Added a new tool to my sanding arsenal

I have wanted a Ridgid oscillating sander for several years. I did not need the sander but wanted it and finally my wants and needs crossed path today and I bought one. I have been making a lot of boxes lately and cutting the tabs off has been a pain. So I thought about the Ridgid sander and went and got one. When I originally thought about one they were $200.00 at Home Depot. Now they are $250.00. I also bought four 4x36 120grit belts and a pack of Frued sanding sleeves. As usual the razor is free but you have to buy the expensive blades. In this case although the razor was not quite free the accessories cost you a good percent of the tool. I guess I should have bought it back when it was $200.00. Anyway I got it now and have already used it. Hopefully it will prove useful and become a part of my work flow.

Sorry there is no picture but I have tried to upload 4 times. I have a very slow internet connection as well as low bandwidth.

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I have been considering one for some time - please follow up with how you like it and pros and cons!

I’ve owned the Ridgid Oscillating Belt/Spindle Sander for years. I primarily use it in Spindle mode as I also have a 12" disc sander. I’ve never been really happy with it as the spindle is too short for much of the work I do (especially for bandsaw boxes). I really want to sell mine and get a Grizzly G1071 - 1 HP Oscillating Spindle Sander that has 9" spindles and a much larger cast iron table. It’s 4x the cost of the Ridgid too.

So far I have been sanding the outside of some 3x5 boxes that are about 1.75" high. The long side sands well but when I turn to sand the short sides the belt grabs the box. If I use the little stop and ease the end grain side up to the belt it is much more controllable and I can then move the end grain side back and forth to get an even sand. At Home Depot where I bought the sander they only had 80 and 120 grip belts. The 120 belts are a bit aggressive for what I am doing on these boxes. I will look at some other sources for some 220 belts. I do not want to take a lot off and do not want to change the shape of my boxes. If I sand too much off one side then if you reverse the lid the box is not even. I want the two sides to be symmetrical so the lid can be reversed and not have too much overhand on one side and not enough on the other. I may also try an old router speed control I have to see if I can get the sanding motor to slow down a little. The grabbiness may be subsided if I get the speed down a little. In the old days before variable speed routers I used the speed control but unfortunately it tends to burn out the motors over time. Plus newer variable speed routers keep the RPM constant with feed back circuits where router speed controls only control voltage and there is no feed back of RPM so if you take too big of a cut the motor will bog down.

So far so good. I do not see this is an be all sanding solution but for these boxes it is working pretty good. I have been using a 5" random orbit sander to sand off my acrylic paint on the top of the vcarved boxes. I will try the Ridgid sander to see if it works better. I have a Dewalt AC Variable Random Orbit sander and recently purchased the 20V XL five inch random orbit sander. The dust collection of the AC Model is pretty good where the battery operated one is almost non existentant. I wanted to cut the cord but the AC model is superior in several ways. The AC version seems to transmit less vibration to my hand. The Battery one spins at a lower RPM even at max rpm and takes longer to sand.

I had a big Grizzly oscillating spindle sander that I sold about 6 months ago. I just never used it and the huge foot print took up a lot of space. I sold it to a pattern maker in Dallas for more than I had paid for it. Every shop produces different things and mine just did not need a spindle sander. Although now if I occasionally need one I have it as well as the oscillating belt sander.

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