I rely on my random orbital sander to fix many of the sins of my
somtimes sloppy wood butchering. I've been using my electric Makita
for years and other then the dust collection (useless) it seems to work
pretty well. But I was wondering if there is any benefit to getting an
air sander to run with my compressor. I can't see how it will work any
better then an electric sander. Am I missing anything here?
Not really unless you use one a tremendous amount, much more than most
hobbyist/home-shop folks do. They have an advantage in professional,
high volume shops w/ being cooler running and typically have piped air
so eliminate the power cords. Unless you have a large compressor,
however, you may discover you don't have sufficient air, anyway. Many
take as much as 7-9 cfm @ 90 psi and most home-shop compressors don't
even come close.
Especially the cheap ones. I went from a cheap air sander to a "pro" one
and found it used about a third of the air.
Great for fibreglass, never found much use for it on wood though. Maybe
if you're doing a lot of curved work?
I have one. It's good for fast stock removal. Not as fast as a belt
sander, but faster than
your standard electric one. Although maybe the high end electric ones
are just as aggressive. In summary, it sands more agressively, gets the
job done faster.
They are air hogs though. I will use mine for about 15-20 minutes and
then let the compressor rest (do other stuff). If you don't have a
professional compressor, the compressed air will get quite hot if you
use it too long. LOL. I bought mine because a friend gave it high
recommendations. If I had to do it over, I probably wouldn't buy it
Don't know if they are all this way but the air-powered one I have has
a very shrill whine to it that would drive me crazy after using it for
a while the same with the air drill I have. They haven't been out of
the drawer in years.
I do turning and flat work, and to sand my bowls I use the Sioux angle
drills. I will get about 6 months out of them before the bearings and
brushes need to be replaced. I got a pneumatic Sioux angle drill, and
am trying to torture it to death. At 4 plus months, it shows no sighs
of slowing down. There is some water spray, which could be mostly
removed if I set my lines up properly. The sound doesn't bother me, but
I don't run it at 3000 rpm (mostly 500 or so). It does keep my
compressor running constantly (60 gal.?6 hp Cambel Hausfeld). It does
end up using more electricity than the electric ones, and the
compresser does heat up the shop more than I would like in the summer,
but should be just dandy for the winter.
This is an aside on the dust collection. I have a deWalt on which the dust
collection even hooked up to a shop vac was pretty poor. Got a new 6.5
"effective" HP Craftsman and it's like night and day with the dust
collection--I don't even _see_ dust anymore from the sander and a tack rag
gets hardly anything off the board afterwards. Smoothed a dozen 8 foot
2x6s and there was _no_ dust on the bench under them. Also runs _much_
Don't know if you'd get the same results with your Makita but thought it
Is your compressor big enough? Main advantage would be that it doesn't
recirculate air from the area being sanded through the motor. If you're
working with highly abrasive materials it should last much longer and if
you're working with electrically conductive materials, well, you can guess
how _that_ would turn out with an electric sander. For wood there's not
much benefit. One downside on mose air tools is that they do need a little
bit of lubrication in the air, either in the form of an oil-mist lubricator
or an occasional drop of oil down the air inlet--either way that oil comes
out and can contaminate the work.
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