New Tool Tuesday: Rockwell Shopseries Benchtop Sander

Don't you love coming home to new tools?

Don’t you love coming home to new tools?

I’ve been wanting a benchtop belt/disk sander for a long time.  My main purpose for buying one is to properly shape recoil pads and spacers.  Of course being a stationary tool that will stay set up in the shop I’m sure I’ll find many more uses than just that.

Rockwell RK7866 Belt Disc Sander

Why did I get the Rockwell?  Price and reviews.  That simple.  I looked at different brands and models.  This one had the specs, low price, and good enough reviews.  It’s definitely not a Grizzly or Jet, but it is probably on par with other sanders at the same price.

Here’s the Unboxing:
Look! an owners manual.  I read it after I finished setting it up.

Look! an owners manual. I read it after I finished setting it up.

Everything is covered in plastic bags.

Everything is covered in plastic bags.

That was exciting, wasn’t it?

Set up was much the same.
This guard/guide thing attaches with two Allen Screws (wrench included).  I used the plastic band from the packaging to space it away from the belt.  Your owners manual could work to.  It's gotta be good for something, right?

This guard/guide thing attaches with two Allen Screws (wrench included). I used the plastic band from the packaging to space it away from the belt. Your owners manual could work to. It’s gotta be good for something, right?

 

The disk table has a pivot pin and a knob.  You can loosen the screws on the base to set the distance from the disk, but I didn't have to

The disk table has a pivot pin and a knob. You can loosen the screws on the base to set the distance from the disk, but I didn’t have to.

The table was very rough.  I wet sanded with 400grit, and covered it in Wax

The table was very rough. I wet sanded with 400grit, and covered it in Wax.

First Use
I used a coffee can to make an arc, then rough cut it on the band saw.

I used a coffee can to make an arc, then rough cut it on the band saw.

Pretty easy to use, but it clogged up the paper pretty good.

Pretty easy to use, but it clogged up the paper pretty good.

Final Thoughts

Over all I’m pleased.  I’m definitely not “THIS IS THE GREATEST TOOL EVER!”  It does the job for which is it intended acceptably well.

The main complaint is how rough the disk table was.  That should have been dealt with before leaving the factory, but it was easily dealt with.  The second complaint is that the disk seems completely clogged after just one use.  I did use painted lumber, but it seems a bit quick to need replacing.  Does anyone have some tips on making the paper last longer? I’m not sure what grit the paper is.  The awesome owners manual didn’t say. I would guess 80 or 100 grit.

As for dust collection I have no idea.  I have a dust dispersal system instead of a dust collector.  It’s easier and cheaper to set up (You need a big fan blowing into your shop from outside, and at the other end a second big fan blowing out.  Bonus, It makes keeping you plans in place a challenge).   Dust seemed to be coming out of the dust port.  It’s a sander, it makes dust, wear a mask.

So I need to build a base. It’s sitting on a spare spool that’s really to low.  I want to build a stand with a storage area for adjustment tools (allen wrench), and extra belts and disks.  It will be a few weeks before I get to that.  I also need some good quality sand paper of different grits.

God Bless,
Robert

 

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