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Recommend me a sander


Joe Frickin' Friday

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Joe Frickin' Friday

For about ten years now I've been using this POS Harbor Freight belt/disc sander. I bought it when I was tooling up for the Mojo, so I was trying to minimize my investment. Mission accomplished, but yep, you get what you pay for.

 

Last year I got tired of my anemic air compressor and replaced it with a really nice one; in a similar vein, this year I've had it with the sander's crappy belt tracking mechanism, anemic motor, low belt speed and flimsy tables, and so it's finally time to get the deluxe model.

 

So...anyone got any recommendations? I've been eyeballing this JET model: 50% more power, faster belt speed, and good reviews. Anyone have any experience with it, or with something else better?

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This

might interest you. I can check it out for you if you want... it does need a motor. A General or a Rockwell Delta machine are better that a new off shore Jet. You might luck out at a local woodworking or machinery auction. You want something that has decent weight to it to void vibration. A well weighted machine, when secured, means better operation and control.

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Joe Frickin' Friday
i-dCxb5ms-M.jpg

 

Huh - I used to work for that guy. For the record, the kitchen of a KFC restaurant is the greasiest place in the known universe.

 

Powermatic.

 

After browsing their website, this looks like the most comparable model: good power, good belt speed. But the reviews list a couple of horror stories, one as recent as 2012. Moreover, it sells for $1418, compared to $1119 for the Jet unit. I like high-quality power tools, but I don't want to spend an extra $300 if I'm just buying a popular/old name.

 

Generally speaking, is Powermatic's quality truly that much better than JET's?

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Generally speaking, is Powermatic's quality truly that much better than JET's?

 

Powermatic and Jet are coming from the same source off-shore.

JPW Industries.

What is your application... metal, wood? Are you going to bolt the machine to floor? There're different models.

Powermatic is belt driven, castings are a bit heavier. Dust port is in a different location, no mobile base, HP is different.

If you want new you can't go wrong with either machine. Resale is good on both but, better on the Powermatic, only because of the old name. Then, there is used... if you can find'em.

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Joe Frickin' Friday
What is your application... metal, wood? Are you going to bolt the machine to floor?

 

Almost exclusively metal, and plenty of it. I don't plan to bolt it to the floor; it's been useful to occasionally walk/drag my existing sander a foot or two over.

 

Powermatic is belt driven...

 

Given that they have comparable sanding belt surface speeds, is there an advantage to using a v-belt transmission, as opposed to the direct drive that JET apparently uses?

 

 

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russell_bynum

I don't have any suggestions, but I can't wait to see what you come up with. If it doesn't involve fabricating cranes, beefing up the floor in your garage to handle the weight, and/or building a combination dust collection system/noise suppressor, I'm going to be seriously disappointed.

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What is your application... metal, wood? Are you going to bolt the machine to floor?

 

Almost exclusively metal, and plenty of it. I don't plan to bolt it to the floor; it's been useful to occasionally walk/drag my existing sander a foot or two over.

 

Powermatic is belt driven...

 

Given that they have comparable sanding belt surface speeds, is there an advantage to using a v-belt transmission, as opposed to the direct drive that JET apparently uses?

 

 

On Powermatic the motor is in the base and enclosed. Easy access to the motor and its' components. Easy to change motor(not that you'll need to) easy to change V pulleys. You could regulate your speed, if needed. Better castings, better casting metal and a bit heavier. You'd need to get a mobile base if you went this way. Jet, being direct drive doesn't offer the same flexibility for speed variance and the motor would need to be a direct replacement, specific per machine. So, I would say yes, there is an advatage having v-belt vs. direct.

Either machine will perform well and give you many years of service. If you like a machine that is made a little better go with Powermatic.

Then, if you want something European you might look at this...

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Mitch,

 

I also use a belt sander for work but I only need the smaller 4" and exclusively sand/smooth metal pieces with it.

 

I also tried the cheap harbor freight stuff , motor burnt up.

Tried home depot /lowes ryobi , it had the same faith.

 

Both were belt drives. These sanders were designed for wood perhaps and the motor was not sealed. or its enclosure was not sealed.

 

While wood dust can be blown out and way form the motor, metal dust will be pulled in to the motor by magnets and stay there. it kills the bearings and the motor.

 

My last unit is made by porter &cable,

it is direct drive from the motor to the belt sander and has belt drive to the vent or blower fan enclosure.

I am not sure if the motor itself is sealed, but the motor is in an enclosure and seems to be sealed away well. So far it is holding up longer then the rest.

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Joe Frickin' Friday
On Powermatic the motor is in the base and enclosed. Easy access to the motor and its' components. Easy to change motor(not that you'll need to) easy to change V pulleys. You could regulate your speed, if needed. Better castings, better casting metal and a bit heavier.

 

You (and Jake, and John) talked me into it. That, and a review of the instruction manuals for both sanders, which provided some good detail shots of the parts. And a short movie I found demonstrating some of the features of the Powermatic sander.

 

Just placed my order; my new Powermatic sander should arrive 3/7.

 

You'd need to get a mobile base if you went this way.

 

Nonsense. Making one sounds like a great first project for this sander. :grin:

 

Then, if you want something European you might look at this...

 

That is a truly glorious tool... but at $4300, I don't plan on buying one of those unless I win the lottery.

 

I don't have any suggestions, but I can't wait to see what you come up with. If it doesn't involve fabricating cranes, beefing up the floor in your garage to handle the weight, and/or building a combination dust collection system/noise suppressor, I'm going to be seriously disappointed.

 

Sorry to disappoint you, but I'm not expecting any crazy engineering for this project. Shipping weight is about 250 pounds, and it arrives via freight truck - but I should be able to bring it from the garage to the basement piece by piece before final assembly. If things do get interesting, I'll take some pics for ya. :grin:

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russell_bynum

Sorry to disappoint you, but I'm not expecting any crazy engineering for this project. Shipping weight is about 250 pounds, and it arrives via freight truck - but I should be able to bring it from the garage to the basement piece by piece before final assembly. If things do get interesting, I'll take some pics for ya. :grin:

 

Mitch, I am disappoint.

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