Skip to main content

Sanding sensations

Sanding solutions for the small shop encompass everything from small, portable tools to large machines. Accessories such as dust collection and lighting products are also in the mix. Here, companies share information about their new and upcoming products, as well as some tried-and-true methods.

The Final Cur Saw Blade sands and saws at the same time.

{loadposition position10}

Benchmark Abrasives has come out with the Final Cut Saw Blade, which essentially cuts and sands at the same time. Designed for cross cuts and rips on hard and soft materials, the blade will remove kerf marks and produce a smooth finish in one pass, according to the company. The product is sold with or without a saw blade and can be used with a miter saw, table saw or radial arm saw.

Bosch Power Tools and Accessories is set to introduce its new multitool in April, featuring sanding attachments as one of its many accessories. The Multi-X, model MX25E, is a 2.5-amp tool that provides ample power for heavier woodworking applications, according to the company. Weighing only 3.3 lbs., it is light and compact for reaching into corners and other tight spaces. An optional attachment will be offered for dust collection when sanding.

Bosch Multi-X tool.

Sources Benchmark Abrasives, 201 N. Grand St., Suite 10011. Santa Ana, CA 92711. Tel: 877-841-1837. Bosch Power Tools, 1800 W. Central Rd., Mount Prospect, IL 60056. Tel: 224-232-2737. Delta & Porter-Cable, 4825 Highway 45 North, Jackson, TN 38305. Tel: 866-375-6287. Dynabrade Inc., 8989 Sheridan Dr., Clarence, NY 14031. Tel: 800-828-7333. Festool U.S.A., 400 N. Enterprise Blvd., Lebanon, IN 46052. Tel: 888-337-8600. Grizzly Industrial, 1821 Valencia St., Bellingham, WA 98229. Tel: 800-523-4777. Laguna Tools, 17101 Murphy Ave., Irvine, CA 92691. Tel: 800-234-1976. Makita U.S.A., 14930 Northam St., La Miranda, CA 90638. Tel: 800-462-5482. Oliver Machinery, 6902 S. 194th St., Kent, WA 98032. Tel: 800-559-5065. Rikon Power Tools, 16 Progress Road, Billerica, MA 01821.Tel: 877-884-5167. Safety Speed Mfg., 13943 Lincoln St. N.E., Ham Lake, MN 55304. Tel: 800-772-2327. SandMan Products, P.O. Box 205, Osceola, IN 46561. Tel: 800-265-2008. Steel City Tool Works, 3656 Enterprise Ave., Hayward, CA 94545. Tel: 888-304-8840. Supermax Tools, 1275 Corporate Center Dr., Eagan, MN 55121. Tel: 888-454-3401.

Bosch also has two palm-grip random orbit sanders, introduced in 2008. Models ROS20VS and ROS10 are built around a sturdy 2.2-amp motor to provide significant power, consistent speed and long life in almost any sanding environment, according to the company. They feature a HookTight disc attachment system that firmly grips standard hook-and-loop sanding discs for extended periods.

The ROS20VSK kit retails for $79 and includes a variable-speed control (7,500 to 12,000 rpm) so users can optimize the sanding speed to match both material and task. The ROS10 retails for $59 and operates at a consistent 12,000 rpm. Both sanders come with a dust canister, vacuum hose adapter and sanding disc.

Delta Machinery has added a new 1-1/2-hp dust collector, model 50-786, in a durable sheet-metal frame design for added stability and maneuverability.

Delta's 1-1/2-hp dust collector, model 50-786.

With a maximum air velocity of 1,200 cfm, the collector features a new one-micron filter bag with 97 percent filtration and containment of fine dust particles, maximizing airflow for a clean shop setting, according to the company. The dust collector comes with two disposable bags, specially designed for convenient "fill and toss" waste disposal. Unlike solid cloth bags, the clear bag allows users to easily monitor dust levels. A canister option is also available and adds five times the filter area compared to disposable and cloth bags.

For added convenience, mobility and performance, the 50-786 features a much sturdier sheet-metal frame design compared to laundry cart designs. Plus, swivel casters and a convenient pull handle allow for easier maneuverability between stations or for storing it out of the way. It sells for $429.

