In Tools

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Tool: Table Saw Setup and Sanding Disks

Manufacturer: Infinity

MSRP: $29.90

This tablesaw set-up/sanding kit from Infinity really hits the mark for me. As I’ve noted in the past, a tool with more than one use always puts a smile on my face. The heart of the kit is a 1/8″-thick, 10″ diameter steel plate, ground flat to +/- .004″. Its primary use is to check the alignment of your saw’s miter slots to your blade. The bonus here is its use as a disk sander.

To check your tablesaw’s alignment, mount the plate as you’d mount a blade. Set up a simple gauge that will slide in your miter slot. The gauge should touch the plate equally at the front and back of the plate. If it doesn’t, you’ll need to adjust your saw’s trunnions or top. That’s another article altogether.

Initially, I had some reservations about the kit’s usefulness as a disk sander. A tablesaw runs at 3450 rpm, and a typical stand-alone disk sander runs at 1720 rpm. My fear was that the higher rpm’s would cause burning, which has been the case with other setups like this.  I tested it using 80, 150, and 220-grit sanding disks, and had no burning problems.

Tablesaw sanding disks aren’t new, so what’s different about this kit? It’s all in the fastening system. Typically, PSA-backed sanding disks are fastened directly to the steel plate, as they are on a stand-alone disk sander. The Infinity system uses a hook-and-loop fastening system instead. The disk with the “hooks” is PSA-backed, and sticks directly on the plate.

This is an upgrade in two ways. First, the abrasive disks are much easier to remove and reapply than PSA-backed disks. Second, the hook-and-loop provides a bit of insulation between the sanding disk and the steel plate, which equals cooler running, which minimizes burning. You still have to be careful, as with any disk sander, using light pressure. You might think that the hook-and-loop material would have a “padding” effect, making it difficult to create a truly flat surface, but I didn’t experience any problem there either.

The Infinity kit has a couple other advantages. It’s much cheaper than purchasing a stand-alone disk sander, and it doesn’t take up nearly as much space. The down-side is that it ties up your tablesaw.

The package includes a precision-ground steel plate with 5/8″ arbor hole, one each 80, 150, and 220 grit sanding disks, and one PSA-backed hook disk.

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