Author Topic: Rotex 150 - suggested wood sanding steps  (Read 2928 times)

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Offline ChiknNutz

  • Posts: 86
Rotex 150 - suggested wood sanding steps
« on: October 25, 2018, 12:02 PM »
Hello all.  I have owned my Rotex 150 for about a year and a half now I think and really like it.  I was introduced to it by a guy that does a lot of slab tables (mostly walnut and maple, but others).  His method of sanding was to start at 60 or 80 grit depending on the roughness of the slab, use Rotex mode all the way up to 220.  Then he would switch to a Makita 5" ROS and start all over from 80-220.  He said the 5mm stroke of the Rotex in ROS mode produced too noticeable of a pattern.  He typically finishes with a satin conversion varnish. To me, this seems like a lot of wasted steps with the ROS, but that's how he rolled and the finish was fine.  However, I am wondering what most Rotex users do in similar situations.  I have watched a lot of videos to see what others are doing, read many posts, but see a huge variance in what people actually do.  I also watched the "Larry Smith" video that never used the ROS mode at all but went up to a polish surface using the Surfax products.  So, am a bit confused what a good sanding process is, blending both the geared and ROS modes.

Also, I have been contemplating getting a dedicated finish sander, like the ETS 150/3, but am not yet convinced I really need it for my projects which are typically wood tables with either a waterborne acrylic or poly.  Seems the Rotex can do it all, albeit with perhaps less finesse than a dedicated ROS.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2018, 12:53 PM by ChiknNutz »
-Chris
Rotex 150/5 FEQ, CT 36 E, ETS EC125/3, TS75, Domino XL

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Online rvieceli

  • Posts: 1411
Re: Rotex 150 - suggested wood sanding steps
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2018, 03:22 PM »
As you've already discovred you'll get info all over the map on this question.
@ChiknNutz

I work with slabs all the time and here's my method. I'll use geared rotary mode starting at either 60 or 80 depending on the slab. Then progress through the grits to 150. 100 - 120 - 150. Then I'll switch to an ETS150/3 and repeat the 150 then 180 - 220 and usually 320.

You need to be careful in your technique in rotary mode and be sure to keep the pad flat on the surface.


Works for me.

You WILL get different opinions.

Ron

Offline ChiknNutz

  • Posts: 86
Re: Rotex 150 - suggested wood sanding steps
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2018, 03:51 PM »
Than you for your input.  Your method essentially matches what I have adopted, though I stop at 220.  I see you are using an ETS150 as opposed to the RO150 in ROS mode.  I am curious as to what drove you to go that route.
-Chris
Rotex 150/5 FEQ, CT 36 E, ETS EC125/3, TS75, Domino XL

Offline Alanbach

  • Posts: 648
Re: Rotex 150 - suggested wood sanding steps
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2018, 05:36 PM »
In my case I own the RO125 which has a 3.6mm orbit and a ETS EC 125/3 which has a 3mm orbit. So when I switch from geared mode to ROS mode the difference in the orbit from my RO to my ETS it doesn’t matter much so I use the ETS EC because it is lighter and easier to handle but the results are virtually identical. For me you really have to pay attention to the orbit. That is where it is at. I also have a DTS with a 2mm orbit so I can go back over the surface with 220 and it might be even more effective than going up to 320 with the 3mm sander.

Offline H532P

  • Posts: 10
Re: Rotex 150 - suggested wood sanding steps
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2021, 01:38 AM »
Ping on this thread, I recently purchased a Rotex 150 and have found similar findings with processes. Can the 150 really be used in Rotex mode all the way up and create a great finished product? What have you learned @ChiknNutz and others?

Offline Thompmd

  • Posts: 231
Re: Rotex 150 - suggested wood sanding steps
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2021, 07:34 AM »
I’m a RO150 owner(my only sander ) and the descriptions follow me perfectly. I’m an overall newbie and technique is definitely a factor . I mostly do live edge as well which is why I bought the sander. I do sand to higher grits with it(1200) and it’s done a fabulous job but I’ve got a lot to learn. Following with interest.

I too am considering a 150 sander(since I have the paper) with a smaller stroke
Sawstop Industrial Saw, TS75,2 1400 rails, CT36, Rotex RO 150 FEQ, CT-VA-20, Carvex PS 420 EBQ, Carvex acc. ZH-SYS-PS 400, Kapex KS 120, CT Cyclone Dust Collection Pre-Separator CT VA 20, DF 500 Q Set, Domino 1,060pc Tenon Assortment, UG-KA-SET Portable Imperial Stand & Extensions,OF1400 EQ-F-Plus, MFT/3, MFT-SP, FS-HZ 160

Offline zapdafish

  • Posts: 606
Re: Rotex 150 - suggested wood sanding steps
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2021, 07:44 AM »
i mainly work with red/white oak and start with 80 in aggressive mode. Then I swap out paper and do 80, 120, 180 in RO mode, then switch to ets 150/3 in 180. I only work on glue ups and never really worked with slabs so don't see a need to go below 80.

I imagine if I worked on less porous wood like maple I'd go higher with the grits but never see the need to.

