So I have been having a ton-o-fun with my little 1” x 30” bench top belt sander that when I stumbled upon a deal which would allow me to step it up a size I decided to go for it. A while back I had picked up a small belt/disc bench top sander; model CT148, from Busy Bee Tools. It is a China built product and is labeled Craftex under the Busy Bee name. The sander does not scream quality however it is built with a metal casing, not plastic, and for my home shop needs it has been doing great.
Well the other day I stumbled upon a larger 6” x 48” 1 horsepower unit with a 9” disc on it. This one is marketed by King Canada. King Canada is another company that brings in China made equipment in their lower lines. I wasn’t about to buy it sight unseen so I trekked down to the tool distributor and gave it a good visual.
The unit I was looking at was the KC-760L. This particular model was about half the cost of the more popular 1 ½ hp models that are commonly found from different manufactures. I figured that if I was working with wood then maybe the higher horsepower model may be required however in the case of metalworking I am typically not sanding large surface areas so therefore the power requirements would be less.
The KC-706L passed all the visuals. The unit is all metal, big, plus the fit and finish actually looked surprisingly good for a China built machine. The belt sander is adjustable from 0 to 90 degrees and anywhere in between. The belt plate is covered with a graphite pad which provides a super low coefficient of friction between the backing plate and the spinning belt.
The unit comes complete with a stand. The exterior quality and design of the stand is certainly one of the better ones I have seen when it comes to lower end equipment. However my one big complaint, which is the same complaint I had with my lathe stand, is that the storage is completely useless. The stand has no shelves in it, it is a big empty box of nothing, which in my opinion is a complete waste of cubic feet space in a shop, especially in a home shop where cubic feet is highly coveted. Eventually the stand may get reworked.
As far as performance goes…it is fantastic. I am unsure how I survived as long as I have without one of these in the shop. This sander coupled with the plasma cutter is an unstoppable team. I build lots of brackets or gussests out of .250″ thick flat bar. Typically the brackets get plasma cut and then cleaned up. I always like to put nice smooth radius cuts on the brackets and in the past have had to clean up the plasma kerf, and corners, with an angle grinder. The finished product was sufficient but far from pro looking. With the belt sander the plasma cut cleanup is 5 times faster and 100% more pro looking. The edges are clean and square and the curves have a smooth flow. I am hooked!
Over time I am sure I will become heavily dependant on the new garage family member and that is good. It brings me joy and that is important since it doesn’t make me any money. Its little Craftex brother has found a spot right beside him in the shop and the little guy is still very useful for the smaller stuff. It’s great to have them both around.