If you are a DIY enthusiast, I am sure that you will agree with me when I say that woodworking is a satisfying but exhausting task. Especially if you are a newbie, this can be a tiring work, specifically when it comes to sanding.
Prior to the introduction of innovative approaches in woodworking, sanding is done manually. Elbow grease is necessary since you have to do the job manually. Fortunately, these days, you can rely on the use of modern power tools. One of the perfect examples of the latter is a random orbital sander.
Curious on how to use a random orbital sander? Wondering about how to accomplish sanding easily? If you are, keep on reading the rest of this post and learn from some of the insights that I will share, which will be vital in accomplishing the anticipated outcomes.
What You Will Need to Follow this Tutorial
To successfully complete the steps that I will further discuss in the next part of this post, here are the materials that you need to prepare.
- Random orbital sander
- Ear protection
- Dry cloth
Step-by-Step Guide on How to Use Random Orbital Sander
Before I proceed with the steps, let me provide you with a primer on what is a random orbital sander, including why it is a better option compared to other methods of sanding.
As the name implies, this power tool has the ability to sand the surface in a random orbit and at a speed of up to 25,000 RPM, although this will depend highly on the specific product that you will choose.
Because of the random orbit motion, the outcome is that the finish will be a lot smoother. There will be no sanding marks.
The random orbital sander is a versatile power tool. While a lot of people will use it for the purpose of woodworking, it will be equally impressive when used on metal surfaces.
Now that you are ready to use your random orbital sander, here are the steps that you have to follow:
- If in case you do not have a sander yet, pick the right one. Aside from cost, consider features such as price, dust collection, and ease of use, among others.
- Secure the material that you have to sand. This is important to keep the material stable as you work for smoother finishes and to avoid injury in case it slides. Nonetheless, avoid using clamps that can damage the surface. Working on the top of the carpet is a good idea since it creates friction.
- Attach your choice of sandpaper, which will depend on the requirements of the project. In the case of most models, you need to attach a sandpaper with a diameter of five inches through a hook and loop connection. Consider the number of grits of the sandpaper you will be using, which can be anywhere from 60 to 220.
- Prepare protective wear before you begin with the main task. Wear protection from the ears so that you will not feel irritable with the loud sound that the tool can create. It is also best to wear goggles so that dust will not penetrate your eyes.
- Fix the dust collection mechanism of the sander. In most models, there is an affixed container where the dust will be directed. Alternatively, you can also connect it to a vacuum cleaner.
- Use a pencil to draw a wave on the surface of the wood. This will help you to track where have you already been and which ones have not yet been covered. When the pencil marks disappear, this means that you have already worked on such area.
- Grip the sander firmly and let it touch the surface before turning on the tool. Otherwise, it will create an uneven surface. Do not sand one part of the surface for too long to prevent unevenness. Do not tilt the tool as you sand. Move it in constant motion and pattern.
- Wipe the surface of the material you are sanding. Sand the material once again, but this time, using a sandpaper with finer grits.
- Do not focus too much on the surface. Make sure to pass through the corners and edges as well.
- Turn off the sander and wipe the material with a clean and dry cloth. Repeat the sanding process if it is not yet as smooth as desired.
Watch the short video below for a visual guide of the steps that I have mentioned above.
Pro Tips about How to Use a Random Orbital Sander
Aside from following the steps above, below are some of the most important things to keep in mind, providing a guarantee of a smooth finish:
- Do not press the random orbital sander on the material. Some people might do so, thinking that this will speed up the work. In reality, the pressure applied on the sander will only slow down the tool. It will also create scratches.
- When sanding, follow the grain of the wood. Never sand across the surface. This will be critical in making sure that the finish will end up smoother.
- Wood is a material that has natural blemishes. Do not try too hard to remove the annoying spots on the surface. Do not focus too much on the area with the blemish as this will create a finish that lacks uniformity.
Learning how to use random orbital sander is one thing that every newbie in DIY tasks should know. It can come handy in a number of situations, especially when building your own furniture.
As discussed above, with a random orbital sander, sanding will be a lot easier. It can be accomplished quickly and without the need to exert too much effort on your end.
With the right tool and knowledge of the basic steps, you can do it like a pro from the first try.
Did you enjoy reading this post? Is there anything else that you would like to add? Do not hesitate to leave a comment below.
Please read more my article review about Best Palm Sanders.