Inertia/Friction bowl sanders

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24 Jun 2020
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Looking at the Axminster Deluxe Bowl Sander and the Charnwood BS10 Deluxe Bowl sander, they look to be identical as far as can be seen from various web pages, but the few reviews that are available seem to indicate that the Axminster version is of better quality. Any thoughts or experience on either of these?
Not these but I have the Simon hope version and think it is really good + nice to support smaller firm and prof woodturner.
Stay away from any versions that have plain metal bearings, inevitably the shed sanding grit gets into the bearing and wears it away in rapid order, versions with sealed ball bearings fair considerably better.

Friction drive versions have developed and improved considerably in recent years regarding useful access but personally I rarely use one, preferring a powered version.

These notes I made a couple of years ago relate to my preferences:-
1. Nothing wrong with hand sanding, it's really a case of experience that teaches you when, where, and how to get best results.
Has safety limitations for access inside rotating pieces and broken continuity of surface, very useful for stationary treatment of rogue spots.

2. Friction driven sanding discs can be much quicker to remove material and small circular scratch marks that result are less visible to the naked eye.
Very easy to spin up far too fast, reducing the effective cutting of the abrasive, plain bearing versions rapidly fail due to grit getting in bearing, sealed ball bearings are essential for good working life. Only works whilst piece is rotating so useless for spot treatments.

3. Slow speed Drill or Flex drive driven discs can alter the approach angle to get in areas that a friction driven device can't access or won't work.
Does not rely on rotational speed of piece therefore allows better control of material removal, works with piece stationary on rogue areas, allows use with interrupted surface and natural edge pieces. If using small hand held Drill/Driver speed of cutting disc is infinitely variable to give better control of material removal, (not all flex drive systems have speed control).

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