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In setting up a woodshop, I always thought I’d end up with the standard Norm setup — a belt/disk sander combo and a separate oscillating spindle sander — but I’ve read that the motors on the lower-end spindle units can stall out when sanding, and I can’t afford the $1,000+ high-end shop sanders.  I read the reviews of this Ridgid oscillating edge belt/spindle sander and I had doubts about the belt sander part, but I figured at worst I’d end up with an affordable oscillating spindle sander.

The unit assembled easily.  The sanders are square to the base at the 90 and 45 degree stops. A hand nut with a left-handed thread holds the spindle sander and the belt sander on — both units oscillate when running.  Once I adjusted it, the tracking of the belt was true. 

In operation I sanded some 3/4 and 12/4 oak. On the smaller stock I used both sanding units, and the performance was great, but you’ll need to hook up a shop vacuum or a dust collection system to keep the unit free of sawdust.

With the larger stock I was sanding down four identical 3/4″ pieces to the same dimensions;  I taped the parts together with double-sided tape to get the 12/4 part. The sander would stall with very firm pressure, but these were pieces with a large contact area on the sander. The sanding job for the larger piece ran about 30 minutes with no problems that a belt cleaner couldn’t take care of.

I hear that it’s hard to find the sanding material.  I found the spindle refills at Home Depot, but I didn’t see the belts there. I did find a 4×24 belt, but the joint feels like a speed bump when sanding. All parts fit neatly on the tool.

The sander sells for $200 at Home Depot.

Oscillating Edge Belt/Spindle Sander [Ridgid]
Street Pricing [Google]

 

5 Responses to Ridgid Oscillating Edge Belt/Spindle Sander

  1. Rick says:

    I’ve got this same sander. I’ve had it for almost 3 years with no issues. I should mentioned that it hasn’t had a huge workload. I use it for small projects. I’ve fount it very useful for squaring up the ends of a pen blank after gluing in a new tube. IMO, the only fault on this machine is the lack of a miter gauge. It has a groove in the table top for one, so why not include it.

  2. russ says:

    I have one and love it and am happy I didn’t get a belt/disc type for a little less. Since I travel I purchased my belts somewhere out of state. Check the Ridgid forum at their website. There are sources listed in some of the threads of where to purchase refills.

  3. Frank Townend says:

    I have one and I like it. Stores under the workbench when not in use, dust collection works like a charm.

  4. Gough says:

    Since I purchased one of these, I haven’t taken my disc/belt sander off the shelf.

  5. fred says:

    This is essentially a small-sized low cost edge sander. Edge sanders carrying the Powermatic, Jet, and Grizzly brands are offered in much larger sizes – but are for the most part impractical for the home shop and too large to bring out onto most job sites.
    The same is true for shop-sized oscillating spindle sanders.
    We often find that the Porter Cable 121 portable spindle sander is handy in our countertop work – and have created a jig to hold it upside down so it can work as stationary tool on the job site. I think that I recall seeing a commercially-made plate (maybe from Woodpeckers ) to hold this sander in a router table.
    We also have a few jigs to hold belt sanders in similar fashion – so that they can do double duty on the jobsite. We have mostly old PC / Rockwell belt sanders – but I recall that Dewalt made a frame to hold their 433 belt sander.

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