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Rikon 51-200 12" Disc Sander Review


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This is just an initial tool review as I haven't had any real project time with the machine yet.

Unboxing:  Was packaged very well!  Even though the box really looked like it took some abuse in travel, there was a lot of styrofoam in the box and the ends were protected with 1/4" plywood.  No damage to the machine in shipping!

Initial Impression:  It's heavy!  I've left a link below to what I ordered on Amazon.  The first thing that jumped out at me was the Amazon didn't show the guard that covers 1/2 of the disc.  I'll be removing this for my needs but, just thought it odd that it wasn't pictured with the "safety guard" on the machine.  Additionally, the machine wasn't loaded up with the normal cosmoline you see on most machines with cast iron.  No assembly other than setting the table to 90 degrees and installing the T Handle on the top - I'll cover this shortly.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002FB74Y2/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1&fbclid=IwAR0frszeJdH-GM3tr-2cPq1CYvW8b58tZPKR3hhjch8-q7J-75ge21lOqP8

IMG_1106_HEIC.thumb.jpeg.765d9fcc081c526b5a06f669b95c2282.jpeg

Dust Collection:  The machine came with an adaptor but, my 2" Rockler hose hooked right up to the machine so, won't need the adaptor.  I also suspect that once I remove the yellow guard, the DC will not be at full potential ?

Miter Gauge:  No real surprise here, it's the same cheap one that comes with all machines of this sort.  However, the miter slot will accept most common miter gauges.  I was able to put the Harvey in it as well as the Incra but, some fine adjustments were needed.

What the hell is the T-handle on the top?:  It's actually one of the cool features!  It's a brake for the wheel and it actually works very well!  Spring loaded T-Handle with a brake pad attached to slow the wheel.

Noise:  The machine is surprisingly quiet!  I certainly wouldn't hear it over my DC!

Paper:  Looks like it comes with some pretty aggressive paper on it, I'm guessing 40 or 60 grit.  I don't currently have any replacement paper so, I'm not sure what the change out process is going to look like..  I'll update this review when I finally get around to changing the paper.  My past experience was that the first change is a PITA because of all the sticky residue that had to be removed.

Where'd the HCM go?  I think long term that I'm going to mount the HCM in my miter bench.  That's a project down the road so, I haven't worked out the details yet.  For the short term, the T-Track in my miter bench works perfectly to secure the HCM in place for use!

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So, there's my initial impression of this machine!  I'll update as I get some project time with it..  

My initial review is that it's pretty impressive considering the price point!

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That's cool.  I needed a disk sander but I was out of space in the shop, so I used a piece of 3/4 ply and turned it to attach to my lathe.  At some point I am going to have make a table but for now it works.  And it's variable speed.  (gotta look on the bright side)

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8 minutes ago, Bob said:

That's cool.  I needed a disk sander but I was out of space in the shop, so I used a piece of 3/4 ply and turned it to attach to my lathe.  At some point I am going to have make a table but for now it works.  And it's variable speed.  (gotta look on the bright side)

I haven't had a disc sander in my shop since 2 shops ago..  There's been a few times that I really wish I'd of had one so, it was on my list.

I'm getting to the point where finding space for "additional" equipment is becoming difficult but I'd been thinking about this one for a while now..

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Even the picture on Amazon the paper looks pretty aggressive.  I have seen asphalt with a higher grit.

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“If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?”  John Wooden

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1 minute ago, Chet said:

Even the picture on Amazon the paper looks pretty aggressive.  I have seen asphalt with a higher grit.

Yea..  It's pretty aggressive..  I made a quick mounting bracket for the Bandi-clamps and the corners of the 3/4" ply rounded before they even touched the paper... ?

 

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2 hours ago, Kev said:

I haven't had a disc sander in my shop since 2 shops ago..  There's been a few times that I really wish I'd of had one so, it was on my list.

It's probably my least used sander but when you need it it's nice to have. I used it over the last week to quickly sand some shop made veneer I was using for a box lid I was working on. I was glad I had it. 

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5 hours ago, Kev said:

I'm getting to the point where finding space for "additional" equipment is becoming difficult but I'd been thinking about this one for a while now..

In a shop your size, I can’t imagine. You’re gonna have to start piggy backing like the rest of us mortals?

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1 minute ago, Coop said:

In a shop your size, I can’t imagine. You’re gonna have to start piggy backing like the rest of us mortals?

That couldn't be further from reality!!!

When I designed this shop, I had some additions that I thought I wanted in the future and couldn't find legitimate room for them.  So, the thought process drifted towards "I didn't need them before, why would I need then now"....

Well, now it's the future..  There's some things that I'd like to have but, haven't accounted room for..

Things like a shaper and a CNC are not in my plans because of my lack of space.  This sander was on my list but, I thought it would be on a cart to use when needed or, another piece of equipment less frequently used would be on a mobile cart to make room.  Same thought with the HCM..

At this point, I'm more concerned with enough floor space to build larger projects than I am adding a shaper or a CNC!  I can get away with things used infrequently and rolled out when needed.

I've considered adding in Incra fence to my router table.  They're awesome but, would chew up some of that floor space to pull it off..  Am I willing to give up that floor space? Time will tell...  

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46 minutes ago, Jamie said:

Could you extend the top on the cart and keep the hcm on there as well?

I probably could..  I'd have a little concern with the cart becoming "tippy" in that scenario though..

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I would imagine that if you slid the mortiser farther down the track the hand wheel might be in the way of the refrigerator door.  But even if you can't slide it down any farther, unless I am missing something, 95% of the time it should work okay there.  The one in a hundred chance that you a making a cut on a real long piece you could flip it so the long end goes the other direction couldn't you?

“If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?”  John Wooden

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54 minutes ago, Chet said:

I would imagine that if you slid the mortiser farther down the track the hand wheel might be in the way of the refrigerator door.  But even if you can't slide it down any farther, unless I am missing something, 95% of the time it should work okay there.  The one in a hundred chance that you a making a cut on a real long piece you could flip it so the long end goes the other direction couldn't you?

The handle actually hangs below the top of the bench and fits the t-track perfectly.  I don't think it would interfere with the refrigerator, it doesn't hang that low.  The temporary solution for it will probably be adding a block under it so that the handle clears the bench top and then just pushing it back out of the way.  I end up with long pieces at the miter saw far more than I actually use the HCM..

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8 minutes ago, Woodenskye (Bryan) said:

If you rotated the new sander, would it be possible to have both (back to back) on the same cabinet?  

Maybe side to side, I'm not sure..

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4 hours ago, Kev said:

Maybe side to side, I'm not sure..

I’m going through the same situation with the hcm on a rolling cabinet. Haven’t bolted it to the cabinet yet for the tippy situation. Hopefully will try it out this week and will report back. 

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