Craftsman - 1/3 sheet sander/polisher (Rating: 5)

No longer available for purchase through Sears, this sander can still be had at yard sales, auctions, eBay, or your grandpa's workshop.

Since I totally dislike sanding as part of the woodworking experience, I have to say I love this sander.
Once I established the fact that I had a stack of cutting boards that needed to be sanded and had built my downdraft table to ease my pain, my husband turned up with this sander. He held it out saying it belonged to his dad, and it was one of his favorites. (He was holding out on me). I took it from him and immediately went to the floor with it. This baby weighs 8.5 lbs ! I was reluctant to use it, as I am from the new and shiny generation, but I gave it a try, and was astonished at how easy it was to use. It doesn't really move itself around, you do have to push it, but it works like a charm.

Here are the reasons I love this sander-
1. It's not plastic. Plastic has no weight so the sand paper is just skimming your project.
2. Decreases sanding time. The weight does the work and really allows the grit to contact the wood.
3. Speaking of weight, which I think is the key the the effectiveness of this sander, I said before it weighs
8.5 lbs. Compared to today's 1/3 sheet sanders:
Makita - 3.1 lbs
Clas Ohlson - 3.5 lbs
Dewalt - 6.2 lbs pretty close in weight, I might consider this when the Craftsman dies
4. It actually has gnarly teeth that eat end grain !! LOL (see third photo)

It is actually a fairly quiet unit. The vibration in the hand piece on mine is minimal, and the amount of vibration is adjustable with a turn of the screw button on the top. And as you can see in the first photo, the felt pad needs to be replaced for a flatter surface, but I think a rubber pad can be modified to fit.

If any of you get the opportunity to get one of these sanders, don't pass it by. I don't think you'll regret your new find.

Lisa