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Profile Sander
Milton Bates, Furniture Kare Company
     One of the biggest problems facing a professional refinishing shop is sanding, especially sanding curves, edges, and profiles. Tool manufacturers provide a wide variety of sanders for flat and level surfaces, but only a very limited number of sanders for curves, edges, and profiles. Sanders currently developed for this application are not easy to use and most are ineffective. These units are designed for the home hobbyist and not for professional application.

      Furniture Kare has developed a Profile Sander using “Off the Shelf” products. This Profile Sander is extremely effective and has a wide variety of uses in the refinishing of furniture. It is especially useful for sanding edges and profiles that are difficult to sand by hand. The Profile Sander has been in use by Furniture Kare shop personnel for over seven years with very good results; we would not sand a set of chairs without it. The Profile Sander has significantly decreased sanding time and significantly increased productivity of Furniture Kare.

      The article will outline the various technical details, product specification, and application of the Die Grinder outfitted with sanding “flutter” disc. (See Photograph #1) We will outline this tools specification in three Section, The Die Grinder, The Sanding “Flutter” Sheets, and The Application of the Tool for Refinishing Furniture.

Photograph #1

The Die Grinder
The pneumatic Straight Die Grinder is a small hand-held tool that is easy to handle and manipulate. The grinder operates at a high speed that allows the sanding of wood surface without leaving any sanding marks and finishes edges such that it will not require further sanding.

Photograph #2
     The die grinders speed, 15,000 to 22,000 RPM, is the secret to the operation of the unit as a sander. Other tools, such as electric drills, do not provide the proper high speed to achieve these results and are difficult to handle and move around furniture. Furniture Kare uses a Grainger Dayton ½ HP, ¼ collet, stock number 4BY98 (Grainger.com). This unit is ideal for this application. The unit has an extend shaft (See Photograph # 2.) that allows the sanding disc to fit into tight places and in between chair spindles. The speed of the unit is adjusted by the air pressure applied to the unit and 55 to 65 PSI works best. A higher pressure can be used, but testing has indicated the unit becomes hard to hold comfortably and the sanding disc removes to much surface material at greater speeds. A connecting swivel joint needs to be used between the Profile Sander and the connecting air pressure line (See Photograph #3). This makes the unit more flexible and easier to use around furniture.

Photograph #3
     It is important to stress that you need to wear eye protection or safety goggles to protect yourself from various materials that the Profile Sander will dislodge from the work surface.

      Various die grinders are available for this type of application, but long experience has demonstrated A good quality unit with the extended shaft is worth the expense.
Sanding “Flutter” Disc

The Profile Sander uses sanding sheet or “flutter” sheets that are supplied by Kingspor Abrasive of Hickory, NC (Klingspor.com). (See Photograph #4 & #5) Klingspor supplies these sheets in two ways: individual Flutter sheets for making your own sanding disc, or Sanding Stars that are pre-made. We at Furniture Kare purchases the Flutter sheets in bulk and makes up our own disc using the instructions (featured in the companies catalog for the flutter sheets) provided by Klingspor. We keep 5 to 6 flutter arbors mounted with sanding sheets for daily use in the shop.


Photograph #4
     Klingspor provides two types of aluminum oxide sanding products that are useful for the Profile Sander. The “Red” aluminum oxide flutter sheet (Stock Number 309100J0204SL) are good for initial sanding and sanding a rough surface that may still have paint or finish on it. We have found that 100 grit is ideal for this initial sanding. The disc needs to be broken in before being applied to the furniture, as the sheets are initially stiff and need to be softened. To property break in the disc, place the Profile Sander against a scrap wooden edge and operated the Profile Sander a few seconds.

      For final finishing the “yellow” aluminum oxide sanding sheet are recommended. These sheets are softer and offer a very smooth surface without any sanding marks. The Klingspor stock number is 312100F020408S. This product can be used at 100 or 120 grit. The sheets mount on the same type of arbors used for the previous sheets. The “yellow” sheets are very soft and do not need to be broken in. (See Photographs #4 & #5)

Photograph #4
Profile Sander Application
     The Profile Sander is useful for sanding various types of edges and profiles that are encounter with furniture. The Profile Sander is especially good for removing material down inside groves and profiles that are difficult to sand by hand. The Profile Sander needs to be applied to the surface with a “soft touch” until you are comfortable with the speed and the amount of surface material that you want to remove. The more pressure you apply to the Profile Sander, the more aggressively it will remove the surface material. In addition, the Profile Sander should be moved across the surface to be sanded rapidly. This will ensure the surface is level and smooth. The Profile Sander is excellent for sanding chairs and rockers of all types. The Profile Sander can be used to sand the legs, back spindle, all rungs, and even the back harp.

      Furniture Kare encounters various types of edges, curves, profiles, cut groves, as well as undersides, in the course of its work. The Profile Sander can handle all the spaces that a flat surface sander cannot get to. The Profile Sander is very good for sanding delicate veneers. With 120 to 220 grit “Yellow” Flutter sheet disc mounted on the Profile Sander veneers can be finished sanded.
Conclusion
The Profile Sander is a valuable tool for a professional refinishing shop. It can be used to effectively and quickly finish sand a wide variety of edges, profiles, curves, groves, cracks, and other uneven surfaces that you will encounter with furniture refinish. The Profile Sander can dramatically reduce the amount of time that is required to sand chairs, rocking chairs, stools, and other similar types of furniture. Using the Profile Sander decreases the amount of time required to finish-sand furniture thus increases shop productivity.
Furniture Kare Company
Milton Bates
8274 Fair Church Rd
Browns Summit, NC, 27214  USA

Telephone (336 )695-4836 Cell (731) 695-1014
Email Furniture-kare36@triad.rr.com
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