Use for a finish sander?

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The last couple of weekends have been busy and thus unproductive woodworking-wise. I'm trying to come up with an efficient regime to sand the lots and lots of repetitive parts that make up the two shelf units I'm building.
I made myself a little "corral" just big enough to immobilize four 9" x 1.5" pieces at a time (four 1/2" ply "fences" in a rectangle) for sanding. I will probably do something similar for the other size parts. Per advice here (distilled from several posters) I'm going to use (at least) 120 and 150 grit. The project is made of standard Lowe's-issue S4S red oak.
I have a random orbit sander and an old (1960's vintage, chrome) third-sheet finish sander. I'm wondering if I could possibly streamline the process by using both. I know it's easy enough to slap on another hook and loop disk, but I'll be doing that every minute or two, or alternatively setting up each batch of parts twice (or 3 times).
If I can get good results using the finish sander for the finer grit, or possibly even for only the 180 if I decide that's necessary, it could save me from having to repeat one little irritating step over and over.
I can imagine several possible flaws in this plan, but I really don't have enough experience to know how much of a problem any of them would be. Until recently, finish sanders were all I had. Of course, my previous projects were composed mostly of plywood.
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On 6/22/2014 8:44 AM, Greg Guarino wrote:

Much, much more efficient and time saving:
http://www.rockler.com/non-slip-router-mat?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=&utm_content=pla&utm_campaign=PL&sid=V9146&gclid=CjkKEQjw_ZmdBRD1qNKXhomX_sEBEiQAc9XNULIspd_HTDYnPyI711_hjM2F_6UN9CcdVkDR-w4J_bTw_wcB

Absolutely use both. IME, even those old "finish" sanders that don't orbit should do nicely for your final grit as long as you sand with the grain. Especially important to either dust or blow off each piece after each grit.
Factors are any milling/sanding marks, and also the color of the stain. IME, and in most common woods, darker colored stains often highlight milling/sanding marks less than lighter colors.

Can see no reason not. Be doing a lot of sanding this past week in preparation for staining a much larger project and used three sanders, with 100, 120, 150g respectively.
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On 6/22/2014 10:09 AM, Swingman wrote:

That looks exactly like something I've seen in my house somewhere; some kind of non-skid stuff my wife bought in a housewares store. I'll bet it's the same material. I'll have to ask her where it is.
But does that work decently for very small pieces?
https://www.flickr.com/photos/gdguarino/14211762232/
I've got a lot of them.

This one (an old Rockwell) orbits.

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Sure. One grit on one, the other grit on the other.
Keep in mind that the finer grit is just to remove scratch marks made by the coarser; that means that the coarser grit sanding should be thorough to remove any mill marks, etc. IME, the proper sanding time is about twice as long as what I think it should be :)
You might want to invest in a 1/4 sheet orbital sander; they are inexpensive and I still prefer then to the ROS. And if you ever come across a now defunct Porter-Cable 505 half sheet sander I would strongly suggest that you buy it. They aren't much good on small things but on larger ones they are the best finishing sanders I have ever used due, primarily, to the weight and the thick felt pad.
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On 6/22/2014 11:53 AM, dadiOH wrote:

That's exactly what I like about the old Rockwell I appropriated from my Dad's garage.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/gdguarino/6410114261/in/set-72157627751790027
https://www.flickr.com/photos/gdguarino/10168131233/in/set-72157628183501013
That's not "chrome-ized" plastic; it's all metal. And the pad is dense felt. Prior to digging out that sander I had a quarter-sheet Craftsman. The vibration used to make my hand go numb after a while. Not so with the Rockwell. Maybe it's just the weight, but the vibration transmitted to my hand is greatly less.
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On Sun, 22 Jun 2014 12:18:20 -0400, Greg Guarino wrote:

Make sure the "orbit" is random. I seem to remember the orbits were not random. If you use one of those you'll get cross-grain scratches.
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On 6/22/2014 12:47 PM, Larry Blanchard wrote:

action by over a decade. As far as I know, most "rectangular" sanders are still not "random-orbit". Which is why I asked my original question.
Was everything that was machine-sanded before 1982 (and considerably after, as ROS sanders didn't replace everything else all at once) covered in nasty cross grain scratches?
The crux of my question was "can I profitably use orbital (not random) sanders for finer grits?" My purpose is to avoid changing grits on my (one) ROS repeatedly (or setting up each set of parts repeatedly) as I sand the 56 (mostly very small) pieces that make up the frames of my current project.
A couple of people have said yes, which makes sense to me as I never had a ROS before recently and I don't remember poor results with the Orbitals I used before. Of course, most of that work was with fine grits on ply and some S4S trim. Or maybe I never looked closely enough?
I'm inclined to set up the three sanders I have with 120, 150 and (perhaps) 180 for all of the Red Oak I need to sand. I'd use the ROS for the coarsest grit, mostly to remove the planer marks from the store-bought S4S lumber.
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On 6/26/2014 1:26 PM, Greg Guarino wrote:

OK, some of the OLD orbital disk sanders were essentially a disk spinning on the end of a drill, like a grinder. You do not want that.
For the most part finish sanders are typically only orbital, not random orbit, however their pattern is so small it does not matter. ROS's sanders are a nice alternative to using a belt sander when you want something that can be more aggressive than a finish sander but still almost have the same finesse as a finish sander.

