Author Topic: Sanding Swirls with a RO 125  (Read 1680 times)

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Offline JimmyB1775

  • Posts: 14
Sanding Swirls with a RO 125
« on: December 30, 2018, 01:42 PM »
I’ve had a rotex 125 for about a year.  It’s my primary sander. It shouldn’t be but I only have a TS55, domino and RO125.  Even when it’s not in geared rotary mode, it (I) keep having sanding swirls.  It’s never that stable. Always seems wobbly, especially in geared rotary mode. I’ve used the soft pad, the hard pad, the riser(?) pad, and all Fes brand abrasives from 60 - 4000. What’s the deal? It’s better than out of the box but it’s not smooth like the one RO 150 I tried before buying mine. What am I doing wrong.  Also, when you see a “year” think 3 months. I don’t do that much work.  Hobby stuff. 

Also, if I were to add another 125 Fes sander, which one should I buy for orbital finish sanding? Or is my Rotex just jacked?

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Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 3690
Re: Sanding Swirls with a RO 125
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2018, 03:41 PM »
Suggest that you take a good look at video.  OK, he's using the RO 150, but the principle is the same.  How you hold the RO 125 also makes a huge difference.   [smile]
- Willy -

 "Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of wood higher up." - Brigham Young

Offline harry_

  • Posts: 1207
Re: Sanding Swirls with a RO 125
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2018, 04:46 PM »
Since you have a domino, try holding in a similar fashion. It has a funny weight balance to it. I found that it was just a matter of practice.
Disclaimer: This post is for educational and entertainment purposes only. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead is purely coincidental. Void where prohibited. Some assembly required. Batteries not included. Contents may settle during shipment. Use only as directed. No other warranty expressed or implied. This is not an offer to sell securities. May be too intense for some viewers. No user-serviceable parts inside. Subject to change without notice. One size fits all (very poorly).

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 287
Re: Sanding Swirls with a RO 125
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2018, 05:56 PM »
I bought the RO 125,  watching the video it does look like he is having to hold it back.  I find it is fine, and then just suddenly takes off randomly in a direction.  This is in orbital mode too.

Does anyone know if the hardness of the pad comes into play on the stability/control.  I have been using the hard pad since I was working on veneer wood.

Offline Retired Chippy

  • Posts: 60
Re: Sanding Swirls with a RO 125
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2018, 08:25 PM »
I bought the RO 125,  watching the video it does look like he is having to hold it back.  I find it is fine, and then just suddenly takes off randomly in a direction.  This is in orbital mode too.

Does anyone know if the hardness of the pad comes into play on the stability/control.  I have been using the hard pad since I was working on veneer wood.

I don't believe the hardness of the pad is the issue.  The RO sanders seem to have a tendency to be jumpy until the surface is flattened enough, no matter which setting the sander is on.  Just remember to use only light pressure on the top of the sander or you will have issues like reduction in speed, swirl marks, gouging and difficulty evenly flattening the surface, overheated sandpaper and pad, eventual early wear to the internal parts of the sander.  HTH

@JimmyB1775 run the sander with a bare pad, in front of your face so you can visually see any pad wobble.  That could be a bad pad or something more like the internal bearings.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2018, 08:31 PM by Retired Chippy »

Offline Farming_Sawyer

  • Posts: 101
  • Sawyer, builder, winemaker, farmer, chef
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Re: Sanding Swirls with a RO 125
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2018, 08:30 PM »
Make sure the vac on the ct is turned to half or lower... I sometimes forget to turn mine down if I'm cutting, routing and sanding in the same time frame. It makes a difference.
CT 26E, RO125, sys-mft, sys-toolbox, a bunch of 30 year old tools I'm looking to replace.

Offline Retired Chippy

  • Posts: 60
Re: Sanding Swirls with a RO 125
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2018, 08:33 PM »
Make sure the vac on the ct is turned to half or lower... I sometimes forget to turn mine down if I'm cutting, routing and sanding in the same time frame. It makes a difference.

Forgot to mention that.  True!

Offline JimmyB1775

  • Posts: 14
Re: Sanding Swirls with a RO 125
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2018, 09:17 PM »
Suggest that you take a good look at video.  OK, he's using the RO 150, but the principle is the same.  How you hold the RO 125 also makes a huge difference.   [smile]
I’ve watched that before (and just did again) and it looks like he’s putting pressure on it.  I have the turtle vac speed, and it just never sits flat.  Aside from swirl marks, how I start or finish, it wants to move a lot.  It’ll be a while before my Fes rep will be in town.  I want him to play with it to see if I’m crazy.

Offline JimmyB1775

  • Posts: 14
Re: Sanding Swirls with a RO 125
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2018, 09:19 PM »
So aside from that, which orbital should I buy? Is the ETS good enough or do I have to get the middle option. The EQ I think.

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 5301
Re: Sanding Swirls with a RO 125
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2018, 09:21 PM »
Also, if I were to add another 125 Fes sander, which one should I buy for orbital finish sanding?

