Sanding & Downdraft Tables
If you're in the market for a new or used sanding or downdraft table, you're likely to have many options to choose from. However, the form and function of the downdraft or sanding table you choose should meet your specific woodworking needs.
Here are some key feature to look for when building or choosing a downdraft or sanding table:
One of the key features of a downdraft or sanding table is the ventilation built into the table.
Free Standing: If you're a casual woodworker, you can choose a free standing table that doesn't have an external source of ventilation. If you choose the free standing option, however, you should look for a table that includes an elevated sanding platform, which allows sanding debris to collect safely beneath the sanding platform.
External: an externally ventilated sanding or downdraft table sends sanding debris outside or into a ventilation shoot. Because the ventilation hose must be connected to the table, you'll need to choose a table that fits into your workspace. 2.5" inch dust ports suffice for ventilating most residential downdraft or sanding tables.
Wood or Metal
Most downdraft or sanding tables are primarily constructed from metal or wood. Each material has obvious benefits (metal is sturdier and more durable, while wood is lighter), however, there are subtler benefits to each material that you should consider.
Wood: not only are wood sanding and downdraft tables almost always cheaper, but wood is also more shock-absorbent when properly constructed. This means that as you sand, you'll have more control because the table will vibrate less. However, if the wood table is imbalanced or constructed of cheap wood (pine), the shock-absorbent features can be mitigated. Wider wood tables, that aren't quite as tall, provide a more stable platform to work with.
Metal: aside from being more durable, metal tables can be better options if your space is limited. For instance, if you need to wedge your sanding or downdraft table into the corner of your workshop, a metal table can be made more stable from the buttressing benefits of the equipment wedging it in place. Similar to a wood table, it's very difficult to work with precision on a metal table that has any warping or instability. If you're building or looking to purchase a downdraft or sanding table, be sure that all for corners are level and the sanding platform is securely held in place.
To learn more about your options, contact services such as Aerospace Facilities Group, Inc.