Author Topic: Porter Cable Sander made better  (Read 7565 times)

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Offline BC6738F5BCE98B4

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Porter Cable Sander made better
« on: September 11, 2007, 06:43 PM »
Dust control is particularly important to me due to medical problems.  As a result I have been reluctant to use my Porter Cable Random Orbit Sander (model 3335). Yesterday, by chance, I decided to hook up my Festool Vac to my Porter Cable Random Orbit Sander. 

Prior to this my objection to the Porter Cable Sander was that dust collection was, at best, poor (using the small black tube provided for that purpose) and hooking it up to my shop vac was cumbersome (at best).

The hose for the Festool vacuum fits directly over the PC exhaust with no cobbled together connections.  When the PC is plugged into the Festool vac (and vac is set to auto turn on) the PC sander is transformed into a dust free (or minimal) sander.   

While I am sure that the Festool sanders are better, the PC Sander is now a useful tool in my shop at a fraction of the price of the Festool sander. 

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Offline Corwin

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Re: Porter Cable Sander made better
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2007, 01:49 AM »
If that makes you smile, just wait until you try out the ETS 150/3 (or /5) Festool sander.  Then you might just like sanding.    ;D

Offline SRSemenza

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Re: Porter Cable Sander made better
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2007, 10:24 AM »
Hi,

   Is the PC you have , the 6" palm grip ROS?  That is the sander I was using up to a couple months ago. I also hooked it up to my CT. It worked quite well that way.  I recently bought a ETS 150/5.  You wouldn't think so , but the differance is amazing. The dust collection is a little better. But the sander simply sands so much better. It is hard to describe until you try  one.  The combination of the Festool sander,  CT, and Festool abrasives is awesome.  As Corwin said I actually like to sand now!


Seth

Offline BC6738F5BCE98B4

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Re: Porter Cable Sander made better
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2007, 08:37 PM »
The PC sander is a palm grip ROS but I don't know if it is 6" (if that is the usual size then it is).

OK, I'll bite.

With the improvement in dust collection, which Seth notes is a "little" better, I am curious whether you think the Festool ETS 150/S is "that much better" that it beats my 70 to 80 % rule.  That is rule is that if I can buy a tool/computer for 50 % of the price which gets 70 to 80% of the more expensive tool's functionality, I will buy the cheaper tool.  This may sound odd from someone who has bought into the Festool system, but to date each of my purchases has met this rule.

Part of my success with the PC sander may be due to the fact that I am still using my Grandfather's Craftsman (early 1950s vintage) beast of a belt sander.  I say "beast" because back then they did not use plastic parts and they used too much (by today's standards) steel. It weights a decent amount, but that actually works to my benefit (I think) when using it.  By the time I am done running it at 80 and 120 grit, the PC seems to work pretty well.  Since the Craftsman will die at some point, and Festool doesn't make a belt sander, any thoughts on a quality belt sander to be used in conjunction with a ROS? 

Offline SRSemenza

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Re: Porter Cable Sander made better
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2007, 09:40 PM »
Hi,

        On the sander- that is a tough percentage to quantify. I am not sure that it beats your rule, but it might. I no longer have my PC to make any direct comparison, but the Festool ETS 150 is unquestionably better. It  gets the job done faster , the results are really smooth, the variable speed is nice, it has less vibration and so is easier on the hands.
      Another factor is that the Festool abrasives  last two or three times as long as other good quality disks. And cost about the same.  This creates a break even point on the sander price difference.  If the Festool sander cost $150 more I think it is somewhere around 300 disks. Now that is a lot of sanding but eventually you will get there if you do this long enough. After that point  you are actually saving money and getting to use a better sander all the time. Not to mention the time savings if that is a factor to you.  A few days ago I did a sanding job that took half the time as it would have with my PC. I used three Rubin disks. I know for sure I would have used 8 - 10 others.
      5" and 6" would be the common ROS sizes. With 5" being more common in the palm grip. Is it 335 or 3335?  If 335 it is the six inch and is exactly the one I had.

    Seth

Offline Eli

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Re: Porter Cable Sander made better
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2007, 02:11 AM »
  Since the Craftsman will die at some point, and Festool doesn't make a belt sander, any thoughts on a quality belt sander to be used in conjunction with a ROS? 

They do make one, and I love using it, but you'll have to move country to get one. I think somebody around here has another that uses a sanding frame (Metabo or Bosch?) that's US voltage. Without owning a Metabo or Bosch, I'd say the sanding frame really makes a belt sander work very well, whatever the brand, so if you can get a BS that has one, you're laughing.

Here's a good discussion of the belt sander, although they talk about the 105 mostly, the big brother. I've got the 75.
http://www.woodworkforums.com/showthread.php?t=14342&highlight=sanding+frame
« Last Edit: September 15, 2007, 02:21 AM by Eli »
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Offline Dan Clark

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Re: Porter Cable Sander made better
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2007, 04:11 PM »
...
thoughts on a quality belt sander to be used in conjunction with a ROS? 
BC,

Fine Homebuilding did a Belt Sander review in this month's issue.  A Dewalt came out in first place.   That said, I have some questions/issues with the review. 

I happen to have the Makita 9903, which was also included in the FHB review.  The FHB reviewer mentioned that the 9903 as not having an options to use it as a fixed sander.   Obviously unbeknownst to the reviewer, the 9903 has the ability to be clamped to a table on its back or side, and becomes a decent fixed belt sander.   These are built in, not options.   Hmmm...  One might consider the MFT a decent place to clamp it!  8)

Also the reviewer bemoaned the fact that none of the sanders had good quality, flexible dust collection attachments.  Obviously, he wasn't aware that a $7 Fein hose adapter can be cut down in two minutes to PERFECTLY fit the Festool 27mm hose and the 9903 dust port.   A CT22 hooked up to a Makita 9903 gives almost perfect dust collection. 

Here's a pics of my D27 hose hooked to my Makita:
2319-0

Since you have a medical problem with dust, I would strongly recommend that you toss your old belt sander and run (not walk) to get a Makita 9903.   

Dan.

p.s.  They make a sanding frame for the 9903 too.  They call it a sanding shoe.
p.p.s Here's the hose adapter for $7.50: http://www.amazon.com/Fein-921072K13-Step-Adaptor/dp/B00005M1SW.  Mine was about $5 at Woodcraft.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2007, 04:22 PM by Dan Clark »

Offline Eli

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Re: Porter Cable Sander made better
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2007, 05:10 PM »
There you go. Thanks Dan.
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