Dynabrade recently introduced the pneumatic Dynorbital Silver Supreme random orbital sander. This robust tool is ideal for flat and horizontal sanding and can be used on wood, metal, composites, solid surface, plastic, fiberglass and various other materials.

The 12,000-rpm sander is available in 3", 3-1/2", 5" and 6" diameter models, each with ergonomic features such as a comfort platform that provides additional wrist support and a rubber overmold that eliminates cold-air transmission to the operator's hands. Other features include a throttle lever, which is recessed into the housing (eliminating pinch points), and a muffler system. The sanders operate at three diameter orbit settings: 3/8" for aggressive material removal; 3/16" for general sanding; and 3/32" for ultra-fine sanding.

Festool will be introducing a new sander in March, the RO 90 DX, featuring a 3-1/2" pad. The most compact sander in Festool's Rotex line, it has the unique ability to convert to a detail orbital sander with a triangular pad. It will sell for $375.

Festool is adding the RO 90 DX to its line of Rotex sanders this spring.

"Festool boasts a wide range of sanders to cover every need with superior dust extraction, low vibration and a great finish," says Festool product manager Rick Bush. "The perfect finish is the result of a sanding system in which all of the parts are designed to work together. Tested under the toughest conditions, Festool sanders provide a long service life. Festool has a sander for every step of the finishing process."

Grizzly Industrial also offers a wide range of sanders and is always updating and launching new models. A few that might be of interest to woodworkers include the 12" Baby Drum Sander and the 12" disc sander with brake.

Grizzly's 12" Baby Drum Sander, model GO459P.

The Baby Drum Sander is capable of sanding stock up to 12" wide and 3-1/2" thick. Sized for bench tops or sturdy tool stands, it features a 1-1/2-hp sanding motor, a variable-speed conveyor motor, 4" aluminum sanding drum that accepts 3"-wide hook-and-loop sandpaper rolls, and a gear table elevation hand wheel, allowing the table to be a moved a very small amount.

"It's kind of hard on drum sanders to move the table .003" or .004", if that is what you're trying to do. But on this it can be done quite easily," says Bill Crofutt, Grizzly quality control manager.

The new disc sander features a 12" cast-iron wheel that accepts pressure-sensitive adhesive sanding discs. It is powered by a 1-hp motor and has a 15-1/2" x 15" cast-iron table that tilts to 45 degrees and includes a two-axis miter gauge support. A brake stops the disc from spinning when power is switched off for added safety.

Laguna Tools has a variety of sanders in a wide price range. One of the more popular existing models is the 25" drum sander that offers a 3-hp sanding drum motor and a variable speed feed rate of 3 to 20 fpm. It can handle stock up to 5" thick and has a two-sanding-drum configuration.

Makita's latest offerings include a 5" random orbit sander, model BO5041K, with a 3-amp motor and an adjustable front handle, and the Finishing Sander, model BO3710, ideal for finish carpentry and renovation. The Finishing Sander delivers up to 11,000 orbits per minute and has through-the-pad dust collection, an internal counterbalance system for less vibration, and an ergonomic rubberized grip and handle designed for better fit and added comfort, according to the company.

Makita's finishing sander

Oliver Machinery's offerings include wide belt, drum and oscillating spindle models.

Its single-head model 5370 wide belt is available in 25" and 37" widths. Both production sanders use 75"-long belts that run along a 4-1/2" diameter rubber contact drum that is fluted to disperse heat and sawdust, a rear steel drum and a top steel drum. In between the contact drum and rear steel drum sits a 2" wide platen that can be adjusted according to the desired sanding operation. Optical sensors are used for tracking and oscillation. The constant oscillation of the sanding belt promotes longer belt life and better sanding results. Each has a digital thickness controller, according to the company.

Oliver also offers a lower-priced option for horizontal sanding with its model 5525 and 5555 double-head drum sanders. They have 25" and 37" sanding capacities, respectively. The front and rear sanding drums oscillate back and forth, thus preventing the sandpaper from loading up and burning the workpiece. The 5525 comes standard with a 10-hp motor while the 5555 has a 15-hp motor.

