Sanders

Hello,
I just bought an old kitchen table made of maple wood. The varnish on it is quite old, and would like to redo it.
I've got a couple of question, cause i want to get this right, and i want the result to look as if it was made by a pro.
I want to get a sander. I think the best sanding device for this would be one of these palm sanders. I've got the choice between (1) sanders on which you can attach velcro-provided pre-cut sanded paper pads, and (2) clamp-provided sanders, on which you just cut square pieces from a sheet of sand paper and clamp it to the moving pad of the sander. I remember using a device such as (2) once, and i got really annoyed at it cause the paper kept ripping over and over again along the clamped portion. Is it because it was a poor quality one? On the other hand, i'm relunctant to buy a device such as (1) because then i'd be dependant on buying sandpaper pads from the same brand of the manufacturer of my sander, which i'm sure cost SO much more than regular sheet of sandpaper. What do you recommend?
Then, i've got a choice regarding the movement of the plane of the sanding device. It seems i've got the choice between (1) random, (2) orbital, and (3) rotary. What should i get for such a job? I'd like to have a tool with which i can do both sanding and polishing.
thanks fred.
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I'd really consider stripping it using some type of finish remover - Strypeeze or the like. You'll spend a whole load of time trying to sand the whole thing.

Then you may want to take it to a pro. You can certainly do a very adequate job if you do your research (like you are doing) and take your time. That said, it's not often that you can attempt something for the first time and get the result to be like that of a professional.

There's a thread currently running called "Random Orbital Sander with PSA Paper" that gets into the pros and cons of Hook & Loop (aka H&L, Velcro) versus Pressure Sensitive Adhesive (PSA) that you may want to take a look at. I'm not overly fond of the clamp style, and I haven't even had the troubles with tearing that you experienced. I'd personally go with H&L as you can swap out grits quickly and easily - and reuse them too.

Not necessarily true. If you purchased a Festool detail sander for example, you may have trouble finding non-Festool brand paper, but for a 1/4 sheet palm sander you'll have no trouble finding competing brands and pricing.

The choices are (1) Orbital and (2) Random Orbital. (You really don't want a rotary sander, nor a belt sander either - for this job.) The palm sander you describe typically has an orbital action, so if you want the square shape you may be out of luck if you want RO.
Do you plan on disassembling the table to strip it? If so, I'd go with a ROS with H&L pads. Take it apart and label each piece. Strip each piece. For the larger flat surfaces you can use the ROS. For the narrower ones, you should use a sanding block so you don't round the edges too much. For the curves you'll have to use elbow grease. Once you've got all the finish off (you can tell 'cause the paper won't "load" anymore) you're ready to wash it down one last time in lacquer thinner and start finishing.
This forum is a wealth of information Fred, so you may want to do some googling on refinishing, stripping, finishing, etc... to get as much info as you can prior to starting. I've given you a very rough sketch.
JP ***************** Scrapers anyone?
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wrote:

I recommend starting with this:
Bob Flexner's book
<(Amazon.com product link shortened)83285336/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/103-5293205-2428652?v=glance&s=books>
or this:
Jeff Jewitt's new book
<(Amazon.com product link shortened)83285369/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/103-5293205-2428652?v=glance&s=books>
and practicing on the underside of the table.
You are really new at this, so go slow. The project is doable, but "pro" looks do require some study and practice, or you risk destroying your nice table.
You MUST know what to do ahead of time, as some steps will have time limits to come out right. With some knowledge, you can choose the proper materials and tools and do an awesome job!
Barry
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