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Old May 02, 2014, 06:14 PM
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United States, AZ, Lake Havasu City
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Question
Easier Sanding?

Picked up a vintage Katie II sailplane and am now sanding the foam/balsa wing. Forgot how much work sanding this much surface is.

I guess my question is, are any of you balsa builders/finishers using any sort of electrical sander to make this task easier. Anything new on the market?

Thanks,

SpadCat
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Old May 04, 2014, 11:24 PM
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Newer Better sandpaper, with a sanding block and the right grade. Balsa really benefits high grade sandpaper. Seems to like the extra sharp grit. I tanged some of that Portuguese paper on a order just to try and was astonish how well it worked on balsa.

I have been disappointed when trying electric sanders in the past. But maybe some one had good luck with one.
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Old May 05, 2014, 04:09 PM
Dragons, WindMills, all Same
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United States, IN, Indianapolis
Joined May 2002
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Straight Line Air Sander
Naturally one would need a compressor with an adequate duty cycle


Jared
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Old May 05, 2014, 05:57 PM
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I don't skimp on sand paper either, and have a number of good sanding blocks. I also have been disappointed in electric sanders that I have used in the past. "Portuguese paper"? Any links to sources? I will Google it. Thanks.

"Straight line Sander"? I used to have a combo orbital/straight sander, but it just seemed to be as much work as a sanding block. It might just needed to have more movement than the vibration motion that it had and a belt sander has too much movement.

Maybe I am just getting lazy in my old age....

Thanks,

SpadCat
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Old May 05, 2014, 07:11 PM
Dragons, WindMills, all Same
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Perhaps the older manual straight line Sander.

Oh, I don't know about getting lazy in me old age, more like conserving energy, especially my own.


Jared
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Old May 06, 2014, 08:30 AM
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Traverse City, Michigan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcstalls View Post
Perhaps the older manual straight line Sander.

Oh, I don't know about getting lazy in me old age, more like conserving energy, especially my own.


Jared
I believe they are called "sanding files." I have two, so that I can easily switch grits without wasting paper. They are still available at automotive paint stores.
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Old May 06, 2014, 09:57 AM
Dragons, WindMills, all Same
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Yup, that's the one. Forgot name for it's been years since I bought mine.
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Old May 06, 2014, 01:40 PM
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OK, I will try one.

Thanks
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Old May 06, 2014, 02:59 PM
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I love Mirka Abranet products. The geometry of a thin thread contacting the surface to be sanded makes them cut extremely well and since it is an open mesh, it doesn't clog up. A possibility to use a vacuum cleaner to suck dust through the sanding pad is a bonus.
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Old May 06, 2014, 03:57 PM
Dragons, WindMills, all Same
jcstalls's Avatar
United States, IN, Indianapolis
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Another trick with these is to load up a few sheets, when sanding a lot. This way one just rips off the used sheet verses replacing it every time.
Also, a quality unit is usually better than a budget one. Beside Trueness, the ease of replacing sheets.

Jared
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Old May 07, 2014, 11:26 PM
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Hmmm..interesting. So you use the sheets on a electric finishing sander or attach them to a sanding block?
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Old May 09, 2014, 09:56 PM
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The brand name I use Indasa Rhynalox Plus. I got some sheets of generic paper from a woodwork shop that was closing and it was just labeled "Portuguese Paper" and a grit number. Later I noticed that the other paper I liked was made in Portugal, by www.indasa.pt . For me, now that my arm hurts and am building larger planes, it seems that the better paper is the difference between enjoying or dreading sanding. It does not pack up and need much less effort to sand due to sharper grit. The downside it makes a lot more dust .

That Mirka Abranet paper looks interesting, if I can find a small inline sand for it I will give it a try.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpadCat2000 View Post
I don't skimp on sand paper either, and have a number of good sanding blocks. I also have been disappointed in electric sanders that I have used in the past. "Portuguese paper"? Any links to sources? I will Google it. Thanks.

"Straight line Sander"? I used to have a combo orbital/straight sander, but it just seemed to be as much work as a sanding block. It might just needed to have more movement than the vibration motion that it had and a belt sander has too much movement.

Maybe I am just getting lazy in my old age....

Thanks,

SpadCat
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Old Nov 20, 2014, 01:18 AM
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Australia, NSW, Bellingen
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I'm astonished that you have a problem sanding balsa?
The few times that I have done it, it disappears very quickly. So much so, there is a danger of over sanding. Also, I use a plane first to take off any excess in true joinery fashion. Then sand only to finish up.
I'm currently sanding 2 pack auto paint finished plugs. If you want a hard sanding experience, try this one day.
The balsa will seem like childs play after that!
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Old Nov 20, 2014, 10:32 AM
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United States, TX, Tyler
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My solution is to build smaller planes!
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Old Nov 23, 2014, 01:41 PM
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Elk Grove, CA
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I find that sanding screens, used for sanding drywall joints, gives a great finish without clogging. The 3M brand can be found at most big box home improvement stores in the paint department. A wider selection of grits is available from auto body paint stores.
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