Whether this is your first time purchasing a spindle sander or you want a replacement of the one you currently have, we will focus on the review and comparison of two leading models.
Oscillating spindle sanders have been on the market for quite some time, but they came as a late addition. Of course, once you purchase one, there is no way you can consider functioning without one in your work room. The spindle sander’s specific advantage is in its ability to sand curves and contours which would be very difficult when using hand or orbital sanding.
Here are the two models we mainly recommend:
Dimensions: 24 x 21 x 20 inches
Weight: 53.8 pounds
Tilting Table: Yes
Dimensions: 24 x 21 x 20 inches / 18.2 x 17 x 20.8 inches
Weight: 82 pounds
Tilting Table: No
The two are equally popular choices, but Powertec OS-1000 is at the lower price range with the Jet Bos-5 being slightly higher in price.
To begin with, our aim is to know whether the machine functions as it is supposed to. Both models come with spindle size variation, are strongly built and contain non-skid rubber feet to avoid movement during use. They can also be permanently fixed on the table.
The Powertech model has spindle which is square to the table, its sanding sleeve is completely center, and the 18 inch top is favorably sized for all projects except very large ones. It is seamlessly flat and since it is round, your work gets an all-round support. Changing the sanding sleeves takes a very short time of around thirty seconds. When changing to a different size, you need to change the table insert, pick a sleeve, a drum and a drum washer then tighten with the spindle knob. This is a very easy feature of the Powertech model considering many machines which cost more need the use of a wrench
The jet model on the other hand does not appear to have the same actuality of the spindles relative to the base, but even though it is not completely at the center, it is satisfactory. While it may need some shimming, it has faultless performance and during use there is no movement or vibration. Changing of spindles is quite simple but you have to use two wrenches so is not as easy and fast as the Powertech model is. Many users also reported that there is inadequate storage for all the wrenches/spindles.
The Powertech wins in design.
This is clearly a crucial safety issue. Sanding dust can raise a dangerous health hazard when the sander is not appropriately designed for removal before ending up in your lungs. It is highly recommended to use a dust collector and both models contain a dust port.
On the Powertech model, the dust port fits very well and all the dust is instantly pulled down via the table insert.
On the Jet model, users have stated of some dissatisfaction coming from the dust collection system since there is no gap when using the right insert and thus there is no manner in which the dust gets underneath the table.
This is another win for the Powertech.
One more important safety feature is whether the machine is going to run very loudly to an extent that you will require ear protection when in the workshop using it. Fortunately, both models do not need one as they are not loud. Their motors run smoothly and quietly at a volume which is similar to sewing machine operating at a low speed.
This is where the biggest differences lie. The Powertech model does not contain a tilting table which contributes to its low price. Be aware that the cost is low due to the fact that it does not adjust for angles. This will not be the appropriate model for you if your projects need a tilting table.
The Jet model though contains a tilting table. It is a huge, iron-casted table which adjusts easily to offer accommodation for all bevel sanding objects. This is disputably this model’s star feature and earns a point for the Jet model.
The Powertech model weighs around fifty pounds and can be lifted up easily enough when holding the cast iron top. The Jet model is greatly heavier weighing about eighty pounds and quite difficult to pick up for tabletop use. Its weight makes it strong enough for it not to pose a danger of shifting during use.
Therefore, Powertech gets a point for being easier to move and compact and the Jet gets a point for being steady and its lack of movement and vibration.
Both models come with spindles variation. The Powertech model comes with spindles ranging from half inch to three inches while the Jet model comes with spindles ranging from quarter inch to two inches. Most users recommend the three inch spindle as an additional accessory, but it is an expensive addition.
The Powertech model gets a point in this category due to the inclusion of the three inch spindle.
- Nice design, storage, and simple spindle change
- Brilliant dust pick-up
- Silent operation
- Includes a three inch spindle
- Silent operation
- Steady, minimum vibration
- Contains tilting table
It seems that the Powertech OS1000 model emerges as the best spindle sander in this comparison as it is a great product and outstanding value for its lower price. Though an important factor which should not be overlooked is the titling table feature which is unfortunately missing in this product. Eventually your choice of product zeroes down to what is factor is more important to you and your work projects. If you prefer Powertech’s addition of the three inch spindle but lacking a tilting table, or Jet’s outstanding tilting table but an expensive addition of a three inch spindle.
