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This is one tough, well-designed machine. The oil bath gearbox was a big, and important surprise.
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JET JOVS-10 Oscillating Spindle Sander

Solid, Ultra-Smooth and Reliable

Text, Photos and Video by Tom Hintz

Posted - 4-13-2008

Oscillating spindle sanders can make a huge difference when your project has anything other than straight lines. Just having one of these little wonders in your shop makes you bolder and in some ways more capable, especially when dealing with (or deciding to use) curves. The JET JOVS-10 Oscillating Spindle Sander brings those capabilities (and more) in a surprisingly solid package that includes a decidedly industrial oil bath gearbox!

Power and a Surprise

The strong-running JET motor hangs from the cast iron gear case. Note the sight gauge for the oil level. Wearing this gear drive out is going to be a tough thing to do!
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The JET JOVS-10 Oscillating Spindle Sander is built on an all steel base cabinet that puts the table surface at a back-saving 39" above the floor. A nice industrial-style pushbutton switch set is on the front of the base cabinet and racks for the included spindle assemblies run down both sides. It also houses the heavy-duty 1HP, 1Ph, 115V TEFC (totally enclosed, fan cooled) motor inside a large door on the rear of the base cabinet.

The motor is mounted directly to the bottom of a cast iron case that holds the biggest surprise for me. The worm and gear mechanism that turns the spindle at 1725-RPM and generates the 75 oscillations (1 1/2" stroke) per minute run in a real oil bath! The front of the cast iron case has a sight gauge for monitoring the oil level. This oil bath, along with precision machining of the components add up to an exceptionally quiet and smooth-running mechanism. The longevity an oil bath system affords is no small matter either.

Spindles and Support

The JET JOVS-10 Oscillating Spindle Sander comes with a set of 10 spindles, each with an abrasive sleeve. Spindle sizes included are 1/4" X 5" (steel), 3/8" X 6" (steel), 1/2" X 6" (steel), 5/8" X 6" (steel), 3/4" X 9" (steel), 1" X 9" (rubber), 1 1/2" X 9" (rubber), 2" X 9" (rubber), 3" X 9" (rubber), 4" X9" (rubber).

This rack (left) holds about half of the included spindles! Each spindle has the tapered arbor (right) with a threaded end that keeps them installed securely and very straight.
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The length of the spindles means you can sand material up to 7 1/2" thick with the longer spindles, or stack several thinner pieces up to sand them all at once. The spindles are long enough that in most cases, you only use the lower portion. That means you can turn the abrasive sleeve upside down to essentially double its useful life.

The main spindle drive and support mechanism just below the table runs on precision ball bearings for smooth, trouble-free operation.

The spindles have tapered arbor with a threaded end that draws it into the precision-machined arbor housing. This is a very secure mounting system that also insures keeping the spindles straight in their mount. Wrenches are included for installing or removing spindles.

Big Tilting Table

The tilt mechanism (left) is simple but effective. The inserts (right) included have the specially-shaped center holes to accommodate the table tilt feature.
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The JET JOVS-10 Oscillating Spindle Sander has a large 24" by 24" cast iron table that makes working with big work pieces a snap. The table tilts (forward only) up to 45 degrees and can be locked at any angle for precise bevel sanding. An adjustable stop makes returning the table to the horizontal position (90-degrees to the spindle) fast and accurate.

The center hole of the JET JOVS-10 Oscillating Spindle Sander table without an insert is 6 1/8"-diameter and allows using the big spindles even with the table tilted. JET includes three snap-in inserts with 3 1/4", 2 1/8" and 1 1/2" openings at the narrowest point. Each insert has a specially shaped opening that allows tilting the table to varying bevels depending on spindle size without interference.

The base cabinet is all steel, stable and puts the table at a comfortable 39" above the floor. the JET mobile base makes moving this nearly 300 LB machine effortless.
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Below the table is an iron dust shroud which ends in a 4"-diameter port that makes connecting your dust collector easy. This port is aimed towards the rear of the machine and keeps the DC hose out of your way.

The only thing the JET JOVS-10 Oscillating Spindle Sander lacks is built-in wheels. For many, that is not a problem at all. For those who need to move their machines around the shop, the JET mobile base kit (#708118) allows putting the JET JOVS-10 Oscillating Spindle Sander where you need it and parking it out of the way when not in use.

In the Shop

The JET JOVS-10 Oscillating Spindle Sander comes fully assembled except for installing the spindle of your choice. Between the tapered arbor and the threaded end, installing spindles (and removing them) is simple.

The table is a nice size with plenty of surface for even large sanding jobs. The cast iron surface is super smooth and very flat. The tilt feature is easy to use and the locking handles are very effective. The inserts simply snap into place and stay put.

See It Work!

The real secret behind the JET JOVS-10 Oscillating Spindle Sander is the oil bath gear case. The spinning and oscillating motions are silky smooth and virtually silent. The hum of the motor spinning is almost as loud as everything above it. The abrasive cutting wood makes more noise than the rest of the JET JOVS-10 Oscillating Spindle Sander.

The stability of the JET JOVS-10 Oscillating Spindle Sander makes sanding with accuracy almost simple. The motor does not bog and the oscillating motion appears to be unfazed by applying wood to the abrasive. The smooth, solid nature of the JET JOVS-10 Oscillating Spindle Sander lets you focus on sanding to your lines and making consistent curves. It doesn't get much easier.


With a street price of around $1000.00 (4-12-2008) the JET JOVS-10 Oscillating Spindle Sander may seem expensive. Consider the array of 10 spindles, each with the full tapered arbor along with the oil bath gearbox and this looks like a better value all the time. You can get cheaper machines easily. However, they are not going to match the performance nor the longevity of the JET JOVS-10 Oscillating Spindle Sander. I would also have serious doubts about cheaper versions being even close to the JET JOVS-10 Oscillating Spindle Sander in terms of smooth operation. If you like replacing machines, go cheap. If you enjoy machines that work right now and many years into the future, check out the JET JOVS-10 Oscillating Spindle Sander.

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