I have often been asked about what tools I use in the work shopped why I picked that make
So today I will be looking at the sanders and grinders we use, ones we no longer use and ones I wish we could still get.
We have 3 main types sheet sanders either 1/3 or 1/2 sheet sanders
random orbit 150mm sanders
and belt sanders
Now I am all for using cheap tools that you can throw away when working with epoxy, but I have learnt that with sanders you need to spend a bit. Sanding epoxy is hard on any tool and when the stuff is as tough as ours you do need tools that will cope.
So here we go oldest first, My oldest sander (pic 1) is a 1/2 sheet sander made by wicks diy when they had their tools made by aeg and others. It has given good service I believe I got it around 1999 but it is starting to have seen better days I will be looking at a replacement for this.
My oldest belt sander (pic 2)which is alas no more was a Ryobi Industrial belt sander it was powerful fairly light for its power and size and something you could use all day, Ryobi decided to stop producing it as they lasted too long and never broke down until they were absolutely busted to hell. this has now been replaced with a Makita 9401 (pic 3) a real brut but very heavy and busts belts within seconds if you don’t use genuine grade belts in the 80 grit range
Random orbit/circular sanding
We have had quite a few sanders in this range using cheap diy black & dealer to makita. The black and dealer only lasted a few times before it was found to be to under powered for the work it was asked to do we then went to dewalt DW443 (pic 4) . now we were told that this was a really top notch sander and could deal with anything we could throw at it, to date it is the one tool that I have been totally disappointed with and the tool that made me ban Dewalt as being over priced and underperforming rubbish
next are the two mainstays of the sanding world for us they are both Makita the 9227CB (pic 5 )which has a 150 pad attached and is a real heavy remover of material , so much so that we only use up to a 80 grit paper normally running a 120 grit paper on it.
The next is the Makita BO 6040 (pic 6), now this machine was bought in about 2013/4 and has been in use daily it has been dropped banged abused and worked dame hard we should have been taken to court for abuse. It is one of the best machines I have bought and I would by another tomorrow except that Makita have stopped making it and bought out the 6050J to replace it but they had to bring out a new pad system as well which does not work with the older machines well cocked up makita you were doing so well up until then. So old machine is being repaired and we will try the new one but because of the pad I am not on Makitas side at the moment.
When sanding epoxy we try to keep the papers sharp by using course grit and going down in lots of stages to the grade we want, change papers often and blow the dust out of the machine