ATTENTION: Due to potential
shock hazard we have discontinued felt finishing shoes for the Black &
Decker Mouse and 1/4 Sheet square sander polishers, in
favor of the safer battery powered RYOBI
Corner Cat. If you have felt finishing shoes for the 120 volt Black & Decker
sanders, we will gladly replace them with finishing shoes for the RYOBI
free of change.
The RYOBI Corner
is powerful and dependable and is available at most home improvement
centers. We purchased ours for The Home Depot. It costs under
$30.00, but if you don't have other RYOBI tools that use the 18v battery,
you will need a battery and charger at additional cost.
BEFORE USING A FELT FINISHING SHOE:
If you continue to use
your 120 volt sander, PLEASE use a Ground Fault
Interrupt (GFI) circuit or purchase
a GFI Adaptor that to avoid "Shock Hazards" when using electricity near moisture.
The adaptor is usually
on an extension cord and can be used at any outlet. Adaptors cost
GFI's are designed to give you an extra level of
protection wherever there is a danger of short-circuits occurring,
particularly areas with moisture present: bathrooms, kitchens, laundry
rooms, outdoors and in greenhouses. In essence it is a small circuit
breaker, more sensitive and quicker responding to a short-circuit than your
main circuit breaker box in your house. If a short-circuit occurs they will
not necessarily prevent you from getting a shock but will limit it's
duration to a fraction of second. Whenever using electrical appliances near
water it's wise to insulate yourself from the current by wearing good
quality rubber gloves (thick ones) and rubber based shoes. Don't become a
live wire! ;-)
If you have an outlet that is your primary site for
using an electric sander for felting, then the easiest solution is to
replace your existing outlet with a GFI. If you've done some wiring before
then this is a simple procedure, and the GFI comes with installation
instructions. FOLLOW THEM! ALWAYS make certain that the power to the outlet
is turned OFF before you do any work on it. If you don't feel confident
installing a GFI then find someone to help you or hire a licensed
If you'd like to have a portable setup which you
can use wherever you want then you can make an extension cord with a GFI
outlet on it's end. Please use a good quality extension cord (minimum of 12
gauge wires) and cut off the outlet end, replacing it with a `gang box'
(this is a small, electrically grounded case which holds an outlet) into
which you install a GFI outlet. Again, if you've done a bit of wiring this
is an easy job. Otherwise find someone to assist you if you lack the
experience. A worthwhile project for the additional safety it provides.
1. After you wet the wool initially, place a
screen or layer of meshed fabric over your fiber and then soak up the excess
water by laying a terry cloth towel on top of the screen. Make sure you are
using only slightly damp wool, not very wet. Most feltmakers use very little
water anyway, this is usually not a problem. Just sop up any excess moisture
with a towel. You shouldn't see water around your hand when you press down
on the wool. But the wool shouldn't look dry and fluffy either. You can get
it too dry to make felt. You will know if you have too much water as it will
spray up into the air. Just stop and soak up a bit more water before
continuing to use the felting foot
2. The sander is double insulated, so the water
cannot get easily up to the motor from the flat face of the sander. But it
can spray up into the motor through the air holes on top of the sander if
you have too much water. If your water is spraying up, use a towel to sop up
some of the excess moisture.
3. You can wear rubber soled shoes or stand on a
rubber pad to help protect yourself.
Let someone know what you are doing and where and ask them to check on you
now and again.