Storage. We all need more of it. No matter how much room you have, an organized system will always top square footage.
Recently, I was looking for a way to clean up all the bottles in our liquor cabinet. It's not that we drink too much; in fact, it's the opposite. We buy specific products to try a new cocktail recipe. And we'll make it once, and end up with all this extra liquid to store in perpetuity until we can figure out what to do with it.
Everyone likes a smooth, sanded surface on a project, but no one (and I mean absolutely no one) like the tedious process of getting it done. Motorized sanding machines speed up the process greatly, but many of them can be hard to control, or wind up leave swirl marks in the finished surface.
Not so with the random-orbit sander. As the name suggests, its pad follows an entirely random pattern, so you can control the amount of wood removed, and leave your surface free of spirals.
They're great for all kinds of DIY projects, and the only handheld sander I'd recommend for your toolbox.
I'm using this Dewalt XR 20v max 5" random-orbit sander that the nice folks at Home Depot sent me to check out. It uses the same battery platform as my cordless drill, and its awesome to not have to deal with a cord getting in the way. I can move around more quickly and with ease, without feeling tethered by a cord. Plus, it has a feature that stops it immediately when it's turned off, so you don't have to wait for it to stop spinning before you can set it down again. This is an amazing feature!
Here are some do's and don't when using a random-orbit sander tool...
1. Connect a vacuum whenever possible. The sander performs much better, and the sandpaper will last longer, if you're able to suck up the dust as soon as it's created. That's why there are the little holes in the discs. They do a great job, so hook up your shop vac when you can for best results.
2. Slow down. These machines are designed to cut the wood fibers smoothly, but they need a little time to get there. Don't run the tool all over the wood in a random pattern. Instead, you want to be deliberate with your path, allowing the tool to do the work. You want to move only an inch a second. The process is more "mowing the lawn" than "washing the windows".
3. Work your way up the grits. The coarse paper will flatten the surface (or remove paint and finishes, depending on your project). The job of the higher grits is to remove the marks left by the coarse paper. You only want to go as rough as necessary to get the job done; otherwise you'll spend all day trying to get things smooth. I tend to use 100-150-220 grit sanding discs (I buy them in bulk), but a 120-180-220 system works great too.
4. Don't press down. The weight of your hand and the machine is more than enough to get the job done. You only need to control the movement of the machine with a light touch. Pressing down actually makes the machine less efficient and wears out your sandpaper sooner.
5. Never tilt the sander. It may be tempting to put the sander on edge to remove a high spot or a mark, but resist! This will inevitably put a a divot into the wood, and even if you can't see it, you'll definitely feel it. Just be patient, and you'll get the surface you're after.
6. The sander must start and stop off the wood. To get the best finish, make sure the machine begins and ends its cycle separate from the wood grain. Just remember: you want things to be at full speed when in contact with the wood.
7. Don't let the sander dangle over the edge more than 25%. Generally, you'll get the best results from keeping the pad on the wood. A random-orbit sander works best when its motor can register the flat surface to create that swirl-free pattern. Allowing it to breach the edge can not only round over crisp corners, but create a less-than-desirable finished surface.
With a little knowledge, and an extremely affordable tool, you can save lots of time prepping your project for finish. A random-orbit sander is the right way to get there. It will do the work; your job is, simply: not to mess it up. The Dewalt 20v Max can help you get there.
This post is sponsored by The Home Depot. All opinions are mine alone.
I acknowledge that The Home Depot is partnering with me to participate in the ProSpective2018 Campaign. As a part of the Program, I am receiving compensation in the form of products and services, for the purpose of promoting The Home Depot. All expressed opinions and experiences are my own words. My post complies with the Word Of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) Ethics Code and applicable Federal Trade Commission guidelines.
A healthy fear of power tools isn't a bad thing. They're powerful tools, after all - capable making big holes in solid objects and ripping whole boards in half with one swift motion. That being said, power tools are also extremely useful, and once you've learned how to safely and effectively operate them, they open up a world of DIY possibilities. The best way to combat any reservations you have about operating power tools is to do your research. Arm yourself with knowledge and you'll be a confident tool-user in no time. That's where we come in. We've done the legwork and used the tools, and we're here to share with you what we've learned. Today we'll be exploring a must-have in the world of power tools: the circular saw.
Alright, so I'm going to level with you: this is a blog post about my love of a rolling toolbox. I know. Weird, right?
See, about two months ago, we kicked off a yearlong partnership of blog posts with The Home Depot, and I was lucky enough to get invited down to Atlanta to check out their headquarters, meet some of the staff, and get a first-hand look at their product testing lab. It was a great time...
If you're a bonafide Do-It-Yourselfer you can't go one more day without, at the very least, a mini air compressor. Once you experience the ease of pneumatic tools, life as you know it will never be the same. It's too complicated, you say? Ha! Not after you see step by step how easy it is to rig up for interchangable pneumatic tools. I'm partial to the stapler for upholstery purposes.
The dremel has to be one of the most adorable power tools ever. Why then is it so difficult to figure out where to use it? All those cool attachments have to be useful for something. While I'm experimenting, check out this YouTube
Aside from my family, my favorite things in life are my camera, my sewing machines, and my beloved power tools. If there's ever a doubt about what to buy a DIY Girl, at least one of these tools should keep her happy and busy for a couple of days.
These are just the tools I have right now. I'm not promoting any specific brand.
First up, Portable drill. You can't say enough about a good, heavy duty portable drill, lots of drill bits and an extra battery.