Intarsia Craftsmen What Sanders Are You Using?

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Forum topic by rustynails posted 12-07-2017 04:49 AM 2196 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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894 posts in 3380 days

12-07-2017 04:49 AM

I am reviewing different pneumatic drum sanders for doing contour sanding. The two that are on my list are the Seyco sander and the Foredon variable speed bench lathe sander. They both run about the same price so that is not a factor. The Foredon has variable speed and would use an inflatable drum. The Seyco would come with flexible padded type sanding sleeves.
I am not sure if the variable speed of the Foredon would be the best bet and if the inflatable drums are better than the padded type sanding sleeves?
The Seyco has a speed of 1800 RPM were as the Foredon variable speed is 500-7,000 RPM. My thoughts are the Seyco is a much beefier machine but the Foredon has the variable speed? Is the Variable speed that much of a game changer and best for sanding ? And what kind of sleeves are the best, padded or inflatable for this kind of use?

4 replies so far

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2848 posts in 3773 days

#1 posted 12-07-2017 11:46 AM

I have done some intarsia and I use a pneumatic drum on my 12 speed drill press. I have a 3” drum and a 1 1/2” drum for this. The sanding sleeves for these drums will last a long time. They do not load up or wear out quickly. I think the fact that the surface of the pneumatic drum flexes is the reason for the sleeves working so well. I recommend the 3” drum and I have a small air pump (for bicycles) to inflate the drum. My air compressor inflates it too fast to have good control, and safety. I paid about $50 for the 3” drum and two sleeves.

-- No PHD just a DD214 Lubbock Texas

View Redoak49's profile


4872 posts in 2839 days

#2 posted 12-07-2017 02:27 PM

I have done quite a bit of Intarsia and use several methods for sanding.

I have a Shopsmith Mark 5 which I use a lot. I have a 4” x 9” pneumatic drum sander that I mount on it and use for shaping. It is nice because it is variable speed. I can also mount a disk sander on the other side of the head. I have added dust collection for each of these as the exotic woods can cause issues.

I have a Ridgid Oscillating spindle sander. I also use my Dremel with a flex shaft quite a bit. I use carbide bits and sanding drums on the Dremel. I also do a lot of hand shaping.

I typically do the last sanding with either a sanding mop or Mac mop.

There is a large variation in how people do Intarsia. There are too many who simply round over the edge of each piece. You can get much better results by adding shims and contouring each piece appropriately.

View SenecaWoodArt's profile


484 posts in 2470 days

#3 posted 12-15-2017 05:58 PM

We do rather small intarsia work to fit on boxes. We use the Seyco with good success. We also use a 1” Harbor Freight belt sander, the Ridgid Oscillating spindle sander, as well as a Dremel. I have considered the Pneumatic sleeves but have not added them to the shop at this point.

-- Bob

View rustynails's profile


894 posts in 3380 days

#4 posted 12-16-2017 12:08 AM

Thanks everyone for the insight.
Bob your work looks very nice. Thanks for showing.

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