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Palm Sander, DeWalt, ¼-sheet

This palm sander is very useful in tight places for finish work.
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  Text & photos by Tom Hintz

 Aside from my belt sander, this DeWalt ¼-sheet random orbital palm sander was the only other power sander I had in the shop for some time, and it did its job well. Then I discovered the round-sheet random orbital sanders and the duties of these machines have been modified.

   I use the random orbital sander for all big flat surfaces and most preparation. However, the DeWalt palm sander is still pressed into service for final sanding and when space limitations dictate. The DeWalt palm sander is easier to use in tight places, and easier to control to prevent running the sanding pad into an adjoining surface and making a gouge or mark.

   With a little planning ahead, I am able to do most of the sanding of the internal faces with the orbital sander before assembly. I will take those surfaces down to the 220-grit paper, and then go over them with the palm sander, again with 220-grit paper, in the final sanding stages when the piece is assembled and ready for finish.   

 I also use the DeWalt palm sander for sanding between coats of finish. I have found so far that using 220-grit with virtually no downward pressure on the sander works best for preparing finish coats. I hold the DeWalt palm sander lightly and just steer it around the surface to be sanded. One or two passes over the new coat of finish (dried) is usually all it takes to remove little surface imperfections and to rough the material for proper bonding of the next coat.

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