Author Topic: sander options  (Read 2194 times)

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Offline allent

  • Posts: 5
sander options
« on: November 09, 2017, 10:05 AM »
I just found this forum and it looks very interesting and active.  I started reading the discussions and there is a tremendous amount of good information here.  I am hoping to get some of your thoughts and recommendations on a choice of sanders for me.

I just purchased a ETS EC 125/3 EQ COMPACT BRUSHLESS FINISH SANDER and a 5M HOSE W/ SLEEVE.  I got it for its reportedly excellent dust collection and my Porter Cable 5" sander died.

Before I got a chance to use it I received an advertisement for the new hybrid sanders.  I am considering exchanging what I purchased for one of the hybrids and would appreciate any input you have on the battery option, the shorter stroke, and the alternate pad shapes for use as a primary sander.

This is my first post, so let me give you some context for this.  I have been building furniture as a hobby with some commissions for many years.  I have a website which will give you an idea of the type of work I do. http://allentownsendwoodworking.com.   My work ranges from small items to adding a deck with mostly custom one of a kind furniture.   I have a well equipped shop which includes a few Festool pieces, namely a TS55EQ plus Track saw and 3 tracks, clamps etc; a Domino 500Q-plus; and a CT22E vacuum with the Oneida ultimate dust deputy.  I am impressed with the Festool quality and design.

As far as portable sanders go I have a Bosch 6" dual mode sander which I use for rough work and polishing table tops, a Fein multimaster tool that I use for detail sanding.  My primary portable sander was the 5" Porter Cable random orbital sander which I am replacing with the Festool ETSC 125/3.  I will use this for sanding flat and curved surfaces with a soft pad.

I also own a fiberglass sailboat.  I do some maintenance while it is in the water.  This is one application where battery power would be a plus for me both from easier accessibility without a chord and safety around water.

I would also appreciate any thoughts as to the shape of the pad.  I have always used the 5" round pad for general sanding.  My experience with other shapes is that they came with underpowered sanders and were disappointing.  Given that the Festool sanders probably have adequate power, I am curious if I should consider the delta shaped pads for my primary sander.  If anyone uses this shape particularly with Festool sanders for furniture and general sanding I would appreciate your thoughts.

I realize this is a long post and has several questions, but I hope the background helps.  I look forward to your thoughts and reading more of the discussions in the forum.

Thank you for your time and insights.
Allen

 






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Offline jacko9

  • Posts: 2347
Re: sander options
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2017, 12:43 PM »
Hello Allen,

I viewed your work on your web site and I'm impressed with the design and quality!  I also have been building furniture for many years and when the Domino joiner came out I got into Festool.  I always hated sanding because of the dust issue but after experiencing the quality of the Domino and the CT22 I decided to replace my Bosch and other sanders with Festool.  My first purchase was the ETS 125 but within one week I brought it back to the store and bought the RO90 and the ETS 150/3.  Those two sanders are my main tools now but I decided that for furniture with vertical surfaces I wanted the ETS 125 so I bought one when Festool had one of their rare re-conditioned tool sales.  I also decided that the LS 130 is just what I needed for curved surfaces since I was under impressed with the speed and efficiency of my Fein Multimaster.  I find that Festool's Garnat sanding formulation is fantastic for hardwoods and the discs seem to last many times what my older paper discs did.

Jack

Offline Holmz

  • Posts: 4010
Re: sander options
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2017, 03:36 PM »
Some others to consider are:
- (boat) a /9 or /12-mm pneumatic random orbital.rupes (and maybe Mirka) make some good ones.
- (furnature) orbital sander like the Festool RS2, but there are other options that are arguably better.
- have you considered a belt sander and frame?

Offline ScotF

  • Posts: 2374
Re: sander options
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2017, 06:59 PM »
The 125 is a great sander. Very powerful and versatile. I have the RTS and DTS and those are great sanders too - if I had to choose one it would be the DTS over the RTS just for ease of getting into corners, but I really do like the RTS and it has the ability to use interface pads for curved shapes with is nice. I am not sure that the DTS would be my main choice for one sander - it would work, but be slow on larger surfaces. An ideal combination would be both the DTS and the 125 to cover a wide range of tasks.

