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  1. #1
    Petty Officer 1st Class JJB's Avatar
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    Default Best sander to Buy ?

    What is the best type of sander to buy for using on fiberglass ?

  2. #2
    Honorary Moderator Emeritus tashasdaddy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best sander to Buy ?

    it really depends on the job you are trying to do. orbital elect/air, you don't have to spend the top dollar, just keep the dust blown out of the motors.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Best sander to Buy ?

    If you want to agressively remove material to prep for glassing, then my favorite is an angle grinder with a 24 grit disc. Removes material quickly.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Best sander to Buy ?

    One part of the decision is whether you get electric or air powered, kind of pay me now, for the BIG air compressor, or pay me later, individual electric tools can be more expensive than air.

    On my project I used my random orbit sander, belt sander, grinder with sanding discs and grinding wheels and even my dremel.

    The most versatile of sanders is a random orbit sander. You can do finish sanding with it but also put 36 grit paper on it and get aggressive. Not as good as a belt sander or grinder, but it will take paint and gel coat off.

    I have had decent luck with Ryobi for cheap sanders, I have not tried Harbor Freight or similar Chinese brands, and shy away based on cheap grinder that i bought.

    But as probably has been said before. if you are doing boat repair and renovations, the tool you MUST have is a 4 1/2 inch right angle grinder. Go get a ridgid or other name brand low cost unit and go for it. You will be using it later to sharpen your mower blade and pruning shears.

  5. #5
    Honorary Moderator Emeritus tashasdaddy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best sander to Buy ?

    i have had excellant service from my ryobi, tools, and my ryobi 18 volt tools.
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  6. #6
    Petty Officer 2nd Class kalla man's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best sander to Buy ?

    i bought a harbor freight electric orbital for about 25 bucks works great, its about a year old and made it thru a project, many many many hours of sanding, keep waiting for it to crap out, but i have a chicago electric angle grinder(which is a harbor freight brand) that i have had for at least 10 years and worked like a dog thats still runs like a champ! they are CHEEP and i so far most tools electric and pneumatic ive gotten from HF have held up well, and at that price hell they are almost disposable.

  7. #7
    Seaman Apprentice
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    Default Re: Best sander to Buy ?

    I just bought Dewalt's new random orbital sander. It is has a 5" disk for hook and loop pads, heavy-duty rated, variable speed and filtration. If you buy it at Lowes, I believe they are still offering a 15% discount on all power tools and then you also get a $20 mail in rebate from Dewalt. Retail price was $89 and final price with discount and rebate was $55.

    I used this the past two weeks completely sanding down and prepping my boat for new gel coat. The variable speed feature is nice for less aggressive/fine tuning applications.

    Dan

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Best sander to Buy ?

    I am a air tool technician and hands down I like Ingersoll Rand

  9. #9
    Commander drewpster's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best sander to Buy ?

    My wife bought me a Dewalt 5" orbital for my B-day last year just for working on the boat. I have used it more than just about any other tool. And now I hate my wife. I have dust in my ears.

  10. #10
    Supreme Mariner Boomyal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best sander to Buy ?

    Quote Originally Posted by drewpster View Post
    My wife bought me a Dewalt 5" orbital for my B-day last year just for working on the boat. I have used it more than just about any other tool. And now I hate my wife. I have dust in my ears.
    Great wife Drewpst. Not many would buy their man tools.

  11. #11
    Seaman Apprentice
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    Default Re: Best sander to Buy ?

    Agreed, I'm very lucky that my fiance has bought me a tool for every special occasion (Christmas, B-day, Valentines, etc...) since we have been together. I just keep telling her, these tools will build what YOU want someday.

    Dan

  12. #12
    Vice Admiral Yacht Dr.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Best sander to Buy ?

    6" Porter Cable DA. hands down. for electric. ( you can get nuts and buy a fein )

    5" Dynabraid Air DA.

    8" soft pad for large areas ( I have a mac sander/polisher )

    4.5" angle grinder I agree is a must ( but one with switch on the side..NO finger triggers.)

    my 2c

    YD.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Best sander to Buy ?

    I like using electric power when in tight quarters or when working anywhere where I don't care to have a heavy air hose dragging behind. An electric cord is easier to control.

    You do have to be carefull about getting glass dust in an electric motor, but that's not usually much of problem in most cases. I have never had a failure caused by dust.

    For rough sanding and shaping I like a 4.5" Dewalt grinder or if the job calls for it, even a hand held belt sander. For finish work, inside or on wood I use a Dewalt orbital sander, but for final paint and prep work I use an Ingersol or Hutchins orbital air sander.

    I do have both air and electric in just about all types of sanders and end up using both depending on which I feel will do the job at hand, but if I had to have only one sander, or grinder, the dewalt 4.5" electric would be the choice. I have two of them, both versions, and they've been absolutely indestructable. I use them for rough shaping, sanding and cutting.
    For finish work, an orbital is the only choice.

  14. #14
    Captain i386's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best sander to Buy ?

    Had to dig this up for a question.

    For finish work, should I get a 1/4 sheet "orbital" or a 5" round "random orbital" sander? This will be for sanding places that I've filled and also sanding primer prior to painting.

  15. #15
    Admiral tommays's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best sander to Buy ?

