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My poor little sanders...

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  • #16
    The mesh disks do nothing if you don't use the right backer pad for them. That's really the key. I stuck one on a generic sander at a friend's shop and it didn't help even a little bit. The thickest pad I've seen is around 1/2" foam, probably not enough for major contours.

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    • #17
      lee, I purchase a couple of 5” Ryobi backup pads at Tools Direct in Tampa for an unknown model sander. ($5.99) I can’t see any possible way of making them adapt to Festool 5” sanders, no way to put 4 new mounting screw holes around the existing 4 holes of different hole pattern. One 5” Festool has a center bolt, and the Ryobi backup pad does not have a metal plate imbedded in the plastic to support the bolt. Oh well, I’ll adapt them to my shopsmith frankensander one day. I can’t see being able to chuck up the Festool backing pads with worn out Velcro in a lathe and turn the old Velcro off so I can glue on new Velcro.

      carlos, the 5” soft foam spindles I use have 1” foam, and sometimes I add a 1” thick soft foam backer pad to that. The sandpaper that holds up the longest is that with thin paper. The cloth reinforced paper doesn’t seem to hack it either. The grit on the thin paper stuff doesn’t hang on long as premium abrasives do but it does seem to last about as long as the paper itself does... and it’s a lot cheaper, so when it snags a sharp spot and rips out a chunk I haven’t lost a lot. I just change it more often. ,

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      • #18
        Boy I had a shock today! I was finishing the 4th Walnut Tiny Table top, in which I do the rough sanding with the 6” Ridgid ROS. I grabbed the 6” sander which has spent more time in HD repair shop than in my shop, I’ve only use it maybe 2 hours since the last repair. For some reason I started sanding on the bottom of the table top rather in the beautiful grained top..... I’m glad I didn’t start on the top. The 60 grit disk I use really gobbles up the high spots and makes the job go fast.....then I notice that I was cutting a 1/4” groove about 1/8” deep everywhere I sanded. Short story, the center sanding disk 4mm attachment screw backed out, punched through the rubber backing pad, Velcro and sand paper and into my walnut. The screw still had several turns of threads so it would have cut the groove almost 1/4” deep quickly. Needless to say I don’t have much good to say about Home Depot’s Ridgid repair shop. I put this sander aside and picked up an identical remanufactured 6” Ridgid ROS I have for when this sander is in the shop! I definitely won’t recommend the 6” Ridgid ROS to anyone.

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        • #19
          Festool officially trying to catch up with Mirka...

          https://www.finewoodworking.com/2019...ets-by-festool

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          • #20
            If Festool doesn’t do something about their weak Velcro, catching up with Maria will not mean squat!
            I have a 15 year old Mikita sander with its original Velcro still functioning well, and my Festool sanders Velcro will not last 4 months! Little hope for Festool to catch up.

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            • #21
              Wow, that's terrible. I have the "velcro saver" buffer pad, but almost never use it. The Mirka velcro is still good and it's been about ten years since I got it.

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              • #22
                Carlos, how does Abranet handle wood wit lots of sap or oil? I’m sanding a batch of sinker cypress that has been pulled out of a swamp bottom for 20 years, cut and kiln dried. Some of the wood sands great with no residue on the paper, but then there is the wood with the best grain and character. 2 passes with the 5” ROS with 220 grit and the paper is completely gummed up. It does clean up somewhat, but each clean up deminishes it’s use. Will the Abranet mesh accept being cleaned with the rubber eraser?

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                • #23
                  I don't know the answer to that, never ran into the problem. As far as the eraser, I have one, but never use it. I've never had it get gummed or clogged, but I suspect the wood you're dealing with is sappier than any I've done. The Abranet did fine on common pine from a big box, if that helps. It had the usual not-quite-dry problems and occasional bits of sap.

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