Great site, BTW, and some beautiful pieces. Thanks for posting a link to it.

Offline allent

  • Posts: 5
Re: sander options
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2017, 08:43 PM »
Thank you for your comments. 

I talked with the people that I purchased the sander from today and they encouraged me to try the one that I have before making my decision since it is returnable within 30 days.

I tried it for a bit this evening.  I sanded the carved seat of a prototype chair I am working on.  It was contoured and roughed out in poplar.  I sanded with the 120 paper that came with the sander and a soft pad interface.  I was impressed with how well it smoothed the seat and controlled the dust.  Clearly this is a major improvement over what I have been using.  I will certainly think about the other ones you mentioned.

I am still intrigued with the delta pad, but the round pad was probably the right one for this job.

Thanks again,
Allen

I will try a few more things over the next several days.


Offline Holmz

  • Posts: 4010
Re: sander options
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2017, 09:11 AM »
The Mirka abradenet screens work on these sander also and may be worth trying.

Online SRSemenza

  • Global Moderator
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  • Posts: 8166
  • Finger Lakes Region, NY State , USA
Re: sander options
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2017, 10:48 AM »
Welcome to the forum Allen  [smile]

    Don't worry about the long post. More depth is one of the things that forums do better than other types of social media. The back ground is great to know.

    Seth

Offline McNally Family

  • Posts: 517
  • Festool Atomic Phaser Particle Blaster (APPB Set)
Re: sander options
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2017, 11:59 AM »
Wow, I really enjoyed your website and the wonderful projects you have on display!  I also found myself rather envious of your shop size.  It seems you have plenty of room to move around.

Hopefully you will continue to post and give us details as to how you achieve your spectacular results!  Other, more experienced woodworkers will be in a better position to give opinions on which sander you should consider next.  Myself, I am too much the novice to be giving you my opinion.

GREEN: In order of purchase = | CT26 w/Installer Cleaning Set | C18 5.2 Set w/Centrotec Installer's Set | RS 2 E | Hose w/ Sleeve 3.5m | 115mm X 226mm Hand Sanding Block | 80mm X 133mm Hand Sanding Block | HSK D21.5 5m hose | CT Boom Arm Bundle Set |  Won the CXS Li 2.6 90 Limited Edition on 06/20/2016 | Metric Parallel Guide Set | 1080 Plate for custom MFT | OF 1400 EQ Router (metric) w/accessories | FS1400/2-LR 32 Guide Rail (x1) |  SYS-Rock BR10 | Cordless Sanders RTSC 400 Set, DTSC 400 Basic, ETSC 125 Basic  | Linear Sander LS 130 | Next  Purchase: TBD

RED: // Mafell P1cc  //  MT55cc  // Next purchase: TBD

Offline allent

  • Posts: 5
Re: sander options
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2017, 08:13 PM »
Yes, I am fortunate to have some good space for my workshop.  My wife comments that I keep expanding my shop and moving her storage to a smaller and smaller area.

Thanks to everyone for your posts and advice.  I will look for a demonstration in my area where I can try the battery one with a power chord, hopefully before my 30 days runs out at the end of the month.  In the meantime,  I will continue to try the one that I have.  I will let you know if I decide to try the battery one. 

Thanks again for your comments and suggestions.

Allen

Offline jacko9

  • Posts: 2347
Re: sander options
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2017, 11:56 PM »
Yes, I am fortunate to have some good space for my workshop.  My wife comments that I keep expanding my shop and moving her storage to a smaller and smaller area.

Thanks to everyone for your posts and advice.  I will look for a demonstration in my area where I can try the battery one with a power chord, hopefully before my 30 days runs out at the end of the month.  In the meantime,  I will continue to try the one that I have.  I will let you know if I decide to try the battery one. 

Thanks again for your comments and suggestions.

Allen

Allen, Let us know what you think after deciding on your purchase and let us know what you think about whatever products you but or if you decide to keep what you already have.

One thing you may want to consider is disc size commonality.  I have a several sanders and keeping an inventory of too many sizes get's expensive.

Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 758
Re: sander options
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2017, 05:48 AM »
"I also own a fiberglass sailboat.  I do some maintenance while it is in the water. 
This is one application where battery power would be a plus for me both from easier
accessibility without a chord and safety around water."

This might seem silly but think about using a lanyard with your cordless sander when
working on the boat near the waters edge. A simple strap to your wrist with a short
tether to the tool could avoid an unplanned dunking of your tool. If you lost your grip
for whatever reason of bumped into something and the sander was knocked out of
your hand and you're near the water it could go overboard if working topside. With
no cord or hose attached to the tool you'd have little chance of grabbing it before it
hit the water.

The cordless sanders are so new there is probably limited hands on experience among
the group since they first became available only a few weeks ago.
-----
It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Offline Holmz

  • Posts: 4010
Re: sander options
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2017, 04:47 PM »
"I also own a fiberglass sailboat..."
...

A pneumatic sander has both the lanyard, and the safely of no electricity.
There is a reason why the are popular in the boat and automotive industries.
IMO get a pneumatic.

I have a DEROS which is modelled after a pneumatic and great, but for what you are doing, or if I was using similar I would get the 50 year old technology that is well proven.

Apologies for the tone Bob, but safety first! ... and one can get 10 used pneumatics, or 2 really good ones, for the price of a single battery powered sander.

And for other composit work (especially carbon fibre which is conductive) a pneumatic drill is also worth considering.

But the battery sander do seem sexy until one considers what is really important
. (iMO - and I could be wrong...)
« Last Edit: November 19, 2017, 05:24 AM by Holmz »

Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 758
Re: sander options
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2017, 08:19 AM »
"I also own a fiberglass sailboat..."
...

A pneumatic sander has both the lanyard, and the safely of no electricity.
There is a reason why the are popular in the boat and automotive industries.
IMO get a pneumatic.

I have a DEROS which is modelled after a pneumatic and great, but for what you are doing, or if I was using similar I would get the 50 year old technology that is well proven.

Apologies for the tone Bob, but safety first! ... and one can get 10 used pneumatics, or 2 really good ones, for the price of a single battery powered sander.

And for other composit work (especially carbon fibre which is conductive) a pneumatic drill is also worth considering.

But the battery sander do seem sexy until one considers what is really important
. (iMO - and I could be wrong...)

No apology necessary, I agree that the pneumatic tool would be safer vice an AC powered sander. But a battery powered sander if you dropped it in the water wouldn't put the user or anyone else at risk, the tool would be trashed most likely though which is what prompted my suggestion to use a lanyard. At work we do a lot maintenance or new construction near/over/under water or large open vessels where NOTHING is allowed to be 'lost' or dropped because recovery would be hugely expensive or put people or equipment at risk, so we do formal risk assessments and consider potential options such as this all the time.
-----
It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Offline Holmz

  • Posts: 4010
Re: sander options
« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2017, 03:55 PM »
But still... why?

A pneumatic is usually half in water most if the time when people are wet sanding. And even if dropped into it then it should still work fine... but likely will corrode over time.

Plus they have the big 9 and 12 orbits in pneumatic (in addition to small)... and not solely 2-mm finish sanders.

But only one if us is a boat builder, so I defer to your judgement.

Offline allent

  • Posts: 5
Re: sander options
« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2017, 05:50 PM »
wow, there are a lot of good ideas here.  This has been quite an education in sanding and in particular Festool sanders.

Today I went into Boston (during rush hour traffic) to see a Festool demo of the hybrid sanders.  It was worth the trip.  the hybrids have about 1/2 the power of the ETS EC 125/3 and a 2mm vs 3mm stroke which makes them more of a light finish sander than I am want for my primary sanders.  However, I did get a chance to look at the RO90.  In the posts above Jack mentioned this and the ETS 150/3 as his main sanders.  I can see why.  Actually, I think his collection of sanders including the LS 130 is my new wish list.
 
The Ro 90 was quite impressive in that it has the power of the ETS EC 125/3 with a smaller pad and the option of the delta pad.  My only reservation is learning to handle it so that it does not gouge the work.  Since it can be much more aggressive than the ETS EC 125/3 i expect to need finer grit papers.

