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Need a little advice on power sanders and antlers please

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posted on Mar, 11 2015 @ 04:56 AM
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I'm doing a project that involves sanding whole antlers smooth and then polishing them, which is a major PITA to do by hand. I'm a hand tool chap though and know little about using power tools.

I was thinking of getting a detail sander such as THIS for removing material on flatter surfaces, the outside of curves etc. I'm hoping it will be fairly quick and easy, and what i need to know is can i work freehand with such a tool i.e holding the antler in one hand, braced against bench or body just with my hand while sanding, or do you need to apply a fair bit of pressure with the tool and have awkwardly shaped antler very securely clamped down?

I'm purchasing a dremel too (which will also be useful for other projects) for working the insides of curves and tight spaces but figured this would be too slow for a whole antler due to the size of the business end. I could purchase some sort of bench grinder and try to find a wheel with a slightly curved profile as that may work too, or perhaps a benched belt and disk sander.

A bit random, sorry
But any advice that can be offered as to the best tools for the job would be most welcome!

ETA: i know there are some uber crafty folk here ... i've been reading a fair bit on using vinegar, hot water, steam, clamps etc to bend antler - any reflections on this would also be welcomed



edit on 11-3-2015 by skalla because: (no reason given)

edit on 11-3-2015 by skalla because: edited title




posted on Mar, 11 2015 @ 05:31 AM
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a reply to: skalla

Not into antler altering here, but if this is an extended project, I suggest looking into a so-called table sander that has a vertical and thin sanding belt that can be deflected such as to better work on curves when the piece is forced against it. Using a Dremel seems out of the question except for very small aspects of the job. Wear a dust mask!
edit on 11-3-2015 by Aliensun because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 11 2015 @ 05:37 AM
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a reply to: Aliensun

Ta for the reply. Sadly we don't have the woodshop/workshop culture and space here in the UK that so many folk in the US seem to, and we often don't get the range of stuff that you guys have... do you mean something like this?

ETA; yeah, i'll be working a lot of the stuff in coming months all being well


edit on 11-3-2015 by skalla because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 11 2015 @ 05:55 AM
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a reply to: skalla

Then it seems like a good set of hand files and rasps may be your best bet.
I'm thinking of the sort used to trim horse hooves.



posted on Mar, 11 2015 @ 06:00 AM
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a reply to: Aliensun

I'd probably end up with claws for hands if i did that as much as i'd need to - i'll be doing a lot of hand polishing etc after the primary removal, plus i want to speed up the whole process.. I was likely to buy that bench sander anyway as it will help me with some other work so i'll possibly just take a punt on it and see how that works initially. Thanks for the advice



posted on Mar, 11 2015 @ 06:19 AM
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a reply to: skalla

I do not know where your from but in my country I would buy the one in your link. That make handles dust well. I always look at the dust level in the type of DIY and then make my choice.



posted on Mar, 11 2015 @ 06:25 AM
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a reply to: ICycle2

You mean the small, hand-held tool in the first post? The dust collection is a good thing, i'm just not sure it will be easy enough to apply pressure where i need it, to remove material. I may be better off with the bench sander as i can hold the antler against the belt with both hands.

I may just have to invest in a dust extraction thingy, i'd rather not wear a full mask if possible.



posted on Mar, 11 2015 @ 07:07 AM
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The second type of sander you posted will work better. Antler is very hard material. I've used it many times for knife handle material. Use belts fifty grit and courser to remove ridges, then switch to hand Sanders to remove sanding groves. Be careful not to sand to much because you'll expose the pores of the interior of the antler.



posted on Mar, 11 2015 @ 07:17 AM
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originally posted by: twohawks
The second type of sander you posted will work better. Antler is very hard material. I've used it many times for knife handle material. Use belts fifty grit and courser to remove ridges, then switch to hand Sanders to remove sanding groves. Be careful not to sand to much because you'll expose the pores of the interior of the antler.


Much appreciated
i've worked with antler quite a bit (hafting stone blades, jewellery, knapping hammers etc), just always by hand



posted on Mar, 11 2015 @ 07:28 AM
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Power sanders work great on flat surfaces.

Antlers don't have any.

I think you're stuck doing it by hand if you want it done well.

Buy good quality sandpaper like aluminum oxide paper and some foam rubber sanding blocks that'll conform to the convex surface.

Get a crepe rubber sandpaper cleaning block to maximize the effectiveness of your sandpaper

Start with a quick once over with 100 grit before switching to 120, 180 and finally 220.

The other product you should try is 3M sanding pads. The stuff that looks like a pot scrubber.



posted on Mar, 11 2015 @ 07:36 AM
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a reply to: Psynic

I've sanded antler by hand before, i'm just looking for a quicker way to get 90% of the ridges/bumps off (I'm talking Red Deer antlers, a bit different from the Whitetail that seems so prevalent in NA) before going through the grits by hand (i'll be going to 600 at least, then polishing etc, i have an established routine for this stage).

