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Old 04-22-2012
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Dustless Sanding System Recommendations

Next year, I plan to do the bottom of my Cal 33. Since a lot of sanding will be involved, its going to be important to have some sort of system in place to collect the dust. I would appreciate any suggestions for dust collection systems that would work effectively with the dust from bottom paint.

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Old 04-22-2012
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Re: Dustless Sanding System Recommendations

I think any effective "dustless" sanding system is going to involve a shop vac with a good prefilter and filter hooked up to a sander with an attachment for such. I tried a palm sander with a dust catch bag for light sanding and found that there was not near enough suction to hold onto enough dust. A shop vac hooked up to the same sander worked great. One caveat--I was only doing a surface roughing for paint prep. But I'm sure a good vacuum and filter will be involved no matter how much you are doing.
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Old 04-22-2012
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Festool

Festool, top of the line and its pricey, but worth it. Consider renting one...

Certified HEPA Dust Extractors - Festoolproducts.com

Festool Random Orbit Sanders - Festoolproducts.com

I've used the Festool several times sanding the bottom of my boat and found it to be a great system. I rented it from my marina.

Previously I used a small dewalt orbital sander attached to a shop vac but end up burning up my vac.
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Last edited by T37Chef; 04-23-2012 at 09:19 AM.
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Old 04-22-2012
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Re: Dustless Sanding System Recommendations

Makita Orbital Sander $60... Shop Vac $40...

Just Gotta clean out the prefilter every couple sheets of paper...
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Old 04-22-2012
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Re: Dustless Sanding System Recommendations

I used a rigid combo shop vac and palm sander this spring it worked well,
the shop vac was small but 5 hp
4 Gal Portable Wet/Dry Vac - RIDGID Professional Tools

The sander was a traditional square sander, but equipped with holes in the pad and a "vacuum" assisted" motor to help propel the dust into the vacuum hose.
RIDGID 1/4 In. Sheet Sander R2501 at The Home Depot

Worked well, very little dust escaped the vacuum.

A note on the sander/shop vac, It has been recommended that an orbiting sander be used over the traditional palm sander. I borrowed an older orbiting sander and found it lacking in hp to do the job. As well I had an older shop vac, with less than 1/2 the hp of the rigid, it wasn't up to the task so I bought the rigid. So I guess I would recommend that you not cheap out on either. As well, not all palm/orbiting sanders have built in "vacuum assist" so ask. When I write vacuum assist I mean that the rigid is designed to do both vibrate the sander and propel the dust into the bag attachment/vacuum hose.

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Old 04-23-2012
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Re: Dustless Sanding System Recommendations

I rented an orbital sander and shopvac from the marina. Worked exceptionally well. It was an older Fein machine. The marina owner admitted paying $1,000 for the pair but it has worked flawlessly. He said that Fein and Festool are the 2 top of the line products but you will have trouble getting repair parts for the Festool. Best thing, in my book, would be to check your marina to see if the have a sander / vac combo you can reserve / rent or go to a tool rental company to see if you can rent one there. $1,000 bucks is a lot of money! I don't know if the cheaper machines would be up to the job.
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Old 04-23-2012
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Re: Dustless Sanding System Recommendations

RO sander hooked up to a ShopVac will work fine.

After several years of annoyance at having to clean the internal filter in the ShopVac all too often -- both at the boat and at home in my make-shift woodshop -- I decided to try this puppy out.

The Dust Deputy - YouTube

All I can say is that I'm now one happy camper. I upgraded the internal ShopVac filter to a HEPA filter, and the difference has been significant. It'll run all day without any drop off of suction. I haven't had to clean the HEPA filter in over three months.
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Old 04-23-2012
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Re: Dustless Sanding System Recommendations

Collecting the dust is pretty easy with the stuff like the dust deputy

I do find there is WIDE range in how well the sanders feed the dust to the collection system

While my Porter Cable collects a LOT of dust i would NOT call it dust free no matter whats sucking on its intake hose
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Old 04-23-2012
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Dustless Sanding System Recommendations

To sand our bottom, I use a $50 Craftsman shop vac connected to a Rigid 6" 6-hole random orbit sander. I use 80 grit paper, changing every 10 minutes or so. Works flawlessly, all for less than $150.

I do not recommend 5" palm sanders because there just isn't enough surface are on the pads and sanding a 37' hull will take forever. it really pays to but the right tools for the job.
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Old 04-23-2012
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Re: Dustless Sanding System Recommendations

I just posted this in another area, but it bears repeating. A drywall sanding screen is the best method I've ever used. The sanding screens cost about $1 each, they last forever, they are attached to a cushioned, flat pad on the end of a long handle. You dip the pad into a bucket of water and essentially scrub the paint away. No dust at all. I had a friend just sanded a nasty looking bottom of his Catalina 30 using this technique, and he was able to make the bottom as smooth as a baby's butt in less than two hours. No high spots, no low spots, just slick as a whistle. After a couple hours of drying time, he masked the waterline and applied the bottom paint. The bottom was smooth as silk.

You can purchase the Drywall sanding screens at Home Depot, Lowes, and many larger hardware stores.

Cheers,

Gary 8)
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