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Hi
I notice that the above sander comes in two distinct forms in America. In Australia it comes in combined 5 and 6 inch pads for the one sander. Is the American sander the same machine for the 5 and 6 inch pad or are there modification to the tool to take the larger pad ?

Are there Abranet style pads available in America for this sander ?

Does the sander suck dust from the perimeter of the pad housing and so is the dust extraction perfect with a dust extractor connected?
regards
Peteroo
 

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The attached photo (from the Bosch USA website) indicates that the sander uses standard discs where the holes are inset from the edge - you can see a pad and discs nestled in by the lid of the L-Boxx. I'm pretty much sure that only Festool and Mafell use the discs with the holes out by the edges.



As far as Abranet goes, Mirka sell what they call "pad savers" which are attached to the hook pad on the sander. The sanding disc is then applied to the pad. This is required because normal sanding discs are obviously solid - the hooks cannot penetrate the paper backing - whereas the open net of the Abranet abrasives means that the hooks can and do penetrate the mesh (and stick out beyond it) and can therefore be worn away by running against the workpiece (not to mention potentially scratching the surface - an expensive lesson learned a long time ago). In the UK they are sold by everywhere that sells Abranet, such as Axminster Power Tools. They do work - I use them on my 6in Metabo ROS and with a vacuum the extraction is noticeably better than I get with paper-backed discs (albeit still not quite in the Festool, Ceros or Deros league)
 

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Hi
I notice that the above sander comes in two distinct forms in America. In Australia it comes in combined 5 and 6 inch pads for the one sander. Is the American sander the same machine for the 5 and 6 inch pad or are there modification to the tool to take the larger pad ?

Are there Abranet style pads available in America for this sander ?

Does the sander suck dust from the perimeter of the pad housing and so is the dust extraction perfect with a dust extractor connected?
regards
Peteroo
It is the same tool, but you have to purchase and attach the different pads (5 inch & 6 inch). Mine came with the 5 inch and I purchased the 6 inch pad separately.

Yes, the Abranet pads are available on-line - and I assume at local stores such as Rockler, if one is nearby. Here is Rockler's online description:

"Abranet mesh sanding discs from Mirka combine excellent dust-collection, a uniform surface finish and a far longer lifespan than traditional abrasives. Thousands of tiny holes in the mesh material result in superior airflow that dramatically reduces dust when used with a shop vacuum. Unlike traditional discs, there is no need to match up hole patterns."

I myself have not used them, but I suspect they would indeed work as advertised. I could see where the pad would get fowled by the dust & debris coming through the mesh. Not sure if this damages the pad with or without Abranet's supplemental pad protector (also sold at Rockler - but they only sell the 5 inch version).

The following online review shows a picture of the Bosch ROS65 with the pad removed. I think the vacuum area is wide enough to pull from both the 5 inch and 6 inch holes. The Abranet mesh discs would only pull dust through the pad holes.

https://www.canadianwoodworking.com/bosch-5-random-orbit-sander-vibration-control

The following online review shows both the 5 inch pad and the 6 inch pad, so you can see the difference in hole patterns. Then again, you probably already have both pads. I assume that you still need to remove the hex bolt and swap pads as needed - that there is not quick change feature.

Bosch Orbital Sander Review
 

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I myself have not used them (Abranet discs), but I suspect they would indeed work as advertised. I could see where the pad would get fowled by the dust & debris coming through the mesh. Not sure if this damages the pad with or without Abranet's supplemental pad protector (also sold at Rockler - but they only sell the 5 inch version).
I've been on Abranet for about 10 years in part because of the superior extraction it delivers. As to the protectors, you really do need to use one with Abranet unless you like the idea of having to replace the hook pad cover of your sander every few months (see above for reason) - it's that simple
 
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