So what's the best type of sander for furniture refinishing


Hi,
So what's the best type of sander for furniture refinishing?
There are so many types and confused by them. (What's the difference b/w disk and orbital? Oscillating and vibrating?) Rather than figure all of this out and graduate from the school of sanding with high honors, can I cheat and just have one of you tell me what the best kind of sander for refinishing small furnature is? For the open areas and for the corners? (I heard random orbit is a candidate.)
Thank you!
Aaron Fude
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The two basic types you're concerned with are orbital (a.k.a. 1/4 sheet sander, palm sander), which has a rectangular pad, and random-orbit, which has a round pad that orbits and spins.
An orbital 1/4 sheet sander has the advantage that it will fit into corners. It leaves an OK finish with finer grits (150+), but if you try to get aggressive, you'll be punished with the dreaded squiggly scratches.
A random-orbit sander is more effective all around: better finish with fine grits, faster stock removal with coarse paper, better dust collection when connected to a vac, less vibration for the user.
If you absolutely can't get both, I'd say get the random-orbit and use a hand sanding bolck to get into corners.
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snipped-for-privacy@fast.net wrote:

I agree.
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I agree also. I've been very happy with my $35 Ryobi RO sander, but I haven't used the big names, so I can't comment on those. As far as paper, if you must buy from Home Depot, I'd definitely look at Norton 3X sandpaper discs. They might not have it on their website, but I think they almost certainly would in the store. Even better than that, I'd recommend Mirka Gold discs from Amazon (do a search depending on the size and number of holes you need). Lee Valley is a top-notch company to deal with, and they also have several types of sanding discs, such as http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=3&pB510&cat=1,42500 if you need 5" discs. I'd recommend looking for something that says no-load or reduced loading - finish, glue, etc would gunk up regular sandpaper pretty quickly, and low-loading paper would reduce this somewhat. Finally, I'd recommend hooking whatever sander you get up to a vacuum, even if it comes with a little dust collection bag. The vac will keep your air cleaner, but will also extend the life of your sandpaper as less gunk will have a chance to build up. Of course you'll need discs with holes to match your sander for this to work (standards are either 5- or 8-hole). Hope this helps, Andy
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What kind of furniture? What kind of finish in on them. It all matters for the *best* sander. Sometimes a belt sander is king, other time a Fein detail sander is the one you want. There are others in-between. If I was forced, kicking and screaming, I settle with a half sheet random orbit and scrap or hand sand the smaller stuff. Fortunately no one will get any of my sanders until after the deep digging and sad singing!
Dave
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Teamcasa wrote:

Thank you for the responses.
OK, what if I could get 2 sanders. One is the random orbit. What would be the other? How about the Ryobi DS1100 or CFS1501K?
Also, don't mean to start a long discussion here, but if I want to make this a moderate hobby (say, refinish 1 piece a month) is the price difference between Ryobi and DeWalt worth it?
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snip

I'd pass on both. If I could only get two, it would be the Porter Cable 330 and 505. If my budget could not stand both, the 505 would be my choice. If the 505 is out of range start with the 330.
Dave
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Teamcasa wrote:

Thaks very much for the advice. Is the 340k similar to 330?
Finally, I have a very silly question. Where do I buy the sand paper for these? I'm looking on the home depot website but not finding anything.
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The Porter Cable Site can better explain the differences. To me, the 330, square base (no special sandpaper required) is easier to use than the round, (special sandpaper required)340k
I use Stikit paper for most of my sanding jobs. Search Amazon and other sites.
Dave
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I would second the PC 330, mine doesn't have dust collection but it uses pressure stick abrasives and is like the eveready bunny it just keeps ticking. Gotten so when I get to that point in the project that the 330 comes out I get a little giddy. LOL
Mike M
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On 3 Apr 2006 08:49:27 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

IMHO, no. Ryobi 1/4 sheet sanders are good kit (UK models anyway). They'll wear out in time, but for hobby use you'll see a good lifetime.
A random orbit (Bosch PEX400 is a good hobbyist machine) gives a better finish, but for furniture you can only really use it on tabletops, because of the access.
If you're doing big stuff, then the Skil 666 1/2 sheet sander is the machine to have. These things are great solid beasts capable of a lot of work.
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A disk sander is a large rotating disk, usually stationary with a tilt table. This is great for sanding angles on pieces you can hold.
A random orbital sander is hand-held. It is very popular and requires purchasing special round papers.
A palm sander is hand-held and most can use regular sandpapers. Not as good as a detail sander, but it can get into corners. I like this sander a lot and it is fairly inexpensive.
For small items a detail sander is a good choice.
A belt sander is usually handled with two hands, very aggressive, and used for larger areas.
In all fairness each sander has strengths and weaknesses. I suggest you start out with a palm sander.
On 3 Apr 2006 06:53:54 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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Phisherman wrote:

Thanks! Is the following a detail sander? Is is a detail sender by definition very small?
http://www.homedepot.com/prel80/HDUS/EN_US/diy_main/pg_diy.jsp?BV_SessionID=@@@@0692653072.1144097342@@@@&BV_EngineIDcladdhhdikiekcgelceffdfgidgml.0&CNTTYPE=PROD_META&CNTKEY=misc/searchResults.jsp&MID76&N)84+3966&pos=n24

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