Overflow, Part XIV

Sander Sitter

The Sander Sitter is essentially a round crepe pad in a tray, mounted on bearings.  The idea is that you set your random orbit sander down in the tray while it is running or spinning down and the crepe cleans the abrasive disc.

I no longer own a 5″ sander, so I’m giving it away.  It is in very good condition and I’ll even dust it off for the winner.

If you would like this 5″ Sander Sitter, please leave a comment below indicating your interest by noon of Thursday, August 29.  To qualify, simply state that you would like the accessory and tell me which of my creations is your favourite.

I will then draw a winner at random.  Even if you don’t get this item, remember that there is still much more I want to give away.

And if you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe to my blog so you can be notified as soon as I post something new!  Please tell your friends about my Overflow program.

Review the details of the Overflow program.

Sanding vs. Planing

One of the questions I am frequently asked is how I achieve such smooth, even surfaces.

Planing and sanding are two methods of removing material and smoothing surfaces. Each technique is completely valid and has its advantages and disadvantages.  When deciding which to use, consider the following.

Planing

Plane when:

  1. you want to achieve a flat surface and crisp edges;
  2. you are using a wood with varying densities and you want it to feel flat and even;
  3. the material tends to clog or quickly dull sandpaper, making sanding impractical; or
  4. the most perfect surface is desired.

Sanding

Sand when:

  1. the flatness of the surface isn’t critical or you need to blend curves or surfaces;
  2. you are using softwood and want the surface to simulate wear or create undulations;
  3. the material is too soft or difficult to work with a plane; or
  4. it is undesirable to have cleanly cut fibres and a highly polished, bare wood surface (e.g. to reduce the sheen).

Maple Trestle Table, Session 2 – Playing with Slabs

On the morning of Sunday, April 15th, Morton and I exchanged ideas about trestle tables, spurred on by a recent sketch of a table on which he was working.  That got me yearning to build a trestle table.

I documented my progress live on Twitter which was useful because each update had a time stamp so followers could see the rate at which I progressed.  Here is a link to the previous session.

Session 1 – Flat Boards are Boring

(If you are not familiar with the format used on Twitter, every update, or “tweet” below starts with a username, being the author of that tweet.  Sometimes, you see two or more usernames in a tweet.  The second (and third, etc) usernames are preceded by a @ symbol and are people to whom the author is talking.  The other symbol you see is #, which serves as a category.  I try to remember to categorize all my tweets pertaining to this project under #flairww.)

FlairWoodworks I like the split but it’s best shown on the side where the lower half protrudes further. #flairww -11:18 AM Apr 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The split is barely noticeable on this side. I’m going to change that by reducing the thickness of the top. #flairww -11:21 AM Apr 16th, 2012

cobwobbler @FlairWoodworks why do defects look so cool? -11:23 AM Apr 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m going to use mu angle grinder with an Arbortech wood-carving wheel. #flairww -11:23 AM Apr 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Because they are unique! RT @cobwobbler: @FlairWoodworks why do defects look so cool? -11:26 AM Apr 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I would normally do the outside but it’s raining today. I put up tarps to contain the mess. #flairww -11:26 AM Apr 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I wear tight-fitting gloves, goggles, ear protection and a dust mask when power carving. #flairww -11:27 AM Apr 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Here you can see the effect that I’m going for. #flairww -11:40 AM Apr 16th, 2012

Morton @FlairWoodworks Tarp doesn’t look like it’s doing much ;) -11:48 AM Apr 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The shape is established. Now for sanding. #flairww -11:54 AM Apr 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Here’s the pile of shavings I produced. #flairww -11:57 AM Apr 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Notice that they are shavings, not dust. #flairww -11:58 AM Apr 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks They actually worked perfectly! RT @Morton: @FlairWoodworks Tarp doesn’t look like it’s doing much ;) -11:59 AM Apr 16th, 2012

BillGriggs @FlairWoodworks Clean it up with a Dust Deputy. -12:01 PM Apr 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Nah. One scoop with the dust pan and it’s gone. RT @BillGriggs: @FlairWoodworks Clean it up with a Dust Deputy. -12:03 PM Apr 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I put the round blade of my convex palm plane in my flat palm plane to quickly even the surface. #flairww -12:08 PM Apr 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks To work a concave surface, either a short-soled plane works well. For more severe concave areas, I’d use the round plane. #flairww -12:09 PM Apr 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks A plane works more quickly than a sander and does a better job of fairing the curve. #flairww -12:12 PM Apr 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks With a sharp blade set for a fine cut, the plane even handles knots with ease. #flairww -12:19 PM Apr 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I have no problem working to within 1/16″ with the angle grinder which means less cleanup later. #flairww -12:22 PM Apr 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I follow up with 80-grit on the sander to further refine the surface and remove any tearout. #flairww -12:32 PM Apr 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks It doesn’t look right. More shaping is required. #flairww -12:49 PM Apr 16th, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks I like your saw horse set up. -12:50 PM Apr 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworksI can’t say enough about them. They are so versatile. RT @BCcraftmaster: @FlairWoodworks I like your saw horse set up. -1:00 PM Apr 16, 2012

FlairWoodworks My palm plane is too short to remove this hump so I’m switching to a longer plane. #flairww -1:17 PM Apr 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Perfect! #flairww -1:20 PM Apr 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks If it feels fair, it’s fair. #flairww -1:37 PM Apr 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I use a thin-bladed knife to clear loose material out of the cracks. #flairww -1:39 PM Apr 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I broke off the end of a hacksaw blade to clean out the cracks. It’s longer and more flexible than my knife. #flairww -1:48 PM Apr 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m using this wooden block plane. It’s less fatiguing to use than metal planes, especially one-handed. #flairww -2:00 PM Apr 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks It was the first plane I’d ever made. It works well, but the body needs some shaping. #flairww -2:01 PM Apr 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks You should never hesitate to modify your tools if it makes them work better for you. #flairww -2:09 PM Apr 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I also rounded over one edge of the sole where my fingers curl over. #flairww -2:10 PM Apr 16th, 2012

CashFromCraft RT @FlairWoodworks: You should never hesitate to modify your tools if it makes them work better for you. #flairww -2:11 PM Apr 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks That feels so nice! #flairww -2:11 PM Apr 16th, 2012

CashFromCraft @FlairWoodworks especially shop made tools! – 2:11 PM Apr 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Especially! But by no means only. RT @CashFromCraft: @FlairWoodworks especially shop made tools! – 2:12 PM Apr 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I used my block plane to begin rounding over the edges. I’m using my sander with foam interface pad to finish. #flairww -2:47 PM Apr 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The stretcher is done… at least for now. #flairww-3:04 PM Apr 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks And here’s a look at the other side. #flairww -3:04 PM Apr 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Time for a lunch break. #flairww -3:05 PM Apr 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Any comments or questions so far? #flairww -3:06 PM Apr 16th, 2012

Tumblewood They are tools, after all!! RT @FlairWoodworks: You should never hesitate to modify your tools if it makes them work better for you. #flairww

FlairWoodworks Now that lunch is finished, I’m looking for materials for the rest of this table now that the stretcher is done. #flairww -4:54 PM Apr 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Playing with bookmatches for the top (like @Mansfinefurn). I have three slabs with which to work. #flairww -5:21 PM Apr 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Here’s one idea. All the outside edges are cut ad the inside edges are live. #flairww -5:37 PM Apr 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’d probably cover the gap in the centre with glass. #flairww-5:39 PM Apr 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Yikes – where’d all the space I had go? #flairww -6:07 PM Apr 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Three more pieces of maple for other table parts. #flairww -6:16 PM Apr 16th, 2012

MansFineFurn @FlairWoodworks I won’t ask where you had to stand to get that pic -6:31 PM Apr 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Not on the roof! RT @MansFineFurn: @FlairWoodworks I won’t ask where you had to stand to get that pic -6:34 PM Apr 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks And I begins… #flairww -6:21 PM Apr 16th, 2012

paulchinetti  Digging that! @FlairWoodworks: Here’s one idea. All the outside edges are cut ad the inside edges are live. #flairww -6:43 PM Apr 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @paulchinetti Thanks for the feedback! That’s what I’m going with for now. #flairww -6:45 PM Apr 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Does anybody know if there is a term form this kind or arrangement? It’s not a bookmatch or slipmatch. #flairww -6:56 PM Apr 16th, 2012

Brygidocious @FlairWoodworks kiss match? -6:58

FlairWoodworks I think I know what you want to say. RT @Brygidocious: @FlairWoodworks kiss match? -6:58

Brygidocious @FlairWoodworks haha shush! i remember seeing the term “kiss match” in my IP [Inside Passage School of Fine Woodworking] handout, but it was never explained -6:59

FlairWoodworks Tip: bring a water bottle to the shop and take a sip whenever you take a pause. #flairww -6:59 PM Apr 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @Brygidocious Really? I’ve never heard the term. -7:01

Brygidocious @FlairWoodworks its some skull and bones krenov talk that no one knows outside of those circles… -7:02 PM Apr 16th, 2012

Brygidocious @FlairWoodworks i think its a slip match, then flip one sheet end for end – 7:03 PM Apr 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @Brygidocious From my understanding, a slip match is just sliding the slices apart with no rotation or flipping. -7:04 PM Apr 16th, 2012

Brygidocious @FlairWoodworks yeah but this is a kiss match! -7:05 PM Apr 16th, 2012

Brygidocious @FlairWoodworks like a dis… -7:06 PM Apr 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Okay – I’m with you now! That “other” name is more exciting though. ;) RT @Brygidocious: @FlairWoodworks like a dis -7:08 PM Apr 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Surfacing lumber is a great core and upper-body workout. It even works your legs. #AllInOneGym #flairww -7:26 PM Apr 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @Brygidocious Scott Grove calls it spin matching. -7:27 PM Apr 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks One side of one slab is roughly surfaced. #flairww -7:41 PM Apr 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Now I need to find a way to rotate these massive and heavy slabs in my small shop. #flairww -7:42 PM Apr 16th, 2012 PM Apr 16th, 2012

Tumblewood I don’t know, but it’s what i’ve been planning for the conversion table. RT @FlairWoodworks: Does anybody know if there is a term form this kind or arrangement? It’s not a bookmatch or slipmatch. -7:49 PM Apr 16th, 2012

Tumblewood 69 bookmatch? If it wasn’t, it is now!! ;oD RT @FlairWoodworks: Does anybody know if there is a term form this kind or arrangement? It’s not a bookmatch or slipmatch. -7:51 PM Apr 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Oh! The cat’s out of the bag now! RT @Tumblewood: 69 bookmatch? If it wasn’t, it is now!! ;oD -7:52 PM Apr 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I crosshatched the surface with chalk. Now I’ll start planing.#flairww -8:03 PM Apr 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Only traces of blue chalk remain. Dinner time. #flairww -8:35 PM Apr 16th, 2012

I set up my video camera to record in time-lapse the flattening of the two slabs by hand (nothing too exciting).  Watch the video below.  (Duration –  4:18)

Keep going and read about Session 3!

Maple Trestle Table, Session 1 – Flat Boards are Boring

On the morning of Sunday, April 15th, Morton and I exchanged ideas about trestle tables, spurred on by a recent sketch of a table on which he was working.  That got me yearning to build a trestle table.

I documented my progress live on Twitter which was useful because each update had a time stamp so followers could see the rate at which I progressed.

(If you are not familiar with the format used on Twitter, every update, or “tweet” below starts with a username, being the author of that tweet.  Sometimes, you see two or more usernames in a tweet.  The second (and third, etc) usernames are preceded by a @ symbol and are people to whom the author is talking.  The other symbol you see is #, which serves as a category.  I try to remember to categorize all my tweets pertaining to this project under #flairww.)

FlairWoodworks Does this (the right side) look like a nice stretcher? #flairww @Morton -3:43 PM Apr 15th, 2012

WatkinsWoodWork @FlairWoodworks @Morton It definitely has potential -3:51 PM Apr 15th, 2012

sharpendwood @FlairWoodworks I like it. Is the crack near the center a problem? @Morton -3:58 PM Apr 15th, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks @Morton the whole thing looks like a giant pump. (A women’s high heel) -4:00 PM Apr 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Hmm. I am not seeing it. RT @BCcraftmaster: @FlairWoodworks @Morton the whole thing looks like a giant pump. (A women’s high heel) -4:01 PM Apr 15th, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks @Morton it also has the shape/curvature of the back leg of a chair. -4:04 PM Apr 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Now, THAT, I see. RT @BCcraftmaster: @FlairWoodworks @Morton it also has the shape/curvature of the back leg of a chair. -4:05 PM Apr 15th, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks @Morton good, I’m not crazy… -4:13 PM Apr 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks It’s often good to be crazy. RT @BCcraftmaster: @FlairWoodworks @Morton good, I’m not crazy… -4:14 PM Apr 15th, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks you could make a chair/throne for enjoying all of those giant pieces of cake you eat!:-) -4:26 PM Apr 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @BCcraftmaster Actually, I have a piece of spalted maple reserved for that, tucked away in the corner of my shop since 5 years ago. -4:27 PM Apr 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I faired the curve with my low angle jack plane. #flairww -4:36 PM Apr 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I smoothed one side with my jack plane followed by my random orbit sander. #flairww-5:18 PM Apr 15th, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks is that split going to stay attached or will it spit off? Hopefully you can incorporate it… -5:23 PM Apr 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @BCcraftmaster It’s going to stay attached. -5:26 PM Apr 15th, 2012

