It’s the JET – JSG-96CS: 6’’ x 48’’ Belt / 9’’ Disc Sander w/ Closed Stand, 3/4HP 1Ph, 115V.
It arrived by pallet in two boxes:
Right away the 3/4HP motor and belt seemed bigger than I’d imagined this past year or two (this has been on my wishlist for awhile now). I had even scaled up my mental image, but it was still bigger than I thought:
The closed stand is a very thick sheet metal, and heavier than I expected. It was a fight to get it out of the box, and I even dropped it with a loud bang on its wheels in the garage from a height of about 18”, as I just couldn’t hold on anymore carrying it in there (and I stumbled), but it held up just fine:
And now, my gift to the world of woodworkers. In all of the past year, I’ve been unable to track down a single image of the inside of the cabinet. What was in there? Could you see the floor? Was it closed up? Were there shelves? No one and nothing would tell me. I even searched flickr, review sites, and other search engines beyond my usual Google. I always got this comical result. I’m always amazed I can find 32 angles of a pocket screwdriver, but never more than a 100×200 pixel, grainy image of a $10k unit. It doesn’t make sense. Anyway, here’s the inside:
It’s funny that opening the cabinet was like opening Tut’s tomb for me. The only way to see inside it was to order one, wait 2 months while it was backordered, break open the pallet wrapping, wrest it free of its box, and open it up myself. It has a single shelf a little below the door, and well above the wheels underneath. The shelf is a single, flat sheet of the same thick steel the walls and door are made from, and it is spot-welded in many places around its edges to the side walls. That’s it! Well, it also came with that bent wire inside. That hooks into two holes on the back, about 1’ up from the shelf, and is locked to the back wall with a bolt and washer. This gives you a place to hang the 48” belts, I suppose. Not sure how well they fit in there yet, as I just have the one, which is on the wheels still.
A fun note about the door – there’s a red button below a silver metal panel. Push the button and that metal latch springs open with the force of a mousetrap, unlocking the door, which then swings very smoothly and freely. It shuts quietly against a rubber seal on the left edge, and pushing the metal latch back flush with the door locks it with a click.
Another thing I could not find anywhere was a shot of the wheel system. In fact, I forgot if it even had one. it does:
The wheels are all fixed, rolling forward and backward on mini bolt axles. There’s a rod in front of the back wheels connected to a pedal out the right side (visible in the photo above). Stepping on the pedal turns that rod and presses cams into the rear wheels to lock them in place. Of note, the wheels are hard plastic, so a good shove will still cause the locked wheels to slide on concrete, but this isn’t a machine that receives much in the way of side loads, so I anticipate no problems. That said, because none of the wheels turn, and they all face the same way, there is no turning without some of the wheels sliding a bit. It’s not the end of the world, but it does feel a little clunky. It’s a very strong system, though. There’s nothing flimsy under there.
You can also see in the above photo the bottom of the shelf welded to the walls in spots, and a kind of bulkhead rim inches below that, and above the wheels, helping to shore up and stabilize the walls even further. Again, this is a little tank of a cabinet. I’ll add that the bolts that mount the sander to the top don’t need nuts. There’s an extra plate welded onto the top, thickening it up, and it has about 3/16” of threads in the holes, so the bolts go through the sander straight into threads to lock it down very tightly with no tearout of the threads, even torquing them in with my big Craftsman ratchet.
I got some free pallet wood out of the deal:
I’ve added it to the collection, which I’ll need to process one of these days:
Less than an hour later, It was all assembled in my rapidly shrinking garage:
And here I am, inviting every LumberJock over for a manicure, SIMULTANEOUSLY!
It’s funny, I’m a lot taller next to this thing, or it’s a lot shorter than I expected. It’s still comfortable to use, but I thought it would be about 1’ or more taller. It’s probably for the best, as wherever I shove it, I’m bound to hang things above it on the wall, and from rafters. This garage is getting so small…
Lastly, I’ll mention dust collection. So far it is horrendous. I had my 4” Delta DC hooked up and running as usual, but sawdust was just blowing out of everywhere as I tested it out on little pieces of scrap wood. Here’s the result only about 10 minutes later:
Note how it seemed to go everywhere but into the dust hose:
I actually fled the garage at this point, as the air was thick with dust, and my camera and I were coated in it. I’ll have to see what’s going on. Maybe I didn’t open some port, or close up some hole, or remove some plastic sticker or something. I can’t imagine the dust collection is this bad.
I tried to film me using it, but as happens too often since I found the time-lapse setting on this thing last year, I had it in time-lapse mode, and recorded a Benny Hill movie instead. There are two things to notice, though, which I’ll mention after the video:
1. Note the dust blowing out of everywhere as I sand. Tsk tsk…
2. Note the tracking of the belt on the top wheel. As I sand, it moves one way, when I stop sanding, it moves the other. The tracking is very finicky. Locking down the tracking stuff causes it to track differently, so you really have to fight with it for awhile, loosening, adjusting, tightening, running, panicking as it moves how you didn’t expect, and repeating. I did seem to find a good spot, though. Even though the belt moves left and right here, it did stop in each direction after about 1/8” or so. I’d like to see it not move at all ever, but if that’s all it ever does, it’s fine with me.
I figure this is all a bit like a review, but I’m uncomfortable writing up a real review until I’ve had some time with it, and actually peeled the backing from the one included 9” abrasive disk and used the disk sanding portion of the machine. Maybe I’ll have figured out the dust control by then as well. I will say this without hesitation right now, though: it sure does remove material fast! I pushed the ends of 1×2s and 1.5” dry branches straight into it, and it looked like they were disappearing into a portal. It would eat these at a rate of about 1/8”-3/16” per second! If I need to make a lot of dust quickly, I’m turning to this tool for sure. Well, this tool and a full-face gas mask, until I solve the dust problem.
Until next time, thanks again, mom!
-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator