The condition in which the little fella came into the shop was, shall we say, not good. I spent a significant amount of time getting intimate with it using a wire brush wheel on a cordless drill.
I also replaced its drive v-belt with a link belt.
The result was, admittedly, pretty awesome.
I even replaced the little switch/name plate. You can also see in the photo above that I procured a mobile stand for it, which was a blessing. I was thinking during the refurb, "Gosh, I need to make this thing mobile like everything else in the shop." I jumped on Craigslist and, voila! - there was the mobile stand made precisely for this particular machine. And for just $40. Thanks, Cool Craigslist Guy.
But, the only constant at Tortuga Early Instruments Worldwide Headquarters is change. It really was quite difficult for me to make this call, especially since I had worked so hard on sprucing up the jointer. Finding a mint condition Craftsman 18/36 open-ended drum sander for $500 less than a brand, spanking new one helped with the decision; it was located in Mukilteo (northwest of Seattle), the place of my former abode, so my wife, Tonya, and I made the road trip yesterday to fetch it. It's amazing what you can fit into a KIA Rio.
The new machine now fills the hole where the beloved jointer once rested. This tool is a game-changer for me, especially given my physical challenges (getting older combined with a profession that has required me to sit on my butt for the last 30+ years = pain and suffering during and after sanding). Now, I can fine-sand just about anything my heart desires with a minimum of effort. I had always dreamed of having a drum sander of this size and quality, yet could not see a clear path toward acquiring one. I suppose the lesson here is to be careful what you wish for.
Until next time...