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Thread: Benchtop sanders

  1. #1
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    Default Benchtop sanders

    This is a tough one because I don't just need to sand curves, but also straight square edges and bevelled edges, tight curves and big curves, edges that are best done on a disc, others that are better done on a belt.

    So, looking at Grizzly tools. I use sanding drums on my drill press, and that has gotten me by. I'd like to go disc, belt and spindle. Thinking I may go disc/belt first, and keep using the drill press sanding drums. My DP is on it's last legs, so the question also begs whether some drill presses are better than others at taking the pressure of drum sanding.

    http://www.grizzly.com/products/Comb...-Stand/G1014ZX

    Does anybody own this one? Couldn't I get some sanding of curves (like knees and breasthooks) on this one by removing the guard at the end?
    Clinton B. Chase
    Portland, Maine

    http://tinyurl.com/myboats

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Benchtop sanders

    Haven't met that model of Grizzly, but have used a couple quite similar. They are a reasonable first approximation of what you (or I, at least) need.

    But I eventually got tired of the compromises.

    Next choice was a machine that 'looked' good, but - because of the brand - I didn't have high expectations for.



    As it turned out, I still have it, and like it far more than expected.

    It sands flat edges with what is, essentially, the guts of a 4" belt sander laid on its side. It sands inside curves with a variety of spindles. It oscillates. It's held up far better than expected.

    Two drawbacks. First - the spindle is a bit fragile. When an employee managed to capsize the stand rolling it across the shop, the spindle got whacked. And it bent. And it's cheaper to replace the too. than to repair the spindle. It's only about $200 total.

    Second - the motor is a bit wimpy. You can't hog off a bunch of material quickly. A moderate amount... yes, but it will bog down if you lean on it.

    Also - I like an edge sander with a longer platen. So the little sander is now backed up with one like this. --

    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Benchtop sanders

    I'll second the recommendation on the Rigid belt/spindle. I end up using it a lot more than I figured I would, and more than my Porter Cable 4x26" horizontal belt with the vertical disk on the side.

    2=-006.jpg

    2030-bass-010.jpg

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Benchtop sanders

    I've worn one of those flat plate belt sanders out, it took about 6 years of hard use. The bearings and motor failed.

    For the task you are talking about , breasthooks and knees. I'd chase up an inflatable drum sander sized to take a standard sander belt. I had one about 8'' diameter that was really good and because of the inflation can be adjusted for hardness, making a soft edge easier to achieve. It fitted onto a shaft and I set it up hanging outside the end of a bench for better access.

    Similar to but bigger than this .
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
    Grateful Dead

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Benchtop sanders

    Get yourself 2 or three of these, and set 'em up with a range of grits.

    Rattling the teacups.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Benchtop sanders

    Hard to do inside curves on that.
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
    Grateful Dead

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Benchtop sanders

    Maybe you missed the spindle in that first pic.



    Rattling the teacups.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Benchtop sanders

    I did, that would work, it looks as if it was a pretty good bit of machinery, probably out of a pattern shop..
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
    Grateful Dead

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Benchtop sanders

    I bought the Ridgid on the assumption that it was a throw away; on sale at the Orange Store, had a gift card.... Ive been pleasantly surprised with it. The spindle is a little on the wimpy side so requires a lighter touch than a floor model but the oscillating belt is really handy. Diablo makes replacement belts and sleeves in a variety of grits. It fits on a shelf so doesn't occupy valuable floor space.
    I keep telling myself Im going to make a decent 90 degree stop that will fit in the miter gauge slot.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Benchtop sanders

    A guy in my shop made a plywood jig for a 4x24 belt sander that essentially gives him the same setup as that Rigid, minus the spindle. It takes one clamp to set up on his bench, doesn’t modify the belt sander, and hangs on a nail when not in use. It saves precious floor space. You can screw on blocks and fences as needed for angles.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Benchtop sanders

    I bought one of the Ridgid oscillating belt sanders when they first came out. It is used more than any other tool in the shop for sanding smaller projects. Yes, its not a high quality unit but it is much cheaper than anything else and there are no direct competitive tools that I'm aware of. The instructions warn against using pressure on the small spindle end as that is not supported well and will slop around. I added some additional support on the small end and it has allowed greater pressure with no failures for several years.

