|Review by richgreer||posted 01-03-2010 11:22 PM||11562 views||7 times favorited||14 comments|
I wanted an oscillating spindle sander but I was not willing to give up any floor space to accommodate one. I considered some bench top options but I felt the work surface on most of them was too small. I found the ideal answer with the Porter-Cable PC121 sander and a special insert plate for my router table from Woodpecker.
Now I can lift my router out of the router table and set the sander in. I then have the entire router table as a work surface for my sander and I am not taking up any additional floor space – just a little additional shelf space for storage when not in use.
The PC-121 is sold as a handheld portable oscillating spindle sander. When you attach the insert plate to the sander you have not given up that functionality. You could still use it as a portable sander without changing back to the original plate.
An interesting accessory is an edge guide. In order to use the edge guide with the sander you would have to switch back to the original plate. There are only 6 screws and it is easy to switch.
The insert made by woodpecker is aluminum and very well made. It is also, in my opinion, a little expensive at around $100. In retrospect, I wish I had made my own insert out of wood. It would not be hard to do and it would save a lot of money.
The PC 121 sander is a solid piece of equipment that runs smoothly with adequate power. My only complaint of substance is the lack of a spindle lock or a place to put a wrench to the shaft when replacing the paper or the drum. To replace the paper you need to loosen a bolt at the end of the spindle. To replace the drum you need to remove the bolt. If the bolt is too tight it is very hard to loosen because the entire shaft turns. I had to grasp the shaft with a set of vice grips around a piece of rubber. It worked, but it is very inconvenient.
The PC 121 comes with only a 2 inch drum. A package with the .5, 1 and 1.5 inch drums is available for an additional cost. Anyone who owns this sander will want these additional drums. In my opinion, they should be included with the sander.
The dust collection system that comes with the sander does not work when using the sander in the router table. I use my router fence with its dust collection system. That takes virtually all of the dust away nicely.
This really is an ideal set up for someone who wants a stationary oscillating spindle sander and does not want to give up floor space. I just wish it was sold with all 4 drums and I wish it had a spindle lock. That’s why I give it 4 stars.
-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.