Morton @FlairWoodworks I think so. Assuming the blue line is a cut-line, I would have the closer end be symmetrical (same width) around the crack. -5:34 PM Apr 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @Morton Symmetry was not going to happen. It wasn’t in the cards. -5:36 PM Apr 15th, 2012

Morton @FlairWoodworks Is that stretcher vertical (as shown in latest photo) or horizontal? -5:37 PM Apr 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @Morton I think it will be vertical. -5:38 PM Apr 15th, 2012

Morton @FlairWoodworks Ah, cool. Like that better. Symmetry doesn’t matter (to me) then ;) -5:38 PM Apr 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Glad to have you on-board! RT @Morton: @FlairWoodworks Ah, cool. Like that better. Symmetry doesn’t matter (to me) then ;) -5:39 PM Apr 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I just stopped and took a minute to resharpen my low-angle jack plane’s O1 blade. #flairww -5:47 PM Apr 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I used my 1200x diamond stone on the hollow-ground blade, then stropped it. Quick and effective. #flairww -5:48 PM Apr 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Side 2 took a long time to smooth. I started with my low-angle jack and finished with my random orbit sander. #flairww -6:37 PM Apr 15th, 2012

WatkinsWoodWork @FlairWoodworks looks good. Can’t wait to see the finished piece. -6:38 PM Apr 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I used three 80-grit Abranet sanding discs to smooth the two sides of this piece of maple. #flairww -6:39 PM Apr 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks You can use a handscrew to help hold a board vertically.#flairww -6:43 PM Apr 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I think that the cut edge will be the top. I’m unsure what to do with the square edge. Two wide chamfers? #flairww -6:48 PM Apr 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Any ideas or suggestions of what to do with the edge?#flairww -6:51 PM Apr 15th, 2012

MansFineFurn @FlairWoodworks carved ‘twist’ -6:52 PM Apr 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks It’s almost 7pm. I need to get some dinner before the#Canucks game at 7:30. #flairww -6:51 PM Apr 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks On the edge? Hmmm. Thinking…. still thinking… RT @MansFineFurn: @FlairWoodworks carved ‘twist’ -6:53 PM Apr 15th, 2012

MansFineFurn @FlairWoodworks face to top, then top to opposite face, um, not sure how else to describe it -6:54 PM Apr 15th, 2012

WatkinsWoodWork @FlairWoodworks I like the bulk of it. I say leave it. -6:54 PM Apr 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @MansFineFurn I think I understand what you mean. I know how I would do it. -6:54 PM Apr 15th, 2012

MansFineFurn @FlairWoodworks show me -6:55 PM Apr 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @mansfinefurn Have a look at this – the apron of Table with a Twist. #flairww -6:55 PM Apr 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @WatkinsWoodWork Something about live edges and square corners doesn’t sit right with me. -6:58 PM Apr 15th, 2012

MansFineFurn @FlairWoodworks yeah, more or less like that, but with a faster transition. -6:59 PM Apr 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @mansfinefurn Here’s another pic of the other side. #flairww -6:59 PM Apr 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Exactly! #flairww RT @MansFineFurn: @FlairWoodworks yeah, more or less like that, but with a faster transition. -7:00 PM Apr 15th, 2012

MansFineFurn @FlairWoodworks or get wild to a twist, to the middle, then twist it back -7:00 PM Apr 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @MansFineFurn I’ve experimented with reversing twists but didn’t like the effect. #flairww -7:02 PM Apr 15th, 2012

Morton @FlairWoodworks For me – I’d keep the wide, flat edge. I like how it looks smooth and flat compared to the side. #flairww -8:11 PM Apr 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Hmm. Contrast. RT @Morton: For me – I’d keep the wide, flat edge. I like how it looks smooth and flat compared to the side. #flairww -8:12 PM Apr 15th, 2012

Morton @FlairWoodworks Wow – that is really cool (twisted apron). Thx for the pic. -8:12 PM Apr 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Thanks for the compliment. RT @Morton: @FlairWoodworks Wow – that is really cool (twisted apron). Thx for the pic. -8:13 PM Apr 15th, 2012

DyamiPlotke @FlairWoodworks abranet is great, isn’t it? 8:16 PM Apr 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Love it. RT @DyamiPlotke: @FlairWoodworks abranet is great, isn’t it. 8:16 PM Apr 15th, 2012

Keep going and read about Session 2!

