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View rossn's profile

Sander for cedar siding

by rossn
posted 09-22-2020 01:01 PM


21 replies so far

View Axis39's profile

Axis39

373 posts in 510 days


#1 posted 09-22-2020 01:13 PM

I would think that the most efficient would be a drum sander. Not sure that’s in the budget, though.

I don’t own one, but look longingly at the catalog pictures…. LOL

-- John F. SoCal transplant, chewer uppper of good wood

View them700project's profile

them700project

272 posts in 1932 days


#2 posted 09-22-2020 02:11 PM

My cousin Just did a farely large house 2-3000 square feet that was painted. He started with diablo paper on 5&6” orbitals and went through a lot on the first couple of pieces . But after I recommended hooking up a vacuum and using Abranet he went through 75 sheets with 2 other guys and did the whole house. I think the biggest help would be to get more bodies.

View northwoodsman's profile

northwoodsman

412 posts in 4660 days


#3 posted 09-22-2020 08:53 PM

Why not put the rough side out if that’s what you are trying to do with the sander? Or to uncompress the grain did you try spraying it with water? Did you inquire where you purchased the wood as the best way to seal it? It’s likely you’re not the first person to have this question so they may be able to offer advice.

-- NorthWoodsMan

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

5943 posts in 2301 days


#4 posted 09-22-2020 08:57 PM

When it was time to apply a new stain to my WRC fence and shed siding, I just used a pressure washer to remove the top oxidized layer. It worked like a charm. Of course you have to let it dry for several days before you apply your finish.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View rossn's profile

rossn

72 posts in 707 days


#5 posted 09-22-2020 10:16 PM

Yeah, wish I had extra persons, but I have to choose what I have contractors do or not—I have two very large remodels going on.

The purpose of sanding the wood isn’t to make it rough, rather to open the grain and cells; I am wanting to have the smooth side out. Not much holds up against Colorado UV, for semi-transparent and especially transparent coatings. I will be better on the soffit, and need to make sure it lasts as long as possible, as it would be very expensive with a lot of scaffolding to re-coat it. So, getting a good first coat is very important.

The guy at the real cedar association said that it should be sanded to open up the pores, not chemically treated. Unlike many other woods, cedar doesn’t have the sap and risk mill glazing, rather the soft grain gets crushed through planing. Longevity relates to how well the stain penetrates.

Doing a sample water penetration test… 2 mins, with 2 drops. Can you guess which side is sanded, which side isn’t?

View ibewjon's profile

ibewjon

2136 posts in 3707 days


#6 posted 09-23-2020 12:39 AM

Find a cabinet shop with a drum sander. That will cost less imo than other options. Faster too. Or buy a small drum sander just big enough and cheap enough for your project then sell it.

View rossn's profile

rossn

72 posts in 707 days


#7 posted 09-23-2020 05:16 AM

Its a big pile of cedar (2700 lf), with many 18’ lengths… so moving it, now unbanded would either be a royal pain or expensive to transport it 2 directions.

What are some smaller drum sanders that are available? The wood is only 5.5” wide, so it’s not like it needs to be very big.

View ibewjon's profile

ibewjon

2136 posts in 3707 days


#8 posted 09-23-2020 12:08 PM

Grizzly has a 10”, for about 600-700. There may be others. You may find a used machine, and a larger one could be cheaper used.

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

5943 posts in 2301 days


#9 posted 09-23-2020 01:17 PM

If the goal is to simply scuff the surface, the quickest and most economical way to sand it will probably be a hand held belt sander with a 100 to 150 grit belt. It would probably take less than a couple of minutes per 18’ board, not counting time to move boards around as you proceed but even that is less work than feeding them through a drum sander. It is usually faster to take the tool to the work rather than the work to the tool. You can sand them where they are stacked, apply a coat of stain and move them aside to dry. If you’ve got a helper, it will probably take less than an afternoon.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

6631 posts in 1488 days


#10 posted 09-23-2020 02:11 PM

Sounds like you need to find a stain that stains, and doesn’t give you conditions it will stain under. I used to do all bi sided cedar siding on wood sided buildings, and almost all of the people chose the rough side. I also used Behr solid color stain, and never had a hitch with absorption.

-- Think safe, be safe

View rossn's profile

rossn

72 posts in 707 days


#11 posted 09-23-2020 02:17 PM

I was thinking that it may be hard to produce a good looking surface, and may remove too much material or not be uniform. But it is clearly worth running a test and seeing if I can make that work. I’ll still have to move the boards around (they are 1’ off the ground), but it is a good point on the work efficiency. Thanks.

