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Frequently Asked Questions

  • V-Drum Sander
  • The Sanding Mop
  • The Mini Mop
  • Sanding Belts
  • Sanding Discs

For even more information, check out EthAnswers on Youtube!

How do I set up my drum?

Centrifugal force is the key element allowing the "V"-Drum Sander to work proberly. With your FINEST grit of sandpaper on the drum and your drum turned OFF, take a flat edged board and slide it over the drum. The drum should be below the table. This means that when you slide your board over, the paper will be touching ever so slightly but not enough to sand the wood or turn the drum. When you turn your drum sander ON, the paper will lift off due to centrifugal force and cause the drum to sand. Once you have this set up, you DO NOT need to change the height adjustment again.

How do I change the depth of cut?

When you want to change the depth of cut of your sander, it's as simple as changing the grit. If you want to cut more, put on a coarser grit. If you want to cut less, put on a finer grit. The grits available range from 60-1500g.

The paper keeps flying off the drum...what should I do?

In order to prevent this from happening, we recommend that you cut the paper's pointed tips off square. (If you see us at a show, this is what we do, although once in a while the paper still comes off. We call this our disappearing paper trick!) If you do this and your paper still comes off, you may want to double check to see that your drum is below the table. Another reason the paper should be coming off is simply because it is worn out. You can generally take each piece on and off 20-30 times. The paper has also been known to come off whent he drum is running too fast. 18" drums should have a motor running at 1725 RPM (the balanced drive system will cause the speed to encrease to 2250 RPM). the 24" and 30" drums require a 1/2 HP motor running 1725 RPM. Under NO circumstances should the 24" or 30" drums run any faster.

What do you recommend building the top out of?

The only requirement for the top is that it is made out of a strong, stiff material that will not bend. If the lid bends at all, your wood will not be sanded straight and the drum sander will not be doing its job. MDF is a good choice as it's shape isn't comprised during temperature or jumidity changes. If using plywood, simply by placing two pieces of angle iron underneath the lid, a great deal of strength can be added to your table top. We also recommend covering your top with siome type of laminate for a smooth slippery surface.

What motor size do I need and what speed should I be running the drum at? Or What is the Advantage of a Balanced Drive Sytem?

For the 18" drum, we recommend that you have a 1/4 HP motor. As far as speed is concerned, this is going to depend on what kind of drive system you have. If you are using Linkbelt and Balanced pulleys, your motor will be able to run faster and therefore you will have a faster feed rate. If you are using a rubber belt, you must use pulleys at a 1:1 ratio, (both 1-1/2") and the drum should be running at 1725 RPM. If you were to try to use 2 different sized pulleys with a rubber belt, the belt would take the shape of the larger pulley and in turn this would cause slipage. This is not a good thing if you are trying to sand something. The balanced drive system that we offer, can help your drum run faster, have less vibration and get a faster feed rate. When someone first introduced us to this option, we thought it was just a joke, but then we tried it and the difference was immediately obvious! This is a worthwhile investment. The 24" and 30" V-Drums should be u sing a 1/2 HP motor running at 1725 RPM.

Do I need a dust collector for my Drum Sander?

The V-Drum Sander is made with a special anti-staticpolycarbonate tubing. This, in turn means that when you are sanding, mosto of the dust you are creating just falls into the box below. The dust collector in some way, shape or form. What most people do is simply cut a hole in the side as a port for a vacuum or dust collection system. We even have a woman who has purchased the drum, who keeps the Drum Sander in her spare bedroom and hoods her vacuum cleaner up to it when she sands. She loves it and uses it regularily!

Can I convert my existing Drum Sander to hook and loop?

Yes, you can, but be prepared that converting your Drum Sander over to the hook and loop fastening system is going to change everything you have been taught about how to sand with your drum sander. All drum sanders are designed to pinch the sandpaper between the drum and the wood in order to cut. This is what creates heat. Heat then breaks down the resins in the wood, allowing the sandpaper to load up and burn the finish. Also, hok and loop conversion CANNOT withstand heat. It is mad from plastic and if it heats up, it will melt. When you have the hook and loop system on your drum, you need to change the way you have your drum set up in order to prevent heat from building up. With the hook and loop system, when the drum is turned on, the paper actually lifts off the drum. This is called centrifugal force and it is the basis behind making hte hook and loop system work for you. You will want to set your drum up so that the drum is not touching the wood, but when you turn your drum on, centrifugal force will lift the paper off the drum to allow it to sand. You may have to change this adjustment depending on which grit you have on your sander. This will leave an air gap beween the drum and paper preventing heat build up. This is a completely different concept than most people are accustomed to, but is the only way to make the hook and loop system work. People either love this system or hate it. The ones who hate it are the ones who cannot understand this new concept. The ones who love it will never go back. Also, when switching to this system, we recommend using 80 grit sandpaper and finer. Any coarser and the sandpaper causes too much drag and the sandpaper causes too much drag and the sandpaper sometimes comes unhooked.


What size Sanding Mop should I use?

If you are a woodworker, we suggest that you use a 6" Mop because it does not require the same amount of RPM's as the 4". A 4" Mop requires a minimum speed of 4000 RPM's and most woodworkers do not have the tools to run a 4" properly. You will not get the life out of a 4" Mop running it on a drill as you will out of a 6". If you are working with metal, we suggest you use a 4" and run it using air tools. Overall, you are going to get a longer life out of a 6" Sanding Mop.

