WEN 6502 Belt and Disc Sander Review
The WEN 6502 is designed to be a hardworking but light-duty workbench or tabletop sanding unit, which is ideal for small piece work, delicate touch-ups, and other pieces of fine crafting that would traditionally be done by laborious hand sanding.
The wide top surface, combined with the small side sander, is ideal for furniture, small crafts such as model work or the production of wooden decoys, fishing lures and other delicate pieces.
While heavy enough to keep from moving while being used, it is nonetheless light enough to be moved from place to place, making it equally ideal for mobile work sites, coming along to fulfill house-calls and other day work, and other situations where a tabletop belt sander is preferable to a more traditional floor unit.
Available with a cast-iron or steel base, the WEN 6502 is heavy enough not to move under the weight of most projects, although it is still advisable that, where possible, it be firmly attached to a work surface by clamps or bolts.
Its belt-and-disc layout is intended to offer maximum versatility so that a woodworker can rely on it to complete multiple parts of a project instead of turning to various tools.
For example, the large belt on the surface would be ideal for leveling a wooden cutting board or the decorative exterior of a birdhouse, while the spinning disc enables quick rounding of the edges to prevent splinters.
This makes the WEN 6502 an excellent machine for beginning woodworks and fine craftsmen who are looking for something that can sand something smooth or just eliminate some unwanted edges in seconds instead of minutes.
Both the plane for the wheel and the entire assembly for the belt can be rotated to improve the available angle at which the sanding is occurring.
While it is still necessary for the operator to limit themselves to pieces of wood that they can easily manipulate by hand, the ability of the machine to adapt itself to many types of sanding situation enable it to be more usable to more people in more situations.
This also prevents hand strain and minor accidents by making the machine quicker, easier and safer to use.
It also enables the operator to use the machine's built in protractors to carefully angle and gauge the wood, leading to an exact angle when sanding.
This ensures better, tighter joints when wood is to be joined, as well as ensuring that usual angles, which are common in small projects like dollhouses and doll furniture, can be easily achieved without the need to stop and take additional measurements regularly.
Use it with care
The design and layout of the machine, however, mean that extra care must be taken in its operation.
While it does not present the hazard of flinging sawdust into the operator's face like a traditional belt sander, the position, and location of both the belt and wheel increase the likelihood of scraping injuries.
Gloves should be worn when possible, and fingers, hair, and loose clothing should be kept away from the active surfaces at all times.
While the steel belt guard will keep most items from being pulled into the machine, the usage of the machine should be done with caution, although the use of finer grits of sandpaper and lower speed settings will reduce the impact of injuries should they occur.
Easy dust removal system
These shortcomings do not mean the machine is unsafe, however.
Carefully engineering of guards, along with standard features like a dust removal system that can connect to any shop vac, help prevent the most common injuries.
An operator who respects the machine will find it to be every bit as safe, if not safer, than traditional floor units.
Adjustable speeds and quickly changed belts and disks ensure that the operator will get exactly the amount of speed and power that he or she needs for the job, and at exactly the angle they require.
This makes the WEN 6502 the ideal tabletop sander for any person who knows they will be doing a lot of small projects.
Persons who want to make dollhouses, wooden models, wooden kitchen utensils or other small wooden pieces would find the versatility of the WEN 6502 ideal.
Such woodworkers would be especially thrilled to have a machine that can accurately measure angles for them, eliminating guesswork and ensuring tight, proper joints when needed.
While underpowered and limited for the needs of many professional contractors, it is nonetheless portable enough for furniture restorers to bring on-site, and its ability to attach to any shop vac will help reduce total work cleanup time as well as increase user safety.