I need to figure out a good collection of papers to stock.   Any suggestions for papers for new work with the RO 90?  I use mostly cherry, mahogany, walnut, and hard maple, but a variety of other hardwoods as well.

I am seriously thinking that I will be trading my ETS EC 125/3 for the RO90. 

Thanks again for all the comments and suggestions.




Offline McNally Family

  • Posts: 517
  • Festool Atomic Phaser Particle Blaster (APPB Set)
Re: sander options
« Reply #15 on: November 20, 2017, 09:18 PM »
wow, there are a lot of good ideas here.  This has been quite an education in sanding and in particular Festool sanders.

Today I went into Boston (during rush hour traffic) to see a Festool demo of the hybrid sanders.  It was worth the trip.  the hybrids have about 1/2 the power of the ETS EC 125/3 and a 2mm vs 3mm stroke which makes them more of a light finish sander than I am want for my primary sanders.  However, I did get a chance to look at the RO90.  In the posts above Jack mentioned this and the ETS 150/3 as his main sanders.  I can see why.  Actually, I think his collection of sanders including the LS 130 is my new wish list.
 
The Ro 90 was quite impressive in that it has the power of the ETS EC 125/3 with a smaller pad and the option of the delta pad.  My only reservation is learning to handle it so that it does not gouge the work.  Since it can be much more aggressive than the ETS EC 125/3 i expect to need finer grit papers.

I need to figure out a good collection of papers to stock.   Any suggestions for papers for new work with the RO 90?  I use mostly cherry, mahogany, walnut, and hard maple, but a variety of other hardwoods as well.

I am seriously thinking that I will be trading my ETS EC 125/3 for the RO90. 

Thanks again for all the comments and suggestions.


Since receiving the new Festool mailer last week, which covers the battery sanders in more detail, I had been considering the idea of purchasing the RTSC version.  I have a rather large supply of paper for that size sander because I already own the Festool hand sanding block that incorporates  dust extraction.  Another incentive was the fact I could order all the components of the "set" version, less the charger since the batteries, while not working on any other Festool tool, will charge on my existing TCL 6 charger that came with my drill.  Doing so would lower the cost from $600.00 to $515.00, before I applied my Festool $50.00 voucher, further lowering my cost. 

However, I also have had my eye on the  LS 130 since I started with Festool, because I like the idea of a linear sander (as close to hand sanding as one can get with a power sander).   I also like the higher sanding stroke the LS 130 provides, in addition to the potential for custom forms.

After reading your impressions of the battery sanders, I am now thinking of giving myself the LS 130 for Christmas.   Thanks so much for your input.   
« Last Edit: November 20, 2017, 09:22 PM by McNally Family »
GREEN: In order of purchase = | CT26 w/Installer Cleaning Set | C18 5.2 Set w/Centrotec Installer's Set | RS 2 E | Hose w/ Sleeve 3.5m | 115mm X 226mm Hand Sanding Block | 80mm X 133mm Hand Sanding Block | HSK D21.5 5m hose | CT Boom Arm Bundle Set |  Won the CXS Li 2.6 90 Limited Edition on 06/20/2016 | Metric Parallel Guide Set | 1080 Plate for custom MFT | OF 1400 EQ Router (metric) w/accessories | FS1400/2-LR 32 Guide Rail (x1) |  SYS-Rock BR10 | Cordless Sanders RTSC 400 Set, DTSC 400 Basic, ETSC 125 Basic  | Linear Sander LS 130 | Next  Purchase: TBD

RED: // Mafell P1cc  //  MT55cc  // Next purchase: TBD

Offline Holmz

  • Posts: 4010
Re: sander options
« Reply #16 on: November 21, 2017, 12:19 AM »
wow, there are a lot of good ideas here.  This has been quite an education in sanding and in particular Festool sanders.

Today I went into Boston (during rush hour traffic) to see a Festool demo of the hybrid sanders.  It was worth the trip.  the hybrids have about 1/2 the power of the ETS EC 125/3 and a 2mm vs 3mm stroke which makes them more of a light finish sander than I am want for my primary sanders.  However, I did get a chance to look at the RO90.  In the posts above Jack mentioned this and the ETS 150/3 as his main sanders.  I can see why.  Actually, I think his collection of sanders including the LS 130 is my new wish list.
 