    Using common 4X24 sanding belts is a boon also. I buy the quantity "Box of belts" from Klingspor. Maybe not as good as the high priced variety but work very well and having several of all grits always on hand is great. I've done veneer for the smallest Shaker boxes down to 1/32" by using an adjustable pressure plate against the flat belt. The dust collection is marginal but if there is a lot of parts to do you can fit a custom dust chute which helps a lot. Like many others, I get called on to make things for charity auctions and gifts for any imaginable occasion and this is the best buy ever for things like that.

    I have a pneumatic horizontal spindle sander which seldom gets used since the Ridgid was bought
    Tom L

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Benchtop sanders

    Hey Clint. I bought both the WEN bench top spindle sander and their belt/disk sander. Inexpensive but they seem well-made. I use them a lot and so far so good.

    Good luck - Gary

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Benchtop sanders

    I have a Harbor Freight 12" vertical disc sander. It was cheap and in some ways is built cheap - some of the knobs have broken, but it is going strong after 7 years and I use it every day I work on my boat.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Benchtop sanders

    I have the little Ryobi combo belt/disc sander. The disc sander is pretty much useless, but I use the belt sander because it is what I have, and I occasionally use a drum sander on my drill press. After reading this thread and some reviews, it's obvious that I need to throw out the Ryobi and buy the Ridgid oscillating sander.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Benchtop sanders

    My father was a patternmaker of the old school. In his shop he had two 20" diameter disc sanders and an oscillating spindle sander with spindles ranging from 1/2" to 3" dia. All these were top grade machines. This was a long time ago and I can still recall their sound and smoothness while running. Back in those days, he would most often scribe his cut line onto the wood then use a sander to ease up to it. This was far more accurate than using any saw.

    Jeff

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Benchtop sanders

    I meant to say, also, that it's good Clint is moving away from drums in the drill press. Those tools vary in their stoutness, but mostly are not engineered to take that sort of sideways force. His drill press will live longer, and stay more accurate.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Benchtop sanders

    Quote Originally Posted by Clinton B Chase View Post
    This is a tough one because I don't just need to sand curves, but also straight square edges and bevelled edges, tight curves and big curves, edges that are best done on a disc, others that are better done on a belt.

    So, looking at Grizzly tools. I use sanding drums on my drill press, and that has gotten me by. I'd like to go disc, belt and spindle. Thinking I may go disc/belt first, and keep using the drill press sanding drums. My DP is on it's last legs, so the question also begs whether some drill presses are better than others at taking the pressure of drum sanding.

    http://www.grizzly.com/products/Comb...-Stand/G1014ZX

    Does anybody own this one? Couldn't I get some sanding of curves (like knees and breasthooks) on this one by removing the guard at the end?
    I have that sander without the stand but bought an earlier version about 25 yrs ago. Everything in the pic looks the about same except for the disc table and the newer version has a larger belt shroud. They added the dust collection port (mine doesn't have one) a couple yrs later and that's the only beef I have with mine. The sanding belt rides on rollers that have bearings on each end and never been replaced but they need lubing every so often. The round part of the belt can be used for curves but holding a part against it isn't that user friendly...your mileage may vary but there is nothing to brace against. I've found an oscillating spindle/drum sander works way better for curves.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Benchtop sanders

    I would go for a dedicated oscillating bobbin sander for the concave curves.Whether you would choose a belt over a disc is mostly a question of the longest workpiece you can expect to use,I find a disc preferable in most circumstances but the disc size limits the size of the piece you can work with.I find that the self-servoing effect of a belt makes it hard to remove a uniform amount of material along the whole piece.Clearly others here are able to manage this situation.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Benchtop sanders

    Quote Originally Posted by John Meachen View Post
    I would go for a dedicated oscillating bobbin sander for the concave curves.Whether you would choose a belt over a disc is mostly a question of the longest workpiece you can expect to use,I find a disc preferable in most circumstances but the disc size limits the size of the piece you can work with.I find that the self-servoing effect of a belt makes it hard to remove a uniform amount of material along the whole piece.Clearly others here are able to manage this situation.
    The Ridgid is both spindle and belt sander and converts in a few seconds.
    Tom L

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Benchtop sanders

    Okay, you guys convinced me I needed a new toy. And even tho I’m totally out of space in my tiny shop on wheels, I got it to fit. (Ugly color tho.)

    0F14A36D-8F1A-4436-B08C-8DD450A74AED.jpg

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Benchtop sanders

    Glad I started this thread cuz I have to decide! I have one spot on the bench available. Coming up I have a few boats to build and will likely need to sand some straight edges (laminated plywood layers, so sanding the glue off and sand flush), sand the curves on breasthooks and knees, and there is always bronze hardware to shape.

