Kindest orbital sander?

Hi, Anyone know of an orbital sander that is particularly kind to wrist and finger joints? Mine are getting a wee bit knackered. Good dust extraction would be helpful too.
I want to sand a couple of small T&G floors The boards are unworn. I did consider getting a belt sander but it seemed that if I did, I would need to get an orbital as well. So I thought I'd settle for a good quality orbital.
On ebay I see that quality belt sanders re-sell for a good price. Not so with orbitals. maybe it's because belt sanders are closer to being the ultimate big boy's sanding toy? -- Regards, Mike Halmarack
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Forget Orbital - you want Random Orbital if you're going down that route. They're hell of a lot more efficient sanding machines and don't leave nearly as bad scratch patterns on the finished article (these have a habit of being invisible until you lovingly apply your first coat of finish...).
What's the material of the floor - ordinary softwood? If it's oak or anything like that then I'd strongly recommend hiring a meaty belt sander for a day or so, unless the floors are really small. It took me about half a day to sand my office floor, which was a newly laid and pretty even american utility oak strip t&g of about 2m by 3m. You've *got* to go through the grades when sanding otherwise you'll either be there forever, or end up with pronounced sanding marks on the floor.
As for vibration, well mine's OK - it's a pretty solid Metabo 450SXE Duo sander (the duo bit means you can select the eccentricity of 3mm or 6mm depending upon whether you want fine finishing or rapid stock removal), but it still causes quite severe hand tingling and numbness after prolonged use. Couple of pairs of thick gloves helps reduce this - a lot. At about 150 it's certainly not cheap, I don't know whether the cheaper ones are noticably worse for vibration. Not many have selectable eccentricity though.
Any decent ROS shoudl be able to be hooked up to a dust extractor - I use a slightly heath robinson affair to hook it up to a Henry with the microtex filter & a bag. It's a lot more efficient sanding when it's used with dust extraction too - the vacuum helps keep it sucked flat against the workpiece.
--
Richard Sampson

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wrote:

Thanks for the advice. It's very thorough and convincing and I do appreciate it but I can feel it bringing on one of me funny turns.
The random orbitals seem to be roundish and I live in a very square world ( though I continue to plan my escape). So, that'll be a belt sander, a ROS and a Detail Sander to get into the corners. I'm wobbling!
I just went into B&Q to scan the range and get some expert advice. I was told it's velcro backed special paper and disposable cartridges for the dust filtration now. I also noticed that the sander designs are being modeled along the same lines as fashion footware. I might eventually succumb to the pressure to buy a lawnmower shaped like a chunky trainer on a stick but due to my conditioning, woodworking tools are sacrosanct, even if purchased from B&Q.
So, sod it, I'm off down to the glaziers in town to get a bucket of broken glass,. I'll scrape the floor instead. It's a lot less dusty and noisy. It also makes the old fingers ache in a completely different way.

Yes, I've just taken the fitted carpet up and I'm to stingy to buy a new one.

-- Regards, Mike Halmarack
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nearly
being
half
or
but
use.
a
dust
workpiece.
Bosch Random Orbital sander, the more powerful of the two they make. About 50 or less, it comes with a dust filter. You will need a detail sander for the corners. It will not resurface a floor in the same way an industrial flooring belt sander would, but it will take off the discolouration of the surface. I think leaving the dings in your floorboards is actually better than taking them right back to pristine wood anyway, it leaves them with a bit of character. If you're determined to get as much of the surface off as possible, start with 40 grade, otherwise 60 grade will clean the boards reasonably well. They do tend to go through the sanding sheets quite fast I found.
Andy.
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On Wed, 25 May 2005 19:22:56 +0100, "andrewpreece"

Thanks for that. I think this is how I would do it using a sander, if less dusty and noisy methods fail.
-- Regards, Mike Halmarack
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On Wed, 25 May 2005 09:02:38 +0100, Mike Halmarack

I have just finished sanding a softwood floor using a hired floor sander(UKP 21+vat /day) for as much as possible and my bosch 40 random orbital for the edges. The Bosch used a lot of sanding pads and I'm still not happy with the dirtier look compared to the rest of the floor. The lowest grit I could find was 40 compared to 24 for the floor sander. It took me 2 days to do the main floor sander work I imagine it would have taken weeks with a random orbital hand sander. Weeks on your knees, with a face mask on, the noise and vibration, filling the house and your eyes with dust, endlessly swaping sanding pads and then having a patchy dirty finish you'd always be able to see through your expensive varnish.
It depends on how much you think your times worth and how clean you want your floor, but A random orbital sander is not suitable for floor sanding IMHO.
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wrote:

I had thought that buying some bottles of red wine instead of a sander was too self indulgent but now you've convinced me that it's the most sensible solution.:)

From the "supply and demand" POV, priceless.

It's almost spotlessly clean already, through absolutely no fault of my own.

Very good point. What's that famous painting called? It's of some french craftsmen resting part way through scraping a large wooden floor.
-- Regards, Mike Halmarack
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wrote:

I've never heard of scraping a wooden floor clean before! I've used scrapers on metal of course, I suppose it's just the same thing.
I would largely agree with the previous posters' comment that a random orbital sander is not suitable for floor sanding, but with the caveat that that applies if you have cupped and/or poor condition boards that you want to get dead flat and looking like they just came out of a planer. I achieved that kind of a finish using an industrial belt sander on one room, but was annoyed that people who see the floor usually ask where I got the laminate! It is too perfect. Hence my use of a random orbital to do my hallway floorboards this time around. The Random Orbital cleans the muck off what are otherwise boards in good nick, but leaves that slightly distressed look that people pay for nowadays ( achieved in furniture making , I'm told, by beating furniture with chains, charring areas, and then drilling imitation woodworm holes in various places ).
Andy
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On Fri, 27 May 2005 01:01:27 +0100, "andrewpreece"

The painting showing this activity, which I mentioned earlier is by Gustave Caillebotte. It's called "The Floorscrapers" Here's a link: http://www.texaschapbookpress.com/floorscrapers.htm
They're not resting from the task as I mis-remembered but are actually busy doing it. There's 3 of them and they have a long way to go. I think this method works better on hardwood than on the very soft wood that my floors are made from.
I decided to give my floor a quick once over with my old Bosch orbital sander, the one without the dust extraction. I did it in 20 minutes leaving lots of marks and blemishes. Then this morning I gave the floor its first coat of varnish. The marks and blemishes look even better varnished. :)

-- Regards, Mike Halmarack
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Mike Halmarack wrote:

Worked for me, too - the cement stains where muck had dropped on the floor from rendering joined the crowd of features to make it look really nice!
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