Narrowing down sanding-kit choices

Discussion in 'Newbie' started by Jamie Straw, Sep 12, 2015.

  1. Jamie Straw

    Jamie Straw

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    Choosing power-sanding accessories for bowls, and see that there are soft, medium and firm disc holders. Most of my bowls, especially now, will be big leaf maple, cherry and alder. Later, some madrone. Which would you recommend for these woods? I know some of you use your hands instead of the power sanding, but I think the wear and tear on my hands would be less with the power approach. The opposable-thumb part of biomechanics has little endurance these days.:p
     
  2. odie

    odie

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    Jamie.....You probably will be able to use most of the commonly used power sanding disc methods, with time and getting used to what you have. I started with the merit power lock system back in the 80's, and then went through a period where I tried some of the other variants. I went back to the power lock method and have stayed with it since. No matter what you use, you're going to go through the same progression through the grits, and the method of attachment is the practical variable. The power lock was originally developed for welders who need to smooth up/clean up their welds. I've found this system to be the most durable, or long lasting. Other methods, such as peel and stick, or Velcro attachments wear out much quicker......not the abrasive, but the method of attachment isn't as durable. I've found that the power lock can be attached and unattached repeatedly and the abrasive wearing out is the only thing that will cause you to toss it.

    By running a spinning rubber backer up against a larger fixed sanding disc, you can change the diameter of the backers. This is very helpful to negotiate gradual and progressively tighter curve of your bowl. The tighter the curve, the more useful the flex edge discs are. The standard discs are better suited to less critical curves.......I use both. I also use a variety of pre-shaped backers. If you decide to try the power lock method, you'll find there is a lot of flexibility in what you can do with them, given the backers can be cut down in diameter, and the versatility of both the standard and flex edge discs.

    I normally don't use power sanding above 180 grit, and hand sand to 600 grit from there. Occasionally I use the 220 grit, but seldom use any grits higher than that, although I have a few of the 320 on hand.

    ko
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2015
  3. john lucas

    john lucas

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    Jamie I'm a fan of his products especially the sandpaper but the discs are great also. Vince will be glad to steer you in the right direction. One of the best things I did was to buy a disc for each grit I use. It reduces the wear and tear on the Velcro tremendously. http://vinceswoodnwonders.com/
     
  4. Jamie Straw

    Jamie Straw

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    Thanks, John , your's is the second recommendation for Vince. Could you give me advice on the disc holders (soft, medium, firm)? Or does he sell only one type?
     
  5. Jamie Straw

    Jamie Straw

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    Thanks, Odie, I'll check that system out!
     
  6. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    Another vote for Vince. I have tried just about every thing out there, and from time to time Vince finds some thing different to try, but I keep coming back to his blue discs. They cut better and last longer than any others out there. From me, best deal for price and best quality. I prefer the 3 inch discs, which are actually 3 3/8 inch wide. A 3 inch disc has more than twice the surface area of a 2 inch disc. You buy at least one good mandrill, then a couple of interface pads to go on the mandrill. The interface pads, like the mandrill will wear out eventually, and are much cheaper to replace. My favorite for coarser grits, up to 180 or 220 is his radius edge firm pad. You want firm for leveling out any bumps and humps, and the firm pad will do this in less than half the time that a soft pad will. I use his orange medium discs for grits up to 400, and don't take my bowls beyond that. I don't like firm or soft pads that are the same diameter as the discs. Main reason is that the plastic hook part of the pad can leave 80 grit scratches in the wood. I took my medium orange pads and trimmed them down to 3 inch diameter. The really soft pads are for polishing grits, above 400.

    The slow speed angle drill is the preferred tool for bowl sanding. Vince does have one in his store. Some opt for the $30 one from Harbor Freight. I have the Milwaukee angle drills. The angle drill, compared to the 90 degree drill fits inside bowls easily. Some use the older pistol type drills which also work. The cordless drills are some times used but are pretty heavy. We use them as grinders, and they are drills, so the bearings wear out. I am trying to find some thing with more heavy duty bearings. The search goes on.... Use slower speeds, with the trigger pushed in maybe half way, and no more pressure than the weight of the drill. If you are sanding at high speed, the abrasives don't have a chance to dig in and really cut. This is why slower speeds cut better. Also, you don't generate as much heat.

    I have a sanding video clip up too, and a sanding hood that I made.

    Jamie, here is an off topic clip for you since you are a horse person...

    https://www.facebook.com/reed.gray.35/posts/10206504627407719?notif_t=like

    robo hippy
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2015
  7. Owen Lowe

    Owen Lowe

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    Me too - buy from Vince that is.

    I believe his website has instructions on the progression of hard to soft backing pads. (Vince is also a forum contributor, so he may join in on this.) In general, you start with the more firm pads with the coarser grits (up to 120/150?) to take out the tool marks, tear-out, shape refining, etc. The idea is that you want to even out the differences between the valleys and mountains — so you ride the mountians and not let the sandpaper dip into the valleys. Once the mountains and valleys are more plains-like you go to the medium pads for 180-220(?) and then the soft pads above that. The soft pads conform to the surface curves and are merely following the surface to remove sanding scratches.
     