Review of the Mirka CEROS

Background

I have had the 6″ Mirka CEROS (Compact Electric Random Orbit Sander) for about a year.  Although I have not used it in a production shop environment, I used it extensively for sanding sculptural work and, to a lesser degree, for flat surfaces.  I have had absolutely no issues with it.

When I purchased the Mirka CEROS, it was only available as a 5″ or 6″ sander with a 5 mm orbit.  The 5 mm orbit is for general work.  Since then, Mirka has released two more 6″ CEROS models – one with a 2.5 mm stroke for finish sanding and one with an 8 mm stroke for more aggressive sanding.  I do not believe these are currently available in North America.

Mirka CEROS in Systainer

Details

The sanding action is very smooth and the DC motor is powerful and reasonably quiet (68 dB, which is similar to a piano practice).  It is lightweight and well-balanced, making it comfortable to use with either one hand or two.  The power cord is quite flexible and permanently attached to the sander.  Mirka sells a hose for the sanders, which is more flexible and lighter (for improved ergonomics) than the Festool Anti-Static D27 hose.  The Mirka CEROS has a round dust port with female threads to accept a 1-1/4″ diameter threaded hose.

Although the Mirka sanders closely resemble pneumatic ones, they are powered by a maintenance-free, brushless DC motor and do not require a large air compressor.  The sanders have a 14′-long power cord that plugs into one end of a 8-1/2″ x 5-1/2″ x 3-1/4″ transformer.  A 6′-long power cord runs from the other end of the transformer into a standard AC outlet.

Mirka CEROS Package

Sizes

The Mirka CEROS is available with either a 125mm (5″) or 150mm (6″) diameter pad.  The smaller sander weighs 870 grams (1.9 pounds) and the larger weighs 920 grams (2 pounds).  I think the 6″ version is more practical not only because it can sand a larger area more quickly, but because the larger pad has a greater distance between the edge of the pad and its body which is useful when working in tight quarters.

5″ and 6″ Mirka CEROSs

Speed Control

The speed of the sanding pad can be adjusted from 4,000-10,000 RPM in 1,000 RPM increments using the buttons on the top-rear of the sander.  Between the speed control buttons is a power button for safety to prevent the sander from starting accidentally.  The paddle switch on top is pressed and held down to operate the tool.  By feathering the paddle, you can control the speed as well but it is very sensitive and not a very reliable way to run the sander at a lower speed.  Instead, it functions as a soft-start feature, of sorts.

Mirka CEROS, Top View

Critique

One addition that I would like to see is a pad brake.  After releasing the paddle switch with the pad turning at 10,000 RPM, the pad continues to spin for about 19 seconds.

Video Review

This first video explains and demonstrates some of the features of the Mirka CEROS.  (Duration: 10:19.)

(Note:  Since recording this video, a reader has pointed out that the CEROS set to run at the lowest speed will indeed draw enough current when under moderate load to run a Festool Dust Extractor set to auto-start.)

In these two posts, you can read more about how I:

  1. combined the Mirka CEROS’s transformer with my Festool CT26 Dust Extractor; and
  2. modified the Festool D27 hose’s tool end to fit the Mirka CEROS’s dust collection port.

Video Demonstration

This second video is a demonstration of the Mirka CEROS.  In the first part, I sand the flat top of a bench with 80, 120, 180, 220, and 320-grit Abranet discs.  In the latter part of the video, I demonstrate how I sand contoured parts with and without the foam interface pad.  (Duration: 13:43.)

Summary

Consider this sander because it:

  1. is powerful and easy to control;
  2. runs quietly and smoothly;
  3. feels good because it is compact and well-balanced;
  4. requires very little maintenance because it has few wearing components; and
  5. does not require a large air compressor to run (as a pneumatic sander does).

Warranty

The Mirka CEROS comes with a 3-year warranty.  You can download the warranty information as well as manual from the Mirka CEROS website.

Accessories

Also, check out the Abranet abrasive discs made by Mirka.  The discs last a long time and don’t require alignment of any dust collection holes.  I would recommend getting the 80-, 120-, and 180-grit sanding discs as well as a Pad Saver (I called it a platen protector in the video).  If you work with non-flat surface, I would also recommend looking at the 10 mm (3/8″) Multi Interface Pads

Suppliers

(I do not receive any compensation for what I write and the list of suppliers is by no means an exhaustive one; I’ve simply listed some to get you started.)

