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Thread: What to use bowl sanding

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Vernon, WI
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    What to use bowl sanding

    What tool do you use to sand inside your bowls? I have a 2" sanding pad and just ordered a ton of sandpaper for it, got organized and built a cabinet under my lathe with a few drawers. One of which holds all the sand paper. Very excited to use it. So recently I turned a NE Maple bowl (pics to come in a different post). I whipped out a Tool Shop brand right angle drill that I bought awhile back for this specific operation. It was a cheapo I think I paid $35 for it. I used that in combination with the 2" sanding pad to turn and finish the NE bowl I made.

    Well, a couple of days later (yesterday)... I started another NE bowl. I finished the outside of the bowl and started sanding through the grits. When I got to 600, the drill died. Completely stopped working without warning. Sanding 1 1/2 bowls worth is all I've used this drill for, it's brand new. The thing did get pretty hot pretty fast but I dealt with it. I don't know if this is what caused it? So while I was out running around to different stores today I stopped at Menard's (where I perchased it months ago) and the box said 1 year warranty. I'm almost positive I don't still have the receipt but they do have a machine there where you can look up all of your purchases. The thing is I know I bought it months ago so it might be time consuming trying to find that receipt. Anyone have this drill or witness the same problem? Do you think I could just take it in and ask for a new one?

    Another store I stopped at while I was out today was Harbor Freight. I picked up a right angle drill from there for $30 and paid an extra $10 for a 2 year plan. Actually it's almost identical to the Tool Shop one. The guy said if it breaks within that 2 years you can bring it back and they'll give you a brand new one, no questions asked. So now I thought, well for $40 I can get at least 2 years out of it. BUT before I open that one and start using it I thought I'd ask everyone's opinion and maybe there's someone or something out there that will lead me in a different direction.

    I hardly ever waste my time or money on cheap tools, but I thought "hey for $35 I'll get this cheap angle drill since all I'm going to do with it is sand bowls." But to stop working after 1 1/2 bowls So what do you guys use for this operation? ...I've seen that pnuematic Grex sander. Looks pretty nice, but I don't think I have a large enough air compressor to run it. So I'm just looking for options before I decide to use the HF one. Maybe tomorrow I'll even run into Menard's to see if they'll replace the Tool Shop one. Thanks everyone!

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    DSM, IA
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    Westly, I've had the same tool shop palm sander quit working 3 times. I've taken the sander back, without recpt or box and they have always just told me "go get another one just like it and you're good to go." Tool shop tools have lifetime warrantys as far as I know. I also know tons of people that have the HF drill and they all like it.
    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. -Henry David Thoreau
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Tokyo Japan
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    I got a HF unit, Vaughn was good enough to send it to me, he got one at the same time, mine lasted a very short time and literally blew up, but I think that Vaughn is still using the one he got.

    I eventually replaced it with a used, but good Makita unit, should last me a long time (fingers crossed).
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  4. #4
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    Stu beat me to it. The HF drills are hit or miss. If you're close to a HF (so you can return it if necessary), I think it's a reasonable risk, and a good deal. If you're not close to HF, it's not. Stu's case is a prime example of that. I'm still using mine, and it hasn't given me any problems since I got it...about 3 years ago if memory serves.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  5. #5
    I have had mine from HF for about 3 years with out a problem. I went in there store 2 years ago and they had them on sale for like $15.00 so I got a spare. Best way to make sure your tools last is to have 2 and the 1st one lasts forever.
    Dennis

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Bower View Post
    Westly, I've had the same tool shop palm sander quit working 3 times. I've taken the sander back, without recpt or box and they have always just told me "go get another one just like it and you're good to go." Tool shop tools have lifetime warrantys as far as I know. I also know tons of people that have the HF drill and they all like it.
    Man 3 times that sucks. Glad to hear you've had no problems exchanging though. I'm only about 20 minutes from Menards and I'm in that area often, so I think I'll be taking it in real soon.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Ablett View Post
    I got a HF unit, Vaughn was good enough to send it to me, he got one at the same time, mine lasted a very short time and literally blew up, but I think that Vaughn is still using the one he got.

    I eventually replaced it with a used, but good Makita unit, should last me a long time (fingers crossed).
    Hope your fingers weren't in the way when it blew up! Good thing about the Makita, that should last you for a long time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    Stu beat me to it. The HF drills are hit or miss. If you're close to a HF (so you can return it if necessary), I think it's a reasonable risk, and a good deal. If you're not close to HF, it's not. Stu's case is a prime example of that. I'm still using mine, and it hasn't given me any problems since I got it...about 3 years ago if memory serves.
    HF is about a 30 min drive for me so that's not bad either. Which HF model do you have? The reason I ask, and I don't know if it was the same when you bought yours, is there were 2 kinds when I went in there. Both were very similar. The one I bought is orange in color and has a keyed chuck. It was $30 on sale. The other was a dark grey color and had a keyless chuck for $50. This one I believe was identical to the Tool Shop one. The orange one is also very similar.

    I think I will take the Tool Shop one back and try to exchange it, hang onto the HF for awhile without opening it, and see if the new TS one lasts longer. If it does, I'll make sure I return the HF within the 30 days I have to do so. Then if the TS fails, I'll go out again and make a final decision with the HF model. Thanks for the input guys, made my decision easier!

  7. #7
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    Feb 2008
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    Thanks for your response also, Dennis. You must have responded while I was typing I'm glad you have good things to say about the HF one also. And at that price buying 2 is cheaper than buying 1 of a nice brand, good find! I will keep this in mind.

  8. #8
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    Westley, mine is the orange one. I think they were on sale for about $20 when I got mine and Stu's. When it wears out, I think I'll try one of the smaller 55 angle drills like the Milwaukee or one of the Asian knockoffs. They look like they'd be a bit more maneuverable and easier on my hands.

    But the Grex 2" ROS is still my go-to "magic scratch eraser". It requires a pretty beefy compressor, but it's the bomb.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    University Place, WA
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    101
    I also have the HF close quarter drill. A couple years now, no problems, sanded a lot of bowls.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Central Illinois
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    936
    Evening Westley.

    What I have is not powered and is made by Robert Sorby. It is powered by the turning bowl powered by the lathe. Had mine for some 6 years and no problems. I also use it on the outside.

    Just another option.

    Bruce
    Bruce Shiverdecker - Retired Starving Artist ( No longer a Part timer at Woodcraft, Peoria, Il.)

    "The great thing about turning is that all you have to do is remove what's not needed and you have something beautiful. Nature does the hard part!"

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