  8. john lucas

    john lucas

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    I will be demoing at the Georgia Symposium next weekend and there is a good possibility I will see Vince. Don't know if he will be there or not as I haven't looked at the list of vendors but he makes a lot of the southern symposiums. I'll check out what he has. I bought my discs so long ago I don't remember what they are. They are pretty firm because I like to be able to sand up to the corners on beads and raised details in my bowls and I can do that with those discs. Also with firm discs if you have a light touch you don't aggravate the lumps that come from summer, winter wood variances in hardness that easily happen with soft discs.
     
  9. Gerald Lawrence

    Gerald Lawrence

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  10. Dean Center

    Dean Center

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    Agree that Vince is a good resource, but also consider forum contributor Steve Worchester whose web site is turningwood.com and who also offers knowledge, experience, good service and good products.
     
  11. Jamie Straw

    Jamie Straw

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    Abranet in rolls!

    Well, he got my attention right away -- discovered Abranet on rolls right there on the home page. Will check out the rest of his site too.:) I sanded my maple bowl tonight using cut-up Abranet discs, I just love the stuff. Cooler, just move it around on the fingers; if it gets a little clog, I hold it up to the dust hood and Poof! clog gone; lasts a long, long, long time!
     
  12. Jamie Straw

    Jamie Straw

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    Milwaukee angle drill

    Watched your sanding video, good stuff, love the hood. BTW, glad to see you're keeping the old Milwaukee drills going. I looked at them last night, and the new ones get raked over the coals by reviewers, some of whom loved the older ones, but hate the new one. 30% of the reviews were 1 or 2 stars due to bad trigger control and poor design. At $139, that is not a good thing. :( Leaves me wondering what the alternatives are in that price range. All the other drills in a search seem to be the cheapie Neiko or its clones.

    PS: I got a little seasick during the finishing part of that warped bowl.:p
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2015
  13. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    I have tried some of the abranet type abrasives. Interesting. Main thing I didn't like is that the coarse grits were very slow to cut. Once I got up into 220 and above it was pretty similar. I am thinking that it was mostly due to all the open area. There used to be an abrasive called Astra Dot or some thing like that. Dots of abrasive on a disc, rather than solid cover. Same thing. The idea was that it wouldn't clog up. Didn't cut nearly as fast as the full cover abrasives. I don't wet sand, so maybe it might make a difference with that.

    robo hippy
     
  14. Jamie Straw

    Jamie Straw

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    I had used Abranet exclusively on a random orbital sander, discovered it when making several cubbie/coat rack things out of poplar, then painted. Always started at 150 or 180 off the planer, it lasted 5x as long as the other decent brands of discs on a Dewalt ROS with vacuum attached. I have little experience with grits below 150.
     
  15. odie

    odie

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    You also might want to check on "the sanding glove".

    This outfit is where I get supplies for my Grex random orbital sander, but they specialize in abrasive products for the woodturner.

    http://thesandingglove.com/default.asp

    BTW: I get my power lock discs and accessories from CSUSA and Packard.

    ko
     
  16. Josh Stevens

    Josh Stevens

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    I'm not sure what they retail for over there but a lot of wood turners here use the Makita angle drill http://www.makitatools.com/en-us/Modules/Tools/ToolDetails.aspx?Name=DA3010F I have this model but with a keyless chuck (which is actually a pain)
    Ergonomically those Milwaukee ones look better (they never brought them to Australia though - at least not when I was buying)

    Josh
     
  17. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    We use a makita 3/8 90 degree drill variable speed.
    Really comfortable to hold and control has the large paddle switch on the handle.

    We mostly turn hollow forms and platters with the occasional bowl.
    The bowls are mostly hemispherical or more open so the 90 degree handle doesn't get in the way.

    Abranet is terrific for wet wood. Steve Worcester has it Velcro backed in long rolls.
    The Velcro backing make it comfortable to hold and you can cut pieces to go on a padded mandrel.

    Turning wood, Sanding glove, wooden wonders all deserve plug for their support of the AAW and regional symposiums.
    They are run by honest caring individuals.
    They only sell stuff that works.

    Sanding glove just visited out club a month ago.

    Al
     
  18. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Sanding Glove wasn't at SWAT this year. Somebody said that Bruce Hoover has been ill. Do you know how he is doing? I've been concerned.
     
  19. Jamie Straw

    Jamie Straw

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    Explain?.........

    Hmmmm, would you mind expounding? How does a "padded mandrel" work? Totally clueless about this.:eek:
     
  20. Jamie Straw

    Jamie Straw

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    They run around $200, kinda out of my current price range.:p I'm not sure a right-angle would work for me, as with smaller bowls it seems the handle would be more likely to hit the bowl rim than with a 55-degree sander. I just ordered the cheapie from Amazon. Will see how it goes! Thanks, Josh.
     

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