Power Tool Review

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Kevin Morin
Posts: 665
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2008 11:36 am
Location: Kenai, Alaska

Power Tool Review

Postby Kevin Morin » Sat Jul 29, 2017 10:45 am

Since I didn't see a specifically Tool related category to post this review in, I'm posting in Metal because that's where I'm using the tool.

Eastwood offers a Surface Contour Tool that an electric powered (117VAC 9 Amp) horizontal roller style sander, buffer, finishing tool. http://www.eastwood.com/eastwood-contour-sct.html I just bought one and paid the list price of 200.00 US$ to see what use I could make of this tool in odd jobs, I'm not building any boats right now.

I consider the tool a good buy- it appears to be on sale right now for 20.$ off the list price so it seems a better value for the money now? I can't remark about tool life but I can state that it has good power and using a couple of the 'scotchbrite-like' 4" wide wheels I was able to clean some old weathered aluminum for welding in a very short time. Further, the horizontal roller wheel compared to a flat rotary disk grinder is just as aggressive at cleaning the surface as a 4" grinder for the same grit.

The only design and use related complaint I have is the machine screw that needs to be removed, and replaced to change the wheels; I'd have preferred some type of 1/2 twist-lock assembly on the main drive shaft that allowed a tool-less abrasive wheel change. Instead the SCT comes with a left hand, cheese head, socket recess (Allen) hex driven machine screw that has to be loosened and re-tightened using an Allen key. Not the end of the world, but if you're cleaning a small area- bringing it through the grit progression to a shine or finish- there is a slow down as you replace the wheels.

The consumables are not cheap, at about 60$ for the different grits of 'scotchbrite-like' plastic abrasives; to avoid brand name conflict the company refers to these surfacing wheels as 'non-woven nylon' but they are similar to the 3M scotchbrite (tm) materials. Eastwood offers a rubber sanding drum and a spread of grits 80, 120, 240 ( each sleeve is $3) but I can't remark about their use more than a practice swipe or two on some aluminum. I would guess these sanding rolls would do well on wood, but I'm not sure how the roller would act compared to other power tool surfacing geometry in a wood sander?

I have not tried out the two steel and rust targeted roller wheels- they're a bit too aggressive for aluminum work that I've had since I've had this tool. I don't do that much work in steel, but will try to report on their performance once I have these two coarse rollers on some rusty steel or have to strip some paint?

The last consumable roller I bought with the tool was a cotton (? might be synthetic?) felt polishing roller wheel. I used this wheel after the orange/medium grit nylon followed by the blue nylon/fine grit rollers to polish some aluminum pipe. By adding a polishing compound (white grade polish in a stick form) to the wheel while it was running at the slowest speed setting (there are 1-6 speeds) then speeding the wheel up- the aluminum took a very bright chrome finish with almost no effort. So aluminum parts, like cutwaters, cleats, windshield frame parts, or deck mounted vents could be polished to a chrome shine using this tool very easily.

Summary: If you're doing metal work and can afford another few hundred for a power tool that is designed to follow contours on metal surfaces (wood too) this tool appears well made, heavy duty, and is offered with a variety of rollers for metal paint stripping, metal sanding and surface polishing. The Eastwood SCT works well to descale marine aluminum and even bringing those materials to a high level of finish in a short time- even if the shape of the work is curved and not all flat. IMO this is a worthwhile tool for anyone working in welded aluminum boats.

Cheers,
Kevin Morin
Kenai, AK
Kevin Morin

Kevin Morin
Posts: 665
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2008 11:36 am
Location: Kenai, Alaska

Re: Power Tool Review

Postby Kevin Morin » Wed May 09, 2018 1:43 pm

As built.jpg

This post is about making a dust collector for the Eastwood SCT roller sanding buffing and surface conditioning tool posted above as the thread starter.

The tool comes without any dust collection provisions so I decided to add my own by forming some steel. The black edge below the roller drum (black edge) is the back edge of the steel shield that covers the rollers and prevents any flying (shattered? busted?) debris from the operator. I show the tool here, as it comes from the factory.

finish_2.jpg

Here is the final dust collection manifold welded to the lower edge of the steel shroud in the first image (above). I could only find thin wall steel tubing in aircraft alloys so I used 4130 alloy tubing- not needed but it was available locally without hunting far.

removed shroud strip.jpg

First I cut a strip of the steel roller shroud off the back edge so I'd be able to fit the intake tube down closer to the casting body of the tool and leave the roller more prominent - and to further this lowered profile:

next post?

