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R2601 5 inch orbital sander spins freely and gouges work

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  • R2601 5 inch orbital sander spins freely and gouges work

    I have an old porter cable 5 hole 5" orbital sander that after many years of reliable use needed a pad, motor brushes and pad brake which is nothing more than a large silicone o-ring. I used the Porter Cable to finish sand the bottom of several sailboats and at least a couple hundred square feet of hardwood. I ordered the PC parts and purchased the Ridgid 5" as a replacement primary sander. Unfortunately, I have regretted the purchase ever since. After a month of moderate use, the Ridgid pad started spinning freely and the bearing failed. After 3.5 months in the service center, the bearing was finally replaced only after I escalated to Ridgid Corporate but the pad and brake skirt were not and the pad still spun freely. Thank God for Porter Cable! My trusty back-up pulled me out of a jam and is still working great.

    My analysis: The smooth nylon side of the sanding pad and the brake skirt serve to slow pad rotation with an appropriate amount of friction between the two. Unfortunately, they both wear away too quickly and the wear accelerates as spin increases. Abrasive from the sandpaper sucked in between the two likely exacerbate the problem. There is no usable friction adjustment possible and both the brake skirt and pad need replacement only to prematurely fail again after a dozen hours of use. This is without a doubt an inferior design. Since Ridgid does not reasonably warranty their products (in my experience so far), I'm sticking with Milwaukee and Porter Cable. As far as this sander goes, if I find time, am going to attempt to add a thin layer of West Systems bonding epoxy between the two with a layer of Saran Wrap as mold release after the epoxy sets. The idea is to restore sufficient friction. If this does not work, I will likely just stick the two together with some temporary glue as no spin is much more desirable than damaging free spin.
    Last edited by Matthew_projectman; 12-12-2012, 12:20 AM. Reason: correct typo

  • #2
    Re: R2601 5 inch orbital sander spins freely and gouges work

    I have an older model PC ROS and the only other brand Ive bought was Bosch. The PC was great but the bearing went out at the worst possible time. Picked up the Bosch as a backup but I like it better because of the better dust collection.

    Got a 5.00 bearing from McMaster and fixed the PC too so I have a spare ROS again.

    Funny thing is I think I spend more time assembling, tweaking, cleaning and fixing my tools than I do actually using them