Beyond any doubt, just purchase the 125mm ETS EC. It’s an incredibly nice sander to use. The bonus round is you have the option to install a 150mm pad by just removing the 125mm pad and installing the 150mm pad. Couldn’t be easier. It’s my favorite Festool sander of the 9 or 10 Festool sanders I own.

Offline Retired Chippy

  • Posts: 60
Re: Sanding Swirls with a RO 125
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2018, 09:23 PM »
So aside from that, which orbital should I buy? Is the ETS good enough or do I have to get the middle option. The EQ I think.

Just my opinion, but I'd recommend the ETS EC 125 if you want the 5" pad size, otherwise the same version sander in a 150.

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 5301
Re: Sanding Swirls with a RO 125
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2018, 09:37 PM »
Just my opinion, but I'd recommend the ETS EC 125 if you want the 5" pad size, otherwise the same version sander in a 150.

That limits your options...the 150mm ETS EC will only accept a 150mm pad, the 125mm ETS EC will accept both the 125mm & 150mm pad. Get it while you still can...this just may become an endangered species.

I’m actually thinking about purchasing a used ETS EC 150/5 and incorporating certain parts to produce an ETS EC 125/5 that will accept both 125mm & 150mm pads. The best of all worlds.

So 2 sanders that will support 4 different versions of the same sander.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2018, 10:41 PM by Cheese »

Offline SoonerFan

  • Posts: 419
Re: Sanding Swirls with a RO 125
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2018, 10:19 PM »
Just my opinion, but I'd recommend the ETS EC 125 if you want the 5" pad size, otherwise the same version sander in a 150.

That limits your options...the 150mm ETS EC will only accept a 150mm pad, the 125mm ETS EC will accept both the 125mm & 150mm pad.

I purchased the 125 after reading here you could use the 150 pad.  I have not used the 150 given I like the 125 size but if I ever had need I have that option.

Offline Alanbach

  • Posts: 196
Re: Sanding Swirls with a RO 125
« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2018, 12:20 AM »
The ETS EC 125 is a great sander and a great companion for your Rotex so 0lease consider me a +1 on that suggestion.

As far as the Rotex is concerned before I took any action I would double check my technique one more time.

1. Turn you Festool vac way down to half power or less. THIS iS A BIG DEAL!
2. Make sure your workpiece is securely clamped in place.
3. If you are using the Rotex only start out in geared mode and then switch to random orbit mode before moving to the next grit. Then you go back to geared mode with the next grit and keep going back and forth between the modes until you get to the grit and the finish you desire.
4. Review the grit progressions that you have been using and if you are skipping more than one grit as you progress consider filling in those gaps.
5. Try different hand positions and rear hand front hand combinations until you find the sweet spot for smooth running balance in both modes. You are trying to get that pad dead flat so the maximum amount of pad is in full contact with the work at all times. You also want the smoothest possible ride with little or no bucking. Keep trying new hand positions until you find the magical sweet spot. You will know it when you find it. I usually hold my back hand on the vac hose fitting and lift slightly to prevent the machine from “heeling” back.

6. Very light downward pressure. Let the machine do the work and be patient.

I hope this helps.

Offline Alanbach

  • Posts: 196
Re: Sanding Swirls with a RO 125
« Reply #14 on: December 31, 2018, 12:24 AM »
Oh yeah, I forget:

7. Watch your sanding speed. Until you get the smooth ride going slow down the speed a notch or two. Once you get a really balanced smooth ride perfected you can always speed up a bit.

Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 3690
Re: Sanding Swirls with a RO 125
« Reply #15 on: December 31, 2018, 08:10 AM »
Make sure the vac on the ct is turned to half or lower... I sometimes forget to turn mine down if I'm cutting, routing and sanding in the same time frame. It makes a difference.

Concur.  I set my dust extractor at 1/3 - 1/4 power.  Also hold the sander (Rotex) by the power cord connector and dust hose connector, not the handle, to get a longer fulcrum lever effect.  Putting weight on the sander head is somewhat counter-productive.  As Sedge says, "let the tool do the work."  If you've ever used a 18" - 24" floor buffer, you will immediately understand the need to find the tool's balance point to get it to stop bucking and settle down to do good work. 
- Willy -

 "Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of wood higher up." - Brigham Young

Offline Bert Vanderveen

  • Posts: 480
Re: Sanding Swirls with a RO 125
« Reply #16 on: December 31, 2018, 09:27 AM »
Oh yeah, I forget:

7. Watch your sanding speed. Until you get the smooth ride going slow down the speed a notch or two. Once you get a really balanced smooth ride perfected you can always speed up a bit.

An inch a second works for me (counting out loud helps). Sometimes even slower. Maintain a pattern like in the video. (It really hurts to see so many YT-ers swiping their rotary sanders around as if they are dusting…)
Cheers, Bert Vanderveen

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Offline harry_

  • Posts: 1207
Re: Sanding Swirls with a RO 125
« Reply #17 on: December 31, 2018, 11:11 AM »
Oh yeah, I forget:

7. Watch your sanding speed. Until you get the smooth ride going slow down the speed a notch or two. Once you get a really balanced smooth ride perfected you can always speed up a bit.

