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Craftsman 6 x 12 Sanding Center?

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  • Craftsman 6 x 12 Sanding Center?

    Anyone have an opinion of this sanding station?

    It has a 6 x 48 belt sander, 12" disc, and a spindle sander, all with variable speed. The tables are Cast Iron

    6 x 48 in. Belt Sander operates from 550-2830 fmp. 12 in. disc speed is 750 to 3600 rpm. Spindle speed is 350-1800 rpm with a 5/8 in. oscillating stroke. Built-in dust collection.

    It is on clearance right now for $419

  • #2
    Does this unit have the built in dust collection system? The one in my 2004-2005 Craftsman catalog shows a dust bag attached to the unit and it looks slightly different also. The catalog price is $470. The description of the catalgo unit says it collects dust from all three work stations.

    [ 10-17-2004, 05:14 PM: Message edited by: Badger Dave ]
    I decided to change calling the bathroom the "John" and renamed it the "Jim". I feel so much better saying I went to the Jim this morning.


    • #3
      I have the previous model that only has the belt and disk sander and it has been very good. Having looked at the model that you have pictured, I am hesitant about the spindle sander. The support table is small. I am not convienced that it is all that functional. If you can get the model with out the spindle sander at a decent price, look at the Ryobi spindle sander. Only $99 and a much larger work surface. I realize I probably should not make that recomendation on the Ridgid site, but having looked at the construction of their sander, I am not impressed with that particular tool. Sorry
      I came...<br /><br />I saw...<br /><br />I changed the plans.


      • #4
        Bob, there is a review in Wood Mag Oct2004 issue. You may be able to find it still but says display until Oct 12 as the new one is already out. The short review... Rated Top Value. High points 1. multifunction (BS,OS,DS) 2. built in dust collector works well 3. varriable speed 4. BS arm changes easily from horiz to vert.
        Low points 1. you can shut off OS when using BS/DS but not vice versa 2. disc bogs down under heavy pressure (oak end grain 35 lbs pressure)fine under light (12 lbs)3. miter gauge is POS and slots are non standard so you cant use your TS miter gauge. 4. Long reach to the power switch when using DS.
        More points 1. weighs almost as much as a stationary 200 LBS. Optional stand $40 2. 3 sanders in one machine all with good performance makes it top value
        Hope this helps


        • #5
          Thanks everyone for your opinions on this tool. Non-standard miter slots...when will they learn that is a negative? I know the spindle stroke on this is only stated as 5/8". I was looking at the 2003/2004 catalog which did not show the dust collection bag so I was mistaking the comment about dust collection to mean there was a provision for attaching a shop vac or to some other dust collector system.

          I would prefer to have seperate tools (belt/disc sander and also a spindle sanding machine) but am getting low on space in the shop so I am considering this as an alternative.


          • #6

            Compare it to Ryobi. I haven't seen this particular tool at Sears, but I hope it is far better made than the lower priced, smaller 6-inch disc/4-inch belt sander that bears the Craftsman name. Compared to the Ryobi, it was just awful.

            Depending on your needs though, I still think that $400 plus is a lot of money expecially since the spindle area is so small and you also have to be concerned with that belt which is positioned so close to the table (I wouldn't want you to shave your knuckles). For about $200 you could have the Ryobi Oscillating Spindle Sander ($99) and also the 6" disc/4" belt sander unit ($87). Both are well built and I have the belt/disc unit. It is really solid, with heavy cast iron base and heavy guage steel backplate, etc. Also, the disc is solid and true with no wobble. A friend who has a larger sanding unit from Grizzly likes that particular tool, but confesses that he much preferred my Ryobi as the belts are less expensive and readily available. Also, if you need a larger disc, there is a nice double sided disc option that you can add to your table saw.

            Just a thought,



            • #7
              Well, I went and ordered this and figured I'd give it a try.

              [img]smile.gif[/img] Arrived well packaged (internet order and p/u at local store) and no shipping damage. The beast is heavy as stated, w/o the belt sanding section and the tables mounted it was about 150#.

              The belt section can be easily positioned from Horz. to Vert. but you need to use the included allen wrench to unlock it, they should have had a built-in solution that didn't require the use of a tool to adjust this. The manual reccomends laying the belt section down when using the spindle sander to mitigate the chance of coming in contact with the belt. It would be nice if the belt could be disengaged when not in use and thereby free up some power to put into the spindle or disc and also eliminate the chance of injury on the moving belt. I might look into fashioning a slip-over cover for the belt section just to prevent such contact. That being said I have not as yet run into a power problem, but haven't worked any hardwood on it as yet.

              [img]smile.gif[/img] The built-in dust collection has worked well for the little I have used it so far. I am looking to see how I might be able to adapt it to connect to a shop vac or shop dust collection system.

              [img]smile.gif[/img] The variable speed feature is nice and allows good control, makes it easy to ajust how agressive the machine operates for lighter work.

              The reach to the switch when using the disc is poorly laid out, there is no reason I can see for it not being mounted more toward the center of the machine.

              There is a POS tool storage compartment that doubles as a power cord wrap that mounts on the back of the machine. It works fine for wrapping the power cord around but is a PITA to use to get at the included allen wrenches for machine adjustment, some of which won't even fit in the storage compartment :-(

              Only supplied with two spindles, 1/2" & 1" and base plates for each. I tried mounting my 3" x 4.5" long spindle drum on there and it works fine. The 3" diameter drum does not need a base plate as it fills the opening in the table. I may pick up a couple other sizes to have on hand if I decide to keep this thing, but would have to fabricate a couple base plates to go along with the 1.5 and 2" spindles unless I locate a source for them elsewhere.

              The 12" disc is nice for its size, however I have yet to locate a local source for replacement sanding discs in various grits, I need to keep looking, only checked two spots so far.