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50 window frames to sand .. in situ.

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ChrisMa

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I have around 50 fitted window frames to sand (mullion windows with lots of frames) They are only 5 years old and made of Sapele. They've been varnished with a suitable outdoor varnish, but now ready for re-doing.

I'm happy to buy any sander that will make this time consuming chore easier.

Festool have the smaller rotex 90 which they claim is good for narrow/tight sanding jobs :

I also wonder if their back-and-forward linear motion sander would work here. They claim it works well with rebates and profiles :

Any suggestions/experience very welcome.

Thanks.
 

porker

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I have a friend whose business is mainly renovation of wooden doors and windows and he swears by the Rotex 90. He has the bigger one but as mentioned, the 90 can get into tighter spots. He also uses a delta sander (Fein multitool) to get into the tricky bits.
 

Ollie78

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Doesn't sound like the most fun job.

You probably need 3 sanders to do it fast.
A belt sander for any flat bits, a random orbit and something like a fein saw or delta sander for corner bits.

My personal tip for this( apart from getting someone else to do it) is to use a Bahco carbide scraper or similar to remove as much as possible before getting the sander on it.
It will be quicker less noisy and less dusty, leaving less varnish volume to gum up the sandpaper.
Oh yeah, get a crepe rubber block to keep belts clean.

Good luck.

Ollie
 

Jacob

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If the varnish only lasted 5 years it wasn't suitable
I'd just slap more varnish on top, after a wash down and perhaps a light sanding by hand with a cork block.
 

ChrisMa

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If the varnish only lasted 5 years it wasn't suitable
I'd just slap more varnish on top, after a wash down and perhaps a light sanding by hand with a cork block.
I was wondering about the short life of the varnish myself.

The property is on top of a hill in the Peak Distict and often gets battered with rain and wind. The worst damage has been to the southern windows with the sun clealry playing a big part too.
 

HappyHacker

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I am with the others regarding a fein sander, they also do rubber small profile blocks but they are a bit slow and require lots of paper changes on 50 windows.

I agree with Ollie on the scraper and would be tempted to cut/file an ordinary metal one to shape for the profiles to get rid of all the rubbish before sanding it may even produce a finish that does not require sanding.
 

--Tom--

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The Rotex 90 comes with a delta head which is really useful. I completely stripped and sanded a lot of the woodwork in our Victorian house and it came it really useful. I have the small Porter cable linear sander which is less useful than I hoped for profiles. Scrapers have been the best way to smooth and strip profiles whilst keeping them fairly crisp
 

RobinBHM

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I was wondering about the short life of the varnish myself.

The property is on top of a hill in the Peak Distict and often gets battered with rain and wind. The worst damage has been to the southern windows with the sun clealry playing a big part too.
was the joinery supplied factory finished?
If so it is almost certainly a water based translucent.….that stuff isn’t much fun to sand.
 

AJB Temple

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The Festool linear sander is an excellent tool. Quick and even and gets into tight spots. It goes through abrasives at quite a rate. I would research your finish carefully. Some yacht varnishes will stand up to extreme conditions (sun, wind, salt water, hot and freezing cold) for quite a long time, but are expensive.
 

ChrisMa

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was the joinery supplied factory finished?
If so it is almost certainly a water based translucent.….that stuff isn’t much fun to sand.ully not
Thankfully they arrived "naked". I employed an exterior decorator to apply a base coat/stain and then varnish them.

The exterior base coat/stain was Sikkens Cetol HLS Plus.

The top coat was Sadolin Exterior Extra Durable Clearcoat - oil based satin varnish.
 

mikej460

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baldkev

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I use my chisels as scrapers. Keep them dead sharp and they are great for the flat bits to remove the varnish. As said above, get the varnish off and then if you need to sand back the stain, the sandpaper wont clog so often.
I have no experience of the festool options
 

johnny

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why not use a caustic tank to strip them ? it will remove any paint or varnish from awkward to reach corners ,without damaging the wood and then a light sand with sandpaper to prep for whatever finish you propose.
back in the 70's and early 80's there was a craze for stripped pine furniture and caustic tanks were everywhere ....with todays H&S they might be a bit thin on the ground .
Heres a Company local to me that collects and delivers
 

ChrisMa

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why not use a caustic tank to strip them ? it will remove any paint or varnish from awkward to reach corners ,without damaging the wood and then a light sand with sandpaper to prep for whatever finish you propose.
back in the 70's and early 80's there was a craze for stripped pine furniture and caustic tanks were everywhere ....with todays H&S they might be a bit thin on the ground .
Heres a Company local to me that collects and delivers
Interesting thought and thanks for the suggestion.

That could work for the numerous casements, but the frames are definitely "in situ". There is someone local with caustic tank facilities I could speak to.

Initially, I think I'm going to try scrapping them first to see how easily the old (only 5 years) varnish comes off. Given that it has already failed, it may not have good adhesion.
 

Jacob

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If the varnish only lasted 5 years it wasn't suitable
I'd just slap more varnish on top, after a wash down and perhaps a light sanding by hand with a cork block.
Or better still paint. Varnish just ends up as "brown" you might as well paint anyway.
Linseed oil paint will stick to the varnish, no drastic preparation needed and in the future will only need touching up 5 to 10 years on. 1344ae24-8229-4f01-851a-7645ad9ce96a
 

johnny

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Interesting thought and thanks for the suggestion.

That could work for the numerous casements, but the frames are definitely "in situ". There is someone local with caustic tank facilities I could speak to.

Initially, I think I'm going to try scrapping them first to see how easily the old (only 5 years) varnish comes off. Given that it has already failed, it may not have good adhesion.
good luck with that project. We used to use a freshly piece of broken window glass to scrape paint and varnish off furniture . It works like a razor and is very effective in awkward corners and tight spaces . If you get the angle of the glass right it is very effective and causes no damage....try it . heres a link I found on Google
 
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