You can also view my gallery at Designs en Bois.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Ridgid oscillating belt/spindle sander

A few weeks back I invested in the Ridgid EB4424 oscillating belt/spindle sander. I had the web cam on at the time, so I hit record in the event that anyone wanted to see the setup, and get a look at the machine. You can see it on my ustream channel here: . I was in The Wood Whisperer chat room yesterday, and another member was asking what I thought of the tool now that I'm a few weeks in, and we both came to the same conclusion. The only real flaw is that the spindle sleeves and sanding belt that ship with the unit are somewhere in the 80 grit range (I believe they are just marked "coarse"). This is perfect for serious material removal, but not so great for more precision work. It's very easy to sand "past your line" if you linger just a moment too long in one area.

That being said, everything else about the tool is fantastic. Changing from spindle to belt is literally a 15 second process, and changing spindles is even faster (it comes with four sizes 3/4" to 2". I found replacement sanding sleeves in 150 grit for 25 cents each on Dust collection, which is key on any sanding device, is fantastic - as long as you remember to turn on the DC. I forgot once, and pretty quickly kicked up a big cloud of dust. But overall, the tool is highly adjustable, quiet, and performs well. I use it mainly for making router templates, and getting a fair curve with completely square edges is they key to success. But this would also work well for sanding tricky end grain (using the stop, a miter gauge, and the belt sander). I use handplanes as the first line of attack, but for any time those won't work, this tool has become the go-to for plan B.

Also, as a side note I have run into some problems that have slowed my video production down. I had to rebuild my laptop, and somehow when I restored all my video files, I lost all my footage from my most recent project. I have shot some new stuff, but unfortunately there will be a big gap now. I am flying out to Las Vegas next week for AWFS, so I will have time on the plane to get things back on track. I will also be taking video at the show, and will post that when I get back as well.


Michael said...

I am looking at getting one of these down the road. I wanted to see your video you shot but there is no link to your UStream site. Thanks

Mike Lingenfelter said...

I've also been looking at this tool. I've heard a few other people have liked it too. I have project coming up where it might be useful. I'll have to see if I can find a home for it my shop.


Rob Bois said...

Sorry, the link to ustream didn't work for some reason. Here is the URL.

David Harms said...

I have one of these as well, I haven't spent a lot of time with it, but the time I have had with it went complaint free.

pmelchman said...


now that you have had the rigid spindle sander for some time noe, what is your opinion?

Cleveland, Ohio

Rob Bois said...

Patrick, I would say I use the spindle sander maybe once on every project (or every other project) so it's definitely not one of my more frequently used tools. But that's what I like the best about the Ridgid - it's easy to store away and plop on my bench top when I need it, and it was an incredible value. I think it gets the job done just as well as a much bigger and more expensive floor standing model, and for a tool I use only occasionally, I could never justify spending more. I also have a nice set of spokeshaves which are my go-to tool, but when grain gets tough the Ridgid comes out and handles the job admirably.

James said...

I love power tools that allow you to use them for multiple uses instead of buying one for a single purpose.

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