Cheers,
Kevin Morin
Kevin Morin

Kevin Morin
Posts: 665
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2008 11:36 am
Location: Kenai, Alaska

Re: Power Tool Review

Postby Kevin Morin » Wed May 09, 2018 1:48 pm

2nd flat end.jpg

this image shows the flattened piece of 1-1/4" tube laying about where it will end up- and a flattened end of some 1-1/2" tube both of which are more oval than rounded- so the seam between them will be a bit odd- not a straight miter due to the shapes. I just put the tube or tube end in a vise and squeezed the main shape- then pounded a bit with a hammer to get some shape adjustments.

joint fit_2.jpg

shape of the miter seam allows the shape transition and joint to be relatively smooth- not all that critical for air flow and dust collection! The outer mitered segment is left to fill with scraps from the saw cuts on these two pc.'s joint cuts.

corner_1.jpg

rough fit of mitered opening- this little remnant fit the bill for a patch pc that sort of 'rounded' the outside corner of the manifold.

next post
Kevin Morin

Kevin Morin
Posts: 665
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2008 11:36 am
Location: Kenai, Alaska

Re: Power Tool Review

Postby Kevin Morin » Wed May 09, 2018 1:51 pm

corner_2.jpg

a little sanding and the outside gore is ready to weld in- filling the outside corner making a kind of rounded end fit?

corner_3.jpg

welded and sanded to a decent surface, the manifold is close to being attached to the steel shroud's back edge (that was cut down)

cap_2.jpg

cap for the oval intake manifold that is drilled with a group of 3/8" holes as intake ports.
Kevin Morin

Kevin Morin
Posts: 665
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2008 11:36 am
Location: Kenai, Alaska

Re: Power Tool Review

Postby Kevin Morin » Wed May 09, 2018 1:54 pm

cap_4.jpg

end cap of 16 gauge welded to horizontal dust manifold

fit up finished manifold.jpg

final welded manifold being fit to weld to the shroud prior to painting and test run.

weld_1.jpg

tube to shroud welds in the corners- doesn't take much to keep this light wt material together.
Kevin Morin

Kevin Morin
Posts: 665
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2008 11:36 am
Location: Kenai, Alaska

Re: Power Tool Review

Postby Kevin Morin » Wed May 09, 2018 2:11 pm

test fit_1.jpg

testing prior to painting - worked well, no dust and not too badly in the way of the handle and operator's grip. Hoses are always a pain but this makes the tool much more useful in a shop.

finish_2.jpg

Inverted to show the part/manifold all painted to look a little more presentable. Hose off the larger vacuum used during the test- the 1-1/2" outlet and adapters will allow about any shop vac to connect.

finish_3.jpg

Looking down on the tool ready to use- the larger hose wasn't much problem to handle on the bench- if the tool is used in vertical, overhead or other positions compared to downhand ? well taping the hose to the cord or making a strain relief to attach the hose to the tool's handle or just going to smaller vac hose may all turn out to be worth the time?

The manifold does not join between the smaller drilled tube and the large tube; at 90 deg.s I wanted some body to tube clearance for the shop vac hose attachment fittings so.... I angled the two tubes to 110 or 115 deg.s (not measured, just by eye when making miter joint).

A note on this tool shown above- there are roller flap drum combination wheels available. THESE are very nice drums- there is a sheet or flap of sand paper inserted between a nylon or scotchbrite type of abrasive. The sanding sheets come in 80, 120, 240 grits and have become a very widely used tool in the shop. I was using the straight woven nylon or scotchbrite type wheels without the flap layers- and those are not nearly as aggressive and wear out with much less use.

The drums without sanding flaps do polish nicely and I still recognize that very useful function- but for stripping mill scale, cleaning up water stained off cuts that have been in the pile for years- out in the weather- the flap sanding drums were extremely useful and big improvement over the drums without those layers.

All this tool needs now is for the manufacturer to provide these dust intake fittings of inexpensive plastic so that buyers don't have to build there own! ON the other hand- if you've acquired one of these SCT drum sanding tools? Here is how I made the manifold to pull out dust at the source- in case you need to equip your tool with one.

NEXT: the tools need a quick change drum release and lock mechanism so that the left hand, metric, allen head, socket recess machine screw is not loosened and tightened over and over to change grits by swapping drums.

If there are any questions about the project please don't hesitate to post- I could not weld this without TIG as my stick or MIG skills don't scale down to this size metal. The work cold be done by brazing too, but I used TIG as it was the only way for me personally to make these smaller scale welds.

Cheers,
Kevin Morin
Kenai, AK
Kevin Morin

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kens
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Location: Coastal Georgia

Re: Power Tool Review

Postby kens » Wed May 09, 2018 6:46 pm

That looks like what I would call a badd actor
I have used the little scotch brite pads on a 90-degree die grinder, they move metal pretty fast
I once had a scotch brite pad on a 90-degree 4 1/2" grinder, I think it was called a 'Tiger Wheel', that was pretty aggressive too.
Oak is over rated, everything about it takes extra time; then it warps, splits or checks !!! :roll:

Kevin Morin
Posts: 665
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2008 11:36 am
Location: Kenai, Alaska

Re: Power Tool Review

Postby Kevin Morin » Wed May 09, 2018 9:23 pm

Kens,
I think it's as aggressive or docile as the grit of the wheel? The 240 grit sander/buffer sure doesn't gouge or cut off huge layers or metal- haven't tried it on wood yet? For certain the felt polishing wheel with some buffing rouge or white polishing paste will bring up a great shine on aluminum- probably do so on SS or steel too?

Don't know all the ins and outs yet- but now that the dust factor is in control I'm using this tool every time I prep aluminum.

Cheers,
Kevin Morin
Kenai, AK
Kevin Morin


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