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Edgesanding


jammy
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Well I need a little more advice from you guys.

For sanding profiles and flattening faces in college we use one of the 2 wadkin 30" disc sanders - they're great bits of kit, but seems to run about £4500 and are three phase...so not really a goer for the home workshop :D

I've been looking into oscillating edge sanders as an alternative, but searches are turning up little choice at the cheaper end of the market. There appears to be the axminster one, then another couple around the £700 mark, then little else. Does anyone know of any manufacturers/stockists that I may have missed? Or can you reccomend an alternative tool to do the same jobs?

Cheers for any help, as always.

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More info please!

Flattening solid body edges? Working end grain?

Flattening acoustic guitar sides after bending and closing the box?

Depending on budget and purpose, you can use a spindle sander, a beltsander on it's side, a drum in a drill press or a disc sander. I'd recommend a 6" minimum disc sander - andythign smaller is a bit of a toy for guitar sized projects.

I have been using a drum sander in a millimg machine lately, works pretty well for both concave and convex areas, and you can swap grits on it using standard 150mm sanding rolls - no dedicated sanding sleeves required.

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It has to serve many purposes as it's replacing everything I use the disc sander for at college soo...

-Sanding Convex shapes (wether it be an electric guitar body, acoustic guitar top/back etc...)

-Sanding things to size after cutting (say the blocks for an acoustic, edges of fingerboards)

-Flattening things (the front of a neck blank before glueing on the fretboard etc...)

The thing which will be the most demanding is the flatteneing, I would think - it's got to be very flat, and large enough to work on the whole front of a neck blank at once.

Edited by jammy
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Forget flatting neck blanks with a sander unless you're a production shop - the prices for anything which will do that will be absurd. That's a job for a sharp plane, and a perfectly straight sanding stick - I use a 3 foot carpenters level with 80 stuck to it.

To be honest, I rather surprised that your course didn't get you to do it that way, getting things flat is pretty damn fundamental, and no student can afford to equip their workshop with a 30 inch disc sander!

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Do you think so?

I've used the long belt sander at college and it can get stuff flat - flat enough to suction stick to the cast iron tables.

That was a pretty expensive one, but nothing too impressive.

I can't see how, if there's a uniform 80 grit paper running over a flat surface of steel how it could fail to flatten something? Should just be a mechanical version of your paper stuck to a level.

A handplane is always an option, indeed. I suppose even a small surface planer would do it if the sander's a no go. I was hoping to mechanise the procedure though.

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It sounds like the horizontal (preferably oscillating) belt sander would work best for you. However, I agree that when you need something truly flat, you need a jointer or plane, not a sander (although the sandpaper on a flat bar or flat table trick works). Most belt sanders don't keep the belt very flat ... it tends to wear unevenly and round off edges. There aren't many woodworking jobs that a disc sander is good for at all (and those are mostly end-grain), because of the circular cut on the grain. Get the belt sander and a good plane.

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Or, forget the belt sander.

Really, they're expensive, dusty, noisy, and they do *nothing* which can't be done better with a plane and a straight sanding block. If you can explain what you want that a plane (handplane) can't achieve, I'll tell you how to get it, but right now you're trying to find a *very* expensive wayto do a job which is better accomplished with a pretty cheap tool.

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Or, forget the belt sander.

Really, they're expensive, dusty, noisy, and they do *nothing* which can't be done better with a plane and a straight sanding block. If you can explain what you want that a plane (handplane) can't achieve, I'll tell you how to get it, but right now you're trying to find a *very* expensive wayto do a job which is better accomplished with a pretty cheap tool.

I can see where you're coming from, but I must say I don't agree.

How would you suggest sanding the edges of an electric guitar body with a plane and a sanding stick?

Sorry to gist, but you see my point :D

After further research I've found a pretty cheap unit which has, for accuracy, a replacement graphite backer for the belt's working face, could be worth a look...

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Sorry - I was referring to getting a sander big enough to work necks - a 12" disc sander should do a good job on sides, though I think I'd stick with a sanding block and a sharp cabinet scraper. I don't know how much material you need to remove, but I assume it's not much, unless you need to smooth waves or bumps caused by the side bending.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I REALLY want an edgesander beltsander.... We have one at my work with osc function, and it's very usefull for solidbody guitars.

Grizzly has some smaller one's that are pretty cheap, and are made in korea or china.......

I know both of you are on the wrong side of the water to order from grizzly.... but isnt there some type of tool supplier out there that deals with decent but inexpensive korean/chinease import stuff?

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I REALLY want an edgesander beltsander.... We have one at my work with osc function, and it's very usefull for solidbody guitars.

Grizzly has some smaller one's that are pretty cheap, and are made in korea or china.......

I know both of you are on the wrong side of the water to order from grizzly.... but isnt there some type of tool supplier out there that deals with decent but inexpensive korean/chinease import stuff?

yes, axminster

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I've done that with sticky backed sandpaper both covering a good size sheet of MDF, and when I need one small edge REALLY flat, like the edge of a fretboard, I put the paper on the table saw.

I use the 3M sticky paper. The adhesive isnt TOO strong like some other brands.

Edited by postal
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I turned up in a lathe two, 2" diameter steel sanding bobbins to edge sand in my drill press and have 80 grit glued on one and 120 on the other. They are great for edge sanding for a body. I put a MDF extension on the drill table so there is more support.

I also have a table set up so I can mount my 4" belt sander on its side. It is ideal for shaping braces and other such delicate stuff. You have much more control than trying to use the sander on your work.

Edited by Acousticraft
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