I am contemplating buying a spindle sander for some repetitive contour
sanding. Does anyone have recommendations on purchasing one in a price range
of less than $300? I am looking at the Grizzly, Delta and Ridgid.
Thanks for your suggestions
This is the second or third time I recall that someone has posted a link to a
FWW story that, when invoked, comes up with a short summary stating
"membership required" in order to read.
Doesn't do me any good - I'm not a member. Nor, I suspect, are many who read
In the future, I'd appreciate it if anyone posting such a link would at least
let us know we have to be members to read it.
Read a very old FWW article (reprinted in their "Making Machines" book)
on how turn the head of a cheap drillpress upside down, drive the quill
feed shaft with a slow motor and crank and make your own.
Having recently skip-dived such a drill, I'm working on my own right
now. It's a lot better than spending $400 !
Oscillating is a very favororable feature as the paper lasts longer and you
get a surface with fewer sanding marks. IMHO you do not want to cut corners
here. Heavy helps keep the unit in place and a tilt table is helpful. In
my shop the larger 3" diameter spindle is the one that gets the most use. I
have the Jet Mid-Bench top model and am happy it although it is probably a
bit out of your price range. Mine is too tall for a bench top and too
short for the floor. It sets on a surface that is about 20" off the floor
and its table top is about 36" off the floor.
One with an induction motor makes it quiet and a pleasure to use with out
You may find as I have that this tool can do multiple tasks that pop up that
you normally would have used another tool for.
Also very handy to have is a 12" disc sander. Great for mitering short
pieces of wood safely.
A bit on the high side of your budget but a very handy combination would be
Of the brands listed, this one looks like the Jet that I have except the
Grizzly comes with the sand. I would go with this one over the Delta or the
My variety as well. Neat mod I made was to make an insert that will accept
PC guides. Makes pattern sanding a nice option with the smaller spindles.
Only thing I'd change is to get a bit higher rate of oscillation. Other
than that, great sander.
Belt types just never perform as well as a good plane, so that was not a
factor in my decision, but the newer types seem to be headed there.
I have the Ridgid oscillating belt/spindle sander and can give you my
impressions. I have no direct experience with the others so I cannot do a
The Ridgid tool is pretty easy to set up and works fine in my hobbyist
workshop. I use it primarily for edge sanding in the belt sander
configuration. It is quick to change belts or to switch to the spindle mode.
Dust collection is OK with my shop vac hooked up to the exhaust port. It
does a reasonable job for me, but is not a heavy duty tool.
It is reasonably sturdy is quite stable sitting on a workbench. The
construction is pretty solid. The tilting table is convenient when sanding
I recommend getting a tool with the oscillating motion rather than just a
straight rotating spindle (or belt). The oscillation gives smoother results,
closer to that of a random orbit sander, and also spreads out the wear on
the sanding belt/sleeve.
I saw lots of plans to make homemade spindle sander, but I think the
oscillating part is too important to give up, besides I already have
attachments to have 2" diameter drum sander on my drill press.
Sturdiness is key, I believe plus what the maximum diameter of the drum it
I went to Home Depot yesterday to look at the Ridgid. I must say I'm
disappointed that the only place to buy this is from Home Depot, and I also
did not see any supplies for the Ridgid there ( a complaint I had seen on a
review elsewhere) Where do you get you supplies for this sander?
Ridgid is the Home Depot house brand for stationary power tools.
The sleeves are a standard size--Ryobi, Delta, Grizzly, etc 4-1/2"
long sleeves all work fine. The belts are also standard 4x24 belts.
The Ryobi sleeves that Home Depot sells as a set are about as
inexpensive as you're going to get. The brands don't need to match
any more than drill bits have to be the same brand as drills.
If all else fails, Klingspor has both belts and sleeves.
The Wilton is identical to the Grizzly G0538 except for color, but
qualifies for free shipping on amazon and for their discounts. I got
it for about $100 shipped but they've since raised the price to match
the G0538 and then raised the price on both. I have a pretty
extensive review of it on amazon.
I've only ever once wished it had a tilting table. I just cut a piece
of scrap at the appropriate angle and put the stock on that. It's
light enough to carry around easily, but heavy enough that it doesn't
However at the full price of $150 I think you're probably better off
going with the ridgid for another $50. A small oscillating belt would
be nice to have, and you just can't get that on any other machine
AFAIK without forking out for a huge edge sander. But if you can
catch one of amazon's deals and get it for $100-125 then it's a great
I looked at the Wilton, and it seems identical to the Grizzly. And the price
is no longer $100, but $149, identical to the Grizzly. Are these sanders
manufactured by the same company and just rebranded? Where do you get
supplies for your Wilton? Does it have a plastic table?
The other sander I am leaning towards is the Ridgid, because of the high
marks by FWW, convertible belt sander, 3/4" miter slot. It does not take 3"
drums, but I got the impression you had trouble with that size on your
Thanks for your assistance.
The larger the spindle, the faster it will sand and is less likely to gouge.
I find that I use the 3" drum more than all others combined by a ratio of
probably of 5 to 1.
I was not sure about the larger 3" spindle when buying my sander, it's was
an optional accessory, but I am very glad I got it. It comes in handy when
doing jobs other than sanding inside radiuses.
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