An inch a second works for me (counting out loud helps). Sometimes even slower. Maintain a pattern like in the video. (It really hurts to see so many YT-ers swiping their rotary sanders around as if they are dusting…)

I could be wrong, but I think he was referring to motor speed.
Disclaimer: This post is for educational and entertainment purposes only. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead is purely coincidental. Void where prohibited. Some assembly required. Batteries not included. Contents may settle during shipment. Use only as directed. No other warranty expressed or implied. This is not an offer to sell securities. May be too intense for some viewers. No user-serviceable parts inside. Subject to change without notice. One size fits all (very poorly).

Offline Alanbach

  • Posts: 196
Re: Sanding Swirls with a RO 125
« Reply #18 on: December 31, 2018, 11:13 AM »
I was referring to motor speed but I also agree with Bert that slow and steady wins the race😊.

Offline Untidy Shop

  • Posts: 2677
Re: Sanding Swirls with a RO 125
« Reply #19 on: December 31, 2018, 04:08 PM »
Re swirls - also vacuum the work piece as you change grits. That way remnants of courser Grit will not be ground in by the new higher Grit paper.

Re technique- as others have said hold at end of handle and gently at top of motor housing. Use your hands to guide rather than push, as with all sanders:  let the sander and chosen Grit do the work.
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Offline JimmyB1775

  • Posts: 14
Re: Sanding Swirls with a RO 125
« Reply #20 on: December 31, 2018, 06:06 PM »
I grabbed a demo 150 from work and tried it and it was much smoother.  But ultimately, it have me a better idea of how to hold my 125.  Still need a finish sander.

Offline rst

  • Posts: 2069
Re: Sanding Swirls with a RO 125
« Reply #21 on: December 31, 2018, 08:36 PM »
Jimmy, get one of the ETS ECs, 3 or 5 depending on your preference.

Offline Sanderxpander

  • Posts: 193
Re: Sanding Swirls with a RO 125
« Reply #22 on: January 01, 2019, 02:43 PM »
Just my opinion, but I'd recommend the ETS EC 125 if you want the 5" pad size, otherwise the same version sander in a 150.

That limits your options...the 150mm ETS EC will only accept a 150mm pad, the 125mm ETS EC will accept both the 125mm & 150mm pad. Get it while you still can...this just may become an endangered species.

I’m actually thinking about purchasing a used ETS EC 150/5 and incorporating certain parts to produce an ETS EC 125/5 that will accept both 125mm & 150mm pads. The best of all worlds.

So 2 sanders that will support 4 different versions of the same sander.
Or just buy a 5mm stroke Mirka Deros.

Offline nixy

  • Posts: 6
Re: Sanding Swirls with a RO 125
« Reply #23 on: January 08, 2019, 05:03 AM »
If your going to buy the ETS EC 125 sander, I would consider looking at the Mirka Deros. I compared the two side by side. The Mirka Deros was much easier to use, handle and grip positions were excellent. The Festool on/off button was awkward to keep pressing and the grip was bulky.

I have used the Mirka Deros to sand walls, doors, even narrow beeds of square profiled wood. The handling is amazing.

The only tiny small criticism on the Mirka Deros is you cant leave it running permanently (spinning) without keeping the paddle pressed with your hand, if you take you hand off - the sander stops. But its only a small thing.

(Sorry to upset the Festool enthusiasts). A friend new to wood working also tried both sanders, he preferred the Mirka instantly.

But I will admit the flappy paddle on the Mirka is not for all. Some don't always like it.

Offline Sanderxpander

  • Posts: 193
Re: Sanding Swirls with a RO 125
« Reply #24 on: January 08, 2019, 10:50 AM »
If you really don't like the paddle you could just use a rubber band or cable tie to keep it in place and use the on/off switch like on the Festool. I love the Mirka/Abranet combo, but to be fair I have never used an ETS EC.

Offline JimmyB1775

  • Posts: 14
Re: Sanding Swirls with a RO 125
« Reply #25 on: January 11, 2019, 12:21 PM »
Re: the "Other" sander

We had a NCAA Championship Game customer appreciation event at Dave & Busters Monday and it was sponsored by Dewalt. Dewalt is VERY open with free goods but I can't have any at events. I'm the distributor. I've been hounding my rep for the new 20v cordless 5" palm sander and the 20v palm router. He brought a sander as a giveaway. I made mention of it and he quickly recovered "I brought that for you, go put it in your truck before everyone starts showing up!" So now I have the palm sander which I'll say is quite efficient considering its a $99 sander. All that said, I grabbed the Fes ETS EC demo from work to test it side by side with my RO 125 and the Dewalt. I'm sure I'll find it amazing and I won't be able to live without it, but perhaps now that I have a new 5" palm sander, I might be able to save myself $400 for a while. Buy something else I don't need.