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Re: Help Selecting a Spindle Sander

TM Stock
Used a Ridgid for for about 7 years and a Jet bench top for 3 after that - the Ridgid was smoother running, but both lack vertical stroke and cannot work stock much over 3-1/2", plus suffer from alignment issues (though both can be tweaked to 90 degrees with some work). The biggest issues with small spindle sanders are lack of an adequate number of drum sizes, short spindle length, and lack of/gaps in spindle sizes/right sizes. The Jet - besides being hit-or-miss on getting a smooth-running one (I went through three before getting one that was merely adequate) does not come with 1" or 4" spindles, which are some of the more useful sizes for cabinet work, and a 3" spindle is a $75 assessors purchase.

Have the Grizzly GO-1071, for about $300 more than the JBOS-5 with 3" spindle. Smoothh running tool with an oil-bath transmission, lots of spindle reach, and with drums sized 1/4", 3/8", 1/2", 5/8", 3/4", 1", 1-1/2", 2", 3", and 4". Heads and shoulders above any of the smaller machines. Used sanders come up on Craigslist every few months - usually from cabinet shops shutting down - most run about $500-$600, so worth seeing what shows up and what the used tool vendors that can be found in larger cities might have. The additional size and weight of a stationary tool might seem daunting, but mine bet into the same space that the Ridgid and Jet came out of, and the Jet was already too heavy to function well as a 'used on the bench/stored under the bench' tool.

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