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Old 03-16-2019, 12:25 PM   #1
RS250 Chester
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Let's talk sanding power tools for dresser project

So my wife wants to do a dresser project. I found a free mahogany dresser on craigslist. It's been painted white and needs to be stripped. I thought about using chemicals, but I think I'll get a sander.

I have an old black and decker mouse; but not powerful enough to strip paint. I think a belt sander is overkill. Are sheet palm sanders just for finishing? Not good for stripping.

That leaves me with a random orbital sander. Is this the tool for the job? Or do I need to go to a belt sander. Afraid that a belt sander would be too strong and I start sanding more wood than needed.
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Old 03-16-2019, 12:57 PM   #2
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Jasco or Green's. Sanding paint off is a PITA
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Old 03-16-2019, 01:32 PM   #3
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Jasco or Green's. Sanding paint off is a PITA
+1 billion

or use a heat gun and various scrapers.


"chemicals bad, me no wantie!!!"

ya know what else is bad? putting all that dust in the air. mahogany dust isn't all that great in and of itself.

also, dresser projects are a huge time sink. beware that the results aren't going to match etsy, hg-tv, pinterrorist or any other of those sources.
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Old 03-16-2019, 01:36 PM   #4
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6 inch Rigid random Orbital. It has like a bazillion speed settings. With the right paper you could reduce that item to dust in about 10 minutes.

Or; if you are relatively confident in your ability to restrain yourself, get a soda blaster (even a gravity fed job works just fine and is cheap) and get that paint off really fast. The soda isn't toxic but the paint coming off might be but then so is laden sandpaper. With a wee bit of practice (few minutes) you can get that job done in just a few more minutes.

Gravity fed blaster and soda are available at HF for cheap. You can use heavier media if the soda doesn't work.

Go slow at first and experiment with distance vs soda pressure and you'll get the hang of it pretty quick. Use some old painted pine if you have it as scrap to test. A soda blaster will remove the paint lickety split. No dust problems if you wait for some wind blowing toward your neighbors house painting project to start. No, really, some clear plastic sheeting draped over does a really good job of capturing the soda. Put the used soda in a bag and recycle it.
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Old 03-16-2019, 08:02 PM   #5
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Might try an organic stripper. Friend used a soy gel paint remover on an old pine dresser. Said it was slow to dry so she didn't have worry about scraping it off real fast. Top took a couple of applications because there was several coats of paint on it.

As for a sander - 5" variable speed, orbital sander should work nicely.
Yeah, belt sander is going to too aggressive.
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Old 03-16-2019, 09:46 PM   #6
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Easy smells good.
Works good.
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Old 03-17-2019, 03:26 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by RS250 Chester View Post
So my wife wants to do a dresser project. I found a free mahogany dresser on craigslist. It's been painted white and needs to be stripped. I thought about using chemicals, but I think I'll get a sander.

I have an old black and decker mouse; but not powerful enough to strip paint. I think a belt sander is overkill. Are sheet palm sanders just for finishing? Not good for stripping.

That leaves me with a random orbital sander. Is this the tool for the job? Or do I need to go to a belt sander. Afraid that a belt sander would be too strong and I start sanding more wood than needed.
If my wife wanted to do a dresser project, I would let her do it.

Paint is a pain to remove off something like that.

I would use a chemical stripper.
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Old 03-17-2019, 06:26 AM   #8
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use paint stripper and then elbow grease

no power tools
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Old 03-17-2019, 07:31 AM   #9
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Veneer or solid wood? I wouldn’t hesitate to use the belt sander AFTER stripper, and only on large flat surfaces. I restored a solid redwood bookshelf this way and it went quick. The new random orbit sanders are miraculous.
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Old 03-17-2019, 01:22 PM   #10
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Done with stripper, scrappers, and hand sanding where needed with the grain and all that. I love these gems buried under layers of old and new paint.
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Old 03-17-2019, 01:56 PM   #11
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It's solid wood. Previous owner painted it to use in a kids room. Was thinking of just repainting the frame and then strip the drawers to its natural look. But the paint on the the frame is thick and uneven so that had to be stripped too.

Not fooling ourselves into thinking it's a weekend project. But dresser has potential. But yes paint stripping sucks
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Old 03-17-2019, 07:17 PM   #12
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Stripper will work, still gonna beed to sand it after.

This 5" Ridgid sander is nice. I'm on my 2nd one.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/RIDGID-5...6011/100053683

I'm currently lusting after a this Festool 5" rotex sander. Has a random mode and a geared mode that's as aggressive as a belt sander. But $450 for a sander is little steep.

https://www.festoolusa.com/products/...5-feq-plus-usa
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Old 03-18-2019, 07:09 AM   #13
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So I haven't bought any stripper chemicals and I haven't bought a sander, but I needed to repair a leg last night.

A small piece of wood had broken off and it needed to be glued and then filled along the crack. I noticed the paint peeling around the leg area. I took a putty knife and started lifting the paint. To my surprise, the paint was lifting like dead skin on the bottom of a foot. To my further surprise, the previous owner didn't apply any primer to the stained wood, so the latex paint didn't really adhere to the mahogany.

I was able to scrape/lift the paint on the front frame in an hour. Just need to do the sides, top and the drawer fronts. I will probably still buy a 5"random orbital sander.
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Old 03-18-2019, 08:42 AM   #14
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I’ve been hand sanding my race fairings for years, for new paint and repairs and such. Finally picked up a orbital sander, Dewalt from HomeDepot. Holy shit sanding repairs is so much less work now. I should have bought one years ago.
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Old 03-18-2019, 08:48 AM   #15
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Yeah, random orbits are pretty awesome. Of the options mentioned, I think that's the most practical from the standpoint of it working and also being useful for other projects down the line.
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