Only reason I do a final pass with the ets 150/3 is I picked one up during a recon event and have to use it for something lol, but by my eye, I dont really need it.

I think its important between paper to blow off the surface each time. A trick I picked up taking a Paolini class. Helps prevent rubbing something back into the surface that the dust collection might have missed.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2021, 07:46 AM by zapdafish »
CT22, TS55, Kapex, RO150, Domino, RS 2 E

Offline gunnyr

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Re: Rotex 150 - suggested wood sanding steps
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2021, 10:08 AM »
Interesting timing on this discussion!

I've been working on racking for my van and using AC plywood.  My method has been to start with 80 in the Rotary mode on the C side, then 80 in the RO mode up to 150.  On the A side I start with 100 in the Rotary mode, switch to RO and go 100, 120, 150.  I am painting the racking with SW Emerald and very pleased with the results. 



If I were doing finer work I would likely use my 150/3 and start at the same grit I finished with using the Rotex and then sand to 180 or 220 depending mostly on how I feel.  I've learned that, in most cases 180 is plenty fine enough.  220 starts to polish the wood too much.

@zapdafish brings up a great point about cleaning off the surface between grits!

The Rotary mode does a great job of initial smoothing, going over it with the same grit in RO and then progressing seems to be the most efficient for me. 

Semper Fi,
Jeff

TS 55 REQ|HKC 55|PSB 420|DF 500|ETS EC 125/3 EQ|ETS 150/3|ETSC 125|DTSC 400|RO 90|RO 150|OF 1400|MFK 700|LR 32|MFS 400/700|CXS (2)|PDC 18|DWC 18-4500|CT MIDI|CT 26|CT 48|MFT/3 (2)|VAC SYS-SET|STL 450|DUO-SET|SYSLITE KAL II
US Marines - UK Wildcats - Cincinnati Reds

Offline Thompmd

  • Posts: 231
Re: Rotex 150 - suggested wood sanding steps
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2021, 01:09 PM »
The work in your van looks great!!!  Nice work.
Sawstop Industrial Saw, TS75,2 1400 rails, CT36, Rotex RO 150 FEQ, CT-VA-20, Carvex PS 420 EBQ, Carvex acc. ZH-SYS-PS 400, Kapex KS 120, CT Cyclone Dust Collection Pre-Separator CT VA 20, DF 500 Q Set, Domino 1,060pc Tenon Assortment, UG-KA-SET Portable Imperial Stand & Extensions,OF1400 EQ-F-Plus, MFT/3, MFT-SP, FS-HZ 160

Offline gunnyr

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Re: Rotex 150 - suggested wood sanding steps
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2021, 02:33 PM »
The work in your van looks great!!!  Nice work.

Thank you! I'm at the point now where each solution seems to raise as many more problems as it solves!   ;D [wink]  I think I'm  about 80% done; the remaining 20% likely represent about 80% of the work though.....
Semper Fi,
Jeff

TS 55 REQ|HKC 55|PSB 420|DF 500|ETS EC 125/3 EQ|ETS 150/3|ETSC 125|DTSC 400|RO 90|RO 150|OF 1400|MFK 700|LR 32|MFS 400/700|CXS (2)|PDC 18|DWC 18-4500|CT MIDI|CT 26|CT 48|MFT/3 (2)|VAC SYS-SET|STL 450|DUO-SET|SYSLITE KAL II
US Marines - UK Wildcats - Cincinnati Reds

Offline Bertotti

  • Posts: 129
Re: Rotex 150 - suggested wood sanding steps
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2021, 03:37 PM »
I use my RO150 and an RO90 but at the end, I always hand sand the final finish. Habit.

I should add as it didn't occur to me when I replied but with the RO150 at the lower grits 40, 60, 80, 100, I start in Rotex and use the grit then switch to RO with the same pad dusted off and sand again. Then step up to the next grit in Rotex mode dust it off and switch to RO mode. All the way up to 100. From 120 on I use RO mode until 220 or 320. Then take the last highest grit used or one above and sand by hand in the direction of the grain. Doesn't take long and it is just a habit. I have some 4/4 ruff cut Cherry I'll pick up in a week. once I get a board done I'll post a picture. I tend to go up a bit higher in grits for softer woods. Am I the only one who does it this way? I do find it very important to dust the wood and pad off frequently even while sanding in the same grit and mode.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2021, 11:19 AM by Bertotti »
I want to populate SD with trees becasue I miss the forests of the river bottoms.

Offline ChiknNutz

  • Posts: 86
Re: Rotex 150 - suggested wood sanding steps
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2021, 01:37 PM »
Ping on this thread, I recently purchased a Rotex 150 and have found similar findings with processes. Can the 150 really be used in Rotex mode all the way up and create a great finished product? What have you learned @ChiknNutz and others?

I ended up getting an ETS EC125/3 and putting a 150 pad on it so I can use the same size paper.  While the Rotex in RO mode is likely good enough, I got the ETS as it is simply more pleasurable to use...lighter, quieter and easier to maneuver.  At the time I had the money and need to justify it, but your needs and pocketbook will likely vary.
-Chris
Rotex 150/5 FEQ, CT 36 E, ETS EC125/3, TS75, Domino XL