Author Topic: Opinions on a finish sander  (Read 1260 times)

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Offline Thompmd

  • Posts: 231
Opinions on a finish sander
« on: February 01, 2021, 11:22 AM »
DIY guy only, 56 and wanting this to be my first/last sander in life. Only gets occasional work.

I’m going to purchase a Powermatic 209hh planer & Powermatic 8” HH jointer this month. I looked at their dds225 and read a lot about wrapping/ changing paper problems. At this point I’m skeptical of that model? Does Powermatic make another you would suggest?

What other brand/model would you suggest?

It’s not a huge deal but the Powermatic dealer is offering an additional 5% on all 3 machines if I order together in February.

Appreciate any input or questions

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

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Offline Alex

  • Posts: 7336
Re: Opinions on a finish sander
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2021, 11:54 AM »
Festool's best finish sander is the ETS 125, in my opinion. Great handling and produces an excellent surface.

Offline rvieceli

  • Posts: 1412
Re: Opinions on a finish sander
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2021, 02:56 PM »
@Thompmd back up just a bit and let us know what you intend to do please.

The Powermatic sander you reference is a 25 inch dual drum stationary sander. It is significantly different than a hand sander. Are you going to be using this in a production environment? Are you going to be running miles of material through it?

Ron




Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 8342
Re: Opinions on a finish sander
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2021, 04:24 PM »
I wouldn't describe the Powermatic DDS225 as a finish sander. It's used more like a planer to thickness boards. The finest grit paper available is 220 grit. You'll still need a proper finish sander, my favorite is the ETS EC 125.

Offline mkasdin

  • Posts: 474
Re: Opinions on a finish sander
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2021, 05:42 PM »
I wouldn't describe the Powermatic DDS225 as a finish sander. It's used more like a planer to thickness boards. The finest grit paper available is 220 grit. You'll still need a proper finish sander, my favorite is the ETS EC 125.
👍

Offline Thompmd

  • Posts: 231
Re: Opinions on a finish sander
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2021, 05:50 PM »
The only sander I have is the RO150 which I’m pretty satisfied with.

It won’t get miles of material. No production. I’ve done everything from cutting boards to dining room tables. The DR table I had a guy flatten and I finished with the ro150. Other large things I’ve done the issue I’m running into is when I run my hand across I can feel dips. I feel a stationary machine would do a much better job easier. Another example is I plan to make some segmented bowls and I need to flatten them , shelves etc.

I plan to expand my horizons in the future and I don’t want to limit myself. I was also considering Powermatics pm2244?  I also do some live edge stuff.

Hope this helps.
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 rvieceli

  • Posts: 1412
Re: Opinions on a finish sander
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2021, 10:31 PM »
As Cheese mentioned you will probably still need to use a hand sander even if you have put your pieces through a big drum sander. Drum sanders can sometimes leave a series of "lines" in the piece that need to be smoothed out. Even if they come out perfectly, they likely won't be smooth enough and need to be sanded some more.

The Rotex sanders have a steep learning curve even in random orbit mode. They are not a perfect finish sander. Can you get a great surface finish from them? Yes, but it requires great attention to your technique. It doesn't take much to mess up.

You might want to consider adding a half sheet sander to your stable. The RS2 is one option. It does a great job of keeping things flat by its very nature. Even then I like to finish with a random orbit sander.

I have an ETS150/3. I used to think that it was not possible to create a better sander. It was and is a joy to use. However, once I bought the ETS EC series, I honestly have not touched it since.

Personally I would only suggest the stationary sander if you were churning out a significant about of end grain cutting boards or tons of shop sawn veneer were a part of your process. Or if you had to clean up a bunch of intricate cnc produced parts. Even then I'd hold out for a wide belt machine. Most hobbyists don't have the deep pockets or the required power to run a wide belt.

Ron






Offline Thompmd

  • Posts: 231
Re: Opinions on a finish sander
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2021, 08:34 AM »
As Cheese mentioned you will probably still need to use a hand sander even if you have put your pieces through a big drum sander. Drum sanders can sometimes leave a series of "lines" in the piece that need to be smoothed out. Even if they come out perfectly, they likely won't be smooth enough and need to be sanded some more.

The Rotex sanders have a steep learning curve even in random orbit mode. They are not a perfect finish sander. Can you get a great surface finish from them? Yes, but it requires great attention to your technique. It doesn't take much to mess up.

You might want to consider adding a half sheet sander to your stable. The RS2 is one option. It does a great job of keeping things flat by its very nature. Even then I like to finish with a random orbit sander.

I have an ETS150/3. I used to think that it was not possible to create a better sander. It was and is a joy to use. However, once I bought the ETS EC series, I honestly have not touched it since.

Personally I would only suggest the stationary sander if you were churning out a significant about of end grain cutting boards or tons of shop sawn veneer were a part of your process. Or if you had to clean up a bunch of intricate cnc produced parts. Even then I'd hold out for a wide belt machine. Most hobbyists don't have the deep pockets or the required power to run a wide belt.

