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    How to use a random orbit sander

    Summary: Learn how to use a random orbit sander, use a random orbit sander to finish wood and using a random orbital sander safely.

    A random-orbit sander is widely regarded as the best sander for achieving a fine, swirl-free timber surface. The motion of the random-orbit model provides a unique way of removing layers of a wood surface. The abrasive disc spins in a circular motion, while the whole pad on which the disc is positioned, moves in an oval motion. As well as timber, this type of sander has uses with other materials such as metal, where it can be used to smooth and clean the surface.

    Using a random orbit sander

    • Using the manufacturers’ instructions, attach a sanding disk onto the sander. The two main types are the hook and loop disk and the sticky paper attachment. The hook and loop can be removed and re-used whereas the adhesive type can’t be used again once removed.
    • You should also attach the dust collector (if available) to the sander before you start. This will help keep the area clear as you work.
    • You should be accustomed to the random-orbit sander before you start using it properly. This can be done simply by testing it on a piece of scrap material as similar as possible to the one you will be working on.
    • Once ready to go to work, fasten the material securely in position so it will not move as you sand. Hold the sander lightly against the surface, allowing the machines weight to rest up against the material.
    • Switch it on and move gently in overlapping movements. You should not allow the pad to sand unevenly, so make sure you do not tip the sander or allow it to stop in one place.
    • It is not necessary to apply pressure to the sander as you go; this will only cause unnecessary wear to the sanding pad. An advantage of using the random-obit sander is that you do not have to sand in the direction of the grain, so feel free to move it in any direction you desire.
    • When you have finished, turn the sander off whilst it is still in contact with the surface. Lift from the surface only once the disk has stopped rotating. After each use, remove excess dust and dirt by blowing or gently brushing it away.

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