Tips & Techniques
Proper sanding techniques and accessories can make a difference in the quality of the finished surface. Here are a few suggestions for making your sanding effort a success.
Using the Mirka Electric Sander
First, after pressing on the on/off button to set the sander in ready state (the LED turns green), hold the sander with your dominant hand, using your other hand to control the dust extraction hose to keep the sander balanced (Photo 1).
Photo 1 - Keep a light grip on the sander so the random-orbit motion can freewheel on its own.
To start sanding, place the sander on the work surface and press down the lever. Do not tilt the sander, which may cause the tool to jump.
When done sanding, pull the sander off the work surface before turning it off to prevent gouging.
You can make pencil lines on the work surface to gauge the sanding progress, especially when working with a large surface like a table top (Photo 2).
Photo 2 – Make new pencil marks for each grit used.
How do I know which abrasive to use?
Selecting an abrasive for a particular situation is a balancing act and depends on the type of material you are sanding, the range of grits you require, and how much you are willing to spend.
To help you make an informed selection, we’ve put together this guide: Mirka Abrasives Selection Guide - Lee Valley Tools.
Should I use a platen protector or interface pad?
It’s good practice to use a platen protector, especially if you are working with mesh abrasives. The protector is sacrificial and absorbs the wear that would otherwise occur to the platen, and the pad is much less costly to replace.
Though interface pads are thought of as only being needed for contoured surfaces, they can be beneficial for flat surfaces as well. Apart from protecting the platen, an interface pad provides a layer of cushion, which evenly distributes force to help achieve a consistent surface. Some users also say it reduces the effects of vibration during prolonged working sessions.