Sander recommendations?

I'll be refinishing a large dining room table.
What's the best type / make etc. power sander for getting the old finish off without creating striations in the wood? Obviously, I'd like to keep the cost down.
Also, what about sand paper grades?
Thanks
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1/4 or 1/2 sheet finishing sander. porter cable is a good one. you might want to strip the old finish off with chemicals instead, which depends upon what the finish is.
ask in rec.woodworking.
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He did. He cross posted, and so did you, and so am I. LOL
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J Antero wrote:

1. Chemical stripper. Dollars to donuts the table has a lacquer finish in which case lacquer thinner will do the deed. That and lots of paper towels. Lacquer thinner can go BOOM in the presence of fire.
2. Scraper
3. Sand if necessary. Any kind of sander other than belt. Grit size depends on what you are trying to do...40-80 = remove lots fairly fast, finer on down to 240 or so smooths and/or removes marks from coarser. OK to skip grades.
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J Antero wrote:

I like to take conservative approach when refinishing, using less abrasive methods before sanding. My philosopy is to do as little sanding as possible when refinishing. It is as easy to to harm as it is good especially when using power sanders and coarse grades of paper.
You want to use a chemical strippper to remove as much of the old finish as possible before sanding. You can use finer grades of steel wool with the stripper to even out the darker areas but do not expect that you will get the edges the same color as the surface. Sanding is a bummer and you may not need to sand at all.
Sand if you must but you can probably hand sanding will be all you need. A random orbit sander has the least chance among power sanders of doing more harm. I think you could start with a 120 grit and would be wary of using anything coarser.
Lawrence
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J Antero wrote:

I like to take conservative approach when refinishing, using less abrasive methods before sanding. My philosopy is to do as little sanding as possible when refinishing. It is as easy to to harm as it is good especially when using power sanders and coarse grades of paper.
You want to use a chemical strippper to remove as much of the old finish as possible before sanding. You can use finer grades of steel wool with the stripper to even out the darker areas but do not expect that you will get the edges the same color as the surface. Sanding is a bummer and you may not need to sand at all.
Sand if you must but you can probably hand sanding will be all you need. A random orbit palm sander has the least chance among power sanders of doing more harm. I think you could start with a 120 grit and would be wary of using anything coarser.
Lawrence
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wrote:

Here's what I'd do. Strip the table to remove most the finish. A cabinet scraper will reduce the sanding effort but require a little skill to use and sharpen. Belt sanders are very aggressive. Random orbit or finishing sanders are your best bet, but even with these be extra careful near the table edge. A good quality finishing palm sander can be had for less than $100--Makita, Porter Cable, DeWalt are good and use plain sandpaper sheets. Start with 120 or 150 grit, then 180 and 220 grit sandpaper. Use the 220 grit (lightly hand sand) and tac rag between finish coats. If you really want to keep costs down for this project all you need is the various-grit sandpapers and a comfortable hand-sanding block--less dust too.
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