Belt Sanders - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum

 
Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 17 Old 07-01-2008, 09:21 AM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
woodworks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Bellaire, OH
Posts: 372
View woodworks's Photo Album My Photos
Belt Sanders

Hey guys, long time no talkie, no seeie.
I've been busy and haven't had a chance to get in here.

Got a questions for those of you who use belt sanders.

I have a makita 4x24 belt sander. I recently picked it up to use it and found that the drive roller fell off in my hands (actually, just the rubber sleeve). I also found that the front roller wouldn't turn. I was looking at parts and found that they are priced OUTRAGOUSLY high (IMO). The drive roller alone is $50.00.

So after looking, I am wondering this... Would I be better off buying a new one? I'm really not in the mood to tear this one all apart and try fixing it when I'm not really sure what all it needs. As of yet, at this time, I haven't gotten an estimate of what it would cost to send it in and have it fixed. I'm not sure but I think it's 20 or more yrs old. It has been a great sander and has done me a good job over the years.

I would like to know what is thought of the 3x21 sander. I like the big boy. It will take a lot of wood off in a hurry. But, I don't really do that much with a belt sander anymore. The only reason I grabbed for it the othere day was to sand down some pocket hole plugs that I put in. I ended up plaining down and then sanding with an orbital.

There are on occasions when I need it to sand down a glue up job that is too big to go through my drum sander. One of the other things I need it for is to sand down the dovetails that I use with the Kehoe dovetail jig. That takes a bit of work and the belt sander is the best thing I've seen to take it down smooth and be fast about it.

So anyway, can you guys give my your opinion's on the pro's and con's between the two sizes???

Thank you for your time guys.
woodworks is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 17 Old 07-01-2008, 10:35 AM
Senior Member
 
Davet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 174
View Davet's Photo Album My Photos
Personally... I like a smaller belt sander.
I have bad wrists and like the smaller sanders for one hand use.

I have the smaller flat top Makita model #9910
It tracks well, belts are sold just about everywhere.
Handy to flip over on its back for sanding small pieces.
Fits in a vise well.
Davet is offline  
post #3 of 17 Old 07-01-2008, 11:06 AM
Pianoman
 
pianoman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Southern Indiana
Posts: 718
View pianoman's Photo Album My Photos
Hi Woodworks, Belt sanders can be handy. I`ve had a Bosch 4x24 for years...in my opinion the 4x is alot more easy to controll and keep flat while using. I really don`t do much flush sanding with it anymore. In the interior trim world...it was mainly used for floor prep...there were ocasions when I had it clamped to my work surface for smoothing french curved window sills...or to put a hollow grind on the face of a trashed out chissel. Nowadays, with properly planed facing and the Kreg screwing jig...there is very little flush sanding needed! A flexable Japanize pull hand saw in my opinion is best for dowels and splines and whatever...followed by hand block sanding. But...to each his own! Rick

Never... I mean always... never mind Rick
pianoman is offline  
post #4 of 17 Old 07-01-2008, 01:31 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
woodworks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Bellaire, OH
Posts: 372
View woodworks's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by pianoman View Post
Hi Woodworks, Belt sanders can be handy. I`ve had a Bosch 4x24 for years...in my opinion the 4x is alot more easy to controll and keep flat while using. I really don`t do much flush sanding with it anymore. In the interior trim world...it was mainly used for floor prep...there were ocasions when I had it clamped to my work surface for smoothing french curved window sills...or to put a hollow grind on the face of a trashed out chissel. Nowadays, with properly planed facing and the Kreg screwing jig...there is very little flush sanding needed! A flexable Japanize pull hand saw in my opinion is best for dowels and splines and whatever...followed by hand block sanding. But...to each his own! Rick
I don't do any more hand sanding then I absolutly have to. I have a flexable saw, but I still don't like to cut flush because in my opinion it is better to sand flush. The saws are great for getting close though.

As far as the Kreg, I have had the screws pull the boards out of flush. If you have a board too long and/or too wide for a flush clamp, then it is very easy to have them pull out of flush. If it is too bulky to run through the drum sander, that is where the belt sander comes in very handy.

Since I've never used a 3" sander, I am just wondering how it handles and how fast and aggressive it will be. That is why I'm hopping to find some guys who have used them both. Right now since I have only used the 4", I think it's the greatest. Of course that doesn't mean it actually is. I have nothing to compare it to.
woodworks is offline  
post #5 of 17 Old 07-01-2008, 01:35 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
woodworks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Bellaire, OH
Posts: 372
View woodworks's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by Davet View Post
Personally... I like a smaller belt sander.
I have bad wrists and like the smaller sanders for one hand use.

I have the smaller flat top Makita model #9910
It tracks well, belts are sold just about everywhere.
Handy to flip over on its back for sanding small pieces.
Fits in a vise well.

