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Discussion Starter #1
I have been skimming a few posts about paint jobs and I was wondering if an electric DA sander is ok to use for surface prep? I don't own an air compressor so using an air sander would be a pricey proposition for me. I would appreciate any opinions as to the merits of both. Thank you.
 

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What are you using the sander to do? Remove paint down to bare metal? That's a pretty big job for an electric DA sander. The main advantage to the air DA is weight, you're not lugging an electric motor around while sanding.
 

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An excellent source for this information is www.autobodystore.com Scroll down to the discussion page link. Len, the moderator, or any of the regular responders will suggest a Makita electric buffer for this job. I forget the model number. The discussion page is similar to this forum in the expert and profesional advice given. They will also recomend using Picklex 20 (Rass-O-Nil) for rust conversion and Zero-Rust paint instead of POR-15 or Corroless. Zero-Rust has no iso's to contend with, dries quickly and comes in several colors. Len did a test on a friends saltwater fishing boat's motor mounts. The Picklex 20 and Zero-Rust paint far outlasted the Metal Prep and POR-15 treatment. Check the site, I think you'll like it.
 

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I should have mentioned the autobody store site. Len currently has a special on the Makita buffer $199 and comes with a carrying case and some accessories. I just bought one, but will be taking my car down to bare metal.
 

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I purchased a cheap electric DA sander as I was unsure how well my compressor would drive an air DA. The elec. I have is a POS and is frustrating. THe bearing jambs up with dust at least once a day, it isn't that heavy but the 4 1/2" discs are too small IMHO. The comprssor/air DA will obviously cost more but will you use the compressor later? I've used mine for tires/floats/kids toys...quite a bit more than I thought I would. If you can see the light to spend about $300 or so (dont get an oilless) for a compressor, the air DA is a must. The nicer ones are lighter and more compact, budget based on what you can afford and what your time/timetable for your resto is worth. A good tool cam make all the difference in the long run.
 
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Agree with what was said above. Here's the advice I got on this subject -

If you're going to work on your car and would like the flexibility of getting more tools -- go Air. You can not only get a DA sander but impact wrench, pressure washer, grinders, etc., etc. I got a great home compressor from sears, with the DA sander and all the other stuff for under $500.

If you just want to do this one car, electric will be fine. I was told by both my Dad (who has painted for years on the side), and my local paint shop, that an Electric Sander will get the job done, but probably be dead by the time I'm done with 1 car.

So, for me it really came down to $200 for a single use tool, and possibly toss the thing when I was done, or go Air and I could have all these other tools and they will probably never go bad.

I went air.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you everyone for the advice, looks like I am going to wait and save to buy the air compressor. (why is the cheap way never the best?).
 
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