On woodwork and general body such as metals, sanders are very essential tools. Particularly, they help us actualize that even, glossy, and scratch-free look.
However, there are various kinds of sanders. This article is born out of the need to explain one of those: DA sanders. In doing this, we will compare its function with some other kinds of sanders.
What Is a DA Sander
The name DA is an abbreviation for Dual Action. In that regard, DA sanders are Dual Action Sanders. While it is not a holistic replacement for other sanders as will be mentioned, it can carry out a couple of varying functions.
If you prefer a visual explanation of this article, below is a detailed and helpful video.
Video: What Is a DA Sander (Peculiarities and Appropriate Use)
This equipment is multifaceted in its operation. In light of this, due cognizance should be accorded to this equipment by woodworkers, as well as those that work on the general body such as metals.
Using DA Sanders
Using a DA sander can be complicated for some people. This is given the human coordination required for the desired finish. As against the orbital sander’s pace of the equipment, users have to carefully remove defects on the surface of the wood or metal.
Furthermore, in using this equipment, there are procedures and principles to be followed. These procedures should not be violated. This will ensure that artisans who use this tool, make the most of them.
For example, the choice of appropriate grit should not be taken for granted. Using the wrong grit size can ruin the whole job, or cause problems you are not prepared to handle.
Generally speaking, sanding is a combination of various important steps that should be handled appropriately. This implies that no step in the sanding process should be trivialized.
Considering this, every part and function of DA sanders should be well evaluated before it is engaged. Such parts include the backup pad, the abrasive parts, the sandpaper grit, air supply, among others.
Also, do not leave out the wires in your inspection. You do not want an exposed/naked wire, as well as wires getting in your way while working.
Important Tips for Effective Use
To make the most of the DA sander and get the desired finish, you should pay attention to these tips. For one, they help the equipment remain in a great state, giving it a longer span. Furthermore, you get your intended outcome at the end of the day. So, let’s go over some of these tips.
Video: DA Sander Tips & Techniques
Below is a visual explanation of how to use a DA sander.
Place Sanders on Workpiece Before Using it
The DA sanders should not be engaged outside of the workpiece. If this is not adhered to, you might ruin your work. The sanding disc’s initial vibration is ideal only on the wood. Outside of this, the pad might create a scratch or ditch you are not prepared to deal with.
Considering this, the machine is better off on the workpiece before it is switched on.
Be Careful About the Edges
Undoubtedly, the edges of the workpiece deserve as much attention as the other parts. However, caution should not be thrown to the wind while dealing with this part. This is because the sander is susceptible to tripping off while sanding this part.
While using the Dual Action Sander, stay cautious while approaching the edges. The orbital movements of the equipment can allow it to trip off the workpiece. This is to protect both you and your job.
To prevent the possibility of tripping off, do not engage any more than a third of your equipment. In doing this, you should observe the length and breathe of your equipment. Stay clear of using any more than a third of this equipment on the workpiece.
Asides from protecting the equipment, excessive use of the equipment on the edges can be dangerous for the job. If care is not taken, you might eat into the edges of the workpiece as against your intent. This will likely alter your intent, causing you to resort to other designs against your original plan.
Considering this, be very careful around the edges.
Do Not Give in to Tilting
Some people think tilting the dual-action sanders will help them sand some parts with emphasis. This will do more harm than good. The emphasis on that spot will likely create a ditch or uneven surface.
At no point should you tilt the machine while using it. Rectifying the problem this will cause can be backbreaking. To prevent this possibility, do not give in to tilting the machine while using it.
Sand Following the Grain Pattern
This rule is especially for woodwork. The average wood has grain patterns. These are the somewhat linear designs on the natural wood.
When you are sanding, you should take cognizance of these patterns and sand following them. You are not to sand in an adjacent direction. If you sand in contrast to this pattern, you will create an awkward looking piece.
Furthermore, this rule will save you the troubles of raised grains while sanding. The process is easier when items such as sanding sealers are used before sanding. This will help fill up the pores in the wood.
Let The Da Sander be Pressure Free
There are times you need the aggressive sanding just as the belt sander. Using less aggressive equipment, you might want to apply more body pressure. You probably think this will hasten the pace of work done.
