Woodworker's Journal 1993-17-6, страница 77


Photo 7: Compact dust canister removes much of the sawdust generated by the Porter-Cable J33 and 334 sanders It doesn't hold as much sawdust as a conventional dust bag. but finishing sanders don't create a whole lot of sawdust either.

profiled base molding in my house remodeling project. However, the pads on all the sanders are flexible enough to conform to contoured surfaces.

Two major considerations are the pad diameter and the method of paper attachment. First, the 47* in. pads on the Ryobi and Sears are sized to accept 4'/: in. sanding disks not a size that is readily available at your local hardware store. As mentioned, the smaller disks reduce sanding efficiency, simply because they cover less surface area. The Porter-Cable models and Makita accept standard 5-in. sanding disks.

Also, you may have noticed in the photos that the Sears and Ryobi sanders look nearly identical. Well, they are. except that Ryobi is sold with a hook-and-loop (H & L, or Velcro) paper fastening system, while the Sears comes with a PSA (pressure-sensitive adhesive) fastening system. Because the sanders are identical, you can fit the Sears with Ryohi's H & L pad. and vice-versa. The Sears also has a better cord, as explained below. Like the Ryobi. the Makita uses an H & L system (Photo 4>. while Porter-Cable offers you a choice: Models 332 and 334 are equipped with PSA pads (Photo 5): Model 333. an II & L pad (see chart).The H & I. sanding disks

Novemtvr/DefCUllvr IW

are nearly twice as expensive as the sticky-back PSA disks, but you can remove and reuse them again and again until the abrasive is worn out. This feature is handy on small jobs because you can switch grits quickly and easily, and save the disks for future projects. PSA disks usually won't re-stick after they're removed, either because the adhesive hacking gets contaminated w ith dirt and sawdust, or it loses its tack when exposed to the air more than a few hours. For most home woodworkers, the convenience of II & L disks is worth the extra cost. In a production cabinet shop. PSA disks would probably be more cost effective, especially iI they're bought in bulk rolls. Both types offer a healthy assortment of grits. Other accessories include foam-rubber polishing pads, and lambswool buffing pads, as shown in Photo 6. (As an aside. I've tried on several occasions to wax and buff my car with a random-orbit sander, but they don't do nearly as good a job as a conventional disk-type sander/polishcr.)

Dust Pickup

As OSHA requirements get stricter, more tool manufacturers are making provisions lor dust collection on their portable power tools either dust bags or vacuum hose pickups. While this may seem to approach the sublime on palm-si?ed sanders. two companies have met the challenge. The Porter-Cable Models 333 and 334 come with a neat little dust canister that actually collects a got*) portion of the dust generated by the sander, as shown in Photo 7. The collector is connected to a rotating

shroud that enables you to position the canister neatly out of the way while sanding. The pickup system isn't 100 percent efficient, but neither are the dust bags used on larger random-orbit sanders and other power tools. With the canister removed, you can attach an optional vacuum hose to the sander, which fits a standard 17; in. shop vacuum. The Makita B05000 has a dust port, which accepts 8 ft. and 10 ft. Makita dust hoses and adaptors. These fit noi only Makita shop vacuums, but most other brands, as well.


As with most portable power tools. the longer the cord, the belter. When working on large projects, a short cord limits your mobility because the plug connection with the extension cord can catch on a sharp edge of the work or the bench, and disconnect itself. While you don't ordinarily gel in too much trouble with a 6 ft. cord on a palm sander. an 8 ft. to 10 ft. cord is much better Another factor to consider is the cord jacket: I've always preferred the more-flexible rubber cords (marked SJ on the cord jacket). Plastic cords (marked SJT on ihe jacket) tend to lake a set, or slay bent, especially at lower temperatures. You'll usually find longer cords with rubber jackets on more expensive power tools, although Uiis isn't always the case. As mentioned, the Ryobi RS-II2 and Sears 27714 are nearly identical, but the Sears has a 10 ft. SJ (rubber) cord, while the Ryobi has a 6 ft. SJT t plastic) cord—something to think about when comparing prices and other features of the two. The three Porter-Cable models have a ft fi.. 8-in. rubber cord, the Makita. a 7 ft. plastic cord.

Editor's Choice

In my opinion, any one of these sanders would be a good buv. For overall performance. I would have to go with the Makita. although I doubt if I would ever do enough finish sanding to buy the optional vacuum hose thai goes with it. Although my choice is subjective, the Makita also feels a bit more durable and well-balanced than the others (although a thinner, more comfortable "neck" would be a definite design improvement.) However, the $39.95 price tag on the Sears seems awfully tempting. This tool, m my eves, is the best buy. E3i