I've been using a cheap Ryobi ROS for about a year, and I'm noticing
that it tends to leave little swirlies on the work, which I have to
hand sand. My question is, are there sanders on the market that are
perhaps less agressive? Are sanders like everything else, where you
get what you pay for? Do some sanders use a finer, faster action,
which leaves a smoother surface for finishing? Is it my technique?
My next project is a butler's table, the top to which is a patchwork of
crossgrain. I won't be able to use a belt sander or even hand sand it,
so the ROS will probably be the best option. Any suggestions on this
would be appreciated.
dustyone (in firstname.lastname@example.org)
| I've been using a cheap Ryobi ROS for about a year, and I'm noticing
| that it tends to leave little swirlies on the work, which I have to
| hand sand. My question is, are there sanders on the market that are
| perhaps less agressive? Are sanders like everything else, where you
| get what you pay for? Do some sanders use a finer, faster action,
| which leaves a smoother surface for finishing? Is it my technique?
Have you considered finer grit, stearated sandpaper?
| My next project is a butler's table, the top to which is a
| patchwork of crossgrain. I won't be able to use a belt sander or
| even hand sand it, so the ROS will probably be the best option. Any
| suggestions on this would be appreciated.
Have you ever tried using a scraper? If not, it might be time to do
DeSoto, Iowa USA
You forgot a link to an edge preparation resource.
Nicely prepped scraper edge = JOY!
Bad scraper edge = _misery_
Scrapers also excel @ fixing finish mistakes, like runs.
I still sand, but scraping is a great skill to learn.
I have the Ryobi ROS too, and with fine grits (220 or so) of nice
sandpaper (Mirka gold from Amazon, for instance), I haven't had
problems with swirlies. In fact, I haven't had problems with swirlies
since junior high phys ed.
Seriously, finer sandpaper helps, and hooking up your sander to a shop
vac helps. Remember not to push down on the sander - let its weight do
the work for you.
The swirlies you see are probably more a function of how fine or coarse your
sandpaper is. Typical sequence would be to start @ 120, and progress through
the grits up to 220 or so. Make sure you brush away any stray grit in
between paper changes, or you can get a 120 grit swirlie when you're sanding
at 220 (DAMHIKT). Yes, you'll still have some swirlies after your finest
grit, but hand-sanding those away is usually just a few quick passes with
Funny, the instructions with mine (3283DVS?) say to start it on the
surface and leave it there till it stops. And I don't see any swirls
when I go through the grits to 220 or 240.
Perhaps the OP is pushing down too much instead of letting the sander do
the work? Perhaps he's running it at too low a speed? Or maybe his ROS
is really a POS :-).
Some manufactures recommend starting the sander with the machine flat on
the stock to prevent gouging but as far as I know they all recommend
removing the machine before shutting it off. Swirls are minimized by
the random orbital action of the sander. As the sander stops so does
the random orbit.
Well, thank you all for you input. I'll check the instructions to see
which is correct. I've been turning the machine on, then placing it on
the work. It usually skips around a bit, sometimes quite a bit. I may
be exerting too much force on the work as well. I'm using Norton
sandpaper in 150, 220, and 320. Is this good enough, or are there
better? Thanks again.
I'd use 180 between the 150 and 220, and replace the 320 with a light
hand sanding with the grain using 240. Others may have different opinions.
And unless your wood is a lot smoother than I think it is I'd start with
120 or even 100.
Most of the time my sequence is 100, 120, 150, 180, 220 and then the 240
by hand. After the 100, it only takes a few passes with each of the
As a fella, whose bulk of his retirement (laughs) income comes from
sanding big slabs of solid surface...(black, dark brown, islands in
front of sun-lit windows..IOW...sanding nightmares).. I would agree with
a lot of the other replies. Too much pressure, too slow speed, etc.
My hunch is improper cleaning between grits, inadequate vacuum for dust
collection and/or low-grade (cheap) sandpaper.
The high-end sanders like the Rotex 150 Festool and Fein are not that
different than the lower cost ROS's other than their longevity and, most
importantly, their ability to remove the waste whilst in operation.
Keeping the job clean during sanding is what makes the big difference,
the other benefits, like balance, low vibration all add to the
All you need, is for a dozen pieces of sanding grit from the previous
size to be skidding around under the finer paper and you WILL get
I don't know how many times I have to say this, but CLEAN between
I once used a Ryobi with 100grit, followed by a PC with 150grit. The PC
actually cut faster than the Ryobi; probably because most of the Ryobi's
energy was going into shaking my hand apart, while the PC's was going into
You won't get more than you pay for.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.