Random Orbit Sanders for Bottom Paint Prep


More than a century has passed since Art Emmons, a visionary young engineer at the 15-year-old Porter Cable Company, launched a technology race in the field of portable sanders. When he was just 26, Emmons, then Porter Cable’s chief engineer, came up with his “Take About Sander,” which resembled a modern portable belt-sander. It cost the equivalent of $5,000 today, but the value of the powerful handheld sander was obvious to trades people of that era. The pace of innovation in portable tools has hardly slowed since, although most of the improvements involve cordless tools.

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Drew Frye
Drew Frye, Practical Sailor’s technical editor, has used his background in chemistry and engineering to help guide Practical Sailor toward some of the most important topics covered during the past 10 years. His in-depth reporting on everything from anchors to safety tethers to fuel additives have netted multiple awards from Boating Writers International. With more than three decades of experience as a refinery engineer and a sailor, he has a knack for discovering money-saving “home-brew” products or “hacks” that make boating affordable for almost anyone. He has conducted dozens of tests for Practical Sailor and published over 200 articles on sailing equipment. His rigorous testing has prompted the improvement and introduction of several marine products that might not exist without his input. His book “Rigging Modern Anchors” has won wide praise for introducing the use of modern materials and novel techniques to solve an array of anchoring challenges.