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Anybody know Sand-O-Flex Sanders?

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  • Anybody know Sand-O-Flex Sanders?

    I have been using a scroll saw for 6 or 7 years - cutting out blanks for carving - where it didn't matter much if the bottom wasn't exactly like the top. I have never before tried scrolling where that was the end product. I had a good time cutting out the spiffy Advent Calendar/Nativity Puzzle from SSW #17. Not having easy access to cherry, maple, etc., I used Home Depot poplar. I made and sold 6 puzzles before Christmas (first things I've ever sold), and they looked pretty neat. I had to do a lot of hand sanding on the pieces to make them fit in from both sides - I expect my new Hawk to fix that. But-- I still had a lot of time sanding each one. The article recommends a sand-o-flex - looks like it is chucked into a hand drill - to sand the edges and take off the sharp edges. I've got 3 questions about that: 1) The puzzle pieces have some very tiny details, like noses, tails, crowns, etc. Is this kind of sander going to knock off the edges without breaking the pieces or obliterating the details? 2) If this is the way to go, what grit(s) do I need? It looks like they come in grits from about 60 up to 320 or maybe 400. Can I get by with just a fine grit, say the 320, or should I step through several grits, as must be done to smooth a carving? 3) Will I save time, or just elbo grease? In other words, is it worth it? One sand-o-flex is only about $35 - about what I charged for one puzzle. I know these questions must sound pretty dumb from someone who has had a scroll saw this long, but I hope somebody out there knows the answers. Thanx. Sandy

  • #2
    I am not sure if that is the sanding drum I have or not? I bought the drum (soft foam rubber )tube and a couple of sanding cylinders plus the arbor for about that price....I made up my own motor etc...its on my picturetrail site I think under walking sticks...for fine work I like the little 1/4 sanding strips that you can put in your scrollsaw, however, I prefer to put them in a modified coping saw...I modified one I had then found out you can buy the strips without pins and they fit right into a jewelers saw without modification Don't know if this answers your questions or not....probably not! lol

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    • #3
      No, Sliver - that sounds good, and maybe that is what I'll try, but the pic in the magazine and on the website shows a gizmo like a small tuna can, with shredded strips of sandpaper coming out from 7 or 8 slits in the sides of the "can". The mount would be through the top and bottom of the can - the little sandpaper strips go around so that one set after another hits your wood or whatever. If you get Scroll Saw Workshop and you have the holiday 2004 issue, there is a picture on page 67.

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      • #4
        tuna can ha ha

        Originally posted by sheltiecarver
        No, Sliver - that sounds good, and maybe that is what I'll try, but the pic in the magazine and on the website shows a gizmo like a small tuna can, with shredded strips of sandpaper coming out from 7 or 8 slits in the sides of the "can". The mount would be through the top and bottom of the can - the little sandpaper strips go around so that one set after another hits your wood or whatever. If you get Scroll Saw Workshop and you have the holiday 2004 issue, there is a picture on page 67.
        OK, I have one of those....in my opinion, don't bother,, have had it for years and tried it I think twice on a couple of things...and don't care for it at all....and not only that, didn't sand worth beans! I don't know if its the same brand, probably not, but this one sounds just like that, a round can with sandpaper tabs coming out all around..and the sandpaper is replaceable....yep.....

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        • #5
          OK. Scratch that one. I won't waste my money. Ah well, best get back to my hand sanding. Thanks Sliver, for yer input. Sandy

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          • #6
            Judy Peterson, one of our authors who is also writing a book on freestanding fantasy and legend puzzles for Fox Chapel uses her Sand Flex quite a bit. She is very happy with it...so this just goes to show you that ask 100 people the same question and you'll get 100 different opinions.


            Bob
            Scroll Saw Workshop
            www.GrobetUSA.com

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            • #7
              Hi Bob
              I'm eager to see that book - I think she is the one who submitted the puzzle I'm doing, and it is really neat (or whatever one says nowadays) I'm really concerned about breaking some of the bitsy pieces off (after I laboriously sawed them soooo well!) or obliterating stuff like the noses, hands, etc, which are not much more than nubbins to start with. Does Judy post stuff to this board, or is there a way to contact her? Thanx! Sandy

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              • #8
                Sandy,
                I don't know anything about the sander - sorry. But I noticed in your post that you mentioned you couldn't slide the pieces in from both sides. You may need to square up your cutting table on your saw - it sounds like your blade is not perpendicular to the table.
                Theresa
                Theresa

                http://WoodNGoods.weebly.com

                http://woodngoods.blogspot.com

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                • #9
                  Sandy,

                  Using good scroll saw blades, you don't have to sand. In case you have to, many scrollers use the finger nail files, you can buy a pack for $ 1.00 at the Dollar store. Some make there own by cutting a hack saw blade to lenght and clue sand paper on it. Foe very small sanding strips, one told me that he took a scroll saw blade and put snad paper around it.

                  Mike M
                  SD Mike

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                  • #10
                    Now that I found the right page to post on no thanks to you Bob. Mike touched a little on the reason your puzzle pieces do not slide in from both sides. First you must have your table 90 degrees to your blade. You can check that with a small square or take a piece of wood about 1-1/2" and make a cut in the face and do not go all the way thru. Now take that board and put it behind the blade and the saw kerf should line up. If it does not then you need to tweek the table and try again until it does. The other thing that can cause the slant in the cut is too much sideward pressure when cutting. As you put sideward pressure when making a turn you want the saw to do the cutting. If you add pressure you will splay the bottom of the cut and it will not be perpendicular to your blade. Take one of the pieces and put a square on it and you will see what I mean. Also make sure you have enough tension on the blade because this can be another factor.

                    You mention sanding the edges. If you use a good blade like those from Mike's Workshop and you are using what I think is one of the finest saws on the market the RBI then no sanding is needed only maybe some to get the fuzzies off the back. If you want to knock of sharp edges on the pieces just take some 220 grit paper and wrap it around a block of wood and just hit the edges with one or two passes. No fancy sander is needed. You are right to be concerned about the fragile pieces. Good Luck
                    John T.

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                    • #11
                      Thanks to all of you. I was making sure that the blade was exactly 90 degrees to the table, but I think there was alot of play in the blade, allowing a slanted cut in spite of me. Any tighter and the blades broke. The new RBI has fixed that problem - I am happily sliding the pieces through from both sides, grinning all the time. To (probably) make it even better, I have placed my first blade order with Mike, and when that comes, I'll probably just hook up the saw, and come back later to pick up the puzzles :-). I guess most of the sanding was to try to get the pieces to fit properly - you're right - the cut surface was already pretty slick. The sanding is supposed to round off the cut edges a bit - I can easily do that with a bit of sandpaper rolled up around a popsicle stick. Thanks again. Sandy

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