Wet sanding with electric sander

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by pescaloco, Oct 1, 2009.

  1. pescaloco
    Joined: Feb 2006
    Posts: 298
    Likes: 10, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 81
    Location: so. california

    pescaloco Senior Member

    Ok before you fry me for water and electricity bit, no pun intended.

    I need a way to wetsand large areas of gelcoat where it would not be be possible to have a high volume compressed air source.

    I used a orbital paml sander and water spray bottle, the $70.00 sander made it through 1/2 of a 43 footer. I don't mind spending some more money for a quality tool intended for the purpose, but it would have to last ofcourse.

    Do you guys know of an electric sander/polisher that would be sutible for 600-800-1200 grit wet sanding on gelcoat.

    Thanks much
     
  2. Dan H
    Joined: Jun 2009
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    Location: United States

    Dan H Junior Member

    I was doing the same thing. The bearing on the bottom died because the sander I was using was a dust collector type. When the bearing went, it melted the plate. The bearing got wet. I used a dewalt 1/4 sheet palm sander.
    I bought two new plates and two new bearings. I sealed the vacuum channels on one plate to use for wet sanding and the other for sanding when I want the vacuum.
    I use a spray bottle, rubber boots, and a GFI extension cord.
    I haven't tried it since I repaired it, but I don't know why it won't work. It worked before it broke.
     
  3. steele m.a.
    Joined: Dec 2007
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    Location: Victoria B.C. Canada

    steele m.a. Designer/Engineer

    wetsand

    Try : NorthernTool.com
     
  4. pescaloco
    Joined: Feb 2006
    Posts: 298
    Likes: 10, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 81
    Location: so. california

    pescaloco Senior Member

    thanks for the replies, will check Northern Tool

    You know mine is the dust collector type also, and water definetly caused the bearing to fail.
     
  5. david@boatsmith
    Joined: Aug 2008
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    Location: Jupiter Fl USA

    david@boatsmith Senior Member

    We redo solid surface counter tops in boats with electric DA sanders this way. We use Porter Cables and keep the speed down. Lots of protection to prevent unwanted damage and limit the amount of slurry. Velcro paper works better than PSA but we have done it both ways. David www.boatsithfl.com
     
  6. alan white
    Joined: Mar 2007
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    Location: maine

    alan white Senior Member

    Try an air powered sander, but you need a good-sized compressor. Use a GFI protected circuit if you use an electric sander so you won't be electricuted by accident..
     
  7. Dan H
    Joined: Jun 2009
    Posts: 23
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    Location: United States

    Dan H Junior Member

    I have my Dewalt electric orbital sander working with the platen that I sealed off. It's working great.
    I have 600 grit on it, 1000 grit on my Jitterbug air sander and hand sand with 2000 grit. Getting great results, but I'm having a devil of a time finding the right wool polishing pad.
     
  8. Herman
    Joined: Oct 2004
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    Location: The Netherlands

    Herman Senior Member

    get a Mirka Ceros electric sander. These run on 22 volts, so much safer to use then 110 or 220 volts. a voltage convertor is included.
     

  9. mydauphin
    Joined: Apr 2007
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    Location: Florida

    mydauphin Senior Member

    Guys, I do this all the time. The trick is don't use to much water. You wet the surface not the sander. Tie extension cord over your shoulder so it doesn't fall in puddle. Wear rubber shoes, have good drainage, stand on thick piece of wood. etc... I also use gfi. Never had problem being doing it for many many years. Dont get sander wet, oh I used sanding paper without the little holes.
     
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