Ron

Thanks for the reply. I’m still overall new to this hobby and building my collection. Your exactly right about the RO150 and I have had mixed results in the year I’ve been doing this through my learning curve. Sometimes excellent results, sometimes not.

Some of that(in my mind) is my inexperience, my process(or lack of) and my lack of knowledge about having/using the proper tool.

I’m trying to buy good equipment (festool, Powermatic etc and I’m not wanting to get into a discussion about which brand is good/bad). I was an hourly factory worker so budget is a concern but I’m willing to pay what it takes for the most part. A wide belt is a good example of that .

If if purchase the helical head planer & jointer I may not even need a stationary sander at this point, or ever?

I’ll look at the ETS EC(what’s the EC?)150/3. My understanding is the 3mm stroke will give me a better finish than 5mm? I assume my Granat paper will be the same as I use on the Rotex, so no duplication.

Thanks Max
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 SteveL

  • Posts: 9
Re: Opinions on a finish sander
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2021, 01:20 AM »
The EC series is more of lower profile/ palm type sander where the ETS 150/3 is taller in profile. All depends on what you prefer. Tons of reviews of both on YT.

Offline JeremyH.

  • Posts: 289
Re: Opinions on a finish sander
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2021, 12:49 PM »
Overhead sanders are great. It’s much safer to finish on them than planers; even just for milling. But for that reason I would get the widest one possible (that you can reasonably afford). Being able to put wide work through is wonderful, so that you’re only finishing with hand sanders. Less effort is needed to be flat and level. I say all that but ya, the price on them is big. On these those I wouldn’t be as afraid to say get a Grizzly vs Powermatic (where as I wouldn’t bother with some other Grizzly stuff).
CXS;RO150;ETS EC 125/3 EQ;CT26e  KSS400;MT55cc;DDF 40

Offline Alanbach

  • Posts: 650
Re: Opinions on a finish sander
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2021, 01:44 PM »
Drum sanders are great. I love mine. Super handy when you glue up panels, cutting boards, really anytime you glue multiple pieces side by side. I have an old Performax (which was bought by Jet). They are the guys that basically invented the cantilever style drum sander and after their sale they restarted as SuperMax. So you can look at Jet, Super Max and Powermatic. In the PM 2244 and the others of that style you get that open ended design that has the potential to allow you to go all the way to a 44” table top. I have only used that feature a few times on mine over the years but if you are going to make glue ups wider than 25” you should consider that.

For me, I make a decent amount of end grain cutting boards and flattening them in the drum sander is so much safer and better than a planer (even if it’s helical). As mentioned here, they do however come out with some tracks (deep scratches) that need to be removed. My first Festool sander was an ETS EC which I love but although it took those tracks out it certainly took some time and effort. I went looking for a better option and ended up buying a Rotex. So you are covered there. As a side note, you might want to invest in an ETS EC some day as purely a finish sander as they are a lot more comfortable to use than a Rotex but that is an economic decision more than anything (as you are already making your a Rotex work for you).

Lastly, I want to talk about dust collection for any drum sander that you end up with. Drum sanders put out and absolute storm of dust and dust collection is a MUST. If you already have a DC then you are good. Just know that if you have a DC with a canister type filter the drum sander is going to cause that filter to clog much more quickly if there is no cyclone in line. There are many good ways to deal with it. I added a Super Dust Deputy with a small drum in between my drum sander and my cyclone so that I did not have to clean / replace my filter as often. It works great! I only mention this because you seem like someone who does their homework up front and I don’t want you to be surprised by this need later. It just depends on what type of DC set up you have.

Offline Peter Parfitt

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Re: Opinions on a finish sander
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2021, 02:25 PM »
ETS EC 150/3.

I have an RO150 and so the paper is interchangeable. The ETS is sweet and can even do aggressive stuff (60- 80 grit) if needed.

Peter

Offline Thompmd

  • Posts: 231
Re: Opinions on a finish sander
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2021, 07:23 PM »
Thank you everyone for your replies, they’re  really appreciated!

The planer/sander are ordered, I held off on the sander at this point. I have an EL coming this week to run power for them. Jointer(pm60hh)is suppose to arrive 3/1 and the planer(pm209hh) is 4/19.

In regards to dust collection I currently have a “few” feet(3-4’) of clear flex hose that goes into 4” hard pipe, through woodriver aluminum blast gates. It goes into 30gal trash can using a woodriver cyclone lid then to a 2hp 1200cfm 1ph,230v 2-micron canister kit(model dc-1200vx-ck1).

My concern/question is if it will do an adequate job with the 20” planer??? Anyone have thoughts on that?

Im just a hobby guy, very low volume.

As always thank you
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 rvieceli

  • Posts: 1412
Re: Opinions on a finish sander
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2021, 07:38 PM »
Dust collection should be adequate.

Ron