Fixing paint jobs and restorations done by others can be a daunting task. In hopes to ease the burden this time, the JET Tools JAT-731 random orbital palm sander will be deployed to attack the paint issues. A 1956 Chevy Nomad was brought to us to install a big block, install a new wiring harness, install air conditioning, and fix paint issues from a previous, incomplete restoration. One thing is for certain, the JET Tools orbital palm sander seems fit for the job.
With the 502 BBC running well, and the wiring harness complete, our attention focused now on the paint and finish. Correcting the paint issues should remain mostly on the surface, as the bodywork seems not too bad. Sanding the red paint on the front fenders of the ’56 Nomad was the first order of business. I’m counting on the 6” JET Tools JAT-731 palm sander to outperform my previous air and electric palm sanders.
JET Tools History
JET Equipment was born in 1958 when the founder of the company, Leslie P. Sussman, took the first Boeing Jet Airplane trip from Seattle, WA to Japan. As a small dealer of manual chain hoists and trolleys, JET began; sold from a single hardware store in Tacoma, Washington. Beginning in the 70’s JET introduced a full line of industrial air tools and material handling products which included paving breakers and backfill tampers and forklifts. By the early ’80s, as JET continued to grow, the metalworking products became the core business line.
JET Tools is committed to being the supplier you can depend on for the epitome of quality, innovation and Service. JET Tools has worked hard to make this a reality that has been ongoing since they introduced their products more than 50 years ago. JET Tools are used by manufacturing professionals in plants, machine shops and workshops across the United States. The product lines have grown, and the distribution centers have expanded; but one thing has remained the same. JET still carries the same message of quality product, with the best features and benefits in its product class; all the while providing excellent service.
JET Tools JAT-731 Random Orbital Palm Sander – Performance
At the very first use, the performance of the JET sander exceeded my pre-conceived expectations. Without a doubt, vibration seemed to be much less on the JET, compared to any of the other sanders in my arsenal. The 220-grit sanding disc I installed on the JAT-731 cut into the urethane clear-coat without much downward pressure.
Using 90 psi of air pressure, counter-offset-weights rotate up to 12,000 rpm on the axis, letting the sander and sanding disc do the work. Most of my effort focused on the finish being cut by the pad, and I was merely guiding the sander where I wanted to sand. The sander creates very smooth and uniform surface, which will mitigate filler and building-primer later on.
Without discounting performance or features, there is not a lot to the JET JAT-731 sander. In fact, one of the benefits is the simplicity of the tool. Wrapping your hand around the JET sander is easy, and your palm depresses the pneumatic control valve that provides fuel (air). Simply put, the JET sander fits nice in my hand and is easy to control.
The composite body definitely aids in the trimming of weight and less fatigue, but I’m curious how durable this will be over time. At the same time, I don’t have any definitive data that makes it any less durable than a metal body. In comparison, if durability remained the same, I would choose for the JET composite body for the weight savings performance.
Even with the composite body, I notice things like the brass plunger valve beneath the metal palm lever that activates the sander. This proves JET is not skimping on manufacturing and there is definite thought in longevity. Furthermore, The counter-weights underneath the sanding pad seem to be machined very well. All-in-all, this seems to be a very well-built sander.
JET Tools Orbital Palm Sander Features
Fueled by compressed air, the JAT-731 is a random orbital 6-inch sander. The 6-inch pad includes hook and loop fasteners (Velcro) for quick and easy replacement of sanding discs. Made from composites, the JET Tools orbital palm sander is durable while still being lightweight.
An exhaust silencer dampens any noise ensuring quiet operation of the sander. The circular motion of the 6-inch pad orbits in a 3/16” diameter. Throttling the incoming air is as easy as turning the valve beside the air inlet. Additionally, the ergonomically designed grip absorbs vibrations and reduces hand fatigue.
- RPM: 12,000
- Horse Power: .25 HP
- Weight: 0.83 lbs.
- Air Consumption: 3 CFM
- Vibration Value: 5.2 M/S2
- Noise Level: 76 db
- Overall Length: 5-3/4 in.
- Air Hose: 3/8 ID/in.
- Air Inlet: ¼ NPT/in.
- Air Pressure: 90 psi
- Classification: R 12
- Warranty: 1 year for wear and tear, Lifetime for manufacturers defects
The Final Cut
If working the finish and paint on this 56’ Nomad is any indication of the performance of the JET JAT-731, then I am impressed. With more than 25 years of restoration and bodywork experience, impressing me with a sander was not something expected. Tools make a big difference in this line of work. Anytime you can be more efficient with your time, get better performance, and have less fatigue, then you’ve hit the lottery. If you need a new sander, or you just need to upgrade, I would recommend the JET Tools orbital palm sander.
To buy the JET JAT-731 on Amazon, click here.