Working in your shop on any project, whether it be your hot rod or a "honey do" list, the fact is having the right tools around really does make the project go much easier. This month we are going to take a look at two "must-haves" in any shop. First is a good electric bench sander with belt and disc capability. Second is a top-notch set of impact sockets, and in this day having both metric and SAE is a good idea.

The Eastwood Company offers a wide assortment of hand and power tools and over the course of time any rodder assembles an extensive collection of tools. Typically these tools cater to one's own talent and expertise level. But one thing is for sure all of us at one time or another are going to need a belt/disc sander and a set of impact sockets.

We will look at the Eastwood belt/disc sander (PN 13660) that features a 4-inch-wide by 36-inch-long belt with a 6-inch disc sander. The belt drive provides a full 90 degrees of adjustment from horizontal to vertical, and features a secure stop fence/tool rest for safety and convenience. The 6-inch disc sander features an angle-adjustable work surface and sliding miter gauge/fence to allow grinding to precise angles.

The electric sander comes with an 80-grit belt, a pressure-sensitive adhesive-backed 80-grit disc, side disc table and miter gauge for the disc table, a 6mm hex key for assembly, and an instruction booklet. (The Eastwood catalog is filled with an assortment of other grit paper to cover a wide variety of work that can be done on the belt/disc sander: PN 13660A 4x36-inch 80-grit sanding belts (two pack); PN 13660B 4x36-inch 120-grit sanding belts (two pack); PN 13660C 4x36-inch 240-grit sanding belts (two pack); PN 13660D 6-inch 80-grit, PSA (pressure sensitive) sanding discs (five pack); PN 13660E 6-inch 120-grit, PSA sanding discs (five pack); PN 13660F 6-inch 240-grit, PSA sanding discs (five pack). There's some assembly required, it's mostly kept to the attachment of the stop fence/tool rest, work surface/miter plate, and the loosening and tightening of the belt sander pivot clamp. The electric motor is a standard 1/2 hp, 120 V with an output of 4.3 amps.

We found that the belt replacement was simple and quick through the use of a gray-colored belt tension lever. There is a yellow tracking knob that allows you to loosen or tighten the belt sander surface, which in turn controls the skewing of the belt left or right. If the belt is skewing right you will need to decrease tension by turning the yellow knob "up" or "toward" the belt sander surface. This will force the belt to track toward the left of the sander. If the belt is skewing left then increase tension by turning the yellow knob "down" or "away" from the belt sander surface. It will take a few times before you get the belt to track "just right". The disc features PSA (pressure sensitive) paper and this is easily removed and replaced.

We found that the belt/disc sander worked well on final finishing and/or deburring freshly fabricated parts—something that will be in all of our lives. We attached our belt/disc sander to a workbench; mounting holes are provided in the sanders base but you must provide mounting hardware.

Eastwood Tech Tips:

  • Use a battery tender on your stored vehicles to refrain from having to buy a new battery every year.
  • Instead of throwing out your old T-shirts, cut them up into rags to keep around for cleaning up messes.

The Eastwood Company