Sanding setup

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Sanding setup

Postby slash2 on Tue Jul 13, 2021 2:30 am

New member here. I’m picking up a partially built Pocketship in a few days (hull inside glassed and painted, sole installed). I’ve done a lot of woodworking but have very little fiberglassing experience. It seems sanding is the most tedious and most unhealthy part of the build so I’m willing to spend some money to get a good sanding setup. I tried searching the forum and ‘sander’ shows up too often to use as a search, so it’s obviously a big topic. I did see a few references to sanders, but I’d like to hear what recommendations there are on a sanding setup. Web search seems to favor RA sanders for fiberglass sanding but they all seem to be air powered and require a large air compressor. It seems most folks going with RO but there are many subtypes it seems. I want one that will last and make sanding go as easy as possible with a good dust collection system. So what do you all recommend?

Thanks! I’m sure this is the first of many questions…

Steve Sawtelle
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2021 2:27 am

Re: Sanding setup

Postby Pastorjim on Tue Jul 13, 2021 9:45 am

Welcome Steve, and good luck on your build. I will be finishing my Pocketship build in the next month or so. Over the years (I'm very slow) my go to sander has been the Makita BO5041 5 inch Orbit Sander. I have worn 2 of them out completely and replaced the pads on the bottom 3 times. I can't begin to count the number of sanding discs I have been through LOL

I have been faithful about wearing my mask (3m 6000) and I have a Shopsmith Dust Collector DC 3300 which has helped... but to be honest, I can't tell you how many times I have been totally covered in a combination of sawdust and epoxy dust.

I know that there are a lot more experienced builders and craftsmen on here who can offer their insights, but I am excited for you as you begin your Pocketship journey.
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Sep 26, 2013 3:09 pm
Location: Indiana

Re: Sanding setup

Postby slash2 on Tue Jul 13, 2021 12:41 pm

Thanks Jim,

Yeah I really stepped into it. This may be a good excuse to semi-retire. I've had an itch for a long time to sail a multi-day trip on the Chesapeake in my own boat.

Well I stopped by my local Woodcrafter and talked to them. One problem is that a lot of tools are in short supply. I had been thinking about the Festool ETS 125 sander with the CT15 Dust Extractor. They had one ETS 125 in stock and the extractor, so I decided to go for it. Not real cheap, but actually pretty decent for Festool. Hope this is a good setup to use.

On my way back from looking at the boat, my wife and I stopped by CLC to look at their boat. Looks good. Of course my wife saw their teardrop camper.....

Steve Sawtelle
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2021 2:27 am

Re: Sanding setup

Postby on Wed Jul 14, 2021 10:00 am

I've had a DeWalt RO sander for about 10 years. I've used it to make a Skerry and lots of small projects, and now I am using it to sand the exterior of my Pocketship. It is still going strong.

You MUST have a setup with a shop vac and a long hose to collect dust. I have about 20 feet of hose, so I can put the sander outside to further cut down on the dust, heat, and noise.

Posts: 50
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2020 2:47 pm
Location: Princeton, NJ

Re: Sanding setup

Postby afairaizl on Thu Aug 26, 2021 10:05 am

Manual states a 5" sander is recommended. I've got one of those but I'm more comfortable with a 6" from shaping surfboards and sanding strip built kayaks. Anyone have an opinion on the size? I'm assuming 5" is more for the interior sanding in confined spaces. I'm going to try to use my 5 gal shop vac along with the Bosch GET75-6N. I'll be using 3M Cubitron sanding film since a lot of people had recommended it from other industries with epoxy sanding for durability. They cost about a $1 a disk but if they last 2-3 times longer and I don't have to change all the time, I figure it will be worth it. If the vac is not up to par, particularly during the cold coming up, I'll probably grab a festool ct15 as the suction and collection. I was sold on the Festool sanders and dust collectors after using them for a week up at the Woodenboat School in Brooklin, Maine. I don't want to be living in a dust cloud in the garage for months, even though I have air filtration that does around 400 cfm a minute. I'll be running a cyclone separator inline to try to keep down bag consumption as well.

Drew - Hampton, NH, USA
PocketShip 'Dreams Won't Wait'
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2021 12:26 pm
Location: Coastal New England

Re: Sanding setup

Postby SMHolmans on Thu Aug 26, 2021 11:36 am

Welcome to the forum! Lots of really helpful builders on here offering great advice.
I chose Festool sanding equipment because I saw that many professionals use it, and I've been delighted with the results.
My Festool Rotex90 is my go-to sander - it can switched between geared rotary, random orbital, and delta modes.
I also have a Festool R150 random orbital which is great for larger areas.
My Festool CTL dust collector is excellent.
Yes it's expensive, but with this set up sanding is much, much easier than with ordinary DIY type sanders and is virtually dust free.
I can't recommend Festool highly enough.
Posts: 135
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:38 am
Location: Oxford, United Kingdom

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