|Review by Troy||posted 02-27-2010 09:37 PM||5912 views||0 times favorited||14 comments|
The sander I am reviewing is the new oscillating version, 22-44 Plus ODS.
I was able to save a few hundred ordering and shipping through a freight forwarder myself, instead of using a local retailer. I try to help local businesses when I can, but when they don’t want to work with me, it’s difficult. It always irks me when a retailer tells me they don’t have the item in stock, (either out or don’t stock them in general), but that “they can order it for me.” Really?! Wow, neat. Wait… I can order it for me too! There’s this great thing out there called the internet and…oh well, I digress </rant>
So back to the point of this review.
The first image of the piece of walnut is with the oscillator disengaged. The second one is with it engaged. Both were with 80-grit sandpaper. The second image was one light pass after the first.
Besides a slight required adjustment with the conveyor belt tracking (shipped purposely tight), the machine required no other adjustments and as far as I can tell, it’s parallel. This machine is wonderful. The upper drum head assembly sits on a very thick, solid steel upper base. The base of the head assembly has dovetail-type slots on the sides which the upper head assembly glides on. Watching it operate, the thing just looks solid and smooth as possible. The conveyor feed rate is variable also, with a little red light that fluctuates to indicate too much stress.
The base was easy to assemble; took about 15 minutes. The drum head assembly is very heavy, about 250 lbs. A friend of mine came over to help lift it. We put it on a cart about half the height of the base first. Then lifted it the rest of the way easily. 4 bolts on the underside and it was attached to the base in about 2 minutes. The conveyor table attached with 4 allen bolts and went on perfectly without an issue, in about 1 minute.
Before doing this, I built a mobile base for it. Unfortunately, it’s a bit of a weird shape, and there was nothing in town that would work except a kit that uses hardwood. It’s pretty long; about 45 inches. I used purpleheart for the mobile base kit arms all around, at 1.5” sq thick each. Yeah, that’s not a lot of stock for a 45” long arm with 350 lbs on it. The kit said max was 300 lbs for safety. After all is said and done…it works. I can move it. It ain’t pretty, but it works. I will likely order a proper base for it in the future.
Beyond that, the machine is just wonderful. It’s intuitive, solid and accurate. Going from the jointer, to the planer, to this sander makes work flow pleasantly complete. Couldn’t be more pleased with this purchase.
-- Troy Bouffard || Master Sergeant, US Army (Retired) || http://www.birchhillwoodcrafts.com