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Random Orbital Sanders

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Anonymous

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Can't find a thread covering this in much detail.

Mrs Mylor wants to buy me one for christmas. Now I've got a Makita palm sander. Would I get a much better finish using a ROS? For faily light use would a 125mm Bosch PEX400AE be ok or would I be better off looking for something meatier. Discs - What grades would be the most useful for starters? I think she's expecting to part with £100 or so, so I could add in a B&D Mouse?

Your thoughts please guys.
 
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Anonymous

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Mylor,

Here's an extract from something I wrote a few months ago for one of the mags, hope this helps.

Ralph


"Random Orbit Sanders are commonly available in two sizes, 125mm (5 inch) and 150mm (6 inch), although larger machines are available. Fein make an 200mm (8 inch) version, for example. Random orbit machines randomise the path of their orbit by rotating, at irregular speed, simultaneously. The pattern of orbits transferred to the work is further randomised by the action of the user. This means the sanding action can be cross grain as well as in line. A major advantage when sanding the face of a cross grain joint, such as a door frame.

The lower powered 125mm (5 inch) machines are available as palm grip machines, but as the motor power increases more leverage is required to hold the machine steady, especially at low speed. To overcome this these machines are designed with a pistol grip configuration. Prices range from just under £30.00 to around £200.00

150m (6 inch) machines are also available with the pistol grip style of handle, but again as the power increases the design changes to the angle grinder configuration. Some of these machines really need some effort to control, especially with course grit papers at low speeds. A side handle is usually supplied and can be very useful. A rubber pad or shroud over the gearbox makes an alternative hand hold for less aggressive work. Prices start at well over £100.00 and the sky’s the limit, with some of the professional machines costing many hundreds of pounds."
 

Alf

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Mylor,

Others are better qualified than I to comment on the ROS, but I would suggest you give the Mouse a miss. It's vibrates pretty badly, the replacement abrasives are rather expensive and if you're intending to use it for anything but the lightest and most occasional use then it probably won't last long anyway. My dad's certainly didn't, and he got a Porter Cable ROS and a Ferm detail sander instead. He seems pretty happy with them.

Cheers, Alf

BTW, if your nickname is anything to go by, then I'm not that far away from you. Got any good wood suppliers you'd like to divulge? :wink:
 

Scrit

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Mylor

The larger the disc the faster you can cover a given area of material. Most of the professional machines around are 150mm diameter with some 125mm machines available. A lot of the hobby market machines are 125mm. The main thing to note is the orbit. Large orbit machines have an orbit of 5mm or so, these are designed for aggressive removal of material such as stripping paintwork, and can sand through veneers alarmingly quickly if you don't use a light touch. Smaller orbit machines, with an orbit of 2.5 to 3mm, are designed for finish sanding. They don't cut so aggressively and so are easier to control. If you want to see how they work, take a look at this link - http://www.festool.com/com/index.html - then follow the links for Products -> Product-Animations -> Rotex RO150 Animation and step through the animation to the page which says "Rotex Eccentric Sanding Motion". Click on the knob and you will then see an animation of the eccentric motion of a so-called Random Orbit Sander. As you will see it isn't really random at all, nor is the speed irregular, but the motion is the result of the combination of rotation around two axes! BTW the Rotex is an oddball designed for car body shops and is an angle-grinder body design (as are most of the ROSs sold into the body shop trade), so I wouldn't take too much notice of the machine itself.

In terms of abrasives I find most of my sanding in the range 80 to 180grit (80-100-120-150-180) which covers most work, although I find that I use more 100 and 120 grit than any other. Above 180/220b grit I tend to switch to hand sanding with garnet paper.

My own machines (both in daily use) are Festo ET2e (now discontinued), a back-handle design with a 3mm orbit and 150mm disc. Festos can be a problem to find abrasives for, so make sure that whatever you buy uses abrasives you can get hold of readily. They do not require a side handle for comfortable use and can be used one-handed as required. With the smaller orbit I find them ineffective on coarser grit papers.

Finally, try to avoid the single speed machines, having a variable speed makes a lot of difference in how useable a ROS can be.

Scrit
 

Midnight

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Mylor
I use the Bosch PEX400AE as my primary sander. Been using it for a lil over 2 years now. All in all it's pretty good; more than enough power to handle agressive grits, the variable speed gives an impressive finish with the finer grits. The only thing about it that REALLY bugs me is the DC. The lil clip on cartridge might look fine from a marketing point of view, in practice, having to empty the damn thing every 5 mins is a royal pain. Add to that the fact that it collects no more than 70% of the dust created (judging by the mess it makes of the shop). It DOES have adaptors for connecting to a vac apparently. But these aren't included as standard; finding a supplier has so far escaped me.
I'm at the stage where I need to replace the velcro pad on mine, it does a fine job of launching discs whenever you lift off the board.
Overall, fine tool for the price, but take the time to find those adaptors.
 

