One of the most user-friendly power tools is a random orbit sander. There is still a lot to learn, though. Here are ten suggestions to help you work more quickly, achieve a consistent, smooth surface, and prevent swirly scratches that won't be visible until you apply your finish.
A random sander's pad can move in two ways: It rotates while wriggling in a close orbit pattern, leaving a random pattern of scratches. If you sand improperly, the sander won't function. You'll develop noticeable scrapes, often in the form of long swirls. On unfinished wood, stains will bring them out.
Scrubbing back and forth quickly is expected when using a random sander. Speed up! The scratches will be more erratic. It takes practice, but it gets used to moving at a turtle's pace.
Using a sander in each hand takes a bit of practice, but you'll get the hang of it. Just move slowly while keeping them side by side. You'll sand certain regions more than others if you let them roam in different directions.
The most common mistake is applying pressure to a sander. Not at all. There is enough pressure from the sander's weight, plus your hand and arm. Although pushing down makes wood disappear more quickly, it is ineffective. The pad's spin may be slowed or stopped, resulting in those unsightly swirls.
Before turning the sander on, place it over your project. The sander will probably dig in and create severe scratches if it moves when you place it down. While the motor is running, you can raise it, but you must switch it off before moving to another area to Sand.
Sand is spread out over a vast area in overlapping passes. You should slightly overlap each pass for the most significant effects. It will be sufficient to sand the entire surface once with each grit.
Hold the sander by its neck to prevent it from tipping, especially when using it on a small surface. A sander's edges become rounded, gouged, and scratched when tipped.
Finish By Hand you can use even one of your sanding discs wrapped around a block. Apply the same final grit as you did when using the sander.
Using a sander in each hand takes a bit of practice, but you'll get the hang of it. Just move slowly while keeping them side by side. You'll sand certain regions more than others if you let them roam in different directions. And that can result in uneven results.