Popular Woodworking 2002-02 № 126, страница 22

Popular Woodworking 2002-02 № 126, страница 22

Endurance Test

Ridgid EB4424 Oscillating

Belt/Spindle Sander

This unique tool sands both curves and flat areas.

When the Ridgid line of woodworking tools was introduced three years ago, we were aware of how Ridgid's parent company (Emerson Electric) had made tools for Craftsman for years. So we were anxious to see the new line. Of the many innovations in

the Ridgid tool line, the EB4424 caught our

eye. It's a sanding machine with two heads. One head is a traditional round spindle that oscillates up and down (shown in the photo). The other head is more like a 4" belt sander turned on its side. It also oscillates. After testing the unit for more than two years, we've made a permanent place for it in our shop. Here's why.

To be honest, the specifications of this combination unit aren't as good as that on a large stand-alone oscillating spindle sander or an edge-sanding machine. The oscillation stroke (up and down) is slightly shorter than average, and the belt surface capacity is significantly less than on most edge sanders.

But having both functions in one unit for under $250 makes great sense for a home woodworker. Two independent units would cost more than $600. Add to that the fact that the edge sander also oscillates and you've improved not only the sanding ability, but by not running pieces over the same spot on the belt, the sandpaper lasts longer. Belt tracking adjustment on the sander is fairly easy and holds track well. Changing the belt itself is also user friendly.

The table tilts easily to four preset angles, or it can be locked down anywhere within a 45° arc. The preset detents can be adjusted to square them perfectly. The table itself is of good cast aluminum construction and offers a groove for use with a miter gauge.

Ease of changing from spindle to edge sander is a matter of unscrewing one knob and trading out the sanding heads. The drive

spindle must be aligned properly in the edge sanding unit, but once in place it's no problem. The spindle sander also comes with four throat plates to accommodate the different spindle sizes and is also a quick change. New sandpaper sleeves can be slipped over the rubber drums with little fuss.

One of the primary concerns in either a spindle or edge sander is retaining a square relationship to the table. In testing, the drive shaft flexed at the top of the spindle in either mode. This flex may be about 1/16n and occurs under significant pressure. That said, we haven't noticed the flex adversely affecting the performance of the tool.

Though provided with a dust collection port, we found that dust removal was far from perfect and required cleaning during heavy use. But it is sanding and we should expect some dust.

We continue to enjoy using this tool in our shop. It isn't what we would recommend for a production cabinet shop, but the performance and versatility for the price makes it a strong option for the home workshop. PW

— David Thiel

SPECIFICATIONS

Ridgid EB4424 Oscillating Belt/Spindle Sander

Street price: $239

Motor: 4.6 amp induction (3/s hp)

RPM: 1,725

Oscillations per minute: 60

Stroke length: 3/4"

Drum length: 4V2"

Table stops: 45°, 30°,221/2°,15°

Dust port: 2V2"

Spindles: 1/2",3/4",1", 11/2",2"

Weight: 39 lbs.

Belt size: 4" x 24"

Nice features:Tilting table, easy changeover between sanding modes, great value for combined abilities.

Recommended modifications: Improve rigidity of drive spindle to reduce flex, increase available work surface in edge-sanding mode. Available at: Home Depot. Ridgid: 800-4RIDGID or www.ridgidwoodworking.com

ABOUT OUR ENDURANCE TESTS Every tool featured in our Endurance Test column has survived at least two years of heavy use in our shop here at Popular Woodworking.

20 Popular Woodworking February 2002

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