How to Use a Palm Sander


When using a palm sander, avoid pressing down too hard on the stock and let the sander do most of the work. Extend the life of palm sander pads with help from a custom furniture maker in this free video on woodworking tools.

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Video Transcript

Hi I'm Dave Trull with the Trull Gallery custom furniture shop in Saint Petersburg, Florida, and I'm going to talk to you today on how to use a palm sander. I got a couple here with me, and what the brands that I use, I have four different kinds, it's just a matter of what's comfortable for you, I do prefer ones that have dust collection. Operating a palm sander is really very simple, basically you're just going to turn it on and sand. And the one thing that I see most with people, would say, "my palm sander doesn't last long enough", "I'm actually burning out my pads", "I'm wearing off the hook and loop system", that's because they're putting too much pressure on the sander. You don't want to be bearing down, you want just enough to hold it in place, and let the sander do its work. And if we look at this piece of wood there's still some pencil line on it and I'm just going to go ahead and sand that off. And if you watch it's a simple kind of a back and forth motion. Like I said the one thing you want to avoid is pressing down on your stock. So lets go ahead and sand this line off. Another thing you want to do is wait until your sander comes to a stop before you put it down. Again, the key was that I worked the entire section of the board and kept a comfortable weight on it. It doesn't matter where you hold the sander. When I sand on a piece of a furniture I'm building I can be sanding for hours, so I can go from here to here just to vary my grip, whatever is comfortable for you. The other thing you want to watch out for is when you're working near the edge is you have a tendency to roll, and of course I'm exaggerating here, but if you're working on a tabletop you may not notice it so much, you know you're kind of working to the edge and then you might just kind of roll over the edge, and in time you'll certainly notice that you've taken that sharp edge off. Where that's really critical is if you're using veneers it's really easy to blow through the edge of a veneer if you're not paying attention, so you want to make sure you're keeping everything straight and even and really try not to move that sander more about a third off the way off your stalk before you come back. Palm sanders as a rule, again pretty simple machine to operate just keep a couple of things in mind, not too much pressure and don't rub over your edges. I'm Dave Trull with the Trull Gallery, the fine art of furniture making.


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