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Old 12-01-2013, 07:35 PM   #1
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Default Bowl sanding - first equipment?

I'm planning on making a few bowls and know that I'll need something other than my rubber sanding drums in the drill press to sand a bowl. If I were to buy something to start sanding that will chuck into a drill press, and I had about 50 bucks to spend, what would be my best first purchase?
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Old 12-01-2013, 07:48 PM   #2
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Depends a lot on your bowl design, but I've been pretty pleased with the "Inflatable Round Sander" from King Arthur for the bowl interiors.

But I would certainly wait for Carole to post a reply before I bought anything. She has a bunch of very informative videos (here and on her blog) on bowl sanding that should be very helpful.
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Old 12-01-2013, 08:13 PM   #3
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Waiting for Carole's reply...
All I've got is a dremel, + both of her books....
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Old 12-01-2013, 08:30 PM   #4
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Her videos have been an inspiration! She has about 15 sanders though, which is A) intimidating, and B) impossible, since if I want to power sand I have to roll my drill press, random orbital, or dremel outside.

Looking at all of her materials, I'm mostly debating about adding the basic King Arthur inflatable or a flexible pad sander to my Christmas list!

Either way, if I were smart, I'll probably wait until April to get any real bowl sanding going - New England is not real forgiving in the winter temperature department :-/ and I do NOT need to be doing extensive power sanding inside my apartment...
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Old 12-01-2013, 09:10 PM   #5
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I made a lot of bowls using the hard rubber drums on the inside and the random orbit sander on the outside. King Arthur has a longish drum that could work on the drill press. A spindle sander also works. A light touch and be mindful not to sand away your mating glue surfaces. Do two rings with one joint at a time.
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Old 12-01-2013, 09:27 PM   #6
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Sorry to be late to the party, but I was relaxing and reading.

Skysong, don't be intimidated about sanding. You can probably make good use of whatever sanders you have around, then add to your collection. Since you'll be starting out with straight sided bowls (rings are all cut at the same angle) you can use a vertical belt sander, if you have one, for the outside of the bowls. You could probably even manage with a small sander like the B&D Mouse if you keep it moving. Insides are trickier. If you have a long spindle sander or drum, you can use that for the inside of the glued up rings. The base is glued on only after the inside is sanded.

The most useful equipment, however, to start with, is the round inflatable sander from King Arthur's tools. You'll need the rubber sander itself in the regular size, hand pump, and a few sets of assorted grit sleeves and you'll be able to handle the interior of most bowls. For the exteriors, the flexipad sander sold by Klingspor's Woodworking in the 2" size, and an assortment of scalloped 2" discs, will work well. Buy the small pad that attaches between the sander and the disc to take the wear and tear of removing and applying the discs. I just did a video on those sanders (see my YouTube channel under "scrollergirl") that should be helpful.

For dust collection, I get good results with the drill press dust collection system sold by Peachtree (Edirect Special - Peachtree Woodworking Supply, Inc.) at a terrific price for Black Friday. The shop vac attaches to it, and you can see the dust just fly in.

That should do it for starters. It hurts to shell out the money for the specialty sanders, but once you have them, you're good to go for a very long time.

And please ask questions whenever you need to. Makes me feel needed.
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Old 12-03-2013, 09:17 PM   #7
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I didn't mention one of my favorite "go to" tools that should fit in nearly any budget.

It is the " Item#91223" angle grinder from Harbor Freight. I was put on to these by plant engineer son-in-law who has tested virtually all brands and models to find most cost effective cutting tool for heavy use cutting down high end recycling waste (TV's, computers, light fixtures, refrigerators, air conditioners etc.) These grinders are in virtually continuous heavy daily use by a plant full of workers prepping stuff for the shredder. He has found this particular model lasts or outlasts any other brand/model. When they go on sale he buys a pallet full. If and when one does fail, if it takes more than ten minutes to repair, it's history.

So following his tip, over the years I have acquired perhaps a dozen. I don't even bother changing wheels/disks when metal working, each is fitted with a different wire brush, cutting disk, grinding disk, sanding disk, etc.etc. I have never had even one fail.

This model goes on sale frequently. I have never paid over twenty dollars. I find that this grinder with a sanding pad is a great wood shaping tool. The RPM is high enough that even mid grit (say 120) can be very aggressive at removing wood, so it does take some practice to develop the "right touch"

Understand,..... I am NOT recommending this for finish sanding a flat surface like a tabletop, but it can work quite well on round or irregular shapes.

As a final note, this is very item specific, the other HF models just don't seem to be equal.
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Old 12-03-2013, 11:44 PM   #8
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I was wondering if those inflatable sanding doodad will fit in the Dremel Flex Shaft tool on my Dremel. If it does, then I could get away with that until I can afford a nice sanding kit like the Guinevere. It is expensive but one day I might be able to afford it. Definitely going to try a bowl and I did order your book and it has been shipped and should be here by the end of the week. Looking forward to reading it. Have a great day Fay
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Old 12-04-2013, 06:18 AM   #9
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Fay, the Dremel flex shaft takes an 1/8" shank and the inflatable sanders are 1/4" so they won't fit the Dremel. I have to use a different flex shaft if I'm not using the drill press for them.

Glad you ordered the book, hope you have fun with it. Try out using what sanders you have on hand, start with a soft wood like pine, aspen or poplar, and take it from there.

And have fun!
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Old 12-04-2013, 10:52 AM   #10
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It could fit as I have the collet set that will use really small drill bits so I can change the size of the collet. but yes I'll start with what I have and will give it a try. I have a package coming tomorrow and it might be the book so I'm looking forward to reading it and looking at your instructions and all. Can't wait to get my hands on that book. Have a great day and will let you know how things go. Have a great day Fay
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