I always do finish sanding afrer assembly. My only method is to use a
1/2 sheet - sometimes - 1/4 sheet depending upon area - which gets joints
nice and even. I don't use my ROS for two reasons...1. I don't like them
and, 2. the 1/2 sheet does a better job IME.
In the case of your "ladders". I might well have cut a "small V" quirk; it
could save a lot of work and could look good.
Most definitely. You would notice it, because the normally tame sander
turns into a grinding disk instead of a ROS.
There is a ball bearing that can tie up due to the fine dust, but a high
quality sander has a good enough seal that it is unlikely to seize. That
being said, I have seen it happen.
Belt sand any really bad high spots with 120, go to 120 with ROS and sand
over the whole thing, joints and all, then 150 if painted, and 220 if
stained. I threw away my finish sanders. It always seemed I got a piece of
sandpaper that had some larger rocks in them, then it mad swirls all in my
piece. Not a problem with the ROS. Also, speed is key. If you have a
single speed, go down and get a ceiling fan motor speed controller, and put
it in a box with a male and female plug to run the sander. Not ideal, but it
That is what I do, anyway. YMMV.
How do you sand inside corners with a round disk?
It always seemed I got a
This can easily happen with any sander if you are not using a vac to
capture dust and or do not wipe down the surface between grits. OR if
you are using marginal quality sand paper.
Not a problem with the ROS. Also, speed is
You are making a bigger deal out of this than it is. Just sand the damn
While I do try to direct sanding to the high edge, if the sander slops
over a bit onto the lower, just move it away a little. If you are
skeptical, just make a throwaway joint and sand it to prove to yourself
that all will be fine.
Regardless of how carefully you sand, there is going to be an area that is
not in the same plane as the rest; however, it is minute and not
noticeable. The only way to avoid it is to take down the WHOLE assembly
until the joints are flush and then finish sand. That is one of the handy
features of a drum sander. Of course, when you do that, the whole
assembly is a skosh thinner than you planned. No big deal, it doesn't
matter...in my life, at least, a face frame etc. that winds up 47/64
hick - or even less - rather than 3/4 is perfectly fine.
Well, I certainly don't tout the Bosch for stock removal :-). I use it
as a finish sander. It is less aggressive and is variable speed, so
perhaps that accounts for the lack of scratches I see.
All sanders leave scratches, but by the time I get to 220 I can't see
them. And I usually finish with clear shellac (SealCoat). I do work
through all the grits - it seems to be faster than skipping grits.
P.S. I hand sand the shellac - a power sander melts it :-).
Absolutely, when I feel I will get better results, mainly due to the
wood and grain, by doing so.
On face frames, door and drawer frames, and other butt joins, I will
often start with a low angle block plane to get close enough to not
affect the adjoining piece, and maybe a card scraper, then follow up
with the appropriate sanding to get it to the final finished state.
It's never all brute sanding.
Inside corners, are inside. Don't need sanded, do they? <g>
Really, I guess I did not get rid of everything that is not a ROS. I still
have a couple triangle shaped detail sanders for inside corners and such.
It still seems to save a lot of time using the ROS for all that I am able to
Dust? That's what I like about my ROS. It makes lots of it. Tons. I got
a motor off of a 5 HP air compressor and converted it into a ROS. It is
heavy, but it will sand like a Manchurian Devil digging in the desert.
Using a 220 3 phase drop cord is cumbersome, but you get used to it, in the
search for the ultimate sanding job. I use 5/4" rough sawn lumber for face
frames and sand it all down to 3/4". I start out with # 2 grit sandpaper,
moving 1/2 grit closer to 1000 grit on every pass. Yep, that's right.
Almost 2,000 different grits before I use any finish.
Nothing is more satisfying than coming out of the woodshop, and shaking like
a dog, and seeing the whole neighborhood disappear under a fine coating of
dust. Honey bees flee in confusion, as they can't tell what is pollen and
what is dust. I also try to remember to blow my nose every time I stop
sanding. You have instant wood putty for cracks and nail holes that match
the wood you are working on sanding, and because it is water based, it takes
stain perfectly once it gets dry. Then I immediately start up the stairs
and track footprints through the house on the way to the den and my beloved
LazyBoy to take a break. When I get up, I beat on the chair with a broom to
get all of the dust back up into the air. After all, the multiple HEPA air
filters I have are expensive and should have to do some heavy lifting in
order to be justified in running 24/7. I had to upgrade to a 400 Amp
service to keep from blowing the main breaker with all of these magnificent
machines running all day and night.
To get the dust off of the frames, and out of the shop, I usually get the
water hose out, and spray down the entire shop. I can then tell which
machines are low on wax, when they immediately start to rust. Part of my
preventative maintenance program. The water goes on the wood I had been
sanding, of course, and raises all of the grain, which is why I sand it all
to 1000 grit to start with. After the grain raises, it looks like everyone
else's sanding jobs, less all of the swirls and marks that you get from all
of the finish sanders and such most people use.
So there, the real secret is out. How to sand stuff before you put smooth
stuff over it. <g>
Gosh sakes, people. Experiment a little. Each wood, each sander, each
project is different. Sand it until it looks good, then put some shiny stuff
I hope my guide has been useful, or at least entertaining.
PS. Not too many forests were harmed in the making of these cabinets. Just
2 or 3. The particulates that went into the air are my way of combating
global warming, which makes up for it.
LOL ... reminds of the time I was required to remove, as the contractor,
a tree that we supposedly murdered as a result of new residential
construction a few months before ... bogus, but you can't fight city
hall and expect to get permits approved in a timely manner ... and yes,
they actually do hold what is in effect a "tree murder" court.
A 30" in diameter pecan tree, and when the removal crew felled it, it
was basically a thin shell, from roots to top branches, full of dust
from years of an insect infestation, and the cloud of dust that ensued
in cutting it up in pieces small enough to haul off blanketed the
neighborhood for blocks.
Saw the cloud of dust as I was driving to the site, knew instinctively
what had happened, and without stopping, went straight to the local car
wash and purchased $200 worth of gift cards to present to the adjacent
neighbors on two streets to get their vehicles washed ... turned out to
have been a prudent, cost of doing business, move. ;)
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