We Have 6 Great Tips That Will Make You Love Sanding!
Everyone loves making projects, but the same cannot be said about sanding and, hopefully, this article will make the process a lot easier and less effort.
When sanding - using the correct equipment is better for your health.
“There is no doubt in anyone's mind that the process of sanding a project is time-consuming as well as making a heck of a mess. Unfortunately, sanding is a necessary part of finishing timber and board projects. We may not be able to make it less tedious, but we can make it a lot easier by helping you minimize the mess, using the correct equipment and tools it will also be safer on one’s health. With this in mind, we bring you 6 great ideas that will aid you in keeping your sanding - and the mess - under control,” say Greg de Villiers power tool Guru and brand manager for Vermont Sales.
1. USE A RANDOM ORBIT SANDER
By using a random orbit sander you can maximise the sawdust collecting ability of your sander and one the best ways to minimize the mess that comes along with sanding is to capture the dust right at your sander. Nowadays, most random orbit sanders include dust filtration with some sort of integral method for dust collection. On cheaper sanders, it may just be a plastic canister that needs emptied regularly.
Both Festool and Tork Craft have all the answers to this. Both can supply all your sanding materials, plus offer you a huge range of sanding machine options. Possibly your best investment would be a Festool auto dust collector again there is a huge selection of options here including entry level models. That can be used on all your power tools, that automatically catch all dust and wood cuttings.
Higher-end sanders often have a canister with a built-in dust filter, or they use a cloth bag that lets air through while still stopping dust. Over time the filter or fabric becomes clogged with dust and it is important that you regularly clean out the filter to keep them operating effectively. Use compressed air or switch your vacuum cleaner onto 'blow' to remove dust and clean the paper or fabric filter. You will be surprised by how much trapped dust comes out, and you’ll get a good boost in dust collection efficiency.
If you don’t have an air compressor, or your vacuum cleaner doesn't have a 'blow' function, stick the port end of the dust filter into a shop or home vacuum hose, turn on the vacuum, and then tap the canister repeatedly.
2. INVEST IN AN EXTRACTION HOSE OR ADAPTOR KIT
An extraction hose and adapter kit for a shop vac or your own portable vacuum unit is the ideal solution that can be connected to your sander in place of the dust canister. But most vacuum hoses are bulky, and they rarely fit well on the sander’s port. A great option is to get a hose and adapter kit, like the one shown below from rockler.com. It comes with a smaller-diameter hose and several flexible tips, so you’re almost sure to be able to fit one to your sander.
Festool also have a range of hoses and connectors, if you have one of their sanding units and their dust vac, your problem is solved as it comes with all the accessories and automatically sucks the dust when you activate your sander. You will also be able to attach the hose and vacuum to other tools, such as a circular saw, to minimize the mess they make, too. All Festool universal hose vacuum attachments for sanding dust management and their power tools fit all their vacuums.
3. Power Up Your Vacuum Automatically
Being able to connect your model of sander to a shop vacuum works great as long as you remember to switch on the vacuum. But if you want to make sure you never forget, invest in a pickup a tool activated outlet. It automatically turns on your shop vac anytime your sander is operating.
A random-orbit sander is connected to a tool-actuated outlet for automatic dust collection.
Just plug your sander into one socket, and your vacuum into the other. Then leave the vacuum power switch on. Every time you turn on your sander, the vacuum will turn on automatically. When you shut the sander off, the vacuum will run for a few seconds to pull in the dust, and then shut down. All Festool vacs have this built into every model.
4. Bonus Project! Upgrade your Shop Vacuum
If you are looking for a way to make clean-up easier and your work environment cleaner, this mobile cart makes it easier to move with a handy vacuum cart. It is sized to hold a 16-gallon shop vacuum, and offers plenty of storage space. You can build one easily using a couple of 1x3 pieces of pine, a half-sheet of plywood, and there is a FREE project plan on Kreg’s BuildSomething.com.
5. Manual Dust Pickup
Not everyone has the budget for a spotless clean work environment and, sometimes, you just need a basic system to clean up after hand sanding. A portable, battery-operated hand vacuum is what you need if your sander doesn’t have dust collection built in.
6. Clear the Air with a DIY Air Filter
No matter how hard you work to keep sanding dust under control, you’ll have dust floating around in your workspace. You can help clear the air by building a simple DIY air filter. It’s made with an inexpensive box fan, and it has a furnace filter that’s held in place behind the fan with a simple wood frame. One can also add casters to make it easy to move around. You can build yourself an affordable air filter including the fan and filter. It goes together easily using a Kreg® Pocket-Hole Jig and their FREE downloadable project plan.
You can make your air filter work even harder for you by using a simple light timer. When you’re done working, just plug the fan into the timer and set it to shut off in an hour or two, so it can catch the dust that would settle after you walk away.
For the free Kreg plans go to www.vermontsales.co.za link to their Kreg brand and then to buildsomething.com for the free plans. Kreg, Festool and Tork Craft are major international brands from Vermont Sales and are available at leading outlets countrywide. For more information talk to your local retail outlet or get in touch with Vermont Sales www.vermontsales.co.za.