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Author Topic: Sanders for solid surface  (Read 10835 times)

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Offline FEStastic

  • Posts: 102
Sanders for solid surface
« on: April 18, 2011, 02:15 PM »

Looking for some sander/sanders advice

I have won a contract for some solid surface worktop fabrication 27m worth

Im looking to invest in sanders to do the seaming between worktops and worktops/upstarts

what are my options ?    I have a 150mm random orbit sander by Metabo but its heavy and usually for rough prep work

Also is it possible to do coved upstands in situ by shaping seam glue at the base of the upstand and sanding it smooth.

The job can't have floating upstands as its a medical center.

I've tried booking onto a solid surface course but am working in France until job starts so not possible. But have gone through as much as I can on the net and I thinkIts possible for my skill set also I have ordered extra to play with.

Thanks in advance for any help you can give

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Offline windmill man

  • Posts: 671
Re: Sanders for solid surface
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2011, 02:46 PM »
Hi Festastic,

First are you fabricating from scratch or fitting something like Maia?

Generally you have had do have done a fabrication course before any company will supply you . If you have done a fabrication cour es say with Avonite, Himac and Hanex etc will recognise it and supply you and visa versa.Forget trying to get hold of corian.

I use a rotex 150 and 90 great for all needs in fabrication. If you get a very difficult surface to finish (high gloss) i have been advised to get a ETS3 (i think thats the one).

Coved upstands are not something you can do on site and shaping the glue wont work (the glue is one solid colour  so would  look like a caulk line and would be hellish to sand. its very hard tough stuff). you need to inset a cove piece, joint it all up and finish before installation .
Any more questions fire away.

Offline windmill man

  • Posts: 671
Re: Sanders for solid surface
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2011, 02:58 PM »

You do know you are going to need some equipment to do that lot.  I have fabricated a 2.1m vanity top today and needed over 75 clamps on it.

PM me if you want some advice and help. Its not difficult to fabricate but you do need to have the gear.


Offline Festool USA

  • Festool USA Employee
    FOG Administrator
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  • Posts: 8429
    • Festool USA
Re: Sanders for solid surface
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2011, 03:13 PM »
Yeah, the Rotex sanders are your best bet for solid surface.

Beyond that, I personally can't offer a lot of information or advice since I'm no expert on solid surface. One of our trainers used to be a certified instructor for solid surface installation and he's the expert.

Offline ccarrolladams

  • Posts: 1466
Re: Sanders for solid surface
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2011, 03:42 PM »
From previous comments it seems the solid surface business in the UK is similar to the USA. To buy the raw material you need to be an experienced, trained and certified solid surface fabricator.

On 17 and 18 February 2011 Festool Trainer Steve Bace conducted the first Festool Solid Surface Fabrication class in Henderson, NV. Prior to being hired by Festool Steve was the trainer and certification examiner for the leading USA solid surface trade association.

What I learned during those 2 long days was that all solid surface fabrication requires exact glue-up to create the edge-buildup. Hardly ever can a particular counter top be made from a single piece of material, so you need facilities to bond sheets together. To get to that point you will need really good cuts and router technique. Edge build-up needs many special clamps. Bonding pieces together to effectively create the size needed requires vacuum clamp sets costing more than a TS55.

Bottom line is that the 2 days taught me despite 60 years experience I was not ready to be certified to fabricate solid surface.

Yes, we did use many Festool sanders, all with hard pads. The RO 90 DX works very well finishing a typical 36mm edge build-up, so long as it has a hard pad. Granat is a marvelous abrasive for solid surface.

Offline windmill man

  • Posts: 671
Re: Sanders for solid surface
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2011, 03:59 PM »
If you get involved with the intricate and complex solid surface stuff, yes you do need a lot of specialist expensive gear.

If you are just doing the more run of the mill basic stuff its not to bad.  The techniques are not that difficult to master but you do have to be accurate as it is very unforgiving stuff to work with and glue lines are not acceptable in a decent job.

Festool tools are ideal for this work.