Hey Davet:
What about tipping? With the width being narrow, how does it do on keeping it flat?
woodworks is offline  
post #6 of 17 Old 07-01-2008, 06:25 PM
Old School
 
cabinetman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: So. Florida
Posts: 24,062
View cabinetman's Photo Album My Photos
Belt sanders take a knack to use. It's getting used to them. I have 4x24's and 3x24's and use the 3x24's most all the time. They are lighter and IMO, easier to control.






cabinetman is offline  
post #7 of 17 Old 07-02-2008, 08:18 AM
Curmudgeon in Training
 
Geoguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Collinsville, OK
Posts: 830
View Geoguy's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by woodworks View Post
Hey Davet:
What about tipping? With the width being narrow, how does it do on keeping it flat?
I rarely use a belt sander (they kinda scare me because they can eat up a lot of wood in a hurry), but I had to use one just this past weekend to flatten a glued-up top. I have a 3"X24" and a 3"X18" - used 'em both on the top and they worked great. Never had any problems keeping the 3" wide sander flat. I've never used a 4" belt sander - it might take me for a wild ride.
Geoguy is offline  
post #8 of 17 Old 07-02-2008, 09:32 AM
Senior Member Grandpa
 
drcollins804's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Western Kentucky
Posts: 397
View drcollins804's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoguy View Post
I rarely use a belt sander (they kinda scare me because they can eat up a lot of wood in a hurry),
I have 2 handheld and two fixed base belt sanders and use them alot. I keep one handheld with 220 grit and vary the other according to whether I want to eat a lot of material or just smooth a small area. Like all tools you must pay attention to setup. I keep an assortment of Grits for all my sanders and don't have a problem with them eating too fast unless I failed to check the grit paper on the sander.
David
drcollins804 is offline  
post #9 of 17 Old 07-02-2008, 10:09 AM
Senior Member
 
Davet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 174
View Davet's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by woodworks View Post
Hey Davet:
What about tipping? With the width being narrow, how does it do on keeping it flat?
The little Makita is very stable. The lightweight makes it a great hand held sander, great for most all of the things that I normally do with a sander. To me I have better control with this light sander than I would have with a big heavy sander especially doing vertical sanding. Tipping has not been a problem.

If I had large flat areas with heavy removal say like a floor to do, I would use a larger sander. I don't think the little drive belt on the Makita would hold up to long for extended prolonged heavy use.

Dave
Davet is offline  
post #10 of 17 Old 07-02-2008, 10:39 AM
Pianoman
 
pianoman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Southern Indiana
Posts: 718
View pianoman's Photo Album My Photos
Kreg screwing takes a little practice...using vise grips keeps the two peices together so they don`t shift. A clutch on the drill helps alot!

Never... I mean always... never mind Rick
pianoman is offline  
post #11 of 17 Old 07-02-2008, 02:33 PM
Curmudgeon in Training
 
Geoguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Collinsville, OK
Posts: 830
View Geoguy's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by drcollins804 View Post
I have 2 handheld and two fixed base belt sanders and use them alot. I keep one handheld with 220 grit and vary the other according to whether I want to eat a lot of material or just smooth a small area. Like all tools you must pay attention to setup. I keep an assortment of Grits for all my sanders and don't have a problem with them eating too fast unless I failed to check the grit paper on the sander.
David
Ever since I got my first random-orbit sander I rarely use a belt sander. I use the random-orbit tool for most sanding jobs and keep coarse grit belts on the belt sander and only use it for heavy cutting. I guess that's why I implied they can eat up a lot of material fast.
Geoguy is offline  
post #12 of 17 Old 07-03-2008, 07:14 AM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
woodworks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Bellaire, OH
Posts: 372
View woodworks's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by pianoman View Post
Kreg screwing takes a little practice...using vise grips keeps the two peices together so they don`t shift. A clutch on the drill helps alot!
Even though I stared this about the sander, I have to say something about this post.

It does not take a little practice. It takes a LOT of practice. I personally and not very happy with this kreg jig at all. As far as the vice grips, I'm way past the distance of using those. The jaws just aren't long enough. Plus you take a chance on damaging the wood. Now while I may not be the sharpest tool in the shop, I am no dummy (unless you ask my wife). I am using hickory to make my kitchen cabinets and am trying to use the jig. All it does is split the wood. They claim you don't need to be pre-drilled, but you do. The only problem with that is that I can't find a drill bit long enough for that. Plus, while making face frames, the hole is too close to the edge and continually will either come out the side, or just split the side out.

And yes guys, I AM doing it the right way. I have done EVERYING the instructions say to do. I have adjusted everything that can be adjusted more then once. I even went to a smaller screw. So far, nothing has helped.