I *expect* i can effectively facet the antler slightly on the edge of the belt's drum, and sand out by hand. No worries if that particular machine isn't the best for the job in the end as i can definitely find plenty other uses for it at least
edit on 11-3-2015 by skalla because: typos...



posted on Mar, 11 2015 @ 07:50 AM
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originally posted by: skalla
a reply to: Psynic

I've sanded antler by hand before, i'm just looking for a quicker way to get 90% of the ridges/bumps off (I'm talking Red Deer antlers, a bit different from the Whitetail that seems so prevalent in NA) before going through the grits by hand (i'll be going to 600 at least, then polishing etc, i have an established routine for this stage).

I *expect* i can effectively facet the antler slightly on the edge of the belt's drum, and sand out by hand. No worries if that particular machine isn't the best for the job in the end as i can definitely find plenty other uses for it at least


If you're cleaning up antlers to hang on the wall like most trophies you don't need to get rid of the grooves.

Without knowing your final objective, not much I can recommend, just be aware that trim sanders are light duty tools not intended for removing a lot of material.

You mention "facets" as in 'flat surfaces', which is something I would think you'd want to avoid creating on an organic item.

Have you considered getting them sand or soda blasted?



posted on Mar, 11 2015 @ 08:08 AM
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a reply to: skalla


Ummm...hello Skalla...here...are some links to sanders that might be more suited to what your trying to accomplish...although this one would be best...but no doubt expensive...

Hope this helps...

PS...on reviewing them all the Proxxon handheld in the first link would be the least expensive and best suited for your project...




YouSir
edit on 11-3-2015 by YouSir because: I just felt the...urge...



posted on Mar, 11 2015 @ 08:22 AM
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As you said you were mainly concerned about speeding up the removing of the ridges, im afraid i cant think of anything better and more easily used that a good farriers rasp followed by a hefty go with a bastard file, then I think using a powered sander may work, but out of interest do you have a decent power drill?
You can get great results with a flap wheel or flap disk, basically using your power drill as a larger heavy duty dremel tool.



posted on Mar, 11 2015 @ 09:27 AM
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You're probably better off using a dremel for this job. It's a very small sanding tool. The head is only about an inch wide. It's made for small detail work.




www.google.com...

reply to: skalla


edit on 3112015 by AutumnWitch657 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 11 2015 @ 09:52 AM
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originally posted by: AutumnWitch657
You're probably better off using a dremel for this job. It's a very small sanding tool. The head is only about an inch wide. It's made for small detail work.




www.google.com...

reply to: skalla



No way, you'd burn out a dremel in no time.

If you want to use a rotary tool, Learningman's idea of the power drill and flapper wheel would be worth trying.



posted on Mar, 11 2015 @ 10:09 AM
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a reply to: Psynic

Some small router made lately can be used as a larger version or a dremel/rotary tool.

I had a trend t4 with a detachable plunge head that could be used as a beast of a dremel although a bit fiesty at high rpm.

There about £100 but the versatility is definatley worth it in my opinion.

edit on 11/3/2015 by nonspecific because: spelling



posted on Mar, 11 2015 @ 10:21 AM
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originally posted by: nonspecific
a reply to: Psynic

Some small router made latley can bu used as a larger version or a dremel/rotary tool.

I had a trend t4 with a detachable plunge head that could be used as a beast of a dremel although a bit fiesty at high rpm.

There about £100 but the versatility is definatley worth it in my opinion.


This sounds like a good time to mention the importance of wearing eye protection!



posted on Mar, 11 2015 @ 10:26 AM
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originally posted by: Psynic

originally posted by: nonspecific
a reply to: Psynic

Some small router made latley can bu used as a larger version or a dremel/rotary tool.

I had a trend t4 with a detachable plunge head that could be used as a beast of a dremel although a bit fiesty at high rpm.

There about £100 but the versatility is definatley worth it in my opinion.


This sounds like a good time to mention the importance of wearing eye protection!


And ear defenders rotary tools have huge rpm even at low settings, like a swarm of angry bees.



posted on Mar, 11 2015 @ 10:39 AM
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a reply to: skalla
Friend you know I am in to the same Norse craft you are.

I have a Dremel 3000 (cheaper and smaller than the 4000, just doesnt have the quick attach feature), and I bought the Flexible Shaft attachment. Gives you far greater freedom and detail.

I prefer hand tools too (electric things will kill you). I recommend a metal file, they are like sandpaper but can be used on anything. Sorry that I have little experience with power sanders, other than those on my dremel.




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