Whether you call it a random orbit sander or a DA (dual action) sander, mine needed a home: a holder to have it nearby when finishing projects.  Late one night I found myself cleaning the shop.  I know that already sounds like a lie, but it quickly turned from cleaning to building.  My DA sander has never really had a proper home and I decided to make a holder for it on my assembly/outfeed table.  Not a huge project but something very useful.  So here is the catch, I made the first one and didn’t think much of it.  It was only after I completed the first one that I thought to film it.  I decided to make a second one and at least make a short video on it.  For a quick project, I was really happy on how it turned out.  Even more happy with the problem it solved.  I’m often asked why I use 1/4″ MDF for so many things and this is the reason why.  It’s great for small shop projects and jigs, it’s stable, it’s inexpensive, and when teamed up with CA (cyanoacrylate) glue it makes for some really quick builds and prototyping.  If you are interested in my air sander, I will have some more information on it below, as well as, links to purchase the CA glue I used in the project.  As always, leave any questions or comments you may have below.



2P-10 CA Glue

2P-10 CA glue is pretty good stuff.  The standard bottle tips are great for the majority of situations but the fine tips are clunky to use.  If you want to cut down on gluing times, buy some.


DA Sander

This is a pretty good DA Sander for the price.  If you are interested in buying one, click here.  I use it for most of my commission builds.  I’ve modified it a bit to make it work for me.  See below for details.


air hose whip

I cut my teeth around automotive repair shops and bodyshops.  So having an air whip on my sander was a must.  I like this Flexzilla one better than traditional whips.

flex connector

The Flexzilla whip has a built in swivel which is a nice bonus.

flow control valve

Adding a flow control valve makes dialing in an air sander super convenient.


random orbit sander pad hole configuration random orbit sander pad hole configuration 1 random orbit sander padAlso, the sanding pad that comes with that DA sander has a different hole pattern than traditional hook and loop woodworking sandpaper.  I switched to this one with an 8 hole pattern.  Its density seems good for most woodworking as well.  This sandpaper works well with that pad.


DA Sander wrench

You can easily change out pads with the supplied wrench that comes with the DA sander.


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6 Responses

  1. Jerry E. Malcolm

    Is there any significant advantage for the air-powered orbital sander over the electric ones or the cordless ones? Price wise, they seem similar.

    • Nick

      that’s a tough one – even the pros and cons can be subjective – I use both – you have mainly three types to compare: corded electric, cordless electric, and pneumatic – on the electric side I would take corded over cordless in most cases – the con is the cord but the pro is the ample power – electric vs pneumatic: pneumatic is smaller and often times fits in the hand better – being it’s smaller, it is shorter and has a lower center of gravity – this helps prevent tipping of the sander and possibly gouging the wood with the edge of the disc – making it ideal for faster paced production work – the con for pneumatic is air supply – they use a lot of air – most home workshops have smaller air compressors that can’t keep up with the CFM (cubic feet per minute) needed to run air sanders – also, larger (oiled) compressors require maintenance while the electric side has almost no maintenance – some will say air powered leaves less swirl marks but I personally think you get what you pay for – on either side, less expensive models and improper technique will result in swirls

      All said, it’s a matter of preference – I you’re really curious, try some of each and see which you like best – it would be air powered for me if I could only have one – I could very easily go more into all this but this is the most succinct way I can put it – it’s a topic I maybe could write and article on?

      Great question!

      • Jerry E. Malcolm

        Thanks for your prompt response. I have always used a corded Makita orbital sander and was happy with it. However, I saw that Home Depot had a sale on a Ryobi cordless one for less than $40 (w/o battery), so I decided to buy one. I was very pleasantly surprised with its power (10,000 RPM), and because of its convenience, that is the one I primarily use now. It’s main disadvantage is that it is bulkier than the corded one. I have never tried a pneumatic one, and probably never will, unless there was some big advantage for it. Because of the hassle of starting up my cheap air compressor and maintaining pressure, I try to limit its use to nail guns and tire inflation outside the workshop!! I have one of the cordless Ryobi brad nailers, and love it. It makes gluing so much easier!!

      • Nick

        yeah I mentioned in a recent episode of The Woodworking Podcast that I’m a compressor guy – having a larger compressor opens options for dozens of tools that would otherwise be unusable – I wouldn’t even recommend this kind of sander on smaller units (less than 40 gallon) – always good to have options

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