How long will my Sanding Mop last?

One thing to remember about the mop is that speed is the key. The faster you spin the mop, the longer they will last and the better they will work. 6" mops need to be spun between 2000 and 3500 RPM's. 4" mops need to be run between 4000 and 10000 RPM's. Cordless drills and some electric drills do not have the required RPM's to achieve optimum results.

How can I make my Sanding Mop bigger and more flexible?

Pick up a 1/2" x 4-1/2" hardened bolt at your local hardware store and use 10 or more spacers with one package of sanding strips to produce a soft, 3" wide sanding surface for even larger contours. Especially effective with the 6" mop and great for raised panel doors or in-between coat sanding. This form of the Sanding Mop is best being used with only the finer grits, 220g and 320g.

How do I break in my Sanding Mop?

In order to prevent your Sanding Mop from being overly aggressive, it needs to be broken in. Just hold a piece of scrap wood into your mop while it is spinning for a minimum of 5 minutes. Once the fingers are all separated and the mop begins to soften and become more flexible, you are ready to sand.

Will one grit of the Sanding Mop sand both hardwood and softwood?

Yes, but 120g may take the crisp edge off the profile in softwood and 220g may glaze hardwood. Therefore we recommend using 120g only for sanding hardwoods and 220g for sanding softwoods or in-between coats with the use of spacers.

Can I strip paint with the Sanding Mop?

The sanding mop works great for stripping paint. What we suggest you do is cover the piece to be stripped with any paint stripper and allow it to dry until it crystalizes (1-2 days). Once the paint stripper is dried, use a sanding mop to sand down the piece. No need to worry about scraping or ruining the detail of your piece. Just let the mop do the work.

What size Mini Mop should I buy?

The 1" is the most versatile and can be used on all rotary tools, Dremel, Wizard, Foredom... the 1-1/2" work best on Foredom tools as they have the reuired torque at low rpm to keep the sanding head flexible.

What speed should a Mini Mop be spun at?

For optimum results with a Mini Mop, spin between 10,000 and 20,000 RPM. Half speed on a dremel (or 10,000 rpm) works well.

What can I use a Mini Mop for?

Because a Mini Mop is made from the same high quality sandpaper as the larger Sanding Mop, they can be used on many of the same projects. (See Sanding Mop FAQ's or product page). Great for sanding and stripping furniture, carvings, bone antler and soapstone, cleaning and polishing metals and anywhere detail sanding is required.

How should I store my belts?

To obtain the optimum life from your belts, consider how you plan to store them. Abrasives should be kept away from widows and any direct heat source. They should not be stored on concrete floors or near any area of dampness. Ideal conditions for storage is at a temperature range of 60*F to 80*F (or 18*C to 26*C). Changes in conditions will have an effect on the overall performance of the belt. High humidity may cause creasing, loading and premature grit loss, while low humidity may cause product brittleness and lack of flexibility. Belts can be stored in original plastic wrap until ready for use or sealed in an airtight container. Take care to protect your belt investment for the longest life possible.

You claim your belts are bi-directional. What does that mean?

All the belts that we sell are joined with something called a "Butt Splice" in which the ends are butted together and joined by high strength tape on the underside of the joint. This allows the belt to run in either directionfor greater belt life.

How do I use graphite cloth with my belts and what good does it do?

Graphite is another great idea to help prolong the life of your belts and machines. Use this heavy cloth backed graphite on the platen of your sander. The slippery surface of the graphite will keep the belt from heating up and will also decrease the drag on your belt sander motor and bearings. Graphite cloth can be attached with double faced tape, contact cement, spray adheasive or screwed in place.

What is belt dressing and how do I apply it?

Belt dressing is a special lubricant placed on the belt anytime you may be working with metals, plastics or glass. It is great for sharpening knives and chisels, asi it will reduce heat caused by friction on their fine edges. By holding the tube against your belt as it is spinning, the grease spreads out thinly and remains wet on the belt, providing lubrication and protection for the belt. This extends the life of the belt and leaves the grit free to cut and clean smoothly.

Sometimes the belts I buy from my local supplier break at the joint. Why is that?

Once in a while, belts may be left on the shelf too long before being sold, and the glue holding the joint becomes old and brittle causing the belt to break. Buying fresh stock and proper storage will minimize this problem.

I have trouble removing my sticky discs from my sander. How can I remove them more easily?

If you seem to have difficulty removing a sticky disc, try warming it up with a hair dryer before peeling it off. To eliminate this problem altogether, try switching your sander to the hook and loop system.

I was thinking about switching my disc sander from sticky discs to hook and loop discs. How do I do this?

You can very easily convert your existing PSA sander to the convenient Velcro brand hook and loop system. Available in any size (from 2" to 12") these hook and loop conversion discs are backed with a premium adheasive that adheres to almost any clean surface. By placing this simple little device on your sander, you are instantly able to begin using hook and loop discs. You will find this system much easier and much more convenient.

The discs on my orbital sander keep flying off. I think I need to replace my pad. How do I do that?

You can replace just the hook portion of your sander without buying a whole new head. Once you have a replacement disc, you need to remove the used disc. When this disc is removed, wash pad with lacquer thinner before applying the new disc. If the used disc will not come off the backing pad, you must use a razor blade scraper and scrape the little back hoods off and then sand smooth. (turn your sander on and sand a piece of sandpaper) Wash with lacquer thinner and apply a new disc.