Tool Recommendation Please

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by SeaJay, Jun 16, 2009.

  1. Steve W
    Joined: Jul 2004
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    Steve W Senior Member

    Exactly what Par,pescaloco and gonzo have recommended, your not polishing the damned thing, 24 thru 40 grit will get the job done ,even 40 is getting a bit too fine.
  2. alan white
    Joined: Mar 2007
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    Location: maine

    alan white Senior Member

    Interesting. The Makita--- how much? Any case, I meant that a typical strictly RO sander is more suited to finish work, while a typical angle grinder is fast and powerful and cheap--- and well suited to material removal..
  3. SeaJay
    Joined: Jun 2007
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    SeaJay Senior Member

    I'm sensing a theme here...heavier grit, slower speed, less dust. Good discussion, thanks to all.

    The Makita can be had for $285 new and about $100 less as "reconditioned"

    Doesn't seem too bad for a pretty versatile tool.
  4. SamSam
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    Location: Coastal Georgia

    SamSam Senior Member

    Pawn shops have that stuff. If they ask $100, offer them $25. You'd be surprised how much they'll deal.
  5. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Trust me, a cheap Harbor Freight tool will serve you fine. Paying a few hundred for a tool you'll not use very often just seems silly. Now, if you're making a living with the thing, it's a different ball of wax . . .
  6. Jimbo1490
    Joined: Jun 2005
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    Jimbo1490 Senior Member

    The BO6040 is one of Makita's hottest products; a HF copy can't be far behind. Some recent HF tools have been pretty good. I wish I could say that about their recently re-vamped 7" sander-polisher, which is exactly the tool you would use for heavy composite grinding.

    I'm working on a 'mini yacht' over in Merritt Island and bought one for the job at the HF store in Melbourne, since all my 'normal' tools are air tools so no good for a boat on the water. It lasted one day before the switch quit (OK yes I pushed it pretty hard, but that's what you do with these things :D). They swapped it out, no questions. But the replacement is starting to get intermittent, just like the first one did before it took the dirt nap. :(

  7. waikikin
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    waikikin Senior Member

    Seajay, you might want to try some ZEC discs on your grinder too. All the best in your dusty endeavours from Jeff.
  8. Guest62110524

    Guest62110524 Previous Member

    usually I do not contribute to threads where a 100 people can and do respond
    But after 45 years using power tools I have found, that, one can NEVER EVER , save on tools
    For instance, I bought a 9 inch AEG grinder in 1972, it is still going strong, then I tried things like Colt, which in pro use lasted just days
    If you are a handyman, then buy best, heck you can leave the tools to your grandchildren, If you are pro, then those tools are , there for you, always
    In Alloy building 5 of us went through one hand electric saw a year We used Aeg, Bosch, Makita, this is sawiung long cuts, maybe 30 mins at a time, when the saw would start to chatter
    Sanders(orbital) Ryobi etc,
    same with hand tools, chisels, planes, screwdrivers, buy best with best reputation
  9. gary1
    Joined: May 2006
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    Location: australia

    gary1 Senior Member

    I am with with Whoosh 100% on this, mate buy the best sander you can afford. When I was building my boat I started of buying the el-cheapo sanders that the market is flooded with these days thinking they will be all that I will need, now not having a lot of fibre glassing experience they would get a fair work out.
    When I finished the boat I had gone through a total of 13 sanders number 13 being a Bosch which cost me a fair bit of cash but was the only one that handled the punishment I was putting them through and I still have it. The other 12 cheap ones which I ende up buying 2 at a time were just false economics considering I would have a 240 klm round trip to replace them each time. They would burn out become clogged with dust broken switches you name it they stuffed up some way, except for one which I flogged up the side of a tree for 5mins but that's another story.
    Buy the best name brand you can afford trust me you won't regret it.
  10. waikikin
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    waikikin Senior Member

    I'll second & third Whoosh & Gary on the quality tools, I've had most of mine for nearly 3 decades,- as a first year I invested in bosch, aeg, makita & along the way some rupes & festo & still have most of the originals- a bosch 9" grinder & bosch jigsaw wore out at about 20 years but were well & truly "paid for", occassionally I've bought a cheapy for a specific job but they usualy dont last, also blow out your machines with compressed air esp' when grinding glass. Regards from Jeff.
  11. stilloutoffocus
    Joined: Apr 2009
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    stilloutoffocus dealership repair flunkie

    i wholeheartedly agree with the harbor freight comment. I just recently replaced my HF angle grinder because the dust had gotten into the switch so bad that it wouldnt turn on or off when asked. i would blow it out with air after each use but the buildup was finally too much for the electric switches. but hey $30 for about 3-4 years of hardcore grinding is worth it to me. id feel sick to my stomach to spend 300-600 dollars for a tool i was intent on destroying.
  12. TeddyDiver
    Joined: Dec 2007
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    TeddyDiver Gollywobbler

    In case a cheapo grinder lasts long enough to the end of the project and happens to be efficent enough not to drive me in to a mental breakdown the fillings in my teeths don't.. ;)
    Buy the best.. forget the rest..
  13. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Your choice 10 $40 sanders or one $400 sander, you make the call based on how much work you'll be doing. For a single project, it seems foolish to buy a $400 tool when a couple of $40 deals will get you through the tasks. Again, if you're making a living, then you need tools that will take you to retirement.
  14. SeaJay
    Joined: Jun 2007
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    SeaJay Senior Member

    For the record, I just purchased the Makita 6" sander. I got a reconditioned one (same warrantee as new) for $146 from Tyler Tool. (Thanks for the recommendation Jimbo) This seemed like a reasonable all around compromise.

    I sort of fall into the camp of good tools are a better long-term value. I can’t remember ever looking at a tool in my shop and thinking I wish I hadn’t paid so much for it. More often than not, when one of my cheaper purchases craps out I replace it with the quality tool I should have purchased in the first place. Having said that, shelling out $500 for the Festool grinder or $300 for a new Makita does give me pause especially since I have several sanders that, according to this thread, will get the job done just fine thank you.

    However, I think this tool is going to see a lot of use. While it can get about as aggressive as my 7” grinder when need be, one feature the Mikta has that the grinder doesn’t, and is important to me, is the vacuum port. Also, I think that using a sanding pad and a coarse abrasive disc will help keep my crew from grinding into the core. On the other hand, later down the line I have a lot of finish sanding to do and this is going to cover the larger areas better than my smaller sanders.

    Thanks for all of the input…I didn’t expect such a spirited discussion. Also, the comments regarding grit coarseness and sanding speeds were very informative and useful. Regards to all…


  15. mydauphin
    Joined: Apr 2007
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    Location: Florida

    mydauphin Senior Member

    Use to buy $300 name brand sanders. Now I buy 3 Harbour freight for $30 each, then get warranty on one. Every 3 months I replace one. Usually they break because we abuse them. Even expensive units will die from fine dust. Also my guys have a tendency to leave them outside or apply to much pressure to grind out metals.

    As far as dust, I used thicker grit at slower speed as much as possible, I collect dust for making filler. Harbour Freight has Polisher/Sander Variable speed for between $29 and $49, I always buy then on sale and use coupons. Then fine sanding I used orbitals with vacuum. Rigid has a nice 6' unit about $150
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