Belt/Disc Sander Recommendation.


Babs
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Want a new 4” x 36” belt/disc sander to replace an old Harbor Freight model.   Looking at the BUCKTOOL BD4801 Bench Belt Sander 4 in. x 36 in Belt with 8 in. Disc Sander; the Shop Fox W1855 4" x 36" Horizontal/Vertical Belt Sander with 6" Disc; the WEN 6502 4 x 36-Inch Belt and 6-Inch Disc Sander with Cast Iron Base.  I am a hobbyist, not quite intermediate level yet.   I looked at Rikon, but reviewers indicate it’s underpowered with a 1/3 hp motor. Also looked at Rockwell but some reviewers had issues with drive belt, and screw for main belt coming loose rendering it useless.     Appreciate recommendations. 

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I have no direct experience with any of the listed units, but would prefer the Wen or Shopfox format, as the footprint is slightly more compact. If space is not an issue, I might suggest looking at a separate, larger disk sander. The 6" disk is too small for effective stock removal, as it clogs quickly.

I see that there are multiple other brands with the same format, often with better pricing. Are there particular features found in the units you listed, that you feel important to your workflow?

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Also no direct experience and by the lack of responses this may not be rare.  I will say that although I have larger and more powerful sanding solutions I have held on to my cast iron Craftsman 4x36+6.  The motors on these machines are small but when used within their capacity they can do a fine job. 

The cast iron C-man weighs in at nearly 60 pounds so it certainly is solid in use.  This does make it fairly stationary though.  I found a happy medium with it on a flip top at one point.

555869188_fliptop-2009sanderview.thumb.jpg.28a9ee949d5b70b35a8a1794d601e74e.jpg

It has also lived on a fixed stand with a larger shop built table for the belt in the vertical position.  This is my plan for it in the new shop . . . eventually; it's on the list ;-)

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On 1/1/2022 at 12:49 AM, wtnhighlander said:

I have no direct experience with any of the listed units, but would prefer the Wen or Shopfox format, as the footprint is slightly more compact. If space is not an issue, I might suggest looking at a separate, larger disk sander. The 6" disk is too small for effective stock removal, as it clogs quickly.

I see that there are multiple other brands with the same format, often with better pricing. Are there particular features found in the units you listed, that you feel important to your workflow?

These brands seem to have the least number of issues based on reviews and I want something compact.  I want to maximize the space in my shop so planned to repurpose a mobile shop table on which to mount both my spindle sander and belt/disc sander.  As a hobbyist I think the 6 inch is sufficient, although the Bucktool model is an 8 inch disc and ¾ hp which I thought might be better.  The other two are ½ hp.  Have no experience with any of these brands.  I have a lot of Dewalt tools, a Grizzly bandsaw and drill press (not likely to buy Grizzly again), a 1950’s Craftsman jointer and Sawstop tablesaw.  What size/brand of belt/disc sander do you have?

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On 1/1/2022 at 9:36 AM, gee-dub said:

Also no direct experience and by the lack of responses this may not be rare.  I will say that although I have larger and more powerful sanding solutions I have held on to my cast iron Craftsman 4x36+6.  The motors on these machines are small but when used within their capacity they can do a fine job. 

The cast iron C-man weighs in at nearly 60 pounds so it certainly is solid in use.  This does make it fairly stationary though.  I found a happy medium with it on a flip top at one point.

555869188_fliptop-2009sanderview.thumb.jpg.28a9ee949d5b70b35a8a1794d601e74e.jpg

It has also lived on a fixed stand with a larger shop built table for the belt in the vertical position.  This is my plan for it in the new shop . . . eventually; it's on the list ;-)

I have a 1950's Craftsman jointer I inherited from my father.  Haven't yet mastered the art of face jointing.  Edge jointing is easier.  Wish tools were still made with the quality of materials and workmanship as they once were.  Your Craftsman sander looks like a solid machine.  

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On 1/1/2022 at 7:58 AM, Babs said:

I have a 1950's Craftsman jointer I inherited from my father.  Haven't yet mastered the art of face jointing.  Edge jointing is easier.  Wish tools were still made with the quality of materials and workmanship as they once were.  Your Craftsman sander looks like a solid machine.  

They are, they just kept pace with inflation as cheaper options were added to the market. Even a basic benchtop drill press from that era easily cost half a months salary.

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11 hours ago, Babs said:

What size/brand of belt/disc sander do you have?

I have  a Craftsman belt/disk combo. The belt is pretty useful, but the 6" disk is just a little too small to do well at what you want a disk sander to do. I keep the table on the belt position and use it vertically. Switching belts works better than using the disk.

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On 1/1/2022 at 7:18 PM, wtnhighlander said:

I have  a Craftsman belt/disk combo. The belt is pretty useful, but the 6" disk is just a little too small to do well at what you want a disk sander to do.

I probably should have mentioned that I took the 6" disc off of my unit for the same reason.

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