SurfPrep Sander – What you need to get started!
When you’re looking at buying a new tool, there is so much information to sift through! It’s so hard to know exactly what you really need. So today I’m sharing exactly what you need to get started with a SurfPrep Sander.
Dig more into the SurfPrep Sander here!
I have the 3″ x 4″ Electric Ray SurfPrep Sander with Vacuum Capabilities. I LOVE it!
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. I also may earn from other qualifying purchases with other companies or get free product to review and use. All opinions are my own.
If you’re still on the fence, scroll to the bottom and click on the links to my other posts with my honest review, and what happened when I put the SurfPrep sander to the test!
SurfPrep Sanding System
To start out, the sanding system found here is the best way to start out. It’s basically a starter kit that comes with:
- the sander of your choice (I chose 3″ x 4″ Electric Ray Vacuum Compatible).
- a variety pack of foam pads (the 5mm, 10mm and 1/2″ pads in a variety of grits)
- Film Sheets (in a variety of grits)
- a Pad Saver
- and an Interface Pad.
Below is a better explanation of each product in the Sanding System, and then the other accessories I bought.
SurfPrep Electric Ray Sander
This is the sander that I have. They also have an air sander that has to be hooked up to an air compressor. I don’t have a large air compressor, so I chose the Electric Ray, which is just a fancy way of saying that it plugs into your wall just like a regular sander.
I chose the 3″ x 4″ sander with vacuum capability because I love the rectangular shape to get into corners, and I didn’t want anything that was very big.
These are the main reason that I got the SurfPrep sander in the beginning! They are flexible foam pads that allow you to easily sand things with curves and details.
They come in different thicknesses and density. The 1/2″ thick foam pad is more flexible and less dense than the 10mm and the 5mm foam pads.
The 10mm and 5mm foam pads don’t have the flexibility that I’m needing in most of my detail sanding. But if you’re sanding cabinet doors, watch this quick SurfPrep video on how the 10mm foam pads really come in handy!
The film sheets are basically what you’re used to putting on your orbital sander. They have a hook and loop (velcro) back to easily attach them to the sander (same concept as the foam pads).
They come in the regular grit ranges and have a professional, longer lasting grit!
The pad saver should be used under the film sheets to help protect the pad (the red pad on the bottom of the sander) from getting ruined.
I love this thing! Basically it turns your film sheets into a foam pad! I’m not exactly sure what the density is compared to the foam pads, but it’s very similar to the 1/2″ foam pads.
So you can attach the soft (grey) interface pad to the sander, and then attach a film sheet of your choice to the interface pad. Voila! You have a foam pad with your choice of grit!
The other great thing about the interface pad is that you can attach a foam pad to it!
So you can get about twice as much flexibility out of your 1/2″ foam pad!
It’s perfect for when you need more flexibility for sanding around things like turned legs.
Click here to learn what vacuum adapter and accessories are the best for you and your setup.
In addition to the Sanding System, I purchased a 1″-1.25″ Universal Vacuum Hose Reducer and a 4′ Flexible Vacuum Hose.
One end of the flexible vacuum hose easily twists into the sander, while the other twists into the hose reducer.
Then the hose reducer slides snuggly over my orange Ridgid Shop-Vac hose.
Update: Check out my SurfPrep Vacuum POV-8 Review here to learn all about it and if it’s the right investment for you.
They have a variety of hoses and attachments to fit any shop vac or dust collection system too!
I also bought some extra 1/2″ foam pads and more film sheets in the grits that I use the most often.
Remember, you can always purchase more accessories later!
After you try out the different types of abrasives for yourself, you can always go back and purchase more of what you will actually use.
Also, SurfPrep has amazing customer service, so if you have any questions about any of their products, they are quick and happy to help you make the right choices for your needs.
I actually had a couple of extra vacuum parts in my cart, but when I told them what I was about to purchase, they steered me in the right (cheaper) direction that was best for me.
