Sanders


I rely on my random orbital sander to fix many of the sins of my somtimes sloppy wood butchering. I've been using my electric Makita for years and other then the dust collection (useless) it seems to work pretty well. But I was wondering if there is any benefit to getting an air sander to run with my compressor. I can't see how it will work any better then an electric sander. Am I missing anything here?
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warbler wrote:

Not really unless you use one a tremendous amount, much more than most hobbyist/home-shop folks do. They have an advantage in professional, high volume shops w/ being cooler running and typically have piped air so eliminate the power cords. Unless you have a large compressor, however, you may discover you don't have sufficient air, anyway. Many take as much as 7-9 cfm @ 90 psi and most home-shop compressors don't even come close.
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You may be missing a large compressor. These sander are high volume air users.
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wrote:

Especially the cheap ones. I went from a cheap air sander to a "pro" one and found it used about a third of the air.
Great for fibreglass, never found much use for it on wood though. Maybe if you're doing a lot of curved work?
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Andy Dingley wrote:

...
That's a good point...the cost does tend to be strongly inversely proportional to air use requirements.
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warbler wrote:

I have one. It's good for fast stock removal. Not as fast as a belt sander, but faster than your standard electric one. Although maybe the high end electric ones are just as aggressive. In summary, it sands more agressively, gets the job done faster.
They are air hogs though. I will use mine for about 15-20 minutes and then let the compressor rest (do other stuff). If you don't have a professional compressor, the compressed air will get quite hot if you use it too long. LOL. I bought mine because a friend gave it high recommendations. If I had to do it over, I probably wouldn't buy it again.
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warbler wrote:

Don't know if they are all this way but the air-powered one I have has a very shrill whine to it that would drive me crazy after using it for a while the same with the air drill I have. They haven't been out of the drawer in years.
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I do turning and flat work, and to sand my bowls I use the Sioux angle drills. I will get about 6 months out of them before the bearings and brushes need to be replaced. I got a pneumatic Sioux angle drill, and am trying to torture it to death. At 4 plus months, it shows no sighs of slowing down. There is some water spray, which could be mostly removed if I set my lines up properly. The sound doesn't bother me, but I don't run it at 3000 rpm (mostly 500 or so). It does keep my compressor running constantly (60 gal.?6 hp Cambel Hausfeld). It does end up using more electricity than the electric ones, and the compresser does heat up the shop more than I would like in the summer, but should be just dandy for the winter. robo hippy RayV wrote:

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warbler wrote:

This is an aside on the dust collection. I have a deWalt on which the dust collection even hooked up to a shop vac was pretty poor. Got a new 6.5 "effective" HP Craftsman and it's like night and day with the dust collection--I don't even _see_ dust anymore from the sander and a tack rag gets hardly anything off the board afterwards. Smoothed a dozen 8 foot 2x6s and there was _no_ dust on the bench under them. Also runs _much_ cooler.
Don't know if you'd get the same results with your Makita but thought it worth mentioning.

Is your compressor big enough? Main advantage would be that it doesn't recirculate air from the area being sanded through the motor. If you're working with highly abrasive materials it should last much longer and if you're working with electrically conductive materials, well, you can guess how _that_ would turn out with an electric sander. For wood there's not much benefit. One downside on mose air tools is that they do need a little bit of lubrication in the air, either in the form of an oil-mist lubricator or an occasional drop of oil down the air inlet--either way that oil comes out and can contaminate the work.
--
--John
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