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What size hand sander do I need for decking?

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  1. #1
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    Default What size hand sander do I need for decking?

    I have decided that I am going to purchase a Festool Rotex sander to do my 2 decks. Deck 1 has 135mm (5 1/4") wide boards, some of which are cupped. Deck 2 has 90mm (3 1/2") wide boards.

    My question is, which Festool sander - RO 90 (3 1/2"), 125 (5") or 150 (6") should i get to use on both decks?

    Does it matter if the sander is wider than the board being sanded? Concerned here in relation to those wider boards that have cupped.

    Cheers

  2. #2
    3K Club Member johnc's Avatar
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    Well money bags I'd go for either the 125 or 150. Bit of overkill using a Festool, I would go for something like Metabo, Makita etc. however if you intend doing a lot of other work with it then go for it. I use the 150mm Festool, not the Rotex which I think is around $550 more than adequate for the course sanding grades you use on decks.

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    I bought the bigger festool for 140 boards and it got the cups out beautifully, i left mine too long to put an oil on it so it had cupped a fair bit. Came up a treat, highly recommended.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnc View Post
    Well money bags I'd go for either the 125 or 150. Bit of overkill using a Festool, I would go for something like Metabo, Makita etc. however if you intend doing a lot of other work with it then go for it. I use the 150mm Festool, not the Rotex which I think is around $550 more than adequate for the course sanding grades you use on decks.
    Ha Ha johnc....... I was expecting a money bag's sort of a comment They are a pricey bit of gear. I will also be using it to sand down old hardwood fence palings etc and figured I didn't want to be standing around sanding for longer than I had to... hence the rotex decision.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Optimus View Post
    I bought the bigger festool for 140 boards and it got the cups out beautifully, i left mine too long to put an oil on it so it had cupped a fair bit. Came up a treat, highly recommended.
    Good to know the cupping can be lessened optimus. Question for you.... does it matter a great deal if its not connected to a dust extractor while you're sanding?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tommygee View Post
    Good to know the cupping can be lessened optimus. Question for you.... does it matter a great deal if its not connected to a dust extractor while you're sanding?
    I didn't have one, nothing a blower cant get rid of.

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    i used 40 and 60 grit paper, buy the bigger packs though as you do go through a few

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    Thankyou for that info.... taken on board. Where do you get your paper from?

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    3K Club Member johnc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommygee View Post
    Thankyou for that info.... taken on board. Where do you get your paper from?
    Any Festool supplier will stock Festool branded paper in boxes. The product has better life than other locally available brands.

  10. #10
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    A friend purchased the Festool 150 and suggested I should not, so we did a comparo between the Metabo I bought (at his suggestion) and while highly subjective, and does not account for possible longevity, there was no real difference in performance.
    I did pick up a 12" ROS at the auctions for under $200. US made and usually used for stone polishing it's a beast...
    And.....your point is.....what exactly?

  11. #11
    Golden Member havabeer's Avatar
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    Any reason you wouldnt just hire a large drum sander?

    I couldnt imagine being on my hands and knees for hours trying to use a palm/hand sander. At the very least would be looking for a belt one.
    Remember if you don't sin, then Jesus died for nothing

  12. #12
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    Most tradies dont even buy festool products, so why should a weekender warrior spend $1k+ for a random orbital sander?!

    For that money you could pay someone to sand it and not have to lift a finger.

    If you're willing to get on your hands and knees for hours, then buy a decent brand one like Hitachi or Makita and save your pennies for beer and a new high quality deck oil.

    I only recently sanded down my 6x4m deck with my crappy 18v ryobi oribital sander and I'll be damned if I'm stupid enough to do that again. Next time I'll be hiring a drum sander or borrowing my old mans panel sander.

  13. #13
    4K Club Member Marc's Avatar
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    A drum sander does not work on a deck. The boards surface are not in the same plane and the drum sander will need to take heaps of timber in order to flatten the surface. The end result will be thinner boards and the pencil round edge will be lost. That providing your screws are deep enough to allow removing that much wood. Been there done that. Bad idea. And if you want to take just a light sanding as you should, you will be left with heaps of patches.
    Random orbital sander is the way to go, and hiring someone else do it for you is even better.
    If you are a sucker for punishment, go for a Bosch 75-150. Cheaper than festool and a real good tool.
    Or ... buy 2 or 3 Ozito, even cheaper
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    I don't agree a drum sander is a good idea at all, Deck boards aren't tongue and groove so don't sit absolutely even. Some get more removal from the drum than the others and the edges square up. ROS is the best way. You also get less runs with the belt sander over time because it removes more of the timber, so the deck boards thin out. I wouldn't hire anyone who does this, have seen the after result of some I have seen.

  15. #15
    Community Moderator phild01's Avatar
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    Marc, you are channelling me, stop that

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    4K Club Member Marc's Avatar
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    ha ha, I thought you did that to me
    Definitely no drum sander for a deck.
    My next job, is a wash and pressure clean of a deck, and then airless spray paint. Oh what a feeling! Oiling? pull the other one.
    Oiling a deck is like polishing your car with shoe polish and a toothbrush ...
    Science is never settled,
    it advances one funeral at the time.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by David.Elliott;
    I did pick up a 12" ROS at the auctions for under $200. US made and usually used for stone polishing it's a beast...
    I have no doubt that 12" ROS is a beast

    I agree with Marc and Phild01...... no to the drum sander.

    Marc "If you are a sucker for punishment, go for a Bosch 75-150."...... I was looking at this Bosch, think it was about $300 cheaper than the Festool. Haven't crossed it off my list yet.

    Long story short, I will be buying a decent ROS as I have a fair few timber projects waiting for me. Yeah this will be my first time sanding back the deck.... all keen & gung-ho.... and no doubt after doing it, I will never want to go down that path again
    Last edited by phild01; 14th Sep 2020 at 07:24 PM. Reason: quote

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommygee View Post
    I have no doubt that 12" ROS is a beast

    I agree with Marc and Phild01...... no to the drum sander.

    Marc "If you are a sucker for punishment, go for a Bosch 75-150."...... I was looking at this Bosch, think it was about $300 cheaper than the Festool. Haven't crossed it off my list yet.

    Long story short, I will be buying a decent ROS as I have a fair few timber projects waiting for me. Yeah this will be my first time sanding back the deck.... all keen & gung-ho.... and no doubt after doing it, I will never want to go down that path again
    I was exactly like you, keen as mustard to use my new tool and get my new deck back to....well new again.

    15 hours of sanding later i couldn't imagine doing that again...

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