Midnight

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Thanks for the link Dog... I ran with it as far as the "add to basket" option... only to discover that all the stores that would accept the sales order were based on the other side of the pond. I need to go visit my local specialist dealer this weekend, I'll set them at ordering one for me. I can't for the life of me figure why they canna add it as standard to the package (bought at B&Q). Only down side to a bloody impressive tool for the price.
 

Dog

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It's like a lot of 'options' Midnight, they get you with the exact accessories you needed in the first place :roll: :) I suppose it's just one way to get you to part with more cash. I did try a search of a UK based Bosch website but the US seems to cater far better to its customers needs as do the online tool shops, offering far more than any UK based online outfit I've come across so far, imo that is :wink:

Bosch UK
As you'll see you have to phone for any accessories required, nothing is listed or described on the UK version of the Bosch website that I can see anyway :(
 
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Anonymous

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Thanks for the replies guys. So I'm 3/4 of the way there!!
Do any of the other makes around £100 have better backup?
 
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Anonymous

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http://www.axminster.co.uk/default.asp?part=076040 another you might like to have a look at its a shade under £100 . Its a makita BO5012 dont know what makita backup is like because i have never had a makita tool fail and i own a few ( hammer drill, 2 x old style 9.6v cordless driver drills,sds drill , palm sander , belt sander , plane , circular saw , router and compound mitre saw) quess i prefer blue to smeggy yellow :lol:
 

Newbie_Neil

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Hi AP

anobium punctatum":3vothg4w said:
I have never had a makita tool fail and I own a few
When I bought my first Makita I asked Alltools in Nottingham (nee Hopkinsons) what the back up service was like and they said they didn't know. The manager went on to say, "people buy a Makita and we never see it again".

A wonderful testament.

Cheers

Neil
 
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Anonymous

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Hi neil nice to see another fan of the blue stuff 8) the only thing i have had to buy for my makita tools is 1 battery after 14 years use (6 years trade use) i killed it by leaving it in a closed conservatory on probably the hottest day of the year ,its south facing so it had the sun on it all day . The charger survived but the battery was toast it only held its charge for 1/2 hr at a time .The drill it self has tumbled off scaffolding onto a concrete slab (still got the dent in the slab :lol: ) it's drilled 32mm holes in doors for yale locks :oops: left out in the rain :shock: i would not like to think how many screws its put in or holes drilled .The rest of my makita tools have had a sheltered life thus far . But one statement i will stand by is that i have never been disappointed with any makita purchase and to top it all they appear to be getting cheaper without quality loss. If anyone from makita is reading this mines a pint :p .
P.S i have tried a lot of cheap diy tools they dont usually last the summer i do tend to abuse power tools (hammer)
 
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Anonymous

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Hi All,

My first post so hello to everyone.
I too was asked by SWMBO what new "toy" I wanted for Christmas. I needed a ROS and liked the idea of something that I couldn't break. The Makita BO5012 looked ideal, from Axminster. Guess what - out of stock! :( Seems to be a common problem at the moment. I think their nice shiny new vans must be running around half empty! I'll try to support my local shop instead and see what they have in.

Steve
 

woodshavings

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I have using the Metabo SXE450 for about two years. It has excellent build quality and works very well, I find the two orbital settings very effective for the initial coarse sanding and then for fine, finishing work.
The dust extraction is satisfactory although a mask is still required.
Its a bit heavy for single hand use but I have been very pleased with it.
I bought mine from D&M . I

Its over the £100 budget but is often on offer (£140)
http://www.dm-tools.co.uk/store/weeklys ... =METSXE450)


Cheers John
 
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Anonymous

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Makita tools I can also endorse!

I have a few, by far the best of the small chop saw (£190 ish) best piece of kit I every bought!, the blade alone would cost £50 separately!

Just be careful of fakes a friend of mine got one from e-bay that was spelt Maketa! and wasn't too good!
 

Newbie_Neil

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Hi Woodshavings

Thanks for the post about the sxe 450 offer at DM-Tools. In addition to only being 139, you also get 50 free sanding discs and five pounds off the next purchase. I placed my order this morning.

Just after I had placed my order the "The Woodworker" arrived in the post. Inside were their test results on a number of random orbital sanders.

I'm still happy with my choice. :wink:

Cheers

Neil
 
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Anonymous

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Newbie neil give us a run down of the sander ratings in "The Woodworker" perleassssse
 

Newbie_Neil

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Hi AP

Sorry, but I can't help. Copyright and all that. :cry:

It's in the February 2004 issue of The Woodworker at 2.99, or free if you browse it at whs. :wink:

Cheers
Neil
 
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