View rossn's profile

rossn

72 posts in 707 days


#12 posted 09-23-2020 02:29 PM

Stain is very tricky, especially with all the VOC formulations. I’m not wanting to use something solid, as that would defeat the purpose of the cedar. Every stain manufacturer of a stain that penetrates says you need to ensure pores are open. Anything stain that just sits on top hides the aesthetic of the cedar.

This is a more modern, versus rustic look to match the vertical grain cedar going on the siding.

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

5943 posts in 2301 days


#13 posted 09-23-2020 03:05 PM

A finer grit and a light hand should produce pretty good results with a belt sander. I think that the key is to keep it moving. Some people use belt sanders to finish floors so if they can get a surface good enough for a glossy finish, you should be able to get a pretty nice appearance on siding. If your belt sander has a sanding frame, that may help as well, though I’ve never tried that on narrow boards. I’ve actually stripped an old table top for refinishing using a sanding frame and all I had to do was finish sanding with my ROS afterwards which you won’t need to do with the siding.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

3156 posts in 3858 days


#14 posted 09-23-2020 04:43 PM

When I used to do this, it was always on the building. For that, I used a Porter Cable Siding Sander and a Paint Shaver.

I preferred the latter, both because it would take off a little or a lot (decades of paint) to the tune of about a square foot per minute. Because a vacuum hose was mandatory, to both remove dust and to cool the Paint Shaver, most of what was tossed off was captured in vac.

The first time I ran it, it drove me nuts because the vac filter would clog in 5 minutes. For that reason, I made a water filter pre-filter using a 30 gallon drum. It worked as hoped – giving me about 20 minutes to a half hour of run time, but oh the sludge I had to deal with.

In all, the sludge was a good thing, because the water cut down on the dust in the air, and the safe money was on that the 80 year old siding had its share of lead.

From there, I went to a thing I found in an add – a metal Dust Deputy. It worked and I didn’t have any sludge to worry about.

The HUGE advantage the Porter Cable Siding Sander has over belt, pad and drum sanders is, it uses metal disks with carbide fused to them. They come in 24 – 40 grit and do a good job, but be prepared for a lot of dust.

To use the siding sander would just require a simple jig to hold the shakes or shingles (four sides and air to clean, from time to time). It would go a hundred times faster than a drum sander with, say 80 grit, because the paint would load the paper.

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

3156 posts in 3858 days


#15 posted 09-23-2020 04:46 PM

That stands to reason, since stain is a surface coat, vs penetrating, like dye. You need the pores open to give the stain something to grip.

If an oil base, the oil is still going to soak in a bit. More so than a water base, which would dry far quicker.


[E]very stain manufacturer of a stain that penetrates says you need to ensure pores are open. Anything stain that just sits on top hides the aesthetic of the cedar.

- rossn


View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

5943 posts in 2301 days


#16 posted 09-23-2020 04:57 PM

Does the PC siding sander leave any swirls?

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

3156 posts in 3858 days


#17 posted 09-23-2020 05:57 PM

Yes. How notable depends on the grit used. I ran over the swirls with 60 or 80 grit and it knocked it down VERY quickly. I’m betting a 8’ long cedar board could be cleaned in around one minute. After all, cedar is pretty soft stuff.

One nice thing is, the random orbit, variable speed sanders can grab nearly all the sawdust kicked off.

View LeeRoyMan's profile

LeeRoyMan

1444 posts in 640 days


#18 posted 09-23-2020 06:14 PM

I’m very experienced using belt sanders and no way would I attempt that.
I would use a ROS before I would belt them.

If your adamant about sanding them, then I would bite the bullet. Load them on a trailer and take them to someone with a wide belt sander and run them through. Anything else will be at least 5 times the labor.
(1/2 a day and your ready for stain)

I have a 37” wide belt, so of course this is my opinion.

View them700project's profile

them700project

272 posts in 1932 days


#19 posted 09-23-2020 06:48 PM

O i missed the before it goes up part. I would say a supermax or even a planer with very sharp blade will leave a 80-100 grit equivalent surface

View rossn's profile

rossn

72 posts in 707 days


#20 posted 09-24-2020 06:46 AM

Lots of interesting thoughts and ideas – thank you.

My understanding to the real cedar org guy is that re-planing the wood would not help, as it would lead to the grain crush condition that I am trying to remove.

I did test out the belt sander today, and it wasn’t that bad. But for hundreds of pieces, that is going to take a very long time. I ended up picking up a drum sander off craigslist, and will give that a go. Now I just have to figure out dust collection :)

View ibewjon's profile

ibewjon

2136 posts in 3707 days


#21 posted 09-24-2020 01:44 PM

I just got a meeting in dust deputy for $69 I think. Shop vac hose to mini, hose to shop vac. It works great. I ran it with vac only, and filter plugged quickly. After adding the mini, the bucket fills with dust and the vac stays clean. I will be using the mini when sanding drywall for the next project. A great investment.

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