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  #1  
Old 03-19-2009
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Recommendations for a sander

I needed to smooth out some rough patches on the bottom paint last year before some touch ups. I used my plain old palm sander on the ablative paint. A mess. I will have to do the same thing this year, and I want to get a new sander that has a dust control system. Any recommendations? Also, how do you deal with the toxic residue that gets all over the unit? Do you use the sander only for bottom paint, or do you take the thing apart to clean it so it can be used for other, less toxic projects?

thanks.
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Old 03-19-2009
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Try a soy based paint stripper like Franmar on the offending area, then scrape, follow with a white vineagar wash, then clean water.
After drying, hit the difficult spots with the sander and attached a shop vac hose with duct tape (my sander has a hose attachment but works better with the hose alongside the sanding plate).
Use a disposable drop cloth to catch the debris.
Don't forget mask and eye protection.
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Old 03-19-2009
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i use a regular random-orbit sander (Makita, 5" - I usually do small areas and having a 5" disk helps get into all kinds of tight corners). it can be connected to a shop vac but I usually don't bother. same with toxic residue - don't care.

I keep it in a plastic bag and use it for nothing other than boat stuff - and on a boat anything that you sand is pretty much guaranteed to be toxic residue anyway (fiberglass, treated wood, paint - you name it, its all nasty stuff).

For your own protection wear a good respirator, of course.

YMMV
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Old 03-19-2009
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I use a 5" makita random orbit sander. I use a large shop vac, with the 50' hose from a built in vacuum, to give me lots of room. A pole sander with the proper grit paper is a lot cleaner way to go. This gives you greater reach, with better posture, than having a vibrating dust machine only as far away as your fingertips. Each works well, just depends on the operator and size of job. Good luck.
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Old 03-19-2009
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Check with your yard they may have a unit that you can rent that is designed for the job. The yard where I keep the boat in the winter that is the only way you are permitted to sand your boat is to use their approved equipment. Harry's in Westbrook ct is a leader in this area on environmental safety issues. It's a pain but he cares and is respected for it.

Peter
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Old 03-19-2009
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Literally *just* purchased a factory reconditioned Bosch model ros20vsk 5" Variable Speed Random Orbital sander on eBay for $48 ($90 on Amazon and mrp of $149). Full manufacturers warranty, etc. Did some research (admittedly, not a heck of a lot -- it's a sander...), but this one gets pretty good reviews and better than average reviews on dust collection. Has it's own collection bag but also comes with a vac attachment.



Purchased from eBay Store - CPO Bosch: Bosch, Power Tools, Power Tool
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Old 03-19-2009
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I looked at similar units when buying mine a few years back. One valuable feature in similarly styled sanders is a handle on the front part. Without it holding the sander becomes very difficult and even painful after a while.

Looks like this:
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Old 03-19-2009
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DeWalt

If you buy anything other than the Dewalt 5" orbital sander I'll have you arrested. And do attach a shop vac to it in place of the bag that comes with it. You'll be doing yourself, the marina, and the other boat owners a favor. If you use the vac you'll have much less trouble with dust and grit getting all over it, and you'll get better performance. I was painting my boat bottom yesterday, and the knucklehead four boats down was sanding his boat with an orbital sander without any kind of dust catching apparatus at all. Dust was flying everywhere, including all over the knucklehead. I was glad there were three boats between him and me.
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Old 03-19-2009
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orbital is not the same as random orbit. just saying. orbital sander in hands of someone not used to it is a good way to ruin the boat bottom pretty fast.
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Old 03-19-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drynoc View Post
If you buy anything other than the Dewalt 5" orbital sander I'll have you arrested. And do attach a shop vac to it in place of the bag that comes with it.
Very funny. Funny because it's true. The 5" Dewalt random orbit is the best sander I've ever used and the thing refuses to die! I use it all the time, in my work, not just once a year on the boat. It has a nice clutch so when you pull the sander off your piece it doesn't still go a million miles an hour and fling the paper off all the time. It also means it bites into the work slowly when pressure is applied, not gouging the work until you have the sander settled better.

Don't worry about getting the vacuum and sander as a matching pair or an exact fit. Take the sander bag off and attach the vacuum to the exhaust port (a little duct tape if needed).

Make sure you use a big extension cord!!! By big I mean gauge, nothing less than a 12. Seriously, power at a boatyard gets drained by all the other people on the same circuit, all using extension cords, until finally nobody has much power and tools burn out. Help your tools live a happier life by giving the electrons a fat highway to travel along.
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