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Thread: Looking for the best combination of stationary sanders

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Willmar, MN
    Posts
    73

    Looking for the best combination of stationary sanders

    I have been spending countless hours trying to decide what is going to be the optimal combination of stationary sanders for my shop. Right now I have a Rigid belt/spindle combination that I got from the orange borg after I saw the sander test in FWW. It may have gotten very high ratings in the test, but I have to say I have been very disappointed in the performance. I simply can't make the sleeves and belts stay firmly in place regardless of how much I try adjust them. Are these typical problems for this unit or am I just too stupid to figure out how to use this thing even though I have even read the manual! The fact is that due to the continuing problems the Rigid is getting less and less use in my shop as I usually choose to sand everything either manually or with my portable power sanders.

    Anyway, I have come to the point of my shop development that I need to get my stationary sanding in order. Here is my current "shopping list":
    1. Open end drum sander 18/32. I guess a wide belt sander would be nicer but at this point over the reasonable scope for me.
    2. Combo disc and belt sander (e.g. G1014Z or G1276)
    3. Oscillating spindle sander.
    4. Edge sander maybe not needed in addition to the belt sander??

    My main shop activity is making furniture mostly from hardwood. I am hoping that my total stationary sanding solution will cost no more than $2500.

    I would like to hear your expert opinions in this matter. What combination of sanders have you found necessary and properly functional in your shop, and if you are especially happy with any specific brand of a sander type mentioned above, I would like to hear about it.

    Pete
    Last edited by Pete Kurki; 06-22-2008 at 1:02 AM. Reason: &^$^%#%& typos!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    514
    Pete,

    I suggest you move to the top of your list an edge sander, roughly 6"x80" or longer. I have a General International 6"x89" that I like very much. I use it several times daily, for edges of course, but also for faces of boards that will fit. There are many other brands roughly equivalent to mine, and I think most are fine. You can get bigger ones, which I would like to have at times, but the cost quite a bit more, are a lot heavier and take up more space. For a small premium, you can also buy oscillating edge sander. I don't if the oscillating action pays dividends.

    A drum sander is also nice to have, but I'm a little leary of the relatively inexpensive ones with the open design, that permit a doubling of the sanding width (such as the Performax 16-32). I do have to admit that most owners report good results, but some cite frustrations. Have a look at Amazon reviews for those types of machines. Regardless of which type you eventually end up with, open- or closed-end, pay close attention to horsepower. Power really pays dividends with a drum sander. I have Grizzly's 12" baby drum with a 1.5hp motor. Even when sanding a board only 6" wide, I can reduce thickness only slightly with each pass-even with a slow feed speed--or I will trip the breaker. I think most of the 16/32 sanders are 110v and have motors that are about 1.5hp, so if you are sanding a 16" board, it may take many passess with a very slow feed rate. I suppose you can watch the wallpaper dry while you're doing it. Incidentally, while I'm happy with my baby drum, I would not recommend it for a furniture-maker. Neither the capacity or power are sufficient. One machine that you might want to consider is Grizzly's 5hp G1066R 24" drum sander.

    I wouldn't worry about a disk sander at this time. They are nice for squaring ends or truing miters, and for some specialized applications (segmented wood turners like them), but are of limited use in making furniture. Also, I would not consider a disk sander less than 12" in diameter. There is just not enough usable area on smaller ones.

    Cary

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Phoenix AZ Area
    Posts
    1,779
    Here are my thoughts and ramblings. I have a very good belt disc combo machine, 6 by 48 belt with a 12" disk. I never ever use the belt, in fact, I haven't even had a belt on it in years. I only use the disk for jig making and other random things. I don't think I've ever used it on furniture. As I type this, I'm not sure why I still have it in the shop. I am shopping for a floor standng Jet oscillating spindle sander for smoothing bandsawn curves. I really wish I had room for an oscillating edge sander but I don't. In my experience, without oscillation, it's too easy for the wood to burn, so the 6 by 48 belt sander is pretty useless.

    I have a full compliment of hand held sanders, I do essentially all sanding with them.

