"Benny" and Her JET

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Review by mmh posted 01-05-2010 07:55 AM 4305 views 2 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
"Benny" and Her JET No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Well, I may need to change my name to “Benny” for this title, but this is my latest addition to the wood workshop as I dearly needed an upgrade from the Craftsman 6” x 36” belt sander which I tend to replace every 18 months (via 2 yr. service contract).

The difference between the Craftsman 6” x 36” and the JET 6” x 48” models are like Night vs. Day. Same concept, but the function and quality are on opposite sides of the spectrum. For the price tag on the JET, I would expect it to make me coffee and a hot danish every morning. I’ve only had it since Chrstmas Eve, so haven’t really worked with it much, but so far it seems sturdy and well made.

The assembly was simple, although the legs took more tweeking than one would think to assemble. Par for the course, as simple things always do. The table for the disc sander seems that it moves a bit more than it should, but only a cm or so when applying weight to it and I don’t plan to use this much. My main need is to do initial shaping of my cane shafts as I still do a lot of hand shaping to get the round, organic shape that I like. I needed a sander that had a longer table so that the cylinders did not mark the wood so often, as they are usually a bit proud on the height and cut into the flat surface, thus distroying the perfect plane. The JET model still does this a bit, but I have more belt room to sand with and will have to work around this.

The belt is very easy to change and adjust. The back and rear panels can unsnap to expose the back cylinder to change the belt and clean any trapped sawdust. There is an extra spring loaded flipper to protect/tighten the tracking dial that gives extra tension. Something the Craftsman model lacked and I’m not sure how much more efficient this will be, but it looks promising.

The 3/4 hp is strong, yet not too intimidating for my needs. 1HP would be over kill for my needs and I don’t need to manicure my nails during my projects so this feels comfortable.

The white plastic dust collection connection plate where the hose goes into had to be removed to fit a 2”- 4” adapter for a shop vac. I also had to find a connecting piece to fit the vac hose to the adapter and found an accessory part that I cut off the 4” neck that worked fine. (Didn’t have to order a part and wait 2 weeks to find that it wasn’t compatible after all.) There’s a sliding plate under the belt that you need to pull open, and another under the disc sanding wheel that you open/close depending which area you’re sanding on to increase/re-direct the suction for dust removal.

Otherwise, this is a basic piece of equipment, with few moving parts. It’s made in Taiwan, so I’m hoping it’s a sturdier import for the money.

I purchased this from Sears online. They recently added JET to their inventory, (online purchases only, unfortunately shipping costs would not be avoided even if delivered to a local store.) They had the best price, even with shipping. I signed up for the Sears buyer’s club and also registered with Ebates for a 2% rebate, but this has yet to be seen. I’ve used Ebates frequently and they are quick to send the cash credit, but I’ll have to wait and see if Sears participates as advertised. To be updated when it comes in.

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

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Craftsman on the lake

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#1 posted 01-05-2010 04:16 PM

in defense of Sears but a long time ago. I have a 6×48 craftsman belt sander from 1976. Looks a lot like yours but the motor is below and belt driven. It’s a cast iron beast but boy has it turned a few revolutions. It’s bearings are beginning to make some noise but it still cranks.

Congrats on your acquisition. I’m sure you’ll love it.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

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3680 posts in 4576 days

#2 posted 01-05-2010 06:41 PM

Hi CotL: I’m sure your 1976 6×48 Craftsman is a sturdy piece. I only have the weenie version of the 6×36” and it has worked fine, but I needed to upgrade to a larger machine. I don’t know why I didn’t choose a Craftsman 6×48” machine, as they do carry them, but the JET brand intrigued me and caught my eye and it was actually cheaper than the Craftsman. With the service and replacement contract Craftsman honors, In after thought I probably would highly consider going that direction.

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View tokarowski's profile


7 posts in 3949 days

#3 posted 01-06-2010 06:49 PM

Dear Benny,

I am currently evaluating a Jet sander for use in my shop but was not sure of the quality of Jet versus Delta. Nothat I am researching this I find that more woodworkers are in fact purchasing JET as opposed to Delta. the sander I am looking at is the 16-32 Drum sander that I will use to flatten box lis prior to installation. I resaw, plane and now will be able to surface sand 16×12 panels for my jewelry box lids. good luck


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