As far as the sander goes: I figured it wouldn't be any worse if I took it apart, so I took the two rollers off. Not as difficult as I anticipated. I think it will cost way less to fix then to buy new. If anyone knows where to find cheap parts, please let me know. While looking, the cheapest I could find for the drive roller was close to $60.00. I think that is about all I need for it. I got the front roller freed up and rolling easy.

Geoguy: You rarley use one, but you have two of them. What's that all about??? On those occasions when you decide to use them you have one for each hand??? And yes, they can and will eat some wood if not careful. I've certinaly gone through my share as well as a few others boards without realizing it. I agree with you about the orbital. That is why I don't use the belt as much anymore. But there are still those occasions when I find that it is the best sander for the job.

Thank you guys for all the posts. It's interesting what the thoughts are about different tools and their uses.
It sounds to me that there are still a lot of you that like and still use the belt sander. I'm glad to see I'm not alone in this.
woodworks is offline  
post #13 of 17 Old 07-03-2008, 09:09 AM
Curmudgeon in Training
 
Geoguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Collinsville, OK
Posts: 830
View Geoguy's Photo Album My Photos
Good observation, woodworks - and no, I don't use one in each hand But I could if I wanted - I could be a ninja woodworker! Actually, a buddy gave me an old one a few years ago. It's a very old tool and was rusty and completely caked full of sawdust. After I took it apart and got all the sawdust and mud dobber nests cleaned out of it, and shot it with a little WD40 - it ran!! That's why I have two - I just couldn't pass up a freebie, even if it didn't work right away.

Sorry, can't help you with your KREG jig - I've never used one.
Geoguy is offline  
post #14 of 17 Old 07-03-2008, 10:19 AM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
woodworks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Bellaire, OH
Posts: 372
View woodworks's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoguy View Post
Good observation, woodworks - and no, I don't use one in each hand But I could if I wanted - I could be a ninja woodworker! Actually, a buddy gave me an old one a few years ago. It's a very old tool and was rusty and completely caked full of sawdust. After I took it apart and got all the sawdust and mud dobber nests cleaned out of it, and shot it with a little WD40 - it ran!! That's why I have two - I just couldn't pass up a freebie, even if it didn't work right away.

Sorry, can't help you with your KREG jig - I've never used one.
A ninja woodworker??? How stealth can a screaming belt sander be? I guess that is opposed to a screaming ninja.

I don't blame you a bit for taking a freebie. I need friends like that. Wanna be my friend??? Oh wait, you took the deal instead of giving it. Does your friend wanna be my friend??? Or did he already give all his tools away?
woodworks is offline  
post #15 of 17 Old 07-05-2008, 01:03 AM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 3
View jjwoods's Photo Album My Photos
I have three Dewalt a craftsman both 3x24 and a small BD sand cat is a 2x12 . i use them ever so often but when that time comes nothing else will work...I took me a longtime to use one the right way.
jjwoods is offline  
post #16 of 17 Old 07-05-2008, 07:26 AM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
woodworks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Bellaire, OH
Posts: 372
View woodworks's Photo Album My Photos
Ok, so there are a few of you that seem to have more then your share. Why is that? Personally I haven't seen the occasion when I needed more then one belt sander. When it comes to other sanders, I can see the need. I have a half dozzen of the orbital and finish sanders combined, but why more then one belt?

This is just a question out of curiosity. I understand the need to have several tools of the same. I'm just not understanding why the belt sanders. Do you guys use them that much?

And again, thanks for all the posts. Although I don't use it often, I am with you guys, it's really nice to have it when it's needed.
woodworks is offline  
post #17 of 17 Old 07-05-2008, 09:05 AM
Senior Member
 
Davet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 174
View Davet's Photo Album My Photos
Other than a production shop the normal or hobby shop does not need more than one belt sander. There is no written rule on how many of any kind tool(s) a wood worker needs. To me its a matter of application and convenience and preference.
The heavy sander for large big sized projects that you need a lot of surface removal. The small sander for lighter applications and smaller projects.

Having just one large sander could cover both applications, but the
lighter sander offers more control and saves a lot of wrist and arm strain on the lighter jobs.
Davet is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Belt sander throwing its belt. 16ga Power Tools & Machinery 15 07-09-2011 01:00 AM
Air-Powered RO Sanders? Capt Crutch Power Tools & Machinery 6 05-08-2009 12:53 AM
Belt Sanders mics_54 Shop Safety 6 01-13-2009 03:46 AM
Link Belt vs V Belt John in Tennessee Power Tools & Machinery 2 08-20-2008 07:05 PM
Thickness sanders Paul K Power Tools & Machinery 4 01-17-2008 12:26 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome