Being bummed, I walked around the store and saw these little belt sanders on an aisle end. They are big enough for most of the sanding I want to do on curves and for shaping, but small enough that you can maneuver them around in tight spaces. And they don't take up floor space in the shop.
The tool comes in a box with a bunch of extra sanding belts, and an adaptor to allow you to hook it up to a shopvac for dust control. I found it felt solid and sat nicely in my hand. The grip on the tool is a soft rubber, but under it you can feel the hard body, which is very solid.
You turn it on with a rocker switch which is built into the front of the tool. The switch is supposed to be dustproof, but there is no rubber cover for it.
As the 3.6 amp motor winds up to speed there is a little torque on the sander, but it doesn't try to twist itself out of your hand. The feel is of calm control without much vibration or any strong surges. I liked the feel of the tool, and was comfortable setting straight to work without any adjustments to align the belt.
When working with the sander, I never felt like it was grabbing the wood or trying to get away from me. I was using it to shape white ash to round off the rocket ship found in this project. When I was done, the ship was nicely shaped without any burns, although there were a couple digs in the wood where I had allowed the edge of the belt to carve a line into the wood.
A nice bonus on this sander is that the return of the belt on the front is exposed which allows you to sand inside tight curved pieces. This way the sander can act as a spindle sander. This was a godsend for me when I sanded down the inside of the fins on the rocket.
Although I have only used the sander a couple times, I am really quite pleased with it so far. For $70 CAD at Busy Bee, or via Home Depot online it is a pretty good value. The similar tool from Porter Cable sells for $100, and I have heard that replacement belts can be hard to source. Belts for the Triton Sander should continue to be stocked locally by Busy Bee for some time.