July 23, 2008
Zip Sander, you're the one.
You make sanding lots of fun.
Zip Sander, we're awfully fond of you....
Tools that look like bath toys aren't usually up our alley, but the Zip Sander seemed pretty interesting, so we thought we'd take a closer inspection and try one out. And to be honest, we're glad we did. The Zip Sander proved to be a versatile addition to our sanding repertoire for a number of reasons.
Continue reading: "Zip Sander - Review"
July 14, 2008
We weren't really sure what to make of the Final Cut Saw Blade when we first heard of it. The whole idea seemed...well...incredibly silly. Is someone really selling a saw blade with a piece of sandpaper stuck on it? It screamed 'gimmick' to us, but we were still interested to check it out because maybe, like chocolate and peanut butter, the saw blade/sandpaper combo is is a match of destiny. So we got our hands on one and used it around the shop for a while and the verdict is....
Continue reading: "Final Cut Saw Blade - Review"
June 5, 2008
A few weeks back we told you about Skil's new line of benchtop tools coming out later this year. Now, we're going to take a closer look at one of those tools, the belt disc sander.
Skil's sander comes with a number of nice features. There is a beveling table top capable of a 45 degree angle, a 2-1/2" dust port, and a pre-drilled cast iron base, for attaching to your workbench. The belt sander can also flip up to a 90 degree position. There is also a safey switch and the whole thing is powered by a 4-amp motor.
The Skil will be available in September, exclusively at Lowe's. There are a number of similar items on the market (the Hitachi and Grizzly, for instance), but not having used either of them, we can't say how the Skil rates. Our guess is that they're all fairly similar and that it comes down to a matter of brand preference.
May 22, 2008
Sanding joint compound can get pretty messy. We recently did some work in a small bathroom and even with the Shop Vac right up next to the sandpaper, the room still ended up looking like someone had walked in and detonated a bag of flour. This experience, which we've had about 1,000 times, led us to do some research on dustless hand sanding and as a result, we discovered Mirka's Abranet Sheet Sanding System.
Essentially, it's a sanding block with a vacuum port. The abrasive sheets are made of a mesh with thousands of small holes, meaning for easier sanding and far more efficient dust collection, not to mention a longer life for the sheet.
The kit, which looks like it comes with three sizes of sanding blocks, some abrasive sheets, and a vacuum hose costs about $150. A high price, but if it actually works, it might be worth not having to deal with the mess that sanding makes.
The whole concept sounds to us like a great idea, but we really couldn't find much more information on the product. It appears that the abrasive pads are available in stores, but as far as the sanding blocks go, we couldn't find anything other than a .pdf file on their website. We even tried calling them earlier in the week, but haven't heard back.
The promotional flier is here (pdf).
Abranet abrasive sheets at Amazon.com
March 25, 2008
It looks like this has been out for a while, but it looks pretty interesting so we thought we'd mention it anyway. The Black & Decker Dragster is a 6 amp belt sander with a unique design, which makes the nose of the tool more versatile than your average belt sander.
Because the front wheel of the sander is so small, the Dragster is capable of sanding much closer (3x closer, according to B&D) to the edge of an adjoining surface. Also, the guard that covers the nose of the sander flips up, making it easier to sand in and around things.
Continue reading: "Black & Decker DS321 Dragster Belt Sander"
December 4, 2007
We're big fans of the Fein MultiMaster. In our opinion, it's one of the best tools to come around in a long time. And we thought that it stood alone, with no other tool like it. We've been hearing about the Bosch PMF 180 E Multi, a similar tool that's available in Europe and may or may not be coming to the states, but what we didn't know about was the Proxxon Delta Sander. It's the Mini-Me of the MultiMaster and we were lucky enough to get a chance to test one out.
The basics of the tool are the same as the Fein. There's the oscillating head with interchangeable blades, sanding pads, files, scrapers, and polishers. If you're familiar with the Fein, then all the controls will be familiar to you. The accessories change out the same way, with a little hex key, and there's a little dial to control oscillation speed.
Continue reading: "Proxxon Oscillating Detail Sander - Review"
October 17, 2007
UPDATE: Our review of the Proxxon Oscillating Detail Sander is here.
So everyone knows that the Fein MultiMaster is an outstanding tool and there is a lot of buzz right now about Bosch's similar PMF 180 E Multi and whether or not they'll be releasing it in the states, but did you know that there is another oscillating tool out there? We sure didn't, until we were flipping through the latest Garret Wade catalog. It's made by a company called Proxxon and they refer to it as their oscillating detail sander.
Strangely, the only place we could find any real information on the tool is at the Garrett Wade site, Minicraft, and ToolsAndMore.us. It's not on Proxxon's website and although it does show up in a hobby message board, no one who wrote about it seems to have any first hand experience with the tool.
Continue reading: "Proxxon Oscillating Detail Sander"
July 11, 2007
We're pretty vocal about our dislike (hatred, really) of painting. We're happy to spend 10 hours shaping a piece of wood, but for some reason we don't have the patience to paint it. And if painting isn't bad enough, there's scraping to think about. If painting is like getting your fingernail pulled off, scraping is like being drawn and quartered. So when we heard about Wagner's new PaintEater, we dove at the opportunity to test one out and see if it makes the unbearable at least somewhat bearable.
First, about the tool. The PaintEater is about the size of a coffee can. It's got an adjustable Velcro hand strap around the main grip as well as a secondary handle that can retract back up to the body of the tool when not in use. The handle, when in the down or up position, locks in place preventing any slipping or unexpected movement. The on-off switch has a nice dust protected cover over it and is located in a convenient spot. At the bottom of the tool is the brillo-like pad that does the actual paint eating. The pad is a bit hard to describe, it reminds us more of a sea creature than anything else. It's much more rigid than a brillo, but there is a bit of a give to it. The disc can be easily removed with an arbor stop and a twist of the pad. The tool is pretty light (3.8 lbs), so there should be no problem spending a day on a ladder with it.
Continue reading: "Wagner PaintEater - Review"
June 20, 2007
GMC has recently released a little detail sander available at a really good price. It's sort of like Skil's Octo, but without all of the attachments. Still, at just a hair over $10, there's no way to loose on this one. It's essentially a little orbital that ends in a little point making it possible to sand those little spots that even hand sanding can't deal with.
The sander has a dust-sealed switch, a hook and loop sanding pad, a vacuum port, and what looks like a nice gripping area.
Continue reading: "GMC ADS75 1.1 Amp Detail Sander"
May 23, 2007
If you're thinking about painting the house this summer, you're probably already dreading the scraping process; endless hours on a ladder covered with paint chips, scraping till it feels like you're arm's going to fall off. If this is your reoccurring nightmare, Wagner has a tool that might make things a lot easier for you. The PaintEater, aside from having a superhero name worthy of DC Comics, is a surface preparation tool that looks like it could help anyone speed up the first agonizing step of the painting routine.
The PaintEater exists somewhere between a grinder and an orbital sander. The pad looks like a circular Brillo and according to the Wagner website, isn't prone to getting clogged up with paint chips and dust. The tool has a Velcro hand strap for ladder work and a tool free arbor lock for quick and easy pad changing. There is also a secondary, retractable handle for those times when one hand just isn't cutting it.
Continue reading: "Wagner PaintEater"