    It's a bummer the Ridgid only goes up to 2" on the spindle size. It seems crazy to me more options are not designed with what is essentially the Ridgid but larger and more powerful. This one looks more substantial but very hard to find info.
    https://www.whiteheadindustrial.com/...saAjWUEALw_wcB

    OK found more info...sounds like the above is junk.
    https://www.amazon.com/W1717-3-Horse...ustomerReviews
    Clinton B. Chase
    Portland, Maine

    http://tinyurl.com/myboats

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Benchtop sanders

    The Ridgid actually goes up to a 3” diameter spindle if you count the large end of the belt attachment, which is unobstructed for most of its diameter and should be easy to use that way. It won’t work tho if you have to sand the inside of a closed hole less than 11”.

    B7570667-9748-47E1-BA9F-EAE1C1430AA3.jpg

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Benchtop sanders

    Is that the 15' Craftex bandsaw? I have the same one if it is. I can't tell, is there a riser block? I figured I couldn't go wrong with a bit of extra height for re-saw etc. I can't recall what blade length I need now though.....
    If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
    -Henry David Thoreau-

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Benchtop sanders

    Quote Originally Posted by Sailor View Post
    Is that the 15' Craftex bandsaw? I have the same one if it is. I can't tell, is there a riser block? I figured I couldn't go wrong with a bit of extra height for re-saw etc. I can't recall what blade length I need now though.....
    Are you referring to the green and yellow one in my pic above? If so, it is a Grizzly 15” with a 103” blade.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Benchtop sanders

    +1 on the little Ridgid. I've used the belt aspect extensively, using the corners. I think I've only stuck a spindle on it twice, but mostly I've been using it on bows and flat stock. The motor went out on mine after a year and they replaced it with no questions.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Benchtop sanders

    Quote Originally Posted by ron ll View Post
    The Ridgid actually goes up to a 3” diameter spindle if you count the large end of the belt attachment, which is unobstructed for most of its diameter and should be easy to use that way. It won’t work tho if you have to sand the inside of a closed hole less than 11”.
    Thank you. That will work for me!
    Clinton B. Chase
    Portland, Maine

    http://tinyurl.com/myboats

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Benchtop sanders

    How well does the dust collection port work on this machine? My shop is in the basement so it needs to work well.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Benchtop sanders

    Quote Originally Posted by cathouse willy View Post
    How well does the dust collection port work on this machine? My shop is in the basement so it needs to work well.
    I'd give it an "okay". It still dumps a lot of sanding dust onto the table, but the airborne dust is mostly caught with a vac on the dust port.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Benchtop sanders

    Ditto on that. Mine's usually just connected to a shop vac. I'm planning on making a shroud that I can connect to my 4" dust collector., but haven't gotten that far yet.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Benchtop sanders

    I picked up a Ridgid unit today.
    Clinton B. Chase
    Portland, Maine

    http://tinyurl.com/myboats

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Benchtop sanders

    Nice, I'm still trying to convince myself I reeeeeely need one,no luck so far.

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Benchtop sanders

    It's also worth buying one of those crepe rubber blocks (like an oversized eraser) for cleaning the belt and drums. If you ever have an old worn out pair of shoes with real crepe rubber soles, save them. They make great belt cleaners. Another thing that I like about the Rigid, especially in drum mode, is that it's quiet for a power tool. Though that isn't really very important in the grand scheme of things, it's pleasantly peaceful to use.

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Benchtop sanders

    +2 on the crepe blocks. They really do help the belt last longer. I was dubious, then.....

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Benchtop sanders

    Quote Originally Posted by Todd Bradshaw View Post
    It's also worth buying one of those crepe rubber blocks (like an oversized eraser) for cleaning the belt and drums. If you ever have an old worn out pair of shoes with real crepe rubber soles, save them. They make great belt cleaners. Another thing that I like about the Rigid, especially in drum mode, is that it's quiet for a power tool. Though that isn't really very important in the grand scheme of things, it's pleasantly peaceful to use.
    Crepe soled shoes? You are dating yourself Todd. The crepe blocks are cheap enough to have sitting right by your stationary sanding tools and they really do clean and make the belts last longer.

    Don't trust the adjustable Ridgid table for sanding a block at 90 degrees and it has to be adjusted with a square.
    Tom L

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Benchtop sanders

    Ditto on the 'eraser' cleaning blocks. I keep one by the sander at all times, and use them regularly.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

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