Best sander for beginner restorator

Hi there,
My husband is really keen to get into furniture restoration, mainly tables and basic wooden furniture. I wanted to get him a sander for Christmas to start off his tool collection but I am not really sure what kind of sander would suit. He hasn't done much woodwork/restoration before so is very much a beginner but I think it is something that he will enjoying doing and would be quite good at after a bit of practice. I want to get him a sander that he can use now while he is learning but also something that he can still use once he has got the hang of restoration and is keen to restore some trickier pieces.
Any help would be great!! I am a very lost wife in the unfamiliar world of fruniture restoration!
Thanks.
--
Pma865


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Pma865 wrote:

How about some books on furniture restoration instead? I don't know anything about furniture restoration, but I heard on The Antique Roadshow that sandpaper will remove the value from a piece of antique furniture along with the paint. Good luck and best wishes.
He hasn't done much woodwork/restoration

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It's hard to go wrong with a Bosch 1297DK. Robatoy spent my money on it (recommended it) about 2 years ago, and I've been pretty happy with it ever since.
It's a 1/4 sheet palm sander that uses standard sheets of sandpaper. While you can buy 1/4 sheets, all you need is the full size sheets. Fold in half one way, then the other and cut on the fold lines.
One drawback to this sander is the vacuum attachment. The tool requires an adapter to fit a standard 1 1/4" shop-vac hose. I don't remember if the adapter was included in the box or not.
Lowes had it in my area, but their site isn't showing any in stock. However, Amazon has it for $55 the same price.
Puckdropper
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Puckdropper wrote:

I think it's worth noting that 25% of the reviewers were unhappy with the way that sander holds the sandpaper in the front. Maybe the problem has been resolved. I don't own it, so I can't say. I appreciate every recommendation!

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On 12/4/2012 11:02 PM, Puckdropper wrote:

That's the unit I have. I have stopped using my ROS except for really rough work. The bosch is so much nicer and more controllable. I had to buy the vac port, its an odd size, metric.
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"Pma865" wrote:

The Bosch 3727DEVS is a great machine.
Since I had a couple of them stolen, others must agree with me.
Check Amazon.
Lew
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"Pma865" wrote:

"Lew Hodgett" wrote:
The Bosch 3727DEVS is a great machine.
Since I had a couple of them stolen, others must agree with me.
Check Amazon. ---------------------------------------------------------- Update:
I missed the operative word "restoration".
Sooner, you are going to need a detail sander.
I have the Fein multimaster.
Expensive but IMHO, worth it.
Again check Amazon.
Lew
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On Wed, 5 Dec 2012 08:26:57 -0800, "Lew Hodgett"

Might be a good test against some of it's new competitors. I don't like sanding so I'll try anything to get out of hand sanding.
Mike M
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Pma865 wrote:

The problem is, there is no single "best". Sanders fall into several different types...
1. Belt: they cut very aggressively in a straight line motion and can sand largish areas in a hurry *BUT* they take practice and skill to use. I can't see much use for one in restorations.
2. Disk: same info as for belt except thay cut rotationally.
3. Orbital: these cut by making small, circular or oblate motions and are best for finer work rather than removing lots of wood. They come in 1/4 sheet and 1/2 sheet sizes. Eventually, your husband will probably want one of each. For a 1/2 sheet, there is no better than the Porter-Cable 505. I'm not sure if the Porter-Cable is still made but this is what it looks like and even a used one is worthwhile. Especially useful for large flat areas like table tops. http://www.plumbersurplus.com/Prod/Porter-Cable-505-HD-Half-Sheet-Finishing-Sander/76909/Cat/174
For the 1/4 sheet, I like the Dewalt because of the easy to use - even for my arthritic hands - paper clamps. Initially, a 1/4 sheet would probably be more useful than the 1/2 sheet. http://www.dewalt.com/tools/woodworking-sanders-orbital-sanders-d26441.aspx
4. ROS (Random Orbit Sander): these make little orbits like #3 but also a larger circle. They can cut fairly aggressively or not depending on the grit size of the abrasive disk being used. They are the current gotta have it, sander du jour. I have one and use it occasionally but really don't care for it...if I want to take off a lot of wood I'd rather use a disk or belt sander; if I want to smooth and flatten, I'd rather use an orbital.
5. Detail: I don't have one but think it could be handy for sanding small things. They look like this...
http://toolsforless.com/img/bosch-1294vsk-23-amp-corner-detail-sander-kit_2419_500.jpg
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dadiOH
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I've done quite a bit of restorations in the past and do more these days, with my upholstery work. These days, I do more A)chair, sofa, ottoman, etc. type furniture, than B) dining tables, armoires, dish cabinets, cupboards etc.
For A) I rarely use a machine. Mostly hand sanding, detailed work, lots of curved pieces, etc.
For B) I have a variety of sanders and the task dicates which to use. I see several suggestions have been offered and all good. A warming: Before using a belt sander on a large flat piece, learn well how much a belt sander chews up wood. I would advise: Never use a belt sander on a large piece. You are asking for trouble, unless you really know what you are doing.
If I were to suggest a first sander, it would be an orbital sander.
In the mean time, as Bill suggested, do some reading. Before buying many books, check out this link: http://antiquerestorers.com/Articles/MOST_RECENT_ARTICLES.htm
Scan through the main titles of this "outline" (format) to zero in on wood (or metal) topics/titles, get an idea of what articles are here. Get some ideas of what you are in for, in a specific field (wood and furniture items, maybe some metal furniture items). There is a wide range of expertise within these articles. Let these articles guide you to furthering your knowledge base, then later you can buy specific books, as need be.
Another suggestion: No one person can learn all the different finishing/refinishing techniques (.... and maybe wood repair techniques, as well. I often have to improvise). In starting out, learn 1 or 2 good basic finishing/refinishing techniques, i.e., master them, then move on to others one at a time, to further your finishing/refinishing abilities. Select your beginning projects to coincide with your skills and advance your projects as your skills advance. *This pretty much goes for any craft, skill and/or expertise.
One never stops learning, especially with all the info and resources available. Sonny
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My opinion would be that your husband is well equipped already with two of the finest sanding machines. They are at arms reach. Learn how to use these, with suitable media and aids, and gain a feel for the processes. Then having gained some knowledge, he should be able to make gainful choice and use of appropriate power tools. Just my 2p's worth. I'm rightpondian, so may not count.
Good luck. Nick.
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On 12/5/2012 3:09 PM, Nick wrote:

Actually count more ... there's more old English furniture than old North American furniture. ;)
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On Wednesday, December 5, 2012 4:29:09 PM UTC-6, Swingman wrote:

And be wary of furniture tagged French Provencial. Many, many pieces, you see in mediocre or lower end antique stores may be imports, but are reproductions and poor quality reproductions, at that. A French Provencial piece in a high end antique should be inspected carefully, also.
As for American made chairs and sofas, specifically, in the 1920s there was a resurgence of some 1700s & mostly 1800s styles and designs, so there were many reproductions of 1920s vintage. Today, those same designs and styles are again being favored. It's good to know which piece is from what time period. There are specific construction designs to each time period... and some of these interior construction designs (framing) dictate how the piece is to be upholstered at those areas. Example: Read a piece's description carefully. A bergere chair and ottoman is not the same as a Bergere styled chair and ottoman. If a piece is tagged Bergere, inspect it closely to make sure it is a true Bergere and not a repro. A true Bergere is ca. 1820s and its value is about 10X a 1920s reproduction.
Learn the different styles of furnture. Many repoductions have elements, even slight, of being a combination of styles, the first clue that it's a reproduction. There are always exceptions, though. Sonny
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Hardwood furniture? A card scraper will leave a belt sander in the dust.
http://www.woodsmithstore.com/cabinetscraper.html
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Nice imagery ...
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Quite literally, too. I've never managed to cover the whole shop in scraper dust.
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