The Ro 90 was quite impressive in that it has the power of the ETS EC 125/3 with a smaller pad and the option of the delta pad.  My only reservation is learning to handle it so that it does not gouge the work.  Since it can be much more aggressive than the ETS EC 125/3 i expect to need finer grit papers.

I need to figure out a good collection of papers to stock.   Any suggestions for papers for new work with the RO 90?  I use mostly cherry, mahogany, walnut, and hard maple, but a variety of other hardwoods as well.

I am seriously thinking that I will be trading my ETS EC 125/3 for the RO90. 

Thanks again for all the comments and suggestions.

Another option is trying to find a used DX93 for the corner sanding, and keeping the ETC/EC.
Being essentially what I did, I feel it is a good approach... But I also got a belt sander for making things flat.
(It is harder for me to get the wood flat, than it is to get it smooth.)

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 3873
Re: sander options
« Reply #17 on: November 21, 2017, 02:32 AM »
I was sanding some trim today along with removing some areas of drywall that were proud. I started with the Pro 5, and that worked well until I ran out of room. So I tried the RO 90.. that worked a bit better, however the combination of the long handle and the wide body vs the small sanding head diameter meant I was continually trying to see what I was sanding while trying not to contact the adjoining surfaces. Let’s try the DX 93...now this works a lot better but the triangular pad still makes it difficult to not touch adjoining surfaces. Finally realizing I had nothing to lose, I pulled out the LS 130 and attached the 90 degree sanding pad...perfect. Long story short, I started with my first sander of choice that I thought would be up to the task, but it took me 3 more sanders to actually find the one that works best for my application. That’s the reason most FOG contributors have multiple Festool sanders, they’ve learned the hard way.

Now if I were asked what my favorite, if I could only own 1 sander would be, without a doubt it’s the ETS EC 125. Putting this into perspective, along with the above mentioned sanders I also own the RO 125, the original ETS 125 & DTS 400 and the RS 2.

The ETS EC 125 for the majority of my sanding tasks is absolutely unequalled. Also remember that while Festool does not condone this, a 150 pad can be attached to the sander for extra flexibility.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2017, 02:39 AM by Cheese »

Offline Pnw painter

  • Posts: 123
sander options
« Reply #18 on: November 21, 2017, 05:54 AM »
If you're almost always planning on having your sanders hooked up to a vac then the cordless versions might not be necessary.

As I see it you need a sander for large flat areas and another sander or sanders to help you get in corners and other spots where a 5" doesn't fit or is awkward to use. The RTS and DTS sanders would be excellent choices. The RO90 would be another option, but its size and weight can make it awkward and tiring to use.





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Offline Holmz

  • Posts: 4010
Re: sander options
« Reply #19 on: November 21, 2017, 07:22 AM »
If you're almost always planning on having your sanders hooked up to a vac then the cordless versions might not be necessary.

As I see it you need a sander for large flat areas and another sander or sanders to help you get in corners and other spots where a 5" doesn't fit or is awkward to use. The RTS and DTS sanders would be excellent choices. The RO90 would be another option, but its size and weight can make it awkward and tiring to use.

That pretty much sums it up.

Additionally if one does most of the sanding before assembly then the corner work is minimised.
And scrapers also offer some use on both raw wood and for removing layers of finish with a heat gun.
(Many ways to skin a cat)

Offline allent

  • Posts: 5
Re: sander options
« Reply #20 on: November 21, 2017, 06:03 PM »
I have had a chance to use the ETS EC 125/3 a couple of times now.  It seems hard to beat for a 5" random orbital sander so I will keep it.  When I get a handle on the sandpaper grits that I want to stock for the RO 90, I will order it and try it.  It sounds like a good size and shape for more detailed work and an improvement over my Fein Multimaster.

Thanks for all the suggestions and comments.  Now I need to turn my attention to making a few Christmas presents for the grandchildren.  Tough duty, but someone has to do it.

Thanks again for all of your help.

Allen