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Be the first to know about This Old House contests, sweepstakes, and events and receive special offers and promotions from your favorite home improvement brands. A random-orbit sander's jitterbug motion eliminates the swirls and curlicues that disk and orbital pad sanders leave behind. At left, clean wood emerges from beneath multiple layers of paint after just a few minutes of attention from a Fein 6-inch model.
Please Select Username to appear on public areas of the site like community and recipe comments. The random orbital sander (left) works fast and can smooth joints like the one on this cabinet door without leaving cross-grain scratches.
Many woodworkers find they only need to go down to 100- to 120-grit paper with their random orbital sander for surfaces that will be painted or receive a clear finish.
Rockwell RK4246KRockwell RK4246KWhen we set out to test random-orbit sanders, we were concerned there wouldn't be enough to say. Know Your Power Sanders, And How to Use ThemA tedious chore can be done well, and quickly, with the right tools and the right sandpaper.
Ask the average homeowner what their favorite DIY activity is, and chances are slim they will mention sanding wood. Popular MechanicsBelt SanderWhen smoothing large, flat surfaces, especially really rough ones, nothing beats the high speed and brute strength of a belt sander.

An orbital finishing sander is lightweight, easy to control with one hand, and relatively quiet. Falling somewhere in between a belt sander and orbital finishing sander is the random-orbit sander. The finishing sander (right) is easier to control but not as effective at smoothing joints.
After all, sanders are pretty simple, and toolmakers have come a long way since the days when sanders tended to gouge circles whenever they touched a piece of wood.
We'll help you decide whether you need a belt sander, orbital sander, or random-orbit sander. This heavy tool accepts sanding belts, which are continuous loops of reinforced abrasive cloth that fit over two cylindrical drums. It's easy to confuse a random-orbit sander with an orbital sander: The two names sound alike, and the tools share a common design, compact housings with rounded palm-grip tops.
On the other hand, because it's relatively docile, an orbital sander isn't particularly useful for heavy stock removal. This creates a truly random sanding pattern, which removes wood quickly and minimizes swirl marks. While all nine sanders in the test produced an acceptable surface finish, some operated far more smoothly than others. But if you're an active do-it-yourselfer, sanding wood is unavoidable.Electric power sanders are the best, quickest, and easiest way to sand wood smooth. It's intended for ultra-smooth wood sanding, rounding over sharp edges, sanding off hardened wood putty, and knocking down dried coats of paint or varnish.Orbital sanders are often called quarter-sheet sanders because they accept one-quarter of a sheet of standard 9x11-inch sandpaper. The round pad on a random-orbit sander moves in "random orbits," meaning it vibrates in tiny circles, like an orbital finishing sander, but it also spins in circles. This speedy randomness also allows you to smooth joints where the rails and stiles of your cabinets meet at right angles. And there were other differences as well: Certain models were particularly adept at collecting the sawdust they produced, while others had better ergonomics than their peers.

To keep the belt running true, most sanders have a tracking adjustment knob that you can turn to center the belt.
As a result, this single compact tool can be used for both stock removal and ultra-smooth sanding. There are several different sizes and types of sanders available, but below are detailed descriptions of the three most versatile types: belt sanders, orbital finishing sanders, and random-orbit sanders. And because the pad vibrates and spins simultaneously, it all but eliminates swirl that ordinary orbital sanders sometimes leave behind.A random-orbit sander won't remove wood as quickly as a belt sander, and it's slightly more difficult to control than an orbital finishing sander, but the random-orbit sander is arguably the most versatile portable electric sander you can own. If you were interested in buying only one sander, I'd recommend this one.Most random-orbit sanders have a one-handed, palm-grip shape, which most DIYers prefer, butD-handle and barrel-grip (similar to a right-angle grinder) models are also available. However, it's best to clamp several boards together and sand all the edges at the same time.
This technique, known as gang sanding, not only saves time but also produces better results because you're not trying to balance the wide sanding belt on the narrow edge of a single board.A belt sander is also great for removing an old finish, such as paint, varnish, or stain. Always start with a coarse 60-grit belt and work your way progressively through finer and finer grits until you reach the desired level of smoothness. So use progressively higher numbers.) Again, sand parallel with the wood grain and don't press down too hard or you'll clog up the abrasive belt. The 3x21-inch model is the most popular size; it provides the best combination of speed, power, and balance. The 3x18-inch size is compact and easier to control, so it might be better for novices and users with smaller hands.A 3x24-inch model provides a bit more sanding surface than a 3x21-inch sander, but it's also less stable and a bit harder to control.

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12.07.2013 | Author: admin

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