Belt & orbital sanders?

Can anyone give any recomendations on belt & orbital sanders? There is so many different ones I don't know which has the best reputations. Regards. -Guy
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Guy, from all the posts you are making you seem to be setting up a shop. If it hasn't been mentioned before you might want to go here and do a search of the archives for the various equipment.
http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=en&lr=&safe=off&group=rec.woodworking
And if you are going to be doing mostly WW I would forget buying a belt sander, at least for now as most people never use one. Canadian Tire has a great boxing week sale on the DeWalt sander. It is well worth the bucks. Cheers, JG
Guy LaRochelle wrote:

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Yes, I am setting up shop..............I thought one of those belt sanders would have been a handy thing. Glad to here they are not that useful............I will focus on other things. Does anyone have a list of tools that are necessary to set up a shop? I'll bet that there are some tools that are nice to have, they make things easier, but with pateince the good old tablesaw will do the trick .................you know what I mean? I want to start building furniture. Give me a list of tools that I should buy guys! Thanks for the info. Regards. -Guy

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Guy, Depending on what you want to do, I would recommend a 'portable' belt sander before a 'stationary'. {The portable can be set-up like a small stationary - either 'store-bought' or 'shop-built' fixtures are available}
Here's what I said in a post a few minutes ago . . . Lionel, I got into this a bit late and maybe I missed it . . . What type / Brand is the sander?
I have a Ryobi 'in-line' type. {Very similar in silhouette to a Bosch}. It has about 6 speed settings. These two things allow a great deal of balance & control.
My belts come from Klingspor {via the Post Office} . . . a GREAT variety of belts !! One 'type' they have are 'Planer Belts' - extremely tough INDUSTRIAL belts that are available in Extremely Course grits {36 grit !!} as well as the 'normal' grits. {I use 40 and 60 on the stationary Belt Sander, and 40, 60, and 80 on the Ryobi}. This tends to get you out of the habit of 'bearing down'. In fact, quite the opposite - it teaches you a 'light touch'. In addition, I have covered the platen with a 'Graphite Belt'. A full explanation of 'what & why' is in their catalog.
It is a very useful tool - from straight up 'Material Removal' to 'Rough Sanding'. I have used it for the shaping of gunnels & thwart edges, as well as 'knocking down' cured epoxy and rounding of chines. I have even flattened & 'cleaned up' large surface areas . . . 'glued up' panels. Although there are belts available in the finer grits, I really wouldn't select it as the tool for anything finer than 120 - even at the slower speeds.
Regards & Good Luck, Ron Magen Backyard Boatshop

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I have no experience with belt sanders but I can recommend the Festool RO sanders. Are you looking for a orbital sander (finish sander) or a ROS?
If flatness is of much concern for you go with an orbital sander. On the other hand orbital sanders tend to leave "swirls" so if you want an absolutely perfect surface a ROS might be better. ROS's sand more aggressively but leave a superb surface at the same time. Personally, I use a Festool ES 150/3 (ROS for finish sanding). Excellent design and ergonomics, well balanced and low weight (you can use it very comfortably with one or two hands), VS, hardly any vibrations (very important if you sand an extended period of time), extremely smooth sanding operation and great finish result, hook and loop (Festool calls it Stickfix) and the best dust collection I can imagine. The sander comes with a filter bag which works quite well but if possible connect it to a vac. I have the Festool CT 22 vac (wet/dry extraction, auto on/off, variable suction - very important when using a vac attached to a sander) and have to admit that this combination is hard to beat. It allows almost dust-free sanding. Festool offers such a great variety of sanders that you'll find the right one for your application. And if you have any questions regarding the Festool line, you might like to contact Bob Marino at snipped-for-privacy@aol.com Bob Marino is hobby woodworker and Festool ISA, very friendly and helpful and as he uses the tools himself he really knows a lot about them.
No matter which sander you get, do yourself a favor and connect it to a vac. Here are some reviews of Festool sanders: http://www.thewoodshop.20m.com/festool_es150.htm http://benchmark.20m.com/tools/Festool/FestoolIndex.html http://www.cjohnhebert.com/toolreviews.htm http://home.alliancecable.net/~woodworker/festool.html http://www.woodshopdemos.com/men-fes.htm
Hope this helps, Christian Aufreiter, Austria
PS: No affiliation to Festool, I'm just a happy customer.
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