Dual Action Air or Electric DA Sander?

Auto Body Workshop
First why should you use an air powered D/A Sander? Well, In my experience most cheap electric D/A sanders just do not have the torque needed for paint removal or body work.  This includes the Portal Cable 7424xp rotary/Dual Action (D/A) sander.

Good quality air tools provide enough torque to quickly remove paint and sand the metal surface.   On the other hand geared electric rotary sanders (craftsman, makita,..) offer high torque for quick and easy paint removal.  It is common practice to use a Dual Action Sander to smooth out the body before spraying with primer. The movement of the head of the Dual Action Sander reduces swirls in the the paint and provide a better surface to apply primer.  I personally used a craftsman  electric rotary sander to remove most the paint and finished it off with Dual Action Sander and 220 grit pads.  
Electric Dual Action (DA) Sander

I researched electric D/A (Dual Action) sanders but the only one which seemed to have enough torque to do a good job is Mirka Ceros.  Only down side is that it is about $500 for this electric sander. For that price you could buy a 14 -16 cfm @90 psi 80 Gallon air compressor from Lowes.   If you already own a lower CFM air compressor you may be able to purchase another smaller cheaper air compressor and connect them in parallel with a Tee-Fitting which will essential add the flow rates of the two compressors together in order to supply high air flow tools with the air they need to run properly.

If you are just trying to remove paint you can use an electric rotary sander, but don't expect a smooth swirl free finish ready for painting

My setup which basically consists of two air compressors and a tee-fitting upstream of the air pressure regulator from the larger compressor.  I turn the air pressure regulator all the open on the smaller hot dog air compressor (7.1 cfm @ 90 psi).  My 60 gallon Kolbalt air compressor puts out 10.2 cfm @ 90 psi.  Together I should be able to have a total flow rate of 17.3 cfm, but with losses its probably closer to 16 cfm.   I tested it out last weekend and it seemed to work as planned.  Previous I had an planar air sander which simply would not run due to lack of air flow.  It now is able to run at constant duty while the two air compressors simultaneously supply it air.  The air pressure in the tanks actually increased very slowly at constant duty use.  

It is certainly better just to buy the correct sized air compressor if you have the funds, but if not you can use this little trick until you can afford a bigger compressor.
Check out my trans am restoration project where I used this technique to restore my 1987 pontiac transam!

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