1/2 sheet sander recommendations

I am looking to buy a 1/2 sheet sander for general woodworking use. I am looking on Ebay, and I see some Craftsmen and Milwaukee..What are some of the better 1/2 sheet sanders old and new? I dont mind used, but if I have to, I will buy new. Is Porter Cable better than Bosch, Milwaukee? etc.? There are quite a few Craftsmen out there. Thanks Robert
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I started at a cabinet shop about 5 months ago. They have the porter cable 1/2 sheet sander, exactly as I remember them in school some 22 years ago. At first I thought the shop was too cheap to buy a good sander till I gave it a go. I feel they are just as good as the newer random orbital sanders popular today. I've found they leave less swirl marks than the RO do with identical paper. And you can use regular paper with them - never been fond of the round hook and loop stuff. It's may personal belief that the paper also last longer on the 1/2 sheet sander. I get the impression that the new RO are much more aggresive and therefore ware out the paper much faster. I find I have to change the paper on the RO every few doors. But with the PC I can sand 10 doors or more and the paper still seems to be cutting well. If I need to buy another sander I'm gonna buy the PC 1/2 sheet sander, works very well and are priced well.

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Hi Robert, We have a couple of RO sanders but on Leon's advice for a finishing sander I bought a PC Speedbloc 1/4 sheet sander and use PSA paper. It's great. Now if it only had dust pick up.../ JG
Robert Salz wrote:

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PC makes a sander that looks like the Speedbloc but with slightly larger motor and a dust pickup. Would that be a similar performer?
Bob

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No. Only a Speedbloc is a Speedbloc. If you are talking about the grey colored one, it is basically entry level. I have used both and the Speedbloc runs circles around the other one. The Speedbloc will set you back about $85.00 new. The design has been around for ever, so to speak and continues to be one of the best.
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Leon wrote:

That's it in a nutshell. I recently sent mine in for re-cording and a new eccentric bearing after a quarter century of use.
The repair shop had to order the bearing; and while I was waiting to get the sander back I wore out /two/ cheapie (~$30 ea) sanders from the BORG.
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto, Iowa USA
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I rebuilt the bad assembly on mine this spring, The clamps broke and the spring and clamp went flying. I never use any thing but PSA but that break threw every thing out of balance. Not too bad for 15 years of work. The new pad assembly made the sander quiet and it runs like new. The new pad assembly included the bearing.
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and
Man, I am glad I asked! Thanks for clarifying, Leon.
Bob
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wrote:

I use a Porter Cable...very pleased. Get one with a dust collector if you can.
Whatever you buy, try to hear it before you buy. Some are very noisy...but not much of a problem as long as you wear ear protection.
Have a nice one...
Trent
Budweiser: Helping ugly people have sex since 1876!
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