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There have been so many tool company buyouts/mergers that it is hard to know who made what but yours looks basically the same as the one I mentioned. If it works well, treat it well, it is a definite keeper.
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On 6/22/2014 4:59 PM, dadiOH wrote:> "Greg Guarino"
>> On 6/22/2014 11:53 AM, dadiOH wrote: >> >>> They aren't much good on small things but on larger ones they are >>> the best finishing sanders I have ever used due, primarily, to the >>> weight and the thick felt pad. >> >> That's exactly what I like about the old Rockwell I appropriated from my >> Dad's garage. >> >> https://www.flickr.com/photos/gdguarino/6410114261/in/set-72157627751790027 >> >> https://www.flickr.com/photos/gdguarino/10168131233/in/set-72157628183501013 >> >> That's not "chrome-ized" plastic; it's all metal. And the pad is dense >> felt. Prior to digging out that sander I had a quarter-sheet Craftsman. >> The vibration used to make my hand go numb after a while. Not so with >> the Rockwell. Maybe it's just the weight, but the vibration transmitted >> to my hand is greatly less. > > There have been so many tool company buyouts/mergers that it is hard to know > who made what but yours looks basically the same as the one I mentioned. If > it works well, treat it well, it is a definite keeper. > > > There's one on Ebay for $40, but it's not as shiny. :)
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Porter-Cable-Rockwell-Model-106B-1-3-Sheet-Sander-CLEAN-WORKING-/121350318232?pt=Sanders_Sandblasters&hash=item1c410ae898
I visit my parents most evenings these days. I had another browse in the garage this evening. I found another sander, a Black and Decker 7320 1/3 sheet. It's probably of a similar vintage, all metal, chrome finish. No corrosion at all. I suppose the sealed ammo box it's been in for the past several decades might have helped.
I turned it on briefly and tried sanding a piece of scrap. It doesn't feel quite as solid and smooth as the Rockwell, but it wasn't too bad. Noisier too. It could still be of some use. The pad is some sort of foam rubber rather than felt and is a little beaten around the edges. Still seems flat over the active area though.
Interestingly, there is a lever that selects between "orbital" and "straight-line" action. The manual (which can be found here:
http://servicenet.blackanddecker.com/Products/Detail/7420#
... in all it's typewritten glory)
recommends orbital for faster material removal and straight-line for a fine finish.
I couldn't move the lever at first (it's almost inaccessible between the plate and the main housing), but knowing that my Dad wouldn't have thrown out any accessories, I had a look in the ammo box. Lo and behold; a little plastic "handle" that slips over the lever.
I tried both settings. There is definitely a difference; the "orbital" setting is significantly more "orbital" than the straight-line setting. But judging by eye, there seems to still be a minor amount of "orbit" in the straight-line setting as well. I'll give it a more thorough test at some point.
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On 6/22/2014 8:44 AM, Greg Guarino wrote:

Sand the pieces in larger sections "before" you cut them apart. Sand a 9" x 7" piece first then rip them apart. Now you only have a half the edges to sand.
Stack several pieces together on a flat surface. On both sides of the stack lay a longer piece of wood, thinner than the stack. Use a bar clamp on both ends of the boards to squeeze every thing together.
Or lay them all down on double stick tape
Or http://www.jettools.com/us/en/p/10-20-plus-benchtop-sander/628900
Definitely use all of your sanders with different grits attached.

