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Old 02-05-2019, 08:41   #16
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Re: Sanders Which One

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Orbital sanders have superseded belt sanders for some time now.
While true on most counts, no electric RO will strip material faster than a belt sander. If you want a smooth finish a RO is THE way to go for sure, but not heavy striping or rough shaping. And yes I've had many, many years experience with many brands.
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Old 02-05-2019, 14:54   #17
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Re: Sanders Which One

Yes, a 4" belt sander with 40 grit belt will surely remove more material than an orbital. Providing the surface is flat and the operator is a champion heavyweight wrestler.

So in a race for who can remove more material with a belt sander or an orbital, I line up with a powerful orbital rather that the belt sander ... and my arms are the size of most folks legs.

I agree with the previous comment about pneumatic sanders ... (even when they do have a motor) providing you have an extra large compressor that can deliver 8 to as much as 15 cfm that equates to a minimum of 3HP, 240 volts if not 3 phase.
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Old 02-05-2019, 15:31   #18
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Re: Sanders Which One

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Do people use 7" and 9" polisher/sanders from the automotive and surfboard glassing industry on boats? I am a hobbyist and a reluctant sander to begin with... but I do like using better paper (SIA and Indasa) and better backing pads (Flexpads from South Shore Mfg) for what little sanding I do. I find the decent hook and loop sanding disks can be used and then cut down to the next smaller size as the outer edge wears down. So 8" goes to 7" then to 6" and then to 5" on my random orbital sander. I dislike my belt sander and 1/4 sheet palm sander but they are secondhand and not investment tools. I have seen Festools in action and was impressed but I do not like sanding enough to justify (unless getting one would change my mind ?!?) It is a good thing that I do not have much brightwork or bottom paint to contend with so far this season...
One of these fitted with a scotchbrite style paint scuffing pad would make an ro sander look like a child's toy when it comes to completely removing antifoul. Dust collection and avoiding cutting into the gelcoat might be an issue, though.
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Old 02-05-2019, 15:36   #19
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Re: Sanders Which One

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Yes, a 4" belt sander with 40 grit belt will surely remove more material than an orbital. Providing the surface is flat and the operator is a champion heavyweight wrestler.

So in a race for who can remove more material with a belt sander or an orbital, I line up with a powerful orbital rather that the belt sander ... and my arms are the size of most folks.
New light weight 3x18ís arenít that big a bear and with an exposed nose it does wonders stripping the inner curves of a hull. They will literally pile material on the ground underneath and hard to gouge compared to a grinder. 10 min/m2 with a belt or 20min/m2 with an orbital.
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Old 02-05-2019, 16:52   #20
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Re: Sanders Which One

I use Makita orbitals. They have replaceable backing pads. The hook and looo of the lad gets weak after a while, they go faster if using heavy grit and a lot of pressure. Once they start throwing pads they need to be replaced. So I keep a couple of spares around. They are pretty cheap.
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Old 03-05-2019, 03:39   #21
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Re: Sanders Which One

Thank you for the responses to my query on sanders, a lot of good information, let the fun begin.
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Old 03-05-2019, 04:18   #22
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Re: Sanders Which One

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I use a Porter Cable with dust collection and I really like it. It is rather heazy to use, but it has not ever let me down. I will say that you can tell when the heap bag on the Shop Vac is getting clogged as the dust collection slows down. Overall I really like it. For $180 it was a good price, even though I love Fein and Festool brands, and have a lot of them, I just could not justify the costs for them in this application. The hook and loop has never let go, and is as "sticky" as it was out of the box. I do use Merka Gold hook and loop paper off Amazon, it works really well for me.



https://www.amazon.com/PORTER-CABLE-...23&s=hi&sr=1-8


I use the 25 year old 5Ē fixed speed version of this. It has stripped three boats between 30 and 38 feet in length. And tots of other things too.
I can still buy parts for it. Iíve replaced the pad and the dust hood. Thatís it.
Super low vibration compared to a cheapie.
Having dust collection helps prevent clogging and extends the life of the disc.
The sandpaper quality makes a huge difference.
Iíve been using the Norton pro-sand disks lately.
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Old 27-05-2019, 09:04   #23
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Re: Sanders Which One

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Couple of thoughts:


After using "cheapo" sanders for years, we bought a mid-priced Milwaukee. Holy carp, what a difference it made. I mean, it's only $60. But the cheap $30 stink.

Sanding pads on sanders only last so long. You can buy new pads on Amazon.

I'm not a fan of hook n loops. I prefer a clamping type, and the above Milwaukee is WAY superior to most.

Choose good sandpaper. It's not a place to skimp. If you have a soft bottom, try the screens they use for sanding drywall, you might like them better.
Being a woodworker, I have used pretty much every kind of orbital sander made over the last 35 years. My last 2 have been a Milwaukee and a Ridgid. Hands down, the Ridgid is the best OS I have ever owned.

While I really liked the aggressiveness of the Milwaukee, every time I raised it even a little, setting it down would leave small tear-outs in the surface. The circular is just too strong, at any speed or grit.

The Ridgid, on the other hand, had the same orbital action, but the circular rotation was far less aggressive when touching back down.

Even the dust collection on these two goes to the Ridgid. I rarely need to use a dust mask(though I do anyway), where all the others demand it.

I’ve also used Porter-cable, Hatachi , Makita, and Black and Decker, and the only two I would ever consider buying again are the two mentioned prior, with an extreme preference to the Ridgid.
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