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orbital sander problem

BobC's picture

i've got two 5" Rigid orbital sanders. I relaly like them *except* they both are malfunctioning ... in the same manner. Here's the symptoms. When you start one, if you don't apply pressure right away to the pad, it starts spinning...fast. If you try and sand w/it in this condition it'll scar whatever it touches. To get around this, i'll stop the spinning on a piece of scrap and then move the sander to the good material. The other approach is to put the sander on the good material very quickly after turning it on -- before it starts spinning. works fine until you lift it up.


anyone know what's causing this? they have a 'lifetime' warrenty but there are no repair centers near me, so if there's an easy fix i'd like just fix it myself.


Thanks,


Bob

(post #124736, reply #1 of 19)

That's how they are supposed to work. More aggessively when spinning, and finer when held down more tightly. I end up finish sanding with 220 with mine(Rupes - not available here), and you can't see any swirl. Just takes a little practice...move it on quickly and off quickly, or start it while after it's on the wood.

(post #124736, reply #2 of 19)

It was the nature of ROs for quite a while. PC has addressed the issue. Their newer sanders don't spin up when not in contact. I still hate orbital sanders, though.

Beat it to fit / Paint it to match

Beat it to fit / Paint it to match

(post #124736, reply #3 of 19)

I still hate orbital sanders, though.


Why do you hate them?


I bought one a while ago after I read an article in FHB that basically said they could take the place of a belt sander and pad sander.  I have NOT found this to be true at all.  My belt sander (4" belt) is lot more aggressive and my pad sander (1/3 sheet) is much easier to control for fine sanding.  I hardly use the ROS.


I ask why because I'm curious if your experience is like mine.


-Don

(post #124736, reply #7 of 19)

Both my random orbits and orbital pad sanders leave what looks like little spring marks on the wood. The finer the grit, the finer the marks but they are there. The sanders make a lot of fine dust and I have to thoroughly hand sand to remove the marks, so, what's the sense in increasing labor time. I like the RO for prepping paint but I won't use it on good woodwork projects. I should dig out my old Rockwell 505 and sell it, it's polished aluminum, like all hand power tools used to be. I'm pretty good with my beltsanders and will use them for leveling and heavier stock removal. Many high end auto painters use the big right angle PCs for polishing but I prefer the low speed 9" buffers. They are much more forgiving, especially on contours and corners. I'm not fond of inline sanders or jitterbugs either. Too many years in production shops, covered in fine dust for me.

Beat it to fit / Paint it to match

Beat it to fit / Paint it to match

(post #124736, reply #4 of 19)

Not sure about Rigid, but when one of my Porter Cable OSs spins too much it means the belt needs to be replaced.  I love my orbitals - use them more than all the other sanders combined.

(post #124736, reply #5 of 19)

Clutch worn out? I had something similar on my DeWalt...

(post #124736, reply #10 of 19)

Hey, is that what that is?  I had an old DW 5" ROS and it didn't really spin up until in contact with the wood.  They made a big deal about it.  I replaced that one with a newer model about 4 years ago and this new one sux.  It spins like mad now and I have to keep a much closer eye on how it's working on the surface.


Thinking about replacing that one too. 


 


Maybe someday I'll know a little something.

 

Most nights are crystal clear, but tonight it's like he's stuck between stations.

(post #124736, reply #11 of 19)

Yup, I replaced the brake on my DW ROS and it works like new now... was cheap too.

(post #124736, reply #13 of 19)

why do that..


you bought a tool and it should do it's job without you having to do anything other than use it...


 


 


Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming


WOW!!! What a Ride!


Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!

"Some days it's just not worth chewing through the restraints"

(post #124736, reply #14 of 19)

Ummm..it was 10 years old...

(post #124736, reply #16 of 19)

seriousely..


that's no excuse...


 


 


Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming


WOW!!! What a Ride!


Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!

"Some days it's just not worth chewing through the restraints"

(post #124736, reply #12 of 19)

there's a chance the bearing is shot...

 


 


Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming


WOW!!! What a Ride!


Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!

"Some days it's just not worth chewing through the restraints"

(post #124736, reply #15 of 19)

I just saw another posting about the little plastic ring.  I remember that they supplied a spare and I'll give that a whirl.


No change, and I'm buying the Bosch.  I like their dust filter.


 


Maybe someday I'll know a little something.

 

Most nights are crystal clear, but tonight it's like he's stuck between stations.

(post #124736, reply #17 of 19)

had the DW.. long since in the trash...


got the PC.. like the my Bosch much better..


 


 


Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming


WOW!!! What a Ride!


Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!

"Some days it's just not worth chewing through the restraints"

(post #124736, reply #6 of 19)

Have they been doing this from the beginning, or did it just start to happen?

********************************************************
"It is what we learn after we think we know it all, that counts."

John Wooden 1910-

******************************************************** "It is what we learn after we think we know it all, that counts." John Wooden 1910-2010

(post #124736, reply #8 of 19)

Sounds like the brake is worn out....all of mine (Dewalts and P-C's) have a plastic ring that prevents the sander from revving too high....they are consumables, and have to be replaced. When they aren't working, it's very difficult to land them on a workpiece without scarring.


I love random orbit sanders; definitely the best all around sander IMO, especailly my air-powered Dynabrades. I can't stand regular orbital sanders.


Cabinetmaker/college woodworking instructor. Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.
Cabinetmaker/college woodworking instructor. Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.

(post #124736, reply #9 of 19)

Brake... I knew as I was typing "clutch" that isn't what I meant, good thing I don't make that mistake in the truck ;)


Thanks Adrian...

(post #124736, reply #18 of 19)

to all -- yes it definately didn't do this when i first bought it. As Adrian mentions, it's really hard to even touch the wood w/it once it gets spinning w/o seriously scarring.


question. Are these plastic rings (assuming the Rigid operates similarly to the RO you have) fairly simple to replace?


BTW, i see you're from Cape Breton. The family (6 of us) drove from SC to meat cove a couple summers ago. What an awesome place.

(post #124736, reply #19 of 19)

fairly simple to replace?


 


yup...


 


 


Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming


WOW!!! What a Ride!


Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!

"Some days it's just not worth chewing through the restraints"