Author Topic: LS 130 linear sander pad not flat?  (Read 1522 times)

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Offline TJ Cornish

  • Posts: 96
LS 130 linear sander pad not flat?
« on: July 03, 2017, 08:58 AM »
I picked up a LS 130 this weekend and I like the concept as I'm impatient and always seem to end up with swirlies when using the Rotex.  I seem to be having a slight problem with the tool though - the flat pad that comes with the sander isn't actually flat - it's slightly concave.  It appears the corners of the foot of the sander push the edges of the pad away from the sander, creating this shape.  I purchased a second pad too, which gets pressed in the same manner.

Does anyone else have this problem?  I've worked around it temporarily with an interface pad, but that's not always the right solution.

Thanks!

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Offline Gregor

  • Posts: 411
Re: LS 130 linear sander pad not flat?
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2017, 09:04 AM »
always seem to end up with swirlies when using the Rotex.
Can't help on the linear sander, sorry, but try reduced suction on your vac to get rid of the swirl marks with the rotex.

Offline TJ Cornish

  • Posts: 96
Re: LS 130 linear sander pad not flat?
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2017, 09:27 AM »
The problem isn't vacuum pressure, it's my impatience that causes me to go too fast/push too hard.  Sanding with the grain makes a big difference in overcoming my technique imperfections.

Offline aloysius

  • Posts: 154
Re: LS 130 linear sander pad not flat?
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2017, 10:05 AM »
As you've undoubtedly already found there's 2 fatal flaws with the LS130:  firstly, it's really only useful for sanding along the grain fibres.  Any tangential offset will result in similar scoring to that produced by a belt sander.  This is of course emphasized in coarser grits.  This can be useful too in some applications, but generally it is truly only useful as the name suggests:  as a linear sander.

The second flaw is that it is really, frustratingly, almost painfully slow in comparison to just about any alternative device.  Much slower than an orbital, and even slower again to either the ROTary and EXzenter modes of say your Rotex, or just about any other type of random orbit sander.

I'll even stick my neck out & say that it's slower (probably due to the very short stroke length and linear action) to a cork block and painter's paper too.  It does have its place, but in my opinion it really doesn't fulfil the marketing boast of it being a more rapid and easier alternative to hand sanding.

Sorry for being a bit negative about your new purchase, but this has been my experience of the tool for the past decade or so.  I originally had 2, but still retain one until I use up my remaining abrasive stocks.  This will probably be quite some time yet, as I really don't have all that much inclination or inducement to use the tool much any more, given the considered superiority of alternative tools/methods/techniques.

A couple of suggestions too.  It's really important to keep the pad "flat" to the substrate.  Especially with the profiled pads, which will rapidly delaminate (velcro from sponge wadding) otherwise.  Point loading (heat) on the 2 ends will result in the sponge backing rapidly crumbling away and ruining the pad.  An expensive ($60!) pad can be irreparably ruined in mere minutes in inept or inexperienced hands.  Try to keep spare pads sealed in zip-lock plakky bags & out of the sun to avoid oxidation and breakdown of pad foam through some combination of UV or atmospheric exposure.  Pads that have yellowed with age or sunlight exposure seem to break down & crumble much more rapidly & readily than newer, younger, more pristine "white" ones will.
FOG-wit since '95:  Some say since birth...

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 3253
Re: LS 130 linear sander pad not flat?
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2017, 10:14 AM »
Here's a photo of mine...the pad is very flat.

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 5433
Re: LS 130 linear sander pad not flat?
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2017, 10:50 AM »
Since the pad is made out of foam it is inevitable to have a little play at the edges. It is minimal though, and doesn't in any way affect its performance, in my opinion.

Offline TJ Cornish

  • Posts: 96
Re: LS 130 linear sander pad not flat?
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2017, 11:08 AM »
Since the pad is made out of foam it is inevitable to have a little play at the edges. It is minimal though, and doesn't in any way affect its performance, in my opinion.
My pad doesn't look like Cheese's - it's about 1/16" higher in the middle compared to the edges.  This matters significantly - as is it only sands on the edges, which will screw up the flatness of what I'm sanding.

My question isn't so much is it OK (it clearly isn't), but is there some known issue or adjustment I can make without having to drive 30 miles to the dealer to exchange or return it.

Offline SRSemenza

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Re: LS 130 linear sander pad not flat?
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2017, 11:41 AM »
   I noticed on my LS130 that the flat pad does tend to be slightly bent when mounted on the sander. I decided to store it removed from the sander with the idea that it will prevent it from becoming worse. I don't really know if it helps or not. I almost never use the flat pad. It is very rare when another type of sander won't do a flat sanding job better. Of course that isn't really what the 130 is designed for in my opinion.

   I am not sure how the fact that it is a linear sander is a flaw? If it wasn't linear it would be useless for sanding profiles, which certainly seems to be the intended use.  Thats like saying the ETS150 is flawed because it is a random orbit sander and it won't sand profiles?

     Whether or not it is faster better than hand sanding is dependant on the task. If sanding for smoothness on 20' or less of new wood , then I find hand sanding to be just as fast or faster. Doing more quantity I usually find the LS130 faster.  But if stripping or sanding a larger quantity, especially in place, the LS130 beats hand sanding easily ( at least in my useage). A few days ago I was stripping about 25' of baseboards. I used the LS130 for the top trim profile. It took me 30 minutes. I know from experience that this would have been 2 - 3 hours by hand. I didn't use the 130 for the flat portion because it isn't good at that.

