This week while traveling through the Lowe’s stores I call on, I stumbled upon this sander in the tool aisle. It’s called a restorer that uses a sanding drum to sand wood. It was originally $129.00, but Lowe’s had it on clearance for $69.00. I thought it was too good of a deal to pass up so, I bought the tool along with a box of 80 grit sanding sleeves and a paint removal wheel.
I’ve seen a tool like this being used one day while watching This Old House. Norm traveled to a cabinet shop that builds furniture out of old barn wood. They were using a Makita wheel sander to sand away all the dirt and paint to give the boards a clean look without removing the character of the old wood. I looked on Amazon to see how much the Makita costs and read the customer reviews. You can read about it here. Even though the Makita has a 7.8 amp motor while the Porter Cable only has 3.5 amps, both machines use 4″ drums, so I thought picking up this Porter Cable restorer for $69.00 was a steal.
I grabbed a piece of old flooring and tried the tool out.The restorer comes with a variety of sanding grits, from 60-120 so, I slid on a 80 grit sleeve and gently placed it on the wood being careful not to put too much pressure on the machine so it would not dig in.
After a few light passes, the wood was clean from dirt and grime. I even hooked up my shop vacuum to the restorer and very little dust, if any, escaped. The beauty of this tool is because it is a sanding drum, it slightly bounces off the surface following any irregularities in the wood. Had I used a belt sander to sand the board, the bottom plate of the sander would have flatten any of those irregularities away. After I was done sanding, the wood still had an old look, but was clean from dirt and grime.
Impressed with its performance, I decided to clean off the top of my workbench. You can see the difference between the sanded surface with just one pass with the restorer. The tool even has variable speed so I can gauge how aggressive the drum will sand.
You can buy a wheel to remove rust and paint from metal for about $12.00. When I use this wheel, I’ll make sure I won’t hook up the restorer to my shop vac. It’ll be just my luck that I’ll suck in a spark that will ignite the dust inside the vacuum bag creating a dust bomb. No thanks.
5 thoughts on “Porter Cable Restorer”
Thanks for sharing. I watch this old house all the time, but if I saw the episode mentioned I forgot it.
It must have been an old episode because the show wasn’t on PBS. It was a regular channel with commercials. When I saw the tool being used I thought to myself “what is that”? I looked on Amazon to see how much it costs and read the reviews where most of the people use it on reclaimed lumber. I’m sure the Makita works better than the Porter Cable, but I couldn’t resist the price.
Here’s the story behind that product.
It’s good to know it’s been successful for you.
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Thanks for the link. It is an interesting read. It’s unfortunate that Lowes’s already has the tools on clearance. Like most new products that enter the marketplace, the consumer needs to be educated on the value of the tool. Porter Cable should of had a video kiosk that showed the tool in use so people could see what it does. Hopefully I’ll be able to buy accessories on Amazon.
I was thinking the same thing about the clearance price. That concerns me. I could also see them marketing it at the shabby chic crowd. Good on you for getting a good deal though.