what is an orbital sander used for

what is an orbital sander used for

Man Sanding Wood With Random Orbit Sander Photograph by Allan Penn

What’s a random orbital sander used for?

A random-orbit sander can sand the socks off your outdated vibrating sander when you have to strip paint off furnishings, put together new molding, or clear up between end coats. It may additionally easy and clear metallic and composite supplies comparable to solid-surface counter tops. “On the TV tasks and on the New Yankee Workshop, we use random-orbits greater than some other sander,” says This Previous Home grasp carpenter Norm Abram.

These machines owe their versatility to their distinctive movement: The sandpaper disc spins in a circle whereas the entire pad strikes in an oval loop. In consequence, no single abrasive particle follows the identical path twice, leaving a swirl-free end even when sanding throughout the grain. However whereas random-orbits work extra rapidly than vibrating sanders, they cannot aggressively take away a whole lot of materials—for that, get a belt sander for flat surfaces or a disc sander for curved ones.

You're reading: what is an orbital sander used for

When selecting a random-orbit sander, search for a motor measurement, physique configuration, and pad measurement (5- or 6-inch) that matches your workload. An honest palm-size unit will price between $50 and $100, whereas heavy-duty right-angle or in-line ones price $150 to $200. Whichever sort fits you, you should definitely get a mannequin with built-in mud management. When you have a store vacuum, do what Norm does and join the sander to it. You do not wish to breathe in any of the fabric that these sanders take away so effortlessly.

Palm Sander

Makita Palm Sander Photograph by Adam Savitch

For small tasks, comparable to stripping furnishings or sanding a drywall patch, a palm sander is hard sufficient to do the job however straightforward on the pockets. These little machines get their energy by orbiting rapidly—no less than 10,000 occasions per minute. Compact and light-weight, they are often held both excessive or across the neck, whichever is extra snug.

Just like proven: Makita BO5030K 5-inch random-orbit sander; about $70; newurbanhabitat.com

Proper-Angle Drive

Porter Cable Random Orbit Sander Photograph by Adam Savitch

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With a houseful of millwork and cupboards to complete, you will want a sander that may work all day with out overheating. A right-angle machine, with its horizontal, barrel-style physique, runs a robust 3.5- to 5-amp motor at a comparatively gradual (and funky) 5,000 orbits per minute. Larger-priced items have precision bearings and higher gears that vibrate much less and last more.

Just like proven: Porter Cable 97466 6-inch random-orbit sander; about $185; newurbanhabitat.com

In-Line Drive

Bosch Random Orbit Sander Photograph by Adam Savitch

If you face a whole lot of sanding however do not feel snug with a giant right-angle machine, attempt a unit whose motor sits above the pad. It is a good compromise between small palm sanders and beefier fashions, particularly for folks with small fingers, who can seize the handles fore and aft as an alternative of getting to grip a right-angle’s physique.

Proven: Bosch 3727DEVS 6-inch random-orbit sander; about $155; newurbanhabitat.com

Element Sander

Fein Multi-Master Detail Sander Photograph by Adam Savitch

Although it isn’t a random-orbit sander, a element sander can go the place round-pad sanders cannot. Its triangular pad, which orbits with out rotating, can match into small corners, making it a fantastic instrument for ending furnishings or sanding intricate molding. High-of-the-line heavy-duty machines have non-obligatory equipment, together with scraper blades and flush-cutting saws.

Just like proven: Fein Multi-Grasp Software Equipment; about $400; newurbanhabitat.com

Elements & Options of Random Orbit Sanders

Hook-and-Loop Disc

Hook-and-Loop Disc On Random Orbit Sander Photograph by Adam Savitch

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Abrasive discs that connect by a Velcro-like hook-and-loop system let you change grits with out trashing any disc earlier than its time. They’re dearer than adhesive discs, however extra economical in the long term as a result of they are often reused. You should definitely match the disc’s dust-collection holes to those in your machine’s pad.

Variable Velocity

Speed Dial On Orbit Sander Photograph by Adam Savitch

You need your sander to take away materials rapidly, however not so aggressively that it chews by means of skinny veneers or delicate coats of end. The answer is variable-speed management. To get probably the most out of this function, select the instrument with the widest vary of speeds. A soft-start choice, which lets the machine ramp up gently to full energy, additionally helps defend tender work.

Beginning and Stopping

Orbit Sander On Flat Wood Surface Photograph by Allan Penn

To keep away from scuff marks, Norm Abram at all times vegetation the disc on the floor earlier than he begins the motor and lifts it off the work earlier than shutting down. Nonetheless, some sanders lurch onerous when beginning, which is liable to dig a deep (and annoying) divot; with these instruments, it is higher to begin within the air after which land flat on the work with the motor working. Experiment on scrap wooden to see which strategy works higher together with your machine.

Sanding Flat Surfaces

Man Sanding Flat Wood Surface With Random Orbit Sander Photograph by Allan Penn

Glide the machine throughout the floor, working backward and forward so that you’re positive to sand in all places with out dwelling too lengthy anyplace. Norm likes to sand the entire floor throughout the grain, then diagonal to the grain, then with the grain earlier than altering to a finer grit. Maintain the machine shifting, however do not press onerous or “scrub”—the sander’s personal weight, plus your light steering management, is best and efficient.

Sanding Edges

Man Sanding Edges Of Wood Photograph by Allan Penn

Elevate the sander off the work while you wish to transfer from a flat floor to an edge. Should you flop it over, you will sand off the crisp nook. Heart the sting on the pad and use each fingers to assist maintain the pad sq. to the wooden. A element sander, which orbits with out rotating, is a straightforward instrument to information alongside an edge.

Cleansing Up Mud After Sanding

Man Cleaning Up Dust After Sanding With Random Orbit Sander Photograph by Allan Penn

Due to the sander’s movement, any stray grain of mud left on a piece piece could cause deep scratches. Since even the perfect dust-control system will depart some particles behind, Norm advises vacuuming the work after every sanding and following with a tack material.

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