Having a Dedicated Sanding Station in the Shop and on the Job-site
A day hardly goes by in the workshop when I don’t need to sand something. Whether it be parts before finishing or fine tuning a piece of trim, I’m always sanding something. A few months ago the nice folks at RIDGID sent me the RIDGID Oscillating Edge/Belt Spindle Sander Model # EB4424 and I’ve been using it like mad ever since.
Long time readers of A Concord Carpenter may remember that Rob reviewed this tool almost 3 years ago but it has been on the market since around 2006. 7 years is an incredibly long time in the tool industry and it speaks volumes to how good this tool really is.
Perfect Workshop Sanding Station
As I said, RIDGID sent this to me but in reality I asked for it. Like you guys I read tool reviews to figure out what will work best for my situation. The main reason I liked the RIDGID over other combination sanders is that it had the belt sander and spindle sander instead of the belt and disk combo. I just don’t have a lot of use for a disk sander but the oscillating spindle sander I use a lot. Another reason I chose this tool is because it has a large work surface but is relatively light and compact.
At only 40 pounds and only a 19″ x 24″ footprint I can move it around my small shop but not have it take up too much space either. I just don’t have the room (nor the cash) for one of the mammoth Jet or Delta oscillating belt sanders. They wouldn’t fit in my shop.
Features I love
Rob mentions darn near all of the features of his review, but I want to highlight some of my favorites.
First it has great on-board storage for all the parts. If you have a truck or tool trailer the front of the table folds down and locks to keep all of the small spindle parts secure.
Second, like I mentioned above it has a big table. Almost 4 square feet is more than any other spindle sander on the market.
Third, it has dust collection. Sanding makes a ton of fine dust but the collection works pretty well on this tool. Any excess is caught on the table and can be swept into the dust ports. And finally, it’s fast. If a guy isn’t careful you can remove too much material. Also it is really fast to switch belts. A flip of a lever reduces the tension and the next grit can be fitted with no additional adjustment.
Additionally, at only $199 this tool is a huge bang for the buck.
On the Job-site
This tool is a great addition on the job-site too. If you have a big tool truck or trailer it would be a great addition to your mobile tool arsenal. It would be easy to unpack it at the site and mount it to your site table.
I’m building a flip-top cart to hold both this sander and my lunchbox planer though so I won’t be taking this out on the job anymore. I really wanted some of its features on future sites so I built a jig around a corded belt sander. I picked another RIDGID because it has variable speed, good dust collection, and has good power. At $99 the price was easy to swallow too.
Sanding Jig Details
This jig is made entirely out of scrap materials. I used a piece of 3/4″ ply for the base, a piece of 5/8″ ply for the table and then a small scrap of 5/8″ ply for the bench cleat. You could use all 3/4″ or all 5/8″ if that’s what you had.
The thicknesses aren’t that important as long as they hold the dowels securely. I used a 4-1/2″ long piece of 1-1/4″ dowel and 7″ of 3/4″ dowel cut into two equal pieces. The dowels basically hold the sander in place on its side so I can edge sand. I use the left part of the table to get some benefit of a spindle sander as long as the radius of the curve isn’t too small. To use the whole width of the belt I hinged the table and use a piece of scrap to elevate the other end. It is by no means a replacement to the oscillating edge/belt spindle sander but it does a good job for space challenged folks like me.
Where to Buy
Both the oscillating sander and corded belt sander can be found at your local Home Depot or online at the links below. RIDGID Oscillating Edge/Belt Spindle Sander Model # EB4424 and RIDGID 3 in. x 18 in. Belt Sander Model # R2740
For the highly observant you can see the oscillating belt/spindle sander show up all the time in our Facebook and website pictures. It sits near the center of Rob’s shop and “photo bombs” new tool images
Rob sees a lot of tools in his shop and if they aren’t high quality or durable, they don’t last long. Just seeing it still in use in his shop after 3 years is about the best endorsement a tool can have.