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JET's Oscillating Edge Sander is very well built and brings capabilities you might not expect from this type of machine."Click image to enlarge

JET OES-80CS Oscillating Edge Sander

When a belt sander grows up

Text, photos and video by Tom Hintz

Posted - 2-25-2008

The JET Oscillating Edge Sander takes the whole belt sander concept to a new level. In addition to large capacity, the horizontal belt oscillates up and down roughly 1/2". That movement increases efficiency by dispersing wear and heat buildup on the abrasive belt. That lets you sand more and change (and buy) belts less.

Base Cabinet

The JET Oscillating Edge Sander comes with an all steel, enclosed base cabinet that puts the work table at a comfortable 37 1/2" above the floor. A door gives access to its innards adding valuable storage space for extra abrasive belts and related supplies. The base cabinet is 21 1/2"-wide by 16

The JET 1 1/2HP motor is tough and very strong running.
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1/2"-deep and 23 3/4"-tall. At 270-LBS the JET Oscillating Edge Sander,mounted on this base cabinet is remarkably steady and vibration free.

Power

The JET Oscillating Edge Sander is powered by a JET 1 1/2HP, 115/230V (pre-wired 115V) TEFC (totally enclosed fan cooled) motor. Remember that JET motors are rated using a continuous duty cycle rather than "max developed" or "peak" hocus-pocus we see so much today. That means lots of woodworkers are happily surprised at what JET calls 1 1/2HP! The On/Off switches are also simple, tough and mounted up front within easy reach.

Sanding Belt Drive

The 6"-wide by 89"-long abrasive belt is powered through a 4 1/4"-diameter, rubber covered aluminum drum that is mounted directly to the motor shaft. That produces a 3900 SFPM (surface feet per minute) belt speed that seems very consistent and just fine for working with any woods I could find.

A like sized aluminum idler drum on the other end actually creates the oscillating action of the belt and handles tracking adjustments. The oscillating action means that the belt has a 1/2" stroke which oscillates 108 times per minute. This means you work with a larger area of the belt than with straight-line belt sanders. That distribution helps prevent loading of the abrasive belt or overheating one portion of it. In addition to greater sanding efficiency the oscillating action extends the life of the sanding belts substantially.

The idler drum (left) is what actually causes the oscillating action. the graphite-covered platen (right) dramatically reduces friction, extending the life of the belt.
Click images to enlarge

Changing belts on the JET Oscillating Edge Sander is fast and tool-free thanks to a simple lever-operated tension release on top of the belt assembly. A belt tracking adjustment is located on top of the idler drum for easy access. JET includes a special pin wrench for making tracking adjustments "on the fly" without having to disassemble anything.

The sanding belt is backed in the work area by a large 33"-long by 6 3/4"-wide platen that has been precision ground from a steel plate. The platen has a heavy graphite covering that reduces friction and the resulting heat buildup in a big way.

The motor/belt drive assembly is on a pivot so it can be tilted for bevel sanding. A single lever unlocks and locks the belt assembly in any position from vertical to horizontal through a full 90-degree range. An easy to read scale makes setting specific bevel angles fast and easy.

The cast iron work table is big, has a full-sized miter slot and comes with a miter gauge!
Click image to enlarge

Work Table

The JET Oscillating Edge Sander has a 30"-long by 10"-deep cast iron table. The table is very flat and has a full-length, t-style miter slot machined into it. The table does not tilt (the belt does) but can be adjusted up and down to position the wood on the abrasive belt. JET also includes a simple miter gauge with the JET Oscillating Edge Sander.

They also include an interesting removable heavy-gauge sheet metal fence that attaches to the miter slot with a pair of finger-operated knobs. This fence is very simple but effective. They also include a removable end stop that supports the work piece and helps prevent it being thrown off the end of the machine.

Contour Sanding Table

The included contour sanding table is very trick and brings lots of capabilities to this machine.
Click image to enlarge

JET built in a nifty contour sanding table and mount on the JET Oscillating Edge Sander that in gives it some oscillating spindle capabilities. The 12"-wide by 10"-deep cast iron contour sanding table is installed using a tool-free mount on the motor end of the JET Oscillating Edge Sander. A cutout in the table surrounds the abrasive belt and drum to make sanding inside curves to a layout line simple and very accurate.

Dust Collection

A 4"-diameter dust port is built into the hinged cover at the end of the belt guard. Collecting all of the dust a sander this size can generate is nearly impossible but connect a good-sized dust collector to the JET Oscillating Edge Sander and this shroud does a very respectable job of minimizing the dust in the shop air.

Mobile Base

If you are one of the multitudes of space-challenged woodworkers, moving machines around the shop is important. To make your life easier JET offers their Mobile Base kit (#708118). This mobile base assembles and adjusts

The built-in 4" dust port is handy and effective.
Click image to enlarge

without tools and allows the JET Oscillating Edge Sander to glide across the floor effortlessly. The two fixed wheels and two casters all lock to keep the JET Oscillating Edge Sander where you want it during use.

In the Shop

The belt sander has traditionally been considered a "rough" tool. However, the JET Oscillating Edge Sander goes well beyond rough work. In addition to the range of grits available in the marketplace, having the large table to work on makes even fine work surprisingly easy and as accurate as your eyes and coordination will support.

As I have come to expect from JET, their Oscillating Edge Sander is well built and works very well. It is nearly tool-free and has plenty of power for any sanding job I can think of. Armed with the appropriate grit belt, it is

See It Work!

entirely capable of removing lots of wood very quickly yet can sneak up on a layout line as well as any machine.

The two major versatility-extending features are the bevel and contour sanding capabilities. Both give you many options for handling once difficult sanding tasks with ease. I like tilting the sanding belt rather than the table because it feels far more secure to have the stock flat on the level table. I think it is much easier to be accurate this way also.

The contour table is especially handy because it mimics an oscillating spindle sander with the exception of being able to change abrasive diameter. That aside, dealing with curves or rounded shapes is surprisingly controllable which makes it far easier to actually hit your layout lines. This is a very nice feature with capabilities that will grow with experience.

Conclusions

The JET Oscillating Edge Sander is a well built, thoughtfully designed sanding machine with a nice range of features. It is easy to use, has lots of power and is built to last. With a street price of around $990 (2-20-2008) the range of jobs it handles in even moderate woodworking shops makes it a solid value. If you are considering a sanding machine of any description, take a look at the JET Oscillating Edge Sander. You might be surprised at how much it is capable of and how far your tool dollar can go.

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