Warhorse Makita Belt Sander
Seems like every time I sit down to write a post about some tool of mine that has persevered through a long life of hard work and abuse, it's a Makita (check out my collection of old Makita circ saws here). This time, I'm giving a much needed call-out to my old Makita Belt Sander.
This sander once belonged to FOTS (father of Tool Snob), who gave it a good workout through the sanding and refinishing of two houses worth of wide pine floorboards. Even though it would have been about 100 times easier for him to just rent a drum sander, the belt sander allowed him to keep all of the nice unevenness to the old floors. His thinking being that a perfectly flat floor, well, just doesn't seem all that old and honestly it would be a little offensive to the house as well.
So anyway, at some point during the second floor refinishing FOTS accidentally sanded down the power cord on this thing (it happens). He then replaced it with a cord that must be close to 15 or 20 feet long. It's the longest cord I've ever seen on a tool, by far. It's a pain to wrap up at the end of the day, but when the tool is in action, especially for a flooring project, the long cord is pretty handy to have.
As far as the general strength of this tool, it's pretty ridiculous actually. If you loosen your grip while the trigger is pulled, this thing just flies across the room in literally no time at all and will probably smash into and break something (ask me how I know this). I spent the latter half of this past summer sanding and refinishing old painted chestnut boards and after trying all kinds of paint stripping goos and tinctures, I ended up just strapping on the respirator and using the Makita. Worked great too.
I have no idea what the current Makita belt sanders are like, but my guess is that they've got to be pretty good if they're descended from this monster. And I'm sure that plenty of other companies make really nice belt sanders too, but this happens to be the one I have and it has proven to be a really excellent tool.
Makita Belt Sanders at Amazon
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Posted by Doug Mahoney at February 26, 2015 9:49 AM