When it comes to oscillating spindle sanders, edges are the name of the game. As with any sander, the function of an oscillating spindle sander is to smooth rough bits and level lopsidedness. However, the oscillating spindle sander specializes in finishing or refining curved and straight edges. When a board or wood piece is cut by a saw of any kind the newly cut edge has blade marks, providing a rough-cut and unfinished look. The vertically oscillating, horizontally rotating sanding drum of an oscillating spindle sander is designed specifically for sanding unfinished edges.
Because the functionality of an oscillating spindle sander is so specialized, issues regarding its use arise most frequently during the owner’s introduction to the tool. The simultaneous actions of the tools sanding drum occasionally complicates otherwise simple tasks such as securing a new sanding sleeve or even swapping different sized sanding drums.
Oscillating spindle sanders are similar to all electrically powered power tools (here is a neat little tip) in that they are prone to overheating when overworked. Though overworking a spindle sander is less common than overworking an electric drill, it still happens. And when it does it usually has something to do with drum size. At between 1/3 and 1/2 horsepower, table top oscillating spindle sanders are less powerful than their floor-standing big brothers. When larger diameter drums designed for floor standing models are used on smaller table top models overheating can occur. And when it does the best course of action is to unplug the machine and give it a rest. Before buying new drums for your oscillating spindle sander make sure that they are approved for your model of sander. Repeated overheating can be bad for your machine.
#2 Sleeve Slipping
The 4-inch sanding sleeves designed for most oscillating spindle sander drums come in a variety of sanding grits ranging from 60-grit to 220-grit. While these sleeves are interchangeable for a variety of purposes, they can be rendered useless if installed incorrectly. A common problem with oscillating spindle sanders is sleeve slipping, which occurs when the sanding sleeve is not fixed tightly enough to the sanding drum. On most oscillating spindle sanders this problem is easily fixed. Most sanding drums have a washer and bolt located at their top that serves to compress the hard rubber of the drum when tightened. This compression fills the extra space in the sleeve tightening it into place and preventing slip.
#3 Dust Buildup
An issue that can affect the functionality of any saw, sander, drill or lathe is saw dust build up. Saw dust can affect the mechanical efficiency of a tool, clog electrical components in an engine, and create a smoldering mess when mixed with oil and friction. Because of this most, models of oscillating spindle sanders have a dust port located in the rear of their body with a shop vac attachment. The effectiveness of this port is contingent on the spacing between the sander’s throat plate and sanding drum. If the gap between the two is too wide and you are not using the shop vacuum attachment while sanding, your machine may be subject to a whole host of issues. Managing dust buildup in your oscillating spindle sander is important to maintaining an efficient level of functionality.
#4 Table Vibration
With tabletop models of oscillating spindle sanders, excessive work surface vibrations can make working more difficult than necessary. This problem tends to be restricted to smaller models that do not include a freestanding assembly. These vibrations usually result when the foundation or surface underneath the sander is uneven or covered in debris. The easiest solution for restrictive vibrations is to clean and level the surface that your sander is sitting on and, if necessary, fix the rig to that surface using c-clamps. Precision sanding is much easier when your work surface is as still as possible.
#5 Uneven Edges
Oscillating spindle sanders serve to create a uniquely square and smooth face to curved edges. Because this purpose is built into their functionality, they are The tool for sanding interior and exterior edges on a curve. If you are struggling to create smooth curved edges on your oscillating spindle sander it is possible that your method of use is incorrect. When sanding curved edges on an oscillating spindle sander it is important to seat the piece being sanded flat to the table’s surface. Once the piece is flat on the table, position it so that you are sanding from one end to the other, moving the piece in the opposite direction of the rotation of the sanding drum. To ensure smooth square edges, move continuously in long light strokes without pausing at any point while wood is contacting the sanding drum. Progressively work from course grit to fine grit for a professional and finished look.
Because of these problems, i highly encourage you to read reviews in order to find the best sander to fit your need.