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Starting Out - Best Sander Option?


(Amateurhour64) #1

Having read a great article by Russ & Andy on oil based paints & use of spachtel, my approach to exterior decorating has been totally transformed & results massively improved. Whole new world from Polyfilla & Weathershield! :slight_smile:

What this has highlighted is that my kit bag of decorating equipment is fairly woeful, especially the electric sanders…a cheap Aldi plate sander & a Bosch PSM80 which eats sheets at an outrageous rate & cost. And both are fairly shredded anyway.

Read another thread on the site about Mirka Ceros & Deros & Festool RTS sanders. Both appear good but struggling to ultimately identify what I need.

Project: House is a 20’s double bow window affair (you know a Margo & Jerry one), large upwards pointing woodwork fan & fascias & large overhanging T&G sections over upstairs bow & then the side support pieces built on shaped concrete projections. Sorry probably a much more technically accurate way of describing is appropriate. Vast majority of wood is flat & either overhead or facing. The existing paint finish I thought was very good but since discovering the spachtel filler, Cover Stain, Rubbol & XD & how well that works, looks decidedly average. But its all solid & flat and has good edges. Plan is to use the spachtel on all surfaces like the downstairs.

I also seem to have become the resident FOC decorator in the family for parents & children so I can ‘sort of’ justify an investment in the right tools.

Having done all the ground floor with 240 wet & dry (easy & great result), I think that is going to make a huge mess at scaffold height first floor so I’m looking to make an investment in a good second hand or reasonable new electric sander & I wandered which is the best way to go. Also what sanding materials are the best to go for … longevity & cost wise. The Bosch discs clog in minutes & at shed costs are £8 for 5 sheets!

Interested in what I should go for. Happy to spend some on a professional unit if it cuts the time scale down. Equally if there’s a modest budget option that works well then also great.

Main usage initially will be flat down existing paint (3 yr old weathershield) and then to flat down Spachtel to XD gloss ready level but at height in comfort.

Also interested in where to source unit at best price if that’s in line with the web site T&C’s

Or indeed if someone has a secondhand one for sale?

Appreciate any answers or guidance, apologies long post - all the best


Festool EC150
(Russ Pike) #2

Hi AH64

Its good to hear feedback about blogs that have been useful.

We all go through the FOC work mate and continue too!

Right then, sanders:

A Mirka Ceros or Deros is a good investment of anyone’s money but you really need the extraction to go with it, I tend to use the Ceros 6" for walls and the smaller 77mm for trim. However, with the Deros you get the option of a 5" & 6" disc, this tends to be my go to sander for most tasks. If you decide on Mirka, make sure you also get the pad saver in pack of 5s and the interface pads.
The abranet discs arent cheap, per se’ but for a box of 50 at about £30+ a better option than your scandalous shed prices. The Mirka HD basecut dics are a cheaper option: http://www.hallmarkfraulo.co.uk/productdetail/abranet_heavy-duty We tend to buy our Mirka stock off Hallmark Fraulo.

Only downside with Mirka is they are all disc sanders, so corners have to be either sanded by hand or rectangular/square sander.

Festool RTS400eq if you’ve got dosh to spend! If not then try one of these:
http://www.powertoolsdirect.com/flex-ms-713-palm-sander-230-volt
I use one for general prep work and for that money they are chuck away!You can also hook em up to a Henry if you want dust extraction (attachment should come with it).
They beauty of these is you can use abrasive rolls http://www.axminster.co.uk/fixing-gluing-finishing/abrasives/abrasive-rolls on them (115mm) much more cost effective than shed prices and fit for purpose. Ive owned every make of palm sander over the years and these little flex ones work just as well at half the price, often more than half (you could then get all the family to dig deep and treat you too one of these:http://www.axminster.co.uk/festool-rts-400-q-plus-palm-sander

For spaching you could also try the Bessier fillers from MPB:
http://www.mypaintbrush.co.uk/fillers/Beissier-Fillers/Ready_mixed_filler_beissier

Best Wishes

Russ


(DavidJ) #3

Russ, quick question just out of interest, how much hand-sanding do you do? Less than half?


(DavidJ) #4

And Russ, which of those abrasive rolls do you find work best with the Flex sander? I just ordered one. I usually use DDC stuff. Would that do or could I better it?


(Amateurhour64) #5

Hi Russ & many thanks for the advice, appreciate you taking the time.

As for the blog, the data in those are priceless. I cannot tell you how much I’ve learned and applied…so far with great results …aside from the issue I mentioned in the other post.

Yes happy to spend on pro stuff if it makes a significant difference. But you would say the Flex unit is approaching same result & it appears about 10% of the price?

I think I will try that one, is cheap enough to give it a go. But out of interest what is the differentiator when you spend 3-400 quid on a sander?

You mentioned extraction being important…does it make a difference to the life of the sanding material and/or the finish?

Also same as DavidJ, what sanding rolls would you recommend for a. sanding down the old gloss to a suitable standard to apply spachtel b. for sanding down spachtel to finish suitable to apply XD on and c. between XD coats?

Will take a look at the filler you mentioned…you see that as an equivilent to the kodrin spachtel? Is certainly a lot cheaper. In this instance I’m not aiming at cost saving just the search for a perfect finish…saving cash and getting the same result is also fine mind :slight_smile:

All the best


(Andy Crichton) #6

The direct equivalents to Kodrin Spachtel sheen enhancers are oil based Gras a Lacquer from Toupret (or Beissier make it but not for the UK market). Also Swedish Putty which I used in USA which is high white. I bought it in a tube which was quite practical.


(Amateurhour64) #7

And if you were to pick the best one to work with and get a result from, which would you lean to Andy?

As it goes I’m very happy with the one you suggested previously, the Spachtel, I was just curious before buying more…having done the front porch woodwork I’m going to need a load to do the rest of the house so was just curious.

Cheers


(Andy Crichton) #8

Stick with the Spachtel, as you got on well with it and sourced it fine, and I guess Sikkens would like you to stick with it too.


(Amateurhour64) #9

True enough, it’s working more than well - cheers


(Russ Pike) #10

Hi Guys

Sorry for the delayed response: Any of the 115mm rolls will work on the Flex Palm Sander but I tend to use the Mirka Abranet or Yellow Oxide.

A lot of my work is hand sanding as I only do hand painted kitchens and furniture nowadays. The little Flex sander is an ideal all round prep tool that will take a bashing and your not worrying about it @25 nicker its a no brainer but if your upping your game and want a variable speed, low vibration sander with superb dust extraction then invest in a Ceros or Deros. I can go 2 to 3 hours with a Mirka without any fatigue from vibration, the Deros is a far better machine IMO but you will pay the price!

Good extraction gives you a cleaner, healthier working environment, it will stop your machine getting clogged with dust as well as your lungs and yes the abrasive doesn’t clog up. I use Abranet wet and dry but not on a machine, using worn discs from the machine is great for hand sanding and your getting twice as much from it so very cost effective!

The Bessier fillers are great all round fillers but the one I mention would not be an equivalent to Kodrin but great for wuick fine surface filling and it dries in no time at all.

Cheers


(Russ Pike) #11

Hi Guys

Sorry for the delayed response: Any of the 115mm rolls will work on the Flex Palm Sander but I tend to use the Mirka Abranet or Yellow Oxide.

A lot of my work is hand sanding as I only do hand painted kitchens and furniture nowadays. The little Flex sander is an ideal all round prep tool that will take a bashing and your not worrying about it @25 nicker its a no brainer but if your upping your game and want a variable speed, low vibration sander with superb dust extraction then invest in a Ceros or Deros. I can go 2 to 3 hours with a Mirka without any fatigue from vibration, the Deros is a far better machine IMO but you will pay the price!

