there where the angle is perhaps 45 degrees and that it makes it more useful. Perhaps some other people will comment on which drills are not right angle but something less.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Cary, NC
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    Mike, I use a Makitia 12v driver drill. I got it from Amazon. Around $100.00. Been using it for 6+ years now. The gears are starting to complain a bit.
    Joe

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Random orbital sanders

    Mike,

    Here's hoping you get some relief for the arthritis. (Hey, have you heard of the bee sting "therapy"? Beekeepers are sometimes asked for a few honeybees for this so there might be something to it. Our bee mentor warned us not to sell the bees even for a penny because of legal issues of selling medical treatment!)

    Years ago I quit power sanding with the rotating disks. Instead, I use hand scraping (which might be a problem with your hands) and pneumatic random orbital sanders. I do all sanding with the lathe stopped, usually with the piece removed from the lathe. These sanders create much less dust and are easier to hold. I got this one from Woodturners Wonders for 3" disks:

    sanding_IMG_20171212_094330_319.jpg

    I use this Grex with 2" and 1" disks. It's FAR lighter and smaller than a close-quarters electric drill and easier to hold and manipulate. I like the Grex so much I got a second one.

    grex_ROS.jpg

    One advantage of the ROS is they don't make the clouds of dust you typically get with a rotating disk on a rotating piece. Also, I use them at low speeds for gentle sanding which I think gives a better surface. After scraping I rarely need to use sandpaper coarser than 320.

    It looks like a long drive from your place, but if you find your self near Knoxville give me a holler and stop in and visit and you can try both of these for yourself. And try the curved hand scrapers too. (And take a llama for a walk!)

    JKJ

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Turner View Post
    I am a woodturner.I make flutes and bowls...Ive done it a while...more or less self taught except for the ?s Ive asked everybody.


    Anyhow I have some arthritis in my hands...Dr. says he is pretty sure it is the osteoarthritis or the kind from overuse. It doesnt look like the rheumatoid kind to him...


    Anyhow the arthritis bothers me some and I want to keep doing as much as I can. Sanding the flutes and bowls bother me. I use a "Sanding Wonder" and it is great but I was thinking about power sanding.I have plenty of 2" ,3" and even 5" hook and loop pads that I got from Vinces WoodsNWonders. I want a good right angle or close quarter one. I have heard a drill doesnt last very long sanding and even if you have something that is a sander you have to blow it out .Anyhow I am very open to suggestions. Thanks a bunch!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Northern Illinois
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    414
    I also use a Harbor Freight right angle variable speed/reversible drill for sanding bowls with 2" (and occasionally 3") sanding disks from woodturnerswonders.com. I bought a whole set of screw on/screw off heads for the arbor. I mount the range of grits I intend to use on the heads. It's nice because I can just screw off one and install another when I move from one grit to another. It may not work for all bowls but it does work for most I turn.

  6. #6
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    Aug 2011
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    You’ll get an earful on this one. Unless you’ve got a high hp compressor, air sanders are more of a pain than a help IMHO. Been using the cheapest of the two close quarters drills sold at HF for about 8 or 10 years now. On the second one now. As long as they get blown out once in a while, they seem to last just fine. I invested in the return policy and just go in and get a new one as needed...by the way, the more expensive of the two was a first buy many years back - the bearings gave out in less than a year. Go cheap.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffrey J Smith View Post
    You’ll get an earful on this one. Unless you’ve got a high hp compressor, air sanders are more of a pain than a help IMHO.
    To add to the earful, I've used the ROS I have on small air compressors. They work very well with this caveat: if they are used the way I use them! I never run them wide open but always slowly for a gentle sanding action. Wide open, yes, you will need a healthy air compressor. Small tank, expect the compressor to run a lot.

    I also will add a quarter-earful about the close quarters drill. I used mine for years before I quit power sanding with rotating disks. I went a different route, quality instead of cheap. My Milwaukee withstood all the sanding dust for lots of bowls and platters. I did blow out the dust regularly with compressed air, but very gently so fine dust would not be forced into bearings and other places where it shouldn't be, possibly the reason some people have failures on some drills. The Milwaukee still works like new today - I actually use it as a close quarters drill! So since we have room here for varied opinions mine is, if power sanding like that, go quality!

    JKJ

  8. #8
    more additions to the earful:
    I have the Harbor Freight right angle drill and use it for sanding (on my second one now). They last a long time but are not comfortable to use. The 55 degree close quarter drills are more comfortable to use. IMO the ROS air tools like GREX are the most comfortable (I am assuming this will be important with arthritis issues).
    _______________________________________
    When failure is not an option
    Mediocre is assured.

  9. #9
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    Mar 2010
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    John I was wondering about the Grex....I couldnt access your links. I had actually emailed Vince about them and waiting on his reply..I went to Wood and Wonders and emailed Ken and am now awaiting his reply.I didnt see Grez brand on his website but the ones I see are highly recommended and look comfortable.I ll see what he says and decide.Thanks for your input and everybody else too!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Turner View Post
    John I was wondering about the Grex....I couldnt access your links. I had actually emailed Vince about them and waiting on his reply..I went to Wood and Wonders and emailed Ken and am now awaiting his reply.I didnt see Grez brand on his website but the ones I see are highly recommended and look comfortable.I ll see what he says and decide.Thanks for your input and everybody else too!
    I think Rizza doesn't sell Grex. I bought one from Amazon and the other at an auction.

    The air brush guy Joe Flemming carries them. I would have bought from him if I didn't already have one. https://www.airbrushingwood.com/stor...Air_Tools.html His prices look high (list) but he'll probably give you the show discount or match anyone.
    (BTW, the Grex airbrushes are excellent)

    Rizza is usually pretty quick to respond unless he's at a show or something. But he almost always answers the phone immediately - must carry it to the dinner table, shower,...