Mirka Part Numbers

*Some dealers sell these parts individually.
**8295610111     150 mm (6″) 67-Hole Pad Savers, Pkg of 5 work with the 150 mm CEROS as well.

Overflow, Part VI

This time, I am giving away one Makita BO3700 Finishing Sander which has seen a minimal amount of use.  It uses 1/3 of a standard 9×11″ sandpaper sheet which is held in place by a spring-loaded clamp at each end of the pad.

The soft pad has eight holes for dust extraction.  The steel plate is used to punch matching holes in the paper.

Dust collection with the bag is not great, but some dust does make it into the bag.  The dust port is round, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to adapt a vacuum to it.

The sander runs on 120 volts, draws 1.3 amps, orbits 10,000 times per minute and is turned on and off with the trigger under the handle (there is a lock-on button as well).  The tool weighs 3.1 pounds and the cord is listed at 6.6 feet.

If you would like this sander, please leave a comment below indicating your interest before February 21, 2012.  I will then draw a winner at random.  Even if you don’t get this sander, remember that this is only some of the MANY things I want to give away.

And if you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe to my blog using the widget in the right-hand column so you can be notified as soon as I post something new!  And please tell your friends about my Overflow program.

Review the details of the Overflow program.

Bubinga Dining Room Table, Part I

Currently, I’m down in Phoenix, Arizona, working for Morgan Holt of EarthArt Landscape & Designs, Inc. on a massive dining table being made from one large slab of bubinga.

Monday morning at 8:00, Morgan and I picked up the Bubinga slab for the table.  Morgan had arranged for some help to unload the slab which measured 14′ long, 42′ wide, and 2′ thick.  It was estimated to weigh 800 lbs.  With four helpers, we were able to unload the slab on to Morgan’s workbench.  After deciding which side would be the top, we proceeded to sand the top smooth and flat.  The slab had cupped a little, but not enough that you’d notice without sighting down it’s width.  It was also slightly bowed over the length, but we later discovered that this was due to the 14′ long slab not being fully supported by the 8′ long bench.

Our first step was to cut it to length – 12′.  I laid out our cuts and Morgan cut to the lines with his Festool plunge circular saw.  He had to do it because, being much taller than I, he could reach across the board to make the cut.  The slab had been fed through a thickness sander before, but there were still some saw marks which we needed to remove.

For the balance of Monday, I belt sanded the top, starting with 36-grit and working up to 120.  I had one scary moment when I backed the sander over its own cord.  It tore up the sanding belt and wore through the outside of the power cord – thankfully the wires inside were intact.  A little electrical tape and I was back in business.  We prevented further such accidents by tying the power cord to the shop vac hose which we hung from the ceiling with a bungee cord (a brilliant idea on Morgan’s part).

This morning, I moved on to the random orbit sander equipped with 120 grit sandpaper.  After I had removed all the marks left by the belt sander, I proceeded to the final grit of 220.  A little while later, the client stopped by to have a look at the table.  The whole premise of my flying down to Phoenix was to carve the edge of the table.

Months earlier, I had completed a sample board consisting of six different ideas of which could be carved into the edge.  We agreed to carve the edge in such a way that it would follow the ‘waterfall’ grain of the bubinga.  This slab, by the way, is no ordinary bubinga.  It’s as highly figured as possible without being burled.  I continued on sanding and finished in the early afternoon.

After a break for lunch, I returned to the shop to work on profiling the edge.  I started by laying out the proposed profile with a pencil, then once satisfied, I darkened the lines with a black marker.  Then the fun began.  I broke out the angle grinder with which I had fitted an Arbortech wood-cutting wheel and gouged away the  waste.  I had enough control over the tool to comfortably cut to the line.  I worked my way half-way down one edge before taking a break by refining the edge with rasps.  Then I went back to the angle grinder.

When I finished the first edge, I put down the angle grinder and started again with the rasps.  It was slow, tedious work so it wasn’t long before I decided to speed things up with the belt sander.  I equipped the sander with a 36-grit belt which made short work of smoothing the edge – the grinder left light scallops in the edge.  I went back to the angle grinder and carved the remaining edge.  At this point, I knew I was getting fatigued and was liable to make a mistake, but I plowed ahead.  Upon completing the edge, I put down the tools and spent 20 minutes cleaning up the shop, which was now covered in wood chips from the angle grinder.