    I'd ask what you want to sand with a stationary sander. If you do a lot of curves, I'd say get a good oscillating spindle sander.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Waterford, MI
    Posts
    4,673
    I've got your whole list except the edge sander. I use the heck out of the disc on my combo, but not so much the belt only because I'm limited to shorter work. About the most my belt has gotten used for is small projects like boxes for sanding miter keys flush or just doing edges on short pieces. An edge sander would be sweet. My Performax 16-32 isnt perfect but I dont have the space (or $$) for a good wide belt unit. Despite it's quirks it's invaluable for taking off the last little bit of thickness on tearout prone wood, sanding shopmade veneer smooth, thicknessing inlay strips, etc.
    Use the fence Luke

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Kurki View Post
    I have been spending countless hours trying to decide what is going to be the optimal combination of stationary sanders for my shop. Right now I have a Rigid belt/spindle combination that I got from the orange borg after I saw the sander test in FWW. It may have gotten very high ratings in the test, but I have to say I have been very disappointed in the performance. I simply can't make the sleeves and belts stay firmly in place regardless of how much I try adjust them. Are these typical problems for this unit or am I just too stupid to figure out how to use this thing even though I have even read the manual! The fact is that due to the continuing problems the Rigid is getting less and less use in my shop as I usually choose to sand everything either manually or with my portable power sanders.

    Anyway, I have come to the point of my shop development that I need to get my stationary sanding in order. Here is my current "shopping list":
    1. Open end drum sander 18/32. I guess a wide belt sander would be nicer but at this point over the reasonable scope for me.
    2. Combo disc and belt sander (e.g. G1014Z or G1276)
    3. Oscillating spindle sander.
    4. Edge sander maybe not needed in addition to the belt sander??

    My main shop activity is making furniture mostly from hardwood. I am hoping that my total stationary sanding solution will cost no more than $2500.

    I would like to hear your expert opinions in this matter. What combination of sanders have you found necessary and properly functional in your shop, and if you are especially happy with any specific brand of a sander type mentioned above, I would like to hear about it.

    Pete
    Pete,

    I have the Ridgid sander as well. When you say that you are having trouble keeping the sleeves and belts in place are you referring to the tracking? If so, I've had the same problem and it can be frustrating. I now take the tension off the belt when storing it so that I'm not stretching the paper. It is also very much a hit or miss process of getting the tension just right so that the belt stays put. To be honest I haven't really taken the time to master the process since I don't use the sander that much. However, when I do use it and I take the few minutes necessary to get it working right it's a good little sander. It's size certainly limits the possibilities but I don't have the room or the budget for something bigger.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Marietta GA
    Posts
    918

    Ridgid..one mode

    I have the Ridgid. I only use it in sindle mode as I also have a Craftsman portable belt sander. Never had any problems with it. Works great.

    I've never used the belt set up. Thanks for the warning!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    37,396
    I have the G1276 combo sander and just sold my 22-44 Plus drum sander. I also have a Delta BOSS OSS. "My" ideal sander setup for the type of work I do would ideally include an OSS and an edge sander. The combo is nice (and I can recommend the G1276 as a good option), but I've only used the belt outside of one time on the disk...and that was merely because I didn't want to move the machine out onto the floor to get to the belt for a quick, small job. Between an OSS and an edge sander, I'd be set...

    Obviously, my point is "your" choice will be dependent on what your actual usage will be.
    “Never raise your hands to your children, it leaves your groin unprotected.” - Red Buttons

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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Camas, Wa
    Posts
    2,133
    So here is my useless babble. I have teh Ridgid OSS. I use this a lot.I just got a used Grizzly 18/36 drum sander. I have not used it a lot yet but it is pretty handy. I have never had a desire to have an edge sander. I sometimes think a 12" or 20" disc sander would be usefull. I am a hobbiest that works out of my garage.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Porter,TX
    Posts
    917

    Sanders

    I think that if your budget is 2500,then I would purchase a couple of sanders.Like the drum sander(I have the 24" and like it) and purchase the OSS.I think that to expect one sander to do it all is asking for alot. Please post pics of your purchase and your thoughts on your new purchase. Carroll

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Willmar, MN
    Posts
    73
    Hi Carroll, What you suggest, buying several sanders is exactly what my question is all about. I need advice on the best combination of sanders - not on the best combination sander. I am fairly sure at this point I will need a drum sander as you suggest, and unless I choose to try get by with the OSS part of my rigid I will buy a dedicated OSS as well. At this moment also an oscillating edge sander is starting to look like a good option. One nice thing I have is a relatively large shop so that as long as I have the $ I don't need to worry about fitting the machinery in.

    Pete

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Willmar, MN
    Posts
    73
    Thanks all for a great input so far. Based on my typical needs and the new input here I am really starting to think hard about the oscillating edge sander in addition to the drum sander. Looks like I could get a 6x89 OES from General for about $1k, or from Grizzly for $1.25k. Drum sanders at 22x44 size seem to start around $1.3k (Performax, Jet). For about the same money I could get a closed end 24" from Grizzly. Adding shipping these two pieces would take care of my today's budget of $2.5k. I can later get a 12" disc sander from Grizzly for $130, and I could upgrade my OSS to a dedicated floor model $600 if need to be.