Good extraction gives you a cleaner, healthier working environment, it will stop your machine getting clogged with dust as well as your lungs and yes the abrasive doesn’t clog up. I use Abranet wet and dry but not on a machine, using worn discs from the machine is great for hand sanding and your getting twice as much from it so very cost effective!

The Bessier fillers are great all round fillers but the one I mention would not be an equivalent to Kodrin but great for quick fine surface filling and it dries in no time at all.

Cheers


(Amateurhour64) #12

Super stuff, cheers Russ. Have ordered a Flex unit to speed up the prep on the top deck of the house. Will also try some of the Abra rolls.

Any advice on grades to order/use for preping old gloss and best to use for spachtel flattening? Also any advice on mail order supplier from cost point of view?

Thanks again


(Russ Pike) #13

I would go for the Abranet 120g and 240g if you wanting super smooth on your spachtel then 320g. I also use Abralon which is a wet flat disc going from 600g to 2000g but you shouldn’t need to go that mad!

Traditional Painters usually order from these but I dont have any comparisons

http://www.hallmarkfraulo.co.uk/productsearch/all-brands/wood_flooring/abrasives


(Amateurhour64) #14

Cheers Russ, just waiting on the Flex unit to arrive and will order rolls of these now as well. In the meantime back to my wet and dry :slight_smile:


(dave D9 decor) #15

quick note for those with Festool, Festool sell a hand sanding block which attaches to the dust extractor hose, giving dust free hand sanding


(Andy Crichton) #16

Have you got a link Dave? Thanks


(dave D9 decor) #17

not sure how to do a link but its HSK-A 80x130.
I got mine from Bristol’s Power Tool Plus.
Also available online from ToolFest aka Bunny’s bolts for £41

I use it regularly on sashes close to glass and all other hand sand ops - between coats etc.


(Amateurhour64) #18

Hi Russ, received the Flex unit you and Andy suggested and it looks amazingly well put together for £25 quid. Also sourced some Abranet which looks promising.

Unfortunately rain stopped play a short while ago after 2nd coat Spachtel. Shame fancied a go on this thing. Sure I won’t be saying that after 6 hours sanding!

How the hell do you guys make a living exterior decorating with the UK weather? :slight_smile:

Will let you know how I get on but have to say it looks like the right stuff at Aldi prices.


(Russ Pike) #19

Hi again AH64

That little sander should serve you well, I got the opportunity last year to visit the Flex factory in Stuttgart and I can tell you these machines are really well made. Flex are very big in the automotive refinishing industry, especially in the US and produce some fantastic machinery.

Exterior work can be a lottery but when the sun does shine, what better job could you wish for! Dont forget to mask up if your not using extraction, good luck with the weather!


(Amateurhour64) #20

Hi again, like my abbreviated user name AH64 :slight_smile:

Well we had a break in the weather last night & got up there & the Flex is a first class recommendation sir. Really robust & effect little unit. And the Abranet is a huge leap on from the shiny red pads I was using on the Bosch…is a totally different world.

It’s a tad heavy for overhead work which currently I’m doing but it’s as you say, indicative of build quality & on the angle or flat, very comfortable indeed. And the Abranet lasts significantly longer than the old sander sheets…in fact I’m yet to wear out my first piece!

Definitely a good call not to jump up to 2-300 quid candidates given the effectiveness of the unit & that I’m just doing home improvement stuff.

In the three weeks I’ve been on here I’ve not used ANY of the products I normally would of done, took advice and been rewarded massively in every single instant. Is a great learning curve…is a bit like driving my 106 Peugoet and thinking that every car is the same and then being given the keys to a new Audi A7! :slight_smile: Totally different world and shows in the results.

Anyway it looks like the weather is good to us again here today so ladders here I come. Many thanks again for the solid advice, owe you a beer. Have a good weekend