If you are still on the fence about purchasing your own SurfPrep Sander, check out
- my completely honest SurfPrep Electric Sander Review here
- and what happened when we put it to the test here
- Or check out this Budget Friendly SurfPrep Sander Alternative
Where to Buy SurfPrep Sander
I’ve linked to all of the products throughout this post. They all lead directly to SurfPrep’s website where you can buy the SurfPrep Sander and accessories.
Check out this video I made about my SurfPrep Sander.
- Best Sander for Furniture
- The Importance of Sanding Before Painting Furniture
- Best Sander to Remove Paint
- SurfPrep VS Festool Sander Reviews
- Honest SurfPrep 5″ Orbital Sander Review
Follow us on YouTube to get more tips for painting furniture.
Or share your project with us on our Facebook Group and be part of our community. See you there!
I just got a new 3×4 electric ray sander and a 5.0 rigid shop vac but it suck up very much of the dust. The suction from the shop vac is strong but when the hose is attached it doesn’t seem to suck up the dust although the dust doesn’t seem to fly around like with other palm sanders.
So far the sander is great but I feel like I wasted money to get vac compatable parts.
Is there a trick to that part
I don’t think that the shop vac will suck up ALL of the dust the sander creates. I’ve seen claims that it will from other people (not SurfPrep), but my sander hooked up to the shop vac still leaves some dust on the surface. But the huge difference that I’ve seen is that there ISN’t any dust in the air! That is huge to me!
One tip – there are 2 little plugs on the sides of the sander that can come off and will suck up more dust (I believe mostly just the dust in the air).
Best of luck!!
I have decided to buy the Surf Prep 3′-4′ Electric and appreciate all the information you have provided and the discount! Is the 10% discount still available with code RAY10? I’m delighted to have found your blog and you will be hearing more from me (that could be a good or bad thing!!) I turn 70 this month and sanding furniture by hand takes so much time and energy. So, for my birthday, I’m treating myself to a Surf Prep!
Yay!! Yep the RAY10 discount code is still good! Best of luck on your adventures!
I’m also thinking of buying the 3×4 sander and wanted to know what all did you buy with it. Its quite overwhelming ..not sure to grits and what all is needed to get. Please give me an idea of what you bought.
It depends on what you are using the sander for the most.
I use the 1/2 foam pads the most. In fine, very fine and medium. But I like to have some coarse on hand as well.
I like the screen abrasives the best. They yellow sheets are cheaper, but they aren’t as good and they get gunk in them easier. And the green film ones work great for regular sanding. But the screens are the best.
It’s also nice to have some of the 5mm and 10 mm sanding foam on hand. But I don’t use them as much.
Getting the system kit that comes with a variety of the different types of sandpaper is super helpful, so then you know what things you will like the best. Then you can order more of what you will actually use.
Hope that helps!
I am soooo happy to have found your page! You answered ALL of the questions I had and helped to eliminate every bit of anxiety I’ve had for the past 2 years. The second I discovered the SurfPrep sander, I knew I had to have it. Sanding is my most dreaded part of being a furniture artist and honestly, I have been unable to even do it anymore due to health issues. I am going straight from this site and finally placing my order! I truly cannot thank you enough for all of the information and tips that you have so graciously shared. ~ Jen
The information you provided was incredibly helpful and gave me the confidence I needed to order the correct SurfPrep sander. Thank you very much!
This helped so much! Thank you!
Hi, I also have another question….
have you used the dust deputy with your shop vac and SurfPrep?
I haven’t. Sorry!
What size shop vac do I actually need to use? How much suction and what capacity?
The biggest thing to look for when shopping for a shop vac is to make sure it has at least 6 horsepower… I believe that’s what I read from SurfPrep. It needs to be powerful enough to create suction in the sander to pickup the dust. I can’t find the information now to make sure that’s what it was. I don’t believe you have to have a certain capacity.