How to Use a Spindle Sander
A spindle sander is a machine which has a tube shaped sanding sleeve on a rotating, oscillating spindle. It is used to smooth curved areas, clean up cuts and sand out saw marks left by band saws. An oscillating spindle sander is time saving as it quickly sands out curved areas which could take a lot of time to sand by hand. This is much easier to use and accurate than a drum sander fixed on a drill. The existence of various sleeves offers sanding access to tiny, tight curves and also big, flowing patterns.
In the scenario where there is a malfunction or a breakdown, grounding offers the path of resistance for electric current and minimizes risk of electric shock. This tool contains an electric cord which has an equipment grounding conductor and a grounding plug. The plug ought to be plugged into a matching outlet which is accurately installed and grounded appropriately with all local codes and regulations.
Never modify the plug provided and in a scenario where it will not fit into the outlet, an electrician should install the proper outlet.
Inappropriate connection of the equipment grounding conductor can lead to an electric shock. The conductor that has the green insulation is the equipment grounding conductor. When replacement or repair of the electric cord is needed, you should not connect the equipment grounding conductor to a live terminal.
Always check with a qualified electrician or personnel when you do not fully understand the grounding instructions, or when unsure if the tool is appropriately grounded.
Gently unpack the tool together with its parts and compare against the list that will be provided. Do not dispose the packaging until the spindle sander is fully assembled. A safety precaution is to ensure the switch is off and the plug is removed from the power source outlet before embarking on any adjustments. This will prevent injury from accidental starting.
This machine needs some assembly and for safety purposes first completely assemble the spindle sander then plug it in.
A two – half inch dust port is situated at the back of the spindle sander. This dust port can be connected to a dust collection system which will not be provided.
Mounting the spindle sander
When mounting the machine in a fixed location, secure the base to a firm benchtop. If the sander is to be used for moveable applications, secure the sander to a mounting board permanently. Use clamps to grip the mounting board to your desired supporting surface. Use the four holes situated in the base as a template. If using machine bolts ensure that they are adequately long to pass through the base and the benchtop. If using lag bolts, ensure that they are adequately long to pass through the bolts and adequately far into the benchtop to grip securely.
Sanding sleeve selection
Choose and install a sanding sleeve which is near in size to the workpiece which you will be sanding and then choose the matching throat plate.
Throat plate selection
A warning towards this is that failure to use the appropriate throat with its matching sanding sleeve will lead to pinched fingers or the workpiece will be pulled down in between the throat plate and the sanding sleeve.
Installing a sanding sleeve
Position the lower spindle washer over the spindle that has the fin side facing down. Choose a sanding sleeve for the planned job. Choose the corresponding rubber sanding drum. Choose the throat plate which offers the least clearance between the opening in the throat plate and the sanding sleeve. Position the throat plate over the spindle and mount it into the opening in the table. Glide the sanding sleeve over the sanding drum. Position the upper spindle washer over the spindle. Position the hex nut on the spindle. Strengthen the hex nut adequately to enlarge the rubber sanding drum against the sanding sleeve. Ensure you do not overtighten it.
So as to turn the sander on, first insert the safety key inside the switch, then pull the switch up to the ‘on’ position. Pull the switch down to the ‘off’ position so as to turn it off. When the safety key is removed the switch cannot operate. It also cannot be restarted without first inserting the safety key.
A safety precaution is to ensure you do not sand metal with sander as this will result in sparks which will bring up wood and dust particles on the sander.
The spindle turns in a counterclockwise direction. Ensure the hex nut which is at the top of the spindle is fixed firmly. Turn ON the sander and allow the motor to gain full speed. Direct the workpiece from left to right. If you direct in the opposite direction, the rotation forces will throw the workpiece away from the sanding sleeve.
Before performing maintenance or adjusting the spindle sander, always ensure to turn it off and unplug from the electric outlet.
In terms of lubrication, ball bearings are packed while greased at the factory thus need no further lubrication. To make sure there is smooth operation, use a spray lubricant on the moving table parts.
Examine the parts to check for any missing, damaged or worn parts before each use. Ensure moving parts are properly aligned, and check for any broken, jammed, or improperly mounted moving parts. If by any chance the conditions mentioned exist, do not operate the sander until the parts re replaced or the machine is fully repaired.
Regularly vacuum or blow dust away from all the parts. Occasionally detach the lower washer and the throat plate to remove the dust that accumulates in the throat plate area.
With time, if the sander’s performance reduces or fails to work, you may be required to replace the carbon brushes through detaching the brush holder. This process should strictly be handled by a qualified technician. You can try to clean the carbon brush tips using an ink eraser when the carbon brushes are not worn down.