    The random unit are good BUT sometimes on finish work IF you spin up the unit and then hit the work it can get ugly VS some fine work buy hand
    If a dirty bottom slows you down what do think it does to your BOAT

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  16. #16
    Supreme Mariner oops!'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Best sander to Buy ?

    good advice tom......

    in the books, a random is advised.

    good thread to dig up 386.....

    ================================================== ================================================== ================



    there are two schools of thought on this one......(besides air)

    buy it cheap with a warranty.

    and buy it expencive with warranty.

    a good dewalt or porter cable, will be $100....4.5 inch angle grinder.....(the boat restorers best friend with a 24 grit flapper)

    if you buy the $20 dollar ones, you can just keep returning them, thru the time it takes you to finish the project. they will uasually crap out, as glass dust is a killer on tools.



    that is a $20 bucker goin up in smoke. it was replaced for free, so the use has only cost me 20 dollars, the replacment is still working.


    i also bought a dewalt. trigger op with a switch, but i like it....it has not argued with me yet, but i know its getting tired. its still on warranty, but if it lives after its year, it will be ready for the recycle bin.....
    $100 gone, but good value from it.

    so the choice is yours, if ya want the caddilac....air.
    the chevy, dewalt or porter cable, or other work horse brands.
    the vw.....canadian tire or harbour freight

    cheers
    oops

  17. #17
    Captain i386's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best sander to Buy ?

    I don't own a compressor so it'll have to be electric. I'm looking at a $60 Porter Cable 5" random orbit model. The top is removable so you can get the dust out of it and I can connect the Shop Vac to it. This will be for finish work; sanding down epoxy filler and primer. Probably won't ever see much glass fiber as I have something else for the rough stuff.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Best sander to Buy ?

    How do one year old threads pop up?

  19. #19
    Captain i386's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best sander to Buy ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Coors View Post
    How do one year old threads pop up?
    I was using the search feature looking for info about sanders and found this thread. It didn't quite answer my question so rather than start a new thread about sanders I figured I'd continue one that was already here.

  20. #20
    Petty Officer 2nd Class kalla man's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best sander to Buy ?

    for finish work go with the square or round palm sander (no spin). the orbital is a little too aggressive for a nice finish.

    this thread is a year old already....well as an update..
    the chicago electric angle grinder i mentioned above is still alive and kicking,
    actually used it today with the masonry wheel to cut some block.

    I religiously blow the dust out of all my electric tools with the air compressor....the key to longevity IMHO

    oh and the HF orbital is still working like new!
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  21. #21
    Commander drewpster's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best sander to Buy ?

    Quote Originally Posted by i386 View Post
    The top is removable so you can get the dust out of it and I can connect the Shop Vac to it. This will be for finish work; sanding down epoxy filler and primer. Probably won't ever see much glass fiber as I have something else for the rough stuff.
    About the shop vac. I bought a shop vac to use around the homestead. Brand new out of the box I hooked it up to my Dewalt orbital to do some sanding. Good idea right? It was so nice keeping all that dust sucked out of way and my lungs for about an hour. That's when the shop vac quit, for good, and I had to go by another new one.
    The vac I used was a middle of the road ten gallon model. Either I underspent and should have bought a heavier model or they are simply not designed for this kind of fine particulate dust collecting.
    I was wondering if anyone here has tried one of those elcheapo dust collection units. ($125 +/-) Are they worth the trouble? Or should I stick to sweating through masks and getting lung rot?
    "Your results may vary"

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  22. #22
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    Default Re: Best sander to Buy ?

    One of the best things I've ever used for dust, was designed for drywall dust. It was simply a special lid that fit on a 5 gallon bucket, with shop-vac connections on it. You filled the bucket about 3/4 with water, and put the lid on it, and connected the hoses. The lid would swirl the air through the bucket, and the water would catch most of the dust. It makes aweful mud, but it keeps your vac filters clean longer, and will save some wear and tear on the vac. Also, when you empty the bucket, you just dump out thick, dirty water, rather than covering yourself in dust all over again. Just rinse out the bucket, and you're done!

    It wouldn't be too hard to make your own with some pipe fittings, and a little epoxy and/or fiberglass...

    Also, there are special bags that you should use in a shop vac when dealing with very fine particles. They are designed specifically for this purpose. They're called "drywall bags", but they'll work for fiberglass dust too. You can get HEPA cartridge filters (the filter under the bag) as well.

  23. #23
    Supreme Mariner oops!'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Best sander to Buy ?

    Quote Originally Posted by drewpster View Post
    About the shop vac. I bought a shop vac to use around the homestead. Brand new out of the box I hooked it up to my Dewalt orbital to do some sanding. Good idea right? It was so nice keeping all that dust sucked out of way and my lungs for about an hour. That's when the shop vac quit, for good, and I had to go by another new one.
    The vac I used was a middle of the road ten gallon model. Either I underspent and should have bought a heavier model or they are simply not designed for this kind of fine particulate dust collecting.
    I was wondering if anyone here has tried one of those elcheapo dust collection units. ($125 +/-) Are they worth the trouble? Or should I stick to sweating through masks and getting lung rot?

    hey drewp.....dont take a chance with yer lungs bud.....get a really good mask....read that safety sticky at the top of the forum....the more ya spend on it the better it will fit and feel

    and nuthin wrong with a good 70 buck shop vac with a drywall bag attached .

    cheers
    oops

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