    I didn't know Vince sold Grex! Looks like his price is good. I'd get the kit with the extensions and the 1" sanding pads. (I bought all those separately) The extensions are great for reaching into the bottoms of things.

    The "links" were just photos I attached. I think you have to be a "Contribuutor" now to see them. (Just $6/year!!) One us just a picture of the Grex ROS stolen from a web page, the other is of a student using the palm sander on a "small squarish dished platter". I'll include it an alternate way so you can see it. I do most smoothing and sanding off the lathe in the Carving and Finishing Post I bought from Best Wood Tools.

    Does this photo show up for you or is this method also unavailable?



    Just for fun, some more views of the piece and process, her first real project after just a few lessons! Good clean fun.



    Note: I can "get away" with using very gentle ROS sanding and fine sandpaper because I smooth first with negative rake scrapers (while spinning) and with curved hand scrapers (not spinning). Without these I'd probably still be using the rotating disks and not getting nearly as good of finishes. (Yikes, I didn't start out intending to write a blog!)





    JKJ

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Laurinburg NC
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    Thanks John! I have some scrapers and do like using them too.I havent used them a bunch but I have started experimenting with them.I can see the pics.Ill have to contribute.I think I can swing $6 a yr. lol

    Oh Vince says the Grex are good.He likes them on grits 220 and higher.

    John I just saw the Carving and Finishing post you mentioned.Have you ever seen a homemade version? or other brand??
    Last edited by Mike Turner; 05-25-2019 at 10:51 PM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Turner View Post
    John I just saw the Carving and Finishing post you mentioned.Have you ever seen a homemade version? or other brand??
    Trent Bosch sells one. It differs from the Best Wood Tools in that it uses one lever to control both the tilt and rotation. While this seems great it looks awkward. You can watch a video of him using it to hold a piece while carving. In the video you will see him use both hands to position the work and then hold it steady while he tightens the lever.

    I think the one from Best Wood Tools is better for my use. Once the tilt angle is set to put the piece in a comfortable position, loosening the second lever will let the piece rotate around its axis. This is very useful for working around the piece, carving, scraping, sanding. I find this especially useful when using the 2" Grex ROS to work my way around the curved base of the little platters I showed - I keep the rotation lever loose and turn the piece around the axis with one hand while holding the sander in the other hand. The tilt never changes until you want it to.

    It looks like you can't do this with the Bosch - every time you want to rotate a little you will change the tilt unless you hold the piece carefully. Turner and demonstrator John Lucas said he too likes the Best Wood Tools model for working on woodturnings. The Bosch might be better for traditional carving on a chunk of wood but you'd have to rig some way to hold the chunk. Both of these are threaded to match the lathe spindle.

    I don't know if there are others. If you have metal-working capability it wouldn't be too difficult to make one. Could probably even make one from wood.

    I used to do the scraping and sanding with the piece mounted on the lathe. It was hard to lock it in the exact position I wanted. It was hard to bend over to see what I was doing and made my back hurt. Then I did the smoothing sitting in a chair with the piece on my knees. It was far more comfortable for the neck and back but hard to hold the piece. The post/stand is a huge improvement. If you order one from Best Wood Tools don't get in a big hurry! - one guy makes everything. http://bestwoodtools.com/

    ...I can see the pics.Ill have to contribute.I think I can swing $6 a yr. lol
    Yes, it doesn't seem like too much in the big scheme of things!

    JKJ

  13. #13
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    Oh gosh I have not meant for this post to go so far lol...Anyhow John know anything about these sanders https://woodturnerswonders.com/produ...orbital-sander .I sent an email they say the PROS Mini (not the red one but the black one when you scroll down) it operates at 3CFM and is light weight and is a real workhorse.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Turner View Post
    Oh gosh I have not meant for this post to go so far lol...Anyhow John know anything about these sanders https://woodturnerswonders.com/produ...orbital-sander .I sent an email they say the PROS Mini (not the red one but the black one when you scroll down) it operates at 3CFM and is light weight and is a real workhorse.
    Some threads here go on for weeks and months!

    I didn't try that sander; mine is an earlier model, probably similar in function. Note that the 3CFM is a minimum - the one I have also works fine at low CFM for gentle sanding but if you want higher speed with coarser papers it will need more air.

    The speed is variable with how much you depress the operating lever. Mine also has a valve built in which limits the speed - very nice. This lets me set it to my preferred speed and then I can just press the lever down all the way and not have to hold it at a certain position. I don't know if the red one has the same limiting valve - you might ask. (The Grex doesn't have this but I plan to add a ball valve upstream for the same effect.)

    I'm not sure about the larger orbit. I've been happy with the smaller orbit; I should try the larger and see.

    Rizza is real good about making the customer happy! I suspect he would gladly let you return either sander if it didn't work out. I might break down and buy one of the new ones to evaluate - I get a lot of questions about the sanders at demos and from students/shop visitors.

    But for the pistol grip and 2" disks, I'd get the Grex.

    JKJ

  15. #15
    Well, for me, the ROS work fine on the higher grits, 220 and above, but don't come close to the angle drills on the coarser grits. I want a flex shaft that hooks up to a mini lathe, and goes on an articulated arm so I don't have to do anything other than guide it. The Foredom set up is fine, and they do say it will take 3 inch discs, but I think that would be straining the tool. I did build an articulated arm for sanding (video up on You Tube), which takes all the weight of the drill off of my arms, and i can spin the piece with the other hand.

    robo hippy

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