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Inertia Sanders

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Ron Biffle, Jul 7, 2019.

  1. Ron Biffle

    Ron Biffle

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    Location (City & State):
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    For those members who have purchased one of the inertia sanders, I am wondering how effective you have found it to be and if you have found any advantage over power sanding with a drill. I am especially curious to know if they give a really "swirl-free" finish in the bottom of a bowl.
     
  2. Dave Landers

    Dave Landers

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    I have a couple (sorta - see below) and I use them occasionally, but mostly I power-sand with a drill, because I find it works better for me. I do find doing the bottom of a bowl difficult with the inertia sanders because the bowl isn't really moving in the center, so there's little to drive the sander. Basically just hand-sanding there, except with an inconvenient sandpaper holder. Your mileage may vary.

    The inertia sanders I use are just cheap mini die-grinders from Harbor Freight. Just the grinder, no air hookup. Don't know how they perform as grinders, but they spin good for inertia sanding. I have a straight and a 90 degree - I think they set me back about $9 each.

    To avoid the annoying spiral on the bottom of a bowl when power-sanding, I stop the lathe and do the bottom with a sort of random motion.
     
  3. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    They won’t give a swirl free bottom of the bowl because they won’t sand there - not enough wood movement to power it.

    You can make one that works pretty well by drilling a hole in a broomstick the diameter of your mandrel shaft.
    It will work quite well for giving you a feel for what it will do.

    They leave far fewer sanding marks than powered sanders.
    Great for balls, outside of bowls, platters rims. They just need wood velocity to power them.
    The center of a bowl or platter has too little velocity.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2019
  4. Stan Semeniuk

    Stan Semeniuk

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    I have a Sorby model and I can't remember the last time I used it. I found it wasn't very efficient at all and was happier using roll sandpaper.
     
  5. Mark Wollschlager

    Mark Wollschlager

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    I found they are too finicky to get consistent results.
    When you get the angle right they work great, but then they stop on a dime and potentially leave scratches.
    With cheap angle drills available the savings are not as great as the hassle.
     
    hockenbery likes this.
  6. Ron Biffle

    Ron Biffle

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    Thanks to all you responded.....much appreciated.
    Ron
     
  7. Ken Burns

    Ken Burns

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  8. Emiliano Achaval

    Emiliano Achaval Administrator Staff Member

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    I have the Vermec one. Love it. I have been using them for many years. They work great for my boxes.
     
  9. john lucas

    john lucas AAW Forum Expert

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    Built one. Glad I didnt buy one. Didnt work for me. Give me a.drill any day except for my mirrors and boxes. I can sand those by hand quite successfully.
     
  10. Davis Stevenson

    Davis Stevenson

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    I find drill sanding very fatiguing compared to inertia sanding. Inertia sanding is also quieter, and my DC picks up more dust. Just like any other tool, it takes practice. Once I figured out the angle and how to move it around without stopping the head, I use it 95% of the time.

    With that being said, I never try for that purported swirl free finish on the bottom inside-- I just break out the drill for that.
     
  11. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    I don't do no stinkin' sanding ... that's the great thing about basket illusions ... you just turn and burn.
     
  12. odie

    odie

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    Mark me in the category of "tried it, didn't find it to be advantageous, and don't use it anymore"! o_O

    However, Davis probably knows what we don't know, because practice and experimentation is usually the key to success. I didn't have enough patience, because I was already having success with power sanding. As of about 10 years ago, I've been doing zero power sanding of any kind on bowl exteriors, and only minimal power sanding on bowl interiors. The real key to success is to make your lathe cutting tools produce a surface that eliminates the need for sanding. That also requires practice and experimentation, and the advantage of sanding less is that any sanding at all, necessarily means the geometric integrity of the piece is compromised. (That is......the long grain ALWAYS sands away quicker than the end grain. ;))

    As far as power sanding goes......I've found the 55° corded angle drills are the most efficient and maneuverable for power sanding:
    IMG_2358.JPG

    -----odie-----
     

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