Buying a sander

Hi,
I want to buy a sander (for refinishing furniture) and I would like to know whether sanders use proprietary sand paper or whether generic sand paper can be with them. If it depends on the sander, can you tell me what kind of sanders or brands are most cost efficient in terms of sand paper among the kinds and brands appropriate for refinishing furniture.
Thanks!
Aaron Fude
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I'm just a novice, but my cheap-o Ryobi random orbital sander uses the self-adhesive sand paper. It appears to me that you can buy this just about anywhere that sells sand paper and it doesn't seem to be proprietary. It has the option of using the hood&loop type paper backing too, which also seems pretty much universal. I don't know if I'd recommend a Ryobi for any serious amount of work, but it does fine for me and my occasional project.
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Actually, rather than sanding, if I want a really smooth finish with no fuzzies to pop up later, I use a cabinet scraper.
ROS with hook-and-loop (focus on number of holes for debris removal here) for rougher stuff.
Cost-efficient is in eye of beholder. Ability to remove & replace pad (much better with hook&loop than adhesive) cutting efficiency and longevity vary by mfg. More expensive may be more efficient. YMWV.
John
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On 3 Apr 2006 06:57:29 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

The most common high volume sander in recent years is the 5" ROS. Just about everyone makes one and they are mostly either five hole or eight hole paper, either PSA or hook and loop. PSA paper cost less. I have one of each, Porter Cable. If you don't want to use your dust collection, you can buy paper with no holes. The paper is not expensive and is available everywhere. You don't have to buy a specific brand to match your sander. Klingspoor makes very good paper for all sanders.
If you are going to be doing a lot of refinishing, a larger ROS may be more appropriate.
you should also have a quarter sheet sander to get into corners or a very good profile sander. I believe Fein makes the only profile sander that is worth anything.
If you have any large open surfaces you need a good belt sander, but you always have to go over it with a finish sander.
Frank
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Heres a site for the new Black and Decker 4 in 1 multi sander. I got one for Christmas and find it fantastic. Low vibration, sands large areas, detailed work etc., good dust control. http://www.blackanddecker.com/ProductGuide/Product-Details.aspx?ProductID 942

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Hi,
Thanks for all the responses. Only one thing remained unclear: what is a finish sander. Is it a unifying term for a couple different types of senders? (A couple of linkes to actual sanders would be useful.)
Also, is hook&loop a synonym for velcro?
Aaron
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Yes, I think a finish sander is just a sander suitable for finish work. Random orbital, 1/4 sheet jitterbug, profile, etc. Each type has uses that it's better for than others: the ROS and jitterbug are good for large, flat areas; the profile sanders usually have different attachments to sand various shapes and corners.
The only sander mentioned so far that's not a finish sander is a belt sander - I steer clear of them because an unskilled person (like myself) can really damage the wood with one of those. It's good for taking a lot of material off quickly, but can also leave an uneven surface if not used carefully.

yes. Velcro is actually a brand name. most of the 5" round ROS just have a pad on the bottom that can accept adhesive backed paper OR adhesive backed hook & loop pads. If you go the adhesive route, just be sure to peel the paper off while it's still warm. Once the adhesive cools down, it gets harder to pull off (not impossible, just a littler harder).
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louie wrote:

Thanks. I also notice that sanders labeled as finishing can go up to 14k rpm (as opposed to 12k). Does the higher rate help make the surface smoother and is this higher rate a requirement?
Aaron
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I'm afraid I don't know. I'm curious if anyone else can answer this?
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I have both a DeWalt and Porter Cable 5" ROS sanders They can be used for finishing. The term "finish sander" is often used on the rectangular sanders that can get into corners better. IMO, the ROS is better for most work as it is faster for a given grit. A belt sander is usually used for fast removeal of large amounts of wood, not for finishing.

Velcro is a brand name of a hook and loop system.
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