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On 6/22/2014 7:55 PM, Leon wrote:> On 6/22/2014 8:44 AM, Greg Guarino wrote: >> The last couple of weekends have been busy and thus unproductive >> woodworking-wise. I'm trying to come up with an efficient regime to sand >> the lots and lots of repetitive parts that make up the two shelf units >> I'm building. >> >> I made myself a little "corral" just big enough to immobilize four 9" x >> 1.5" pieces at a time (four 1/2" ply "fences" in a rectangle) for >> sanding. I will probably do something similar for the other size parts. >> Per advice here (distilled from several posters) I'm going to use (at >> least) 120 and 150 grit. The project is made of standard Lowe's-issue >> S4S red oak. > > Sand the pieces in larger sections "before" you cut them apart. Sand a > 9" x 7" piece first then rip them apart. Now you only have a half the > edges to sand.
I thought of that, *after* I cut up all of the pieces, naturally . I'm afraid that ripping small pieces like that is difficult with my tool (and personal) limitations; I started with stock of the proper finished cross-section (1x3 and 1x2). Still, I think I could have sanded the uncut stock.
> Stack several pieces together on a flat surface. On both sides of the > stack lay a longer piece of wood, thinner than the stack. Use a bar > clamp on both ends of the boards to squeeze every thing together.
I set up something similar without clamps, a four-sided "corral" made of thinner stock (1/2" ply) screwed into the work surface. The pieces fit in it snugly. It may work out. > > Or lay them all down on double stick tape > > Or http://www.jettools.com/us/en/p/10-20-plus-benchtop-sander/628900
Extravagant for a guy who doesn't even have a table saw. :) > > Definitely use all of your sanders with different grits attached.
I just unearthed a third sander. I may indeed use three sanders and avoid changing paper entirely, but we'll see how well the "new" (circa 1970 I'm guessing) one works.
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On 6/22/14 5:55 PM, Leon wrote:

Amen to this! I do this often for end grain on shelves and such. It also has the benefit of avoiding rounding over the edges.
-BR

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I have one of those too, circa 1965-70. Mine is Craftsman but may well be a branded B&D. Works OK but I rarely use it, not nearly as good as the Porter Cable 1/2 sheet sander. I also have a Hitachi 1/2 sheet, rarely use it either for the same reason; also, not as heavy, hard rubber platen...works best if stuff is already dead flat.
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On Sunday, June 22, 2014 6:44:23 AM UTC-7, Greg Guarino wrote:

Wll, around my shop you will find those hard rubber sanding blocks with lab els painted on them of 100, 150, 220. I have at least two complete sets. Ke eping fresh paper on these you can sand just as fast, stay with the grain s wap grits in a second by dropping one block and grabbing the next.
For all projects, I power sand all the lumber to 150 after thicknessing is done and before cutting parts. I do the same for ply. I always start with 1 00.
Then once the pats are just ready for assembly, I do a light 100, then a go od full pass with 150, using a light hand and then an even lighter hand wit h 220.
After assembly, it is a once over with worn 220 free hand before finishing.
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And regardless, very light pressure downwards, letting the paper cut by itself.
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On Thu, 26 Jun 2014 14:26:12 -0400, Greg Guarino wrote:

IIRC, the one I had (from Sears) did have the nasties. I used the orbital mode for the coarsest grits and the straight line (with the grain) for the finer ones.
I was amazed at how easy face frames became when my first ROS sanded right across the corners with no scratches :-)
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On 6/26/2014 7:36 PM, Larry Blanchard wrote:

So, is this the consensus? I can sand over the joints in a face frame with a random-orbit sander without cross-grain scratches? Is this only for finer grits?
I can see that the random-orbit action does not obviously favor any particular direction, so I guess that answers the question. But being a novice, I have to ask.
While we're at it: what about easing the edges on a face frame? Do you ease all the edges, thus making a visible line at each joint? Or do you assemble the face frame and then ease the exposed edges only; leaving the joint lines flush? (this question has nothing to do with a random-orbit sander, by the way)
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On 7/21/2014 8:49 AM, Greg Guarino wrote:

Actually the direction that you move the sander, ROS or finish sander, is more important. The scratches from both sanders are difficult to see unless you work the sanders across the grain. I use a ROS on joints and for my first 120 or 150 grit pass. Once every thing is smooth I move to the next grit and typically to my finish sander and only moving the sander in the direction of the grain.

See above.

Ease any edges that might become vulnerable to hits thus causing the edge to break off. Also ease all edges that your body parts might come in contact with. Ease only edges that are on the outside after assembly. Don't ease the edge that will be a part of the joint surface. Some styles of furniture have chamfered edges on all edges, meaning all edges are given that profile before assembly. Don't do this when simply easing the edges.

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On 7/21/2014 10:05 AM, Leon wrote:

And right at the tee-joint line ... what? Do you try to just barely touch the edge? I'm trying to get an idea of how big an issue this is.
I'm thinking I could machine sand as carefully as possible up to the line on the "bottom" piece of the "T", inevitably going over a little. But on the "top" piece, I could hand-sand without going over the edge at all for the last grit, especially if I were to make a custom sanding block with a "stop".
Like this:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/gdguarino/14529789927/
But I have a feeling you guys don't do anything like that.
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