Tell me about the sander that changed your life
I guess I am the odd man out. 

I have switched to battery powered sanders. I really like the Bosch 12 volt sander for 150 grit sandpaper and above.  And Makita 18 volt sanders for 100 and 120 grit discs. I am kind of commented Bosch's 12 and to Makita's 18 volt systems. When I use pigmented stains, for me I find it harder to control color if I sand finer than 150 grit. So I rarely sand finer than 150 and 180 max. I use their on board dust collection and I use a $20 box fan with a filter bungy corded to it. No matter how hard I try I still can get chips out if the planners and saw dust off from my SawStop with over head dust collection. I have 2 overhead air collectors and what I don't get ,I use a broom and shop vac.

I switch sanders rather than switching discs. I like being cordless as well as not being attached to a vac hose. 

(03-10-2023, 09:23 AM)ajkoontz Wrote: I made a boom arm attachment for my vac system and it has been a great addition to my shop. The one below is the one I got. My favorite sander is the Bosch 5" VS hook and loop, it's been my go-to for many years. I've since upgraded to a festool sander/ vac combo. It is REALLY nice, but also REALLY expensive. If you have the $$, get the festool. If you're on a budget, the bosch and a black friday shop vac will get the job done. Either way, get a boom like this and thank me later- I stole this idea from YouTube so if you do a search over there you'll find lots of variation on home-made boom arms.

thanks for posting that.  Ive been thinking about building a boom arm, but at that price point, ill probably just buy one.
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(03-11-2023, 12:40 AM)greatscott Wrote: Same with me.  Love that sander and $99 price couldn't be beat.

and of course over the weekend the threads that hold the rotating pad screws stripped...Methinks I can fix it, fingers crossed...

Longer screws seem to have done the stop (if/when it happens again) drill and re-tap for slightly larger diameter fasteners...
This is a little off your original question but it is a good suggestion if you are looking to "upgrade your sanding experience".  
 You could look at reducing the time spent sanding. One great way is to learn to sharpen and effectively use scrapers. This is my first step when starting the sanding of a project. I use the scrapers to level joints, remove burn marks and take out any scratches or imperfections that would require extra time and down force from the sander. 
 Many times using scrapers means I do not have to start my sanding at 80 grit but can start it at 120 grit instead for example. Also remember that all your sanding should be done at the low grit. After that you are only removing the scratches created by prior grits on your way to the finish.
Proud maker of large quantities of sawdust......oh, and the occasional project!
Not hand held, but in shop 12" sanding discs, are used all the time
I long for the days when Coke was a soft drink, and Black and Decker was a quality tool.
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(03-09-2023, 10:21 PM)Matt E Wrote: It’s been a while since I’ve treated myself to anything for the shop, and I’ve been thinking about upgrading my sanding experience.  I currently have a Rigid 2610 6”, a  Porter cable 5” model 343 and A Rigid R2501.  My shop is in my basement, so any time I sand it’s connected directly to my shop vac… which makes things a bit tippy and awkward, especially with the Rigid 6”.  A big part of being awkward has to be the solid plastic adapter and 2.5” shop vac hose.  It’s bulky enough I have to use 2 hands to keep it flat.  I should probably get a smaller ID hose to go from the shop vac hose to the sander, and I hear that the cubitron sand paper is a game changer by itself.

If you’ve had experience with a higher end sander, or better yet several different ones, I’m curious about which models you like, why, and what’s worth the money.

I hear great things about the Mirka and 3M Xtract sanders.  I don’t see myself getting a Festool, but I guess I’d consider it.  I almost pulled the trigger on a MAXXT sander on Amazon when it was on sale last week, but missed the deal by 10 min.

I have been doing woodworking for years, been through several equipment’s. Sander is critical part of the woodworking, used top of line Bosh, Dewalt  etc. but was never could get rid of the saw dust even though they were hooked to dust collector, I have to use respirator while sanding.  6 years ago I saw Festool demo on Rotex sander, surprised that no dust while sanding, it is patented Festool technology that eliminate dust, when hooked to Festool or similar dust collector.  Within weeks I purchases a used Festool Rotex 125 and Midi Festool dust collector for about $ 800.00 This is the best investment. I started sanding without the respirator. Rotex has 2 setting one standard and other aggressive, it is a beefy tool, and I can sand for hours and does not get hot. This sander also do not put any swirl marks, have lot of choices in sanding disks.

Since then I purchased new Festool Rotex 150 and Rotex 90 sanders.

Yes the Festool sanders have changed my life. It is expensive but worth it.

KyleD mentioned using scrapers before sanding, I also do that, and it reduce the total sanding time with great results.
(03-13-2023, 09:44 AM)FireWood Wrote: thanks for posting that.  Ive been thinking about building a boom arm, but at that price point, ill probably just buy one.

I looked at some cheaper ones but can confirm this one works great for hanging a vac hose. I did the same math as you and decided I couldn't build a better one for twice what I have in this one.

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