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Old 18-12-2018, 13:55   #1
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Bottom paint sanding

I am getting ready to do some bottom work and sanding. I don't plan on stripping everything off this year but I want to take a little to make sure its clean before applying a new coat and I have a repair to do. Would any more experienced people out there have a recommendation between a 6in orbital sander and a 5in? I was looking at the 6 because bigger is better right? But then I noted that the 5 inch is significantly lighter, about Ĺ the weight and the sanding disks are ⅓ of the price. what do people recommend bigger sanding area or lighter weight?
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Old 18-12-2018, 14:49   #2
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Re: Bottom paint sanding

After three bottom jobs and one topside job taking it (the paint) down to the original gelcoat, I'd definitely go with a 6" sander......and even more so if your boat is longer than 27'
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Old 18-12-2018, 15:16   #3
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Re: Bottom paint sanding

Buy a 6 inch random orbital. The best there is is the porter cable, it's just a great unit. But, that being said, the 6 inch rigid is pretty good and good value for money. Likely they're all pretty good these days.
If you are doing bottom paint, or any sanding really you should do the following :
-purchase a rigid vac and an extra hose. Connect this up to the random orbital, you can use it on any unit. Have some duct tape, tape the connections if needed, really not hard. Empty regularly into the one bag....you will be amazed how much you collect!

-purchase a respirator.Does not have to be full face. Don't bother with the paper masks, total waste of time. Paper masks are for idiots.

By spending an extra hundred bucks maybe on those two items you will get years of use and stop pretty much all dust, not just dust into your lungs, but dust in general, dust on your deck, in your boat etc.

The respirator is overkill but worth it. I was using that setup once indoors and while sanding was thinking what percentage of dust actually got picked up....midway through that thought a mosquito flew near the random orbital......and got sucked into it. Question answered.

oh, another trick I use is putting a single layer of paper towel over the respirator filter.....basically a pre filter. Stops a huge amount of dust even getting to the respirator filter and makes the filters last way longer.

Last point. If you have a big buildup of bottom paint, you can blast 90% off with a 5 inch grinder, Set up a container on the vac hose, cut out one side and hold it with the grinder, once again you can collect an easy 80% of the dust this way and save a huge amount of time on the sander.

Just my opinion, offend as it may (yes, paper filter users)
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Old 18-12-2018, 15:29   #4
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Re: Bottom paint sanding

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Originally Posted by Allied39 View Post
Buy a 6 inch random orbital. The best there is is the porter cable, it's just a great unit.
Sounds crazy but this is what I have had since 2014. Two bottom jobs and one topside job down to gelcoat and it still works great

I also have a 5" Dewalt that I did my first bottom job in 2011 with, but I like the Porter Cable 6" better.

https://www.amazon.com/PORTER-CABLE-...28364332&psc=1
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Old 18-12-2018, 15:35   #5
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Re: Bottom paint sanding

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Originally Posted by thomm225 View Post
Sounds crazy but this is what I have had since 2014. Two bottom jobs and one topside job down to gelcoat and it still works great
The rigid I have has done at least that and still going strong. The porter cable will last a decade of hard work, no problem. Yours is 4.....just a baby.
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Old 18-12-2018, 17:54   #6
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Re: Bottom paint sanding

The 6” Porter Cable is a great tool, but heavy. I’ve found that a 5” Dewalt is much lighter and the 5” pad conforms to the curves in my full keel hull a bit better. A dust extractor is a must. Nearly any shop vac will work well. You can use plumbing fittings as couplers to increase the length of your hose without spending a lot of cash. The mesh sanding discs are just great. The dust extraction is much better and they don’t clog up. The Diablo brand at Home Depot are a good bargain.
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