    I would still welcome any additional thoughts and input from the fellow Creekers here. I can change my mind very quickly if needed.

    Pete
    Last edited by Pete Kurki; 06-22-2008 at 12:14 PM. Reason: typos again...

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    672
    Hi Pete,
    I have the Griz 1071 OSS, PerforMax ShopPro 25" closed end sander, and the Griz 1140 belt sander. I had a PerforMax 16-32 and upgraded by luck of getting a good trade on the ShopPro. I added the Smart sander amp control and REALLY like the machine. Some reviews have mentioned that it needs more hp, but I have no comparison and am satisfied with its performance. This size of machine and larger is made/distributed by SuperMax and the smaller units are under the Jet consortium.

    I had a 9"disc 6"x48"beltcombo and never used the disc. I got the G1140 for the size increase. I like the machine, but I would get the osscillating version now mostly to reduce "belt burn" and the extra length is nice too.

    The OSS is my first and it is the same machine as the Jet, and appears to be quite similar to the Steel City. By tradition, I imagine the Oliver is a "better" machine but the Griz has worked well for me. Advantages over the BOSS and Ridgid are table size, more spindle sizes and more power if needed.

    So, recommendations would be for a wider closed-end sander. The SC dual belt sander looks interesting but not sure how it would work for me and how I dimension my flat stock. Definetly include the amp control system in you choice.

    Osscilating version of the belt sander. Spend a bit more now and you won't need to consider an upgrade later.

    The G1071 seemed to be the best value and I am a bit spoiled by living within driving distance to a Griz showroom.

    Lots of good choices and with your budget you should be able to come up with a good combo of machies. Good Luck, JCB.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    514

    Maybe we should start spending your money, Pete.

    You said you want to spend at most $2,500, and shop space is not a problem. Here's my shopping list, which totals $2,102 (including shipping, assuming you do not live near a Grizzly showroom and would not have to pay tax):

    Grizzly G1140 6"x80" edge belt sander: $691
    Grizzly G1079R 16" drum sander: $971
    Jet 708404 benchtop OSS plus Jet 709534 3" drum: $440 (Amazon)

    Now let's creep up a little. Instead of the Jet benchtop OSS, pony up another $251 for the Grizzly G1071 floor-standing OSS ($691). Notice that the G1071 includes 10 spindle sizes, 1/4" to 4".

    Alternatively, let your budget creep up to $2,622 to upgrade from Grizzly's 16" drum sander to their "Battle of Hastings" G1066R 5hp 24" drum sander ($1491).

    With either drum sander, consider the $25 upgrade to permit the use of H&L paper. I have that on my baby drum, and like it. Some drum sander owners don't like H&L, however, as they don't think it provides a flat enough finish. It may depend on whether you would want to switch paper often.

    A few points about edge sanders:
    - As well as sanding faces and edges, you can round edges by simply rotating the board up from the table. I often sand all surfaces and round edges, when desired, on my edge sander.
    - Burning is only a problem on end grain, and then only with fine paper or if you press hard. If you use 80 grit for end grain (for rough sanding or squaring only) and do it carefully, you can avoid burning.
    - Going from an edge sander to the same size oscillating edge sander will greatly increase your cost. It will help in sanding end grain, and most or all of these machines include oscillating spindle sander attachments. The smallest spindle size tends to be 1-1/2", however, so you may find you need a separate OSS anyway, for the smaller sizes.

    Cary

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Bloomington, IL
    Posts
    4,110
    My current sanders are:
    Grizzly 1066Z 24" Double Drum closed-end Sander
    Grizzly 1066 Floor spindle sander
    Shopsmith using 12" disc and I also have the 6X48 belt sander attachment on a SS power station.

    they all work very well. The favorite is the OSS though.

    Don't forget paper for these big sanders is pricey. I also have to order them as the 9" long sleves and the H&L 3"X50" paper is not local here.

  15. #15
    In my opinion stationary belt sanders on the market run way too fast. Even the few that have motor that run at 1,700 rpm. The sanders I have owned never got used much because there performance was lacking. I bit the bullet and purchased the Shopsmith belt sander as I own a Mark 5. I am capable of running the belt speed as slow as needed with the variable speed. I now use the sander all the time. Why other manufactures do not offer a variable speed unit is beyond me.


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