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To Rebuild Or Not To Rebuild #1: A Totaled Challenge

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Blog entry by boxcarmarty posted 02-20-2012 06:41 PM 1695 reads 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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Here is a challenge most of us face at one time or another. I have a Craftsman bench top sander that gets a lot of use in my shop. Well, it did until here recently when it met the concrete. Yep, I didn’t have it fastened down in order to keep it portable on my work bench. By the time I realized that it was on the edge, it was too late. I wasn’t about to try to catch a running power tool, so all I could do is step back and watch it plunge to its death.

Ok, maybe it’s not completely dead. At this time I have it on life support, trying to decide whether or not to pull the plug.

It has been determined that the damage is a broken drive belt, a bent shaft that turns the belt and the disc, and a broken sanding disc plate that took the impact when it feel. Anyone that has delt with sears here lately knows its getting harder and harder to get repair parts. Luckily, the belt and shaft is still available. The disc plate and table however is not.

I have a spare 8 inch disc and table that I had picked up a while back that could be easily retrofitted to the sander. (Easy for me anyway because my brother runs a machine shop)

Now the question remains. Is it worth fixing? The cost of repair, with shipping, is $45. The cost of a new 6 inch belt sander to replace it with is $200 at HF and Menards. Having a new 6 inch would sure be nice, but,,,,, I’m not sure I want to dig that deep at this time. So I have to ask myself, If I was to run across another good used 4 inch sander today, would I buy it for $45? My answer would have to be yes. So, with that said, maybe it is worth the repairs until a bigger one comes along???

What’s your opinion???

-- My mind is like lighting, one brilliant flash, then its gone.....



15 comments so far

View AAWW2005's profile

AAWW2005

100 posts in 1638 days


#1 posted 02-20-2012 08:36 PM

I use the Ryobi 4”x36” table top and it’s heavy enough to stay in place, the rubber feet on it help too. My problem is that I use it so much I burn through the motor in about a year. Harbor Frieght has one mounted on a stand, I’m thinking about getting one because it’s industiral strength.

-- "Your Design or Mine!"

View DIYaholic's profile

DIYaholic

13767 posts in 1363 days


#2 posted 02-20-2012 08:39 PM

Size Matters!!! Lol.

It’s your own fault, You asked. ;-P

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procratination a bad thing?

View DIYaholic's profile

DIYaholic

13767 posts in 1363 days


#3 posted 02-20-2012 08:43 PM

I’d fix it!

Because fixing it serves two of my character traits:
1) I like the challenge & judging by the title of your blog, so do you.
2) My pockets aren’t deep, plus they have holes in them. All right, I”M CHEAP!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procratination a bad thing?

View boxcarmarty's profile

boxcarmarty

9424 posts in 1048 days


#4 posted 02-20-2012 09:30 PM

@AAWW2005 – That’s the 6 inch for $199.99. I also looked at the 6 inch Masterforce at Menards for the same price. The Masterforce looks like a better quality.

-- My mind is like lighting, one brilliant flash, then its gone.....

View boxcarmarty's profile

boxcarmarty

9424 posts in 1048 days


#5 posted 02-20-2012 09:33 PM

Randy I have a good used Craftsman sander I’ll sell you for $179.95 :)

-- My mind is like lighting, one brilliant flash, then its gone.....

View sras's profile

sras

3873 posts in 1817 days


#6 posted 02-20-2012 09:54 PM

Fix it!

At least I would. I look at it this way, I’ve got $200 in my pocket, for $45 I can have a repaired sander and $155 in my pocket. A new one means I have a sander (and probably not one as heavy duty) and an empty pocket.

Does the motor still run smoothly?

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View Dave's profile

Dave

11184 posts in 1528 days


#7 posted 02-20-2012 10:22 PM

I vote repair it till you let the smoke out of it. You know all electronic devices run off of smoke. When you let the smoke out of it you will have a hard time putting it back in;)

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are." http://chiselandforge.com

View boxcarmarty's profile

boxcarmarty

9424 posts in 1048 days


#8 posted 02-20-2012 10:49 PM

@sras – The motor and bearings still runs smooth. That is why I’m even considering fixing it. It has been a good sander and if it will give me a couple of more years, then that would give me the opportunity to shop for an upgrade.

@ WudnHevn – I understand what you’re saying about biting the bullet and moving on. I looked at a couple of different models and think the Masterforce would be a good sander to have. There were alot of things, including motor and bearings, taken into account. That’s what makes it a tough decision.

-- My mind is like lighting, one brilliant flash, then its gone.....

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112313 posts in 2265 days


#9 posted 02-20-2012 10:57 PM

I agree with Jonathan, I think the parts may cost more than the sanders worth. I have seen sanders like this on craigslist for $25-$50 so you can’t compair your repair cost to a new sander because it’s not new now and it won’t be if you repair it. It’s up to you what you do but I would steer clear of a craftsman anything.Spending a little more still doesn’t guarantee a long lasting tool because more commercial machines are in the $650 on up but at least a new lower end sanding has a guarantee
http://www.grizzly.com/products/Combo-Sander-4-x-36-Belt-6-Disc/G0547

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Roger's profile

Roger

14857 posts in 1492 days


#10 posted 02-21-2012 12:05 AM

maybe searsparts.com may be the answer, or, like others have said, time fer a new one. HF has some decent ones not too expensive, or, old faithful, Craigs List. I’d mount the next one to a board that you can clamp to your bench when you get it back to life. sorry to hear that. it had to be ruff to watch that plunge

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Kentuk55@bellsouth.net

View Roger's profile

Roger

14857 posts in 1492 days


#11 posted 02-21-2012 12:09 AM

View Martyroc's profile

Martyroc

2708 posts in 993 days


#12 posted 02-21-2012 12:34 AM

If you could find a used on in the $50-$75 range I would buy it, however I would still fix that one, mainly because I am always up for the challenge, and also the satisfaction of bringing it back from the dead. That might be why I have 2 & 3 of almost all my tools. Most of the tools I have repaired I have passed on to people that are just getting into woodworking, and I like to make sure it’s not a phase for them, sometimes I am right, only wrong once. To me it wouldn’t matter the repair cost if I knew I was going to give it to someone to get started, and then by a new one for myself, hey maybe that’s why my wife says we have no money?

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View hhhopks's profile

hhhopks

564 posts in 1065 days


#13 posted 02-21-2012 01:10 AM

I would hunt down a junker and steal parts from it.
Gook luck.

-- I'll be a woodworker when I grow up. HHHOPKS

View boxcarmarty's profile

boxcarmarty

9424 posts in 1048 days


#14 posted 02-21-2012 02:05 AM

Thanks a1Jim and Roger for the links. If I buy a new one I’ll go with a 6 inch instead of a 4.

@Martyroc – Good point. I’ll probably go ahead and make the repairs and continue to use this one while I shop for a new 6 inch. I can then pass this one on to my son.

-- My mind is like lighting, one brilliant flash, then its gone.....

View William's profile

William

9149 posts in 1530 days


#15 posted 02-21-2012 03:44 AM

I vote to buy a Ridgid oscillating belt/spindle sander combo.
I know it’s a different style sander, but since I got mine a year or two ago, it’s the only stationary sander I use anymore.

If you insist on the style sander as this one, I say fix it if it’s been a good one. All the sanders I’ve looked at in that style always have things I don’t like about them. Most of them, the belt table flexes too much. I just don’t have a lot of confidence in something like that if I can move it too easily with my hands in a way that it shouldn’t move.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

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