     

 

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 5433
Re: LS 130 linear sander pad not flat?
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2017, 02:47 PM »
Since the pad is made out of foam it is inevitable to have a little play at the edges. It is minimal though, and doesn't in any way affect its performance, in my opinion.
My pad doesn't look like Cheese's - it's about 1/16" higher in the middle compared to the edges.  This matters significantly - as is it only sands on the edges, which will screw up the flatness of what I'm sanding.

My question isn't so much is it OK (it clearly isn't), but is there some known issue or adjustment I can make without having to drive 30 miles to the dealer to exchange or return it.

I missed the concave part in your first post. Shouldn't the edges be higher then than the middle? That seems like a big flaw. The LS130 I had didn't have this. I never liked this sander anyway, got rid of it very quickly.

This is the first time I'v read about this particular issue with the LS130 here on the FOG, so I doubt there's some built-in adjustment you can make, apart from grinding flat the sole that holds the pad. You're probably best off discussing this with Festool's service department or return it straight away. If I were you I'd return it and get an RTS400 or DTS400 sander, they're much nicer. I agree with Aloysius the LS130 isn't good for much and horribly slow.

Offline ScotF

  • Posts: 2305
Re: LS 130 linear sander pad not flat?
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2017, 04:17 PM »
Since the pad is made out of foam it is inevitable to have a little play at the edges. It is minimal though, and doesn't in any way affect its performance, in my opinion.
My pad doesn't look like Cheese's - it's about 1/16" higher in the middle compared to the edges.  This matters significantly - as is it only sands on the edges, which will screw up the flatness of what I'm sanding.

My question isn't so much is it OK (it clearly isn't), but is there some known issue or adjustment I can make without having to drive 30 miles to the dealer to exchange or return it.

I missed the concave part in your first post. Shouldn't the edges be higher then than the middle? That seems like a big flaw. The LS130 I had didn't have this. I never liked this sander anyway, got rid of it very quickly.

This is the first time I'v read about this particular issue with the LS130 here on the FOG, so I doubt there's some built-in adjustment you can make, apart from grinding flat the sole that holds the pad. You're probably best off discussing this with Festool's service department or return it straight away. If I were you I'd return it and get an RTS400 or DTS400 sander, they're much nicer. I agree with Aloysius the LS130 isn't good for much and horribly slow.

Alex - do you find you just sand profiles by hand or is there a different sander you use for these purposes? I have been toying with the idea of adding one for some upcoming stair rails refinishing I need to do. I also do profile sanding with various moldings - not a ton of that type of work, but it is tedious to sand by hand and I hate the dust. Just curious what you have done or if you have a new to do this often. This is one of those sanders that seems like you are either in the love it or hate it camp.

Thanks!

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 5433
Re: LS 130 linear sander pad not flat?
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2017, 05:11 PM »
Alex - do you find you just sand profiles by hand or is there a different sander you use for these purposes? I have been toying with the idea of adding one for some upcoming stair rails refinishing I need to do. I also do profile sanding with various moldings - not a ton of that type of work, but it is tedious to sand by hand and I hate the dust. Just curious what you have done or if you have a new to do this often. This is one of those sanders that seems like you are either in the love it or hate it camp.

I do them by hand when I have to. Luckily I don't encounter them that often. I can see the LS130 make sense when you have to do a lot of profiles, because hand sanding does get tiresome real quickly. But beyond that specific task, I'd choose any other sander before I'd take out the LS130.

Offline TJ Cornish

  • Posts: 96
Re: LS 130 linear sander pad not flat?
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2017, 08:17 AM »
Here's mine - not flat.  The plastic shoe of the sander is concave too - it seems intentional, but I can't figure out why you would want the pad not flat.

Off to the dealer to see what the choices are.

Offline TJ Cornish

  • Posts: 96
Re: LS 130 linear sander pad not flat?
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2017, 04:38 PM »
Update - the dealer called Festool, and supposedly the concavity is "by design".  The dealer's demo looked the same as mine, so it's not a one-off.

This must have been a change at some point as Cheese's picture shows the pad being flat.

Offline TJ Cornish

  • Posts: 96
It's flat now
« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2017, 10:07 AM »
After looking in Ekat and seeing the price of the shoe of the sander is a whopping $16, I decided to try an experiment - sanding the bottom of the sander flat.

I put a piece of 220 grit sandpaper facing up on my cast iron table saw table and moved the sander back and forth by hand to sand off the cupped profile of the shoe.  It took maybe 15 minutes, much of that time deliberating if I had sanded enough. 

I think the result is good enough for me - the pad still fits securely to the sander shoe, and is now flat.  I've done a fair bit of work with the sander since this modification, and it seems to be working well.  There is plenty of plastic left in the shoe after sanding, so I'm not worried about having weakened the part.

I still think the need to do this is stupid - I'm not sure in what circumstances a concave pad would be better than a flat pad.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2017, 10:32 AM by TJ Cornish »

Offline waho6o9

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Re: LS 130 linear sander pad not flat?
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2017, 10:17 AM »
Interesting