LumberJocks

Sander for cedar siding

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by rossn posted 09-22-2020 01:01 PM 401 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View rossn's profile

rossn

72 posts in 680 days


09-22-2020 01:01 PM

I’m starting to stain about 4500 linear feet of 5.5” wide cedar siding, before it goes up on soffits and the siding. I am looking for ideas on types of sanders that could be used for this siding. For about half of it (the one I’m doing now), it is select tight knot western red cedar, rough one side, planed on the other.

I’m need to remove a thin layer (maybe 1/32” or less) of crushed grain on the surface, to allow the stain to better absorb (it doesn’t absorb on the planed surface, so need to physically open the pores).

I started to use a random orbital sander, and did just 3 boards yesterday (of hundreds) and already I could feel the nerves in my arms having issues from the vibration.

What other types of sanders could I use and get good results? I wonder about a drum sander, though am concerned that the knots may have not thinned as much as the wood, and that could lead to waviness in the surface (and that sander is quite expensive).

Thanks for the ideas!


21 replies so far

View Axis39's profile

Axis39

357 posts in 483 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

270 posts in 1904 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

392 posts in 4632 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 (online now)

Lazyman

5870 posts in 2273 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 680 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

2086 posts in 3679 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 680 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

2086 posts in 3679 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 (online now)

Lazyman

5870 posts in 2273 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

6475 posts in 1460 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 680 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 680 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 (online now)

Lazyman

5870 posts in 2273 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

3154 posts in 3830 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

3154 posts in 3830 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


showing 1 through 15 of 21 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com