Offline FEStastic

  • Posts: 102
Re: Sanders for solid surface
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2011, 04:08 PM »
Thanks Windmill

I have found a supplier that will sell direct to me, and for a set price install sinks as well any where I want

so I just need to do but joints

Can not the glue be profiles like silicone I have some profiles for this. And then sanded

I was thinking that a linear sander with a custom profile could do this. Every one has said that it can't be done,but why

I have a Fein MM

The worktops are solid 20mm with no cores, I am leaving them at this so no for edge build up

Can you hot glue blocks to the top and clamp these

Can I use a domino for lining up the tops, what will the tops do to the cutter

Do I need special ts55 blades and is a spiral router cutter that important ?


I have lots more questions

Maybe should have asked before taking on the job  [eek]

Offline windmill man

  • Posts: 671
Re: Sanders for solid surface
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2011, 04:59 PM »
Hi Festastic

You can not shape the glue lines like you can with say silicone. the glue actually chemically melts the S/S so if you smear it you will contaminate the surrounding area with solid smears of glue that are in the surface.

a linear sander wont touch it. I use 80 grit granet just to grinding the sqeeze out off.

You need to check the manufacturers fabrication method as all the one i have used require the S/S to be bonded to a substrate . if you dont follow their fabrication methods you loose the warranty and then you become responsible

Yes you can use blocks and hot melt  to clamp seams together. but you cant just butt them together they need support blocks in s/s.
your not supposed to butt join in a corner but set the corner back and have a radius on it then butt joint on the straight say 50mm away from the corner.

You should not need the domino to line up the tops as the 100 mm sub fillet is there. the cutter would cut it but it does blunt them very quickly.

Festool triple chipis the best for solid surface, i just use normal TCT router cutter apart from any that have bearings on them then i use the proper cutters

Best John

PM ed you

Offline ccarrolladams

  • Posts: 1466
Re: Sanders for solid surface
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2011, 05:01 PM »
Lots of people only find out after signing a contract that they should have taken appropriate training courses before making a firm price quote.

The Festool solid surface/laminate blade currently is cat #496 309 in the USA. Perhaps that is the same cat # in the UK. It has 48 TC teeth with a 2.2mm kerf.

You will be using several router bits, so with top and some with bottom template bearings.

Yes, you will fasten construction blocks using hot melt glue, but those hardly eliminate the special clamps, including the vacuum clamps. With solid surface not only do you need to draw parts together, you also need to keep the upper surface aligned. This is not the same thing as gluing several joined boards together to form a wooden table top.

You might also want to double the specification of your raw material. Most brands of solid surface is 12.0mm to 12.7mm thick. None I know of is 20mm thick.

The adhesives need to be matched in color to the particular material, as well as brand of material.

Is it possible for you to buy some scraps of the material you will be using, so appropriate adhesive and associated disposable mixing nozzles and guns?

Offline FEStastic

  • Posts: 102
Re: Sanders for solid surface
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2011, 05:36 PM »
The material is From Hafele

Apollo lab it comes in 30 and 20 mm thick

I felt some samples at a trade show a few weeks back

They are supplying color matched glue and applicator


if I mask off areas then shape the glue will that not work ?

The Apollo tops I don't think need sub material  will ask rep

The stuff on display was as is

Initially I was overwhelmed by the solid surface aspect of the job but after getting quotes for corian I have bought extra to play with. Materials and labor for the whole  Refurbishment(3 surgeries and a decontamination room) comes to half  that of manufacture of the corian worktops so I added a few grand for the learning  curve and more green tools.

Offline windmill man

  • Posts: 671
Re: Sanders for solid surface
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2011, 07:08 PM »
Hi Festastic.

Have you a spec for this job. if its a medical centre think there will be. would check that the product is up to the spec required. just checked the sheridan site and i think you may find its not going to be to spec on the chemical resistance and inert side. Hope  I am wrong.

There is a good reason for the price of the corian fabricators price. this is quite an involved job to produce work tops up to medical standards. Sorry old chap not even masking will work as it wont meet  seamless medical standards.

You need to check your spec .