I want to pass along some good news – that is a favorable experience with a manufacturer (their Customer Service) and the first heavy use of their product.
My focus is sculpted furniture, with forays into wood sculptures – always in hardwood. During the past 5 years, I’ve consumed three Rigid Oscillating Spindle sanders, and have found their short-throw (3/4"), short sleeves (about 5", I guess) to limit to their usefulness for my work. Having said this, they are a great value for the money.
This time around, I wanted a buy-once solution, and to step-up in both machine quality (longevity) and functionality (longer throw and taller sleeves). My search revealed the obvious – the Jet Floor-standing OSS at $1,550. Along with being the highest rated by those who rate things, I found the user feedback to be 3 out of 5 stars, generally, with significant concerns about build-quality.
I opted to take a chance on ‘moving-up’ to an Oliver. I say up because I’m familiar with them within the Industrial (Machine Shop) end-market; and know that another focus is commercial cabinet shops. However, I couldn’t get a hands-on read of their spindle sander. After much fretting (about $1,800 of them), I purchased one. Though the price does shock me… the Jet wasn’t much less expensive.
The freight company damaged the first unit – Oliver provided photos of the unit just prior to shipment, and it looked good to me. Oliver stepped right-in, and air-freighted a 400 lb unit from Seattle to Baltimore.
I unboxed the 2nd unit to reveal a flat, finely machined 24" square top; and well-finished cast-iron or steel cabinet; and within 30 minutes I was sanding some walnut.
I’ll do a proper review after about 100 hours; however my first 10 hours of machine time have been excellent – powerful, quiet, and rumble-free (I had a penny standing on-edge, during startup and running – I’ve never done that before). The unit come equipped with several – maybe 10 spindles and sanding sleeves.
The machine is a no-frills, dedicated to its purpose machine – a modern version of its old-iron roots. It appears to be more spindle sander than I’ll ever need; but I have no expectations of being disappointed in it.
My take away is that for those indivduals disappointed in Jet, there is another player to consider. I know that many of the machines are co-sourced in the Far East, and this sander comes from Taiwan. My corporate life includes running manufacturing locations in the Far East, so I know that its about specifications and quality control – they will manufacture exactly what you specify.
When I have enough time on the machine, I’ll provide a full review.
Everyone, Do Take Care.
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