We beg to issue a disclaimer as this might only make things complicated. As with the act of tilting, you would likely create a ditch and uneven surface.
To prevent this from happening, let the machine take its course. You are simply to guide the machine with your hands. You should resist the urge to apply enormous body pressure on the DA sander.
Furthermore, applying unwarranted pressure on the machine harms the sand disc and abrasive portions of the equipment. To keep the machine in the right shape, stare clear of applying body pressure.
Take the Wires into Consideration
Considering technological advancement, brands are producing cordless sanders. However, a larger part of sanders come with wires.
As a result, you need to be cautious in using these machines. Before use, make sure there is no naked wire or exposure. This is to prevent the chances of electrocution. Also, be careful with the handling of the wires.
Considering the nature of wires, avoid tangling the wires unnecessarily. When the wires are frequently tangled, the chances of internal cuts are heightened. To avoid this possibility. Be careful with the wires and cord.
The Appropriate Grit Size Is Essential
The use of sandpaper is a vague subject. It includes the use of the appropriate grit size. The bigger the size, the smoother the finish that will be actualized. On the contrary, a smaller sized grit will give you a coarse finish.
However, you are to start with a somewhat coarse surface and transcend to a finer feel and look. In light of this, for a very uneven surface, you will do well to kickoff with a grit size of around 80.
When dealing with less uneven jobs, you can use grits around 100 to around 150. Examples of such jobs could be clean-ups.
As opposed to aggressively paced belt sanders, the DA sander gives a finer finish. From experience, the use of this equipment offers a finish 2 to 3 times finer than the belt sander.
Maintenance Is Very Crucial
For one, lubrication is key to a long-lasting DA sander. In light of this, make it a duty to frequently lubricate the appropriate parts. You should also use lubricants produced for this purpose. You can use the automatic lubricator for this purpose.
Some DA sanders make provision for automatic application of the oil. You just need to add the oil and it circulates through an internal mechanism. In the absence of such provision, manually apply the oil to appropriate parts.
On the sidelines, be careful around parts such as the muffler assembly. Better still, the part can be detached during the procedure. This is to prevent any chance of the oil clogging.
Make the Right Hose Choice
Some hoses are more appropriate for the DA sander. On the contrary, some hoses will deter the flow of air. Considering this, make the appropriate choice for the hoses. Furthermore, stay away from a lengthy hose for ease.
Differences Between the Orbital Sander and Dual Action Sander
Many people think the DA sander is the same as the Orbital sander. Although they share tons of similarities, there are points of divergence between the two pieces of equipment. Considering this, let’s go over some differences between the two machines
The Aggressiveness Differs
For those aware of the working tendencies of both machines, you will have noticed they have varying aggressive abilities. The DA sander has more aggressiveness and pace. Its aggressiveness is somewhat close to the belt sander.
On the contrary, the random orbital sander is less aggressive compared to the DA sander. Of the two, it is better off for concluding a job. It allows you to get a better finish compared to the DA sander.
The movements around the sanding disc are different. As the name suggests, the Orbital sander moves in a circular but orbit manner. On the contrary, the DA sander is just circular in its motion.
That leaves us with a very important point. The DA sander’s sanding path is defined. Because it is simply circular, the path sanded is clear enough. On the random Orbital sander, the sanding path is not defined. As a result of the orbital variance, the path crisscrosses into each other.
The End Result
As opposed to the Orbital sander, the DA sander has a great feature that aids great finishing. It has the lock and unlocks feature. Considering the adjustable feature, you can do away with sanded materials easily. This is a major difference in their finishing abilities.
The Handling of the Equipment
The DA sander is easier to handle. In this regard, handling them seems like handling a palm sander. It is easier. On the contrary, the Orbital sander usually has a large handle. This is a similarity it shares with large sanders.
Sanders is very important for the general body and woodwork. From start to finish, they give you top-notch sanded material.
However, as explained earlier, there is the appropriate sander for every job. In that light, we have examined the DA sander, explaining its peculiarities as against the Orbital sander.
On a final note, be practical about taking heed to the DA sander sanding tips shared in this article. It will pay off keeping you and your machine safe from a mishap.