Speeding up sanding process (seeking advice)

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Jitter

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I bought the festool rotex sander too and my god what a difference. That thing, although a fun challenge to control, is probably as close to an industrial machine with a hand held tool as I have used when it comes to sanding. It ripped through the router marks and scorch marks using 60 grit, 80 grit then switched the gear to eccentric motion for 120 and 180 grit. I was done both sides within the hour. Cut the time into 1 quarter in comparison to the festool orbital and still just as even. Very very impressed with it. According to my merchant, it is by far his best seller and I know know why.
 

Inspector

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Kits for those have been around for decades here so it isn't a new idea.

Pete
 

D_W

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learn to use a smoothing plane with a cap iron, and generally you'll be able to sand with a single grit in the direction of the grain (and not have any little lower nits).

Using a single grit also eliminates the need to sand a large amount to be sure you've removed prior scratches.

you can add scrape if you want.

The only way to outrun a plane and then follow-on sanding is to get a large industrial sander. You can't do it with any hand machines.

Same with scraping for curved surfaces. The finer you can get before sanding, the faster your process will be (and it'll be more stimulating and cheaper at the same time).



(this can't be done on plywood with a hundredth veneer - which is what the hardwood baltic birch ply is over here - it's so thin that planing a couple of thousandths off of it allows color to show through from the next layer. I guess they found the absolute thinnest layer they could apply without that color showing through).
 

maznaz

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Not sure if anyone's said yet, but if you've got too much work and you are struggling to complete the work profitably... raise your prices by 50%
 

peter-harrison

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Pad sanders are much cheaper than large belt sanders and will cover the area.


I agree with Tom. A pad sander is much cheaper, the belts are much cheaper, and the capacity is greater. I can sand a table top, 2.1m x 2m on mine- you would need a £20,000 speed sander to put one of those through!
Borrowing someone else's machine can be a great help but you will probably find that it is often more trouble than it is worth. You have the time taken to load and unload your item twice, travel time, waiting for the machine to be free, plus the cost.
If you do get a pad sander, it's worth getting one with goose-neck sides which allows you to sand things longer than the bed, and maybe one with a disc sander or linisher bed.
 

Sachakins

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Bit late, but this popped up on face book market place,

Screenshot_20211025-210122_Facebook.jpg
 

Jones

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As others have said the festool rotex is a very good sander, I don't use my 4" belt sander or random orbit anymore as it's better and faster. A friend has a Mirka sander and recons it is faster than the festool.
 

Peanutcoxy

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It would take me 15 minutes to flatten a table on my wide belt sander, assuming it's relatively level. I'd probably charge you £20 plus £12 for a belt.
Seems a no brainer just to find someone with a wide belt sander.
Hi Bob, where are you based? I’m in a similar position to others regarding table tops and getting them perfectly flat. I work with wood and resin and hand sanding just takes an age. I could make 2 or 3 tops to flatten at the same visit if possible. I’m in Gloucester.
 

clogs

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when I left France and disposed of all my Wadkin gear I had a big pad sander that would sand a full size door.....tried to give it away....no takers.....
in the end scrapped it, kepts a few bits of steel and cast iron pullies etc.....
dam shame.......
 

Sporky McGuffin

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Bit late, and this might be a stupid idea, but could you sit the tabletop on the workshop floor (on a bit of foam or similar) and use a floor sander on it? They're made for covering large areas quickly, after all.
 

doctor Bob

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Hi Bob, where are you based? I’m in a similar position to others regarding table tops and getting them perfectly flat. I work with wood and resin and hand sanding just takes an age. I could make 2 or 3 tops to flatten at the same visit if possible. I’m in Gloucester.
herts / Essex border, long long way. Have a ring round local guys, someone will do it local.
 

Yojevol

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Hi Bob, where are you based? I’m in a similar position to others regarding table tops and getting them perfectly flat. I work with wood and resin and hand sanding just takes an age. I could make 2 or 3 tops to flatten at the same visit if possible. I’m in Gloucester.
This looks like a bargain that might work for you.
Brian
 

Stokes&co

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Hi mate, just another viewpoint. It sounds to me like you need to get a labourer in to help you it might seem like a massive deal to you but I guarantee from personal experience once you take the plunge it is literally a lightbulb moment why didn’t I do this sooner.

I think a fair wage for a labourer is 80 a day or so, so you are at 400 pound a week. It isn’t a case of making things doubly quick though it’s genuinely 3 or 4 times as quick. Not only do you constantly have an extra pair of hands for all the lifting etc you also aren’t killing yourself all the time which makes your output higher as well it is truly amazing the difference it makes.

Sanding isn’t exactly rocket science so get someone in and show them how to do it like you want. If they aren’t getting it after a week or two get rid and get another until you find someone who is only partially an silly person. Buy two rotexes for you and the lad and you’ll have more than doubled your output in short time. The investment will pay for itself in one table if you are getting the money you are saying.

I wouldn’t be bothering sanding them at all though to be honest, subbing out is the genuine king of efficiency if you don’t have the setup and money to get the tooling yourself. Do what you are good at and are setup for, which it sounds like is actually making the tables, make them 4 days a week and then go to a local joiners with a big sander and sand a load up at a time for half a day, helped by your labourer lifting them about. It is literally a no brainer mate, then bring them back and finish them nicely in your properly setup room. If you have the demand start really pumping them out and get another labourer in, put that lad on the router sled and the other sanding, you finishing and that’s that.
 

hlvd

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Find a joinery shop with a wide belt sander and hire it for a few hours.
I doubt any joinery shops would allow that, non staff using their equipment probably invalidates any insurance, H&S if not trained on the machine, cost of a belt/belts and time to replace, all sorts of issues.
 

Lefley

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I doubt any joinery shops would allow that, non staff using their equipment probably invalidates any insurance, H&S if not trained on the machine, cost of a belt/belts and time to replace, all sorts of issues.
I think he means hire the shop. Like they do the sanding for you.
 

PaulJC

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herts / Essex border, long long way. Have a ring round local guys, someone will do it local.

There is a place in Harlow that has 'Joinery Space' to hire at a daily rate, might be worth an enquiry...

 

doctor Bob

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There is a place in Harlow that has 'Joinery Space' to hire at a daily rate, might be worth an enquiry...


think you are muddling people up, I have a wide belt sander.
 

D_W

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I doubt any joinery shops would allow that, non staff using their equipment probably invalidates any insurance, H&S if not trained on the machine, cost of a belt/belts and time to replace, all sorts of issues.

I'm in the states, and may have mentioned it previously, but what you typically get is taking your stuff to a shop that has the sander and then someone at the shop runs it through and you stand there. If they don't want you in, i guess you stand outside.

Thickness and finish leveling of 10 very large curly maple panels for a friend and I - 15x48, both sides - was $38 or something and took perhaps 15 minutes.

..
in guitar factories where stuff comes out of CNC and just needs to be blasted, a slack belt sander is used. You can look one up on youtube with gibson. it'd probably allow the coarse sanding of a side in less than 15 minutes and speed things up (not that dual mode sanders are bad).

A lot of the slack belt sanders look to me like they're shop made -the belt has a little bit of slack in it and you hold a pad (shaped however you want) and press it against an item that's moving on a sled. This isn't like a 800 watt process, it looks more like a 5 kw process-ish thing.
 

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