Oliver's 6910 model spindle sander shines at sanding curved parts, says the company. The spindle shaft is housed in an oil bath gearbox that gives 1-1/2" of vertical spindle oscillation. This oscillation prevents the sanding sleeves from loading up and gives a superior sanding finish. The machine comes with 10 different diameter spindles that are conveniently stored in the machine base. The machine also features cut table corners for ease of operation and a 45-degree table tilt.

Porter-Cable has introduced a new 3.5-amp orbital sander, model 390K, which features a low profile design for better control and finish, according to the company. It features a variable speed dial (7,500 to 12,000 opm), an electronic motor brake and a mechanical brake that reduces free spin and eliminates gouging. An integral dust port accepts 1" and 1-1/2" vacuum hoses.

Porter-Cable's orbital hand-held sander

Rikon Power Tools offers several multipurpose sanding machines, including the 6" x 48" belt/10" disc sander. It features a 3/4-hp motor, solid-steel and cast-iron construction, a belt that tilts to 90 degrees and a 14" x 8" disc table.

SandMan Products offers the Sand Pro Inspection Lights, which will show any scratches, swirl marks and other imperfections before the material is finished, according to the company. Non-glaring flat-beam bulbs illuminate the work and eliminate eye strain. The 12-volt transformer allows the lights to be on all day and keeps heat output to a minimum. The light beam can be finely adjusted, while the unit mounts securely to an adjustable tripod stand.

An inspection light from Sandman Products.

Safety Speed Mfg., formerly known as Safety Speed Cut, has two wide belts in its product offerings. Model 3760 has a working width of 37" and a 60" sanding belt, while model 4375 offers a 75" sanding belt with a 43" width.

Safety Speed Mfg.'s wide belt offerings include 37" and 43" models.

Safety Speed wide belt sanders are easy to operate and maintain and are made from the highest quality components, according to the company.

Steel City's sanding solutions include the 55220-26 dual drum sander, which features a 3-hp motor and a 12" x 25-1/2" sanding capacity for large applications. Its standard equipment includes a 1/6-hp single-phase DC conveyor motor, two sanding drums with 80- and 120-grit sandpaper, and two 4" dust ports.

The company's 6" x 89" oscillating edge sander features a 2-hp motor. It comes with a horizontal fence, backstop fence and miter gauge. An auxiliary end table is included as standard equipment and is designed to be mounted above the motor for rigidity on your radius sanding requirements. A conveniently positioned paddle-type switch increases operator safety and an on-board storage area within the stand gives generous space for accessories, according to the company.

Steel City's model 55220-26 dual drum sander.

Its oscillating spindle sander, model 55200, features a 1-hp motor with push-button switch, three table inserts, 10 quick-change spindles from 1/4" to 4", built-in dust port and an industrial oil bath gearbox with an external oil gauge.

SuperMax Tools offers a variety of drum, brush and wide belt sanders, including the ShopPro 25 drum sander with a 1-1/2-hp motor, capable of sanding stock up to 25" wide and 4" thick. An exclusive take-up fastener keeps the abrasive tight on the sanding drum. A height-adjustment handle enables both radical height changes and minute adjustments for precise sanding thickness control, according to the company.

This article originally appeared in the February 2011 issue.

Related Articles

The 5300 Series is the heaviest machine that Minnesota-based Timesavers Inc. makes, and each machine is custom built to the exact needs of the customer.

Sanding tsunami

While it’s the most effective way to achieve a perfect surface, sanding is also the most challenging to manage


Sanding solutions

This is a big category, and a woodworker often has to wade through a lot of peripheral information before zoning in on an appropriate piece of equipment.


Sanding solutions

Whether it’s the shape, pad, speed, power source or pattern, there’s a lot to keep up with when it comes to hand-held sanding options.

Sandman   primary   photo

Improve Your Sanding Operation in 2022

For more than twenty years, Sand Pro sanding tables and booths have been helping woodworking shops of every size clear the air of fine dust.


Sanding surprises

There’s a lot happening with the tools that we use for finish sanding. These include rotary, orbital, belt and inline sanders, and all of them are seeing significant technological changes. Not least of these is the power source.