Sanding Belt shelf life - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum

 
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post #1 of 14 Old 06-11-2010, 10:28 PM Thread Starter
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Sanding Belt shelf life

I started to use my 3 x 21 belt sander with a "new" 60 grit belt and after 1/2 a minute of easy use it broke.....next new belt same thing....another belt, same thing. Then I remembered a thread here about sanding belts having a limited life where the belt separates at the splice.
Any one else had the same experience.? These are probably cheaper belts, I donno. Craftsman maybe.
Has anyone figured out the glue process yet, it seems like all sorts of tapes were discussed but no success. I think they are hot glued to a thin reinforced splice at the factory and that's why it's not a DIY repair.

any ideas or suggestions? bill

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post #2 of 14 Old 06-11-2010, 10:37 PM
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Did the splice break?

Or just the glue let go?

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post #3 of 14 Old 06-11-2010, 10:58 PM Thread Starter
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glue failed

I don't know if it's "glue" but one side stayed attached and the other separated from the splice. If I only knew how to "glue" them I could use the sanding belts on a roll, but I don't have a lot of faith there is a simple process for gluing..... bill
The splice material is very thin, looks like a fiberglass tape of some sort.

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post #4 of 14 Old 06-11-2010, 11:01 PM
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I would be tempted to try a contact cement.

Don't know if it would hold tho.

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post #5 of 14 Old 06-11-2010, 11:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdntrdr View Post
I would be tempted to try a contact cement.

Don't know if it would hold tho.
Sewing machine + contact cement. (That is at least how I kept my shoes together long ago...) Also: HF belts are cheap, and stay fairly long; I use mostly alum oxide...
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post #6 of 14 Old 06-12-2010, 12:20 AM
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I once used a couple of 20-year old belts and they worked just fine.

I did have a very unusual experience once where I used some high quality belts (3M as I recall) and they broke as soon as I turned the sander on, before I even put in pressure on them. The glue was defective and I got my money back.

So ... I don't think good quality belts have a shelf life, but that's just my limited experience. I go through boxes of 10 belts about once a year, so they don't stay around long enough for it to be an issue if there is one.

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post #7 of 14 Old 06-12-2010, 04:43 AM
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I find that the shelf life can depend on the humidity and age. There are drastic humidity swings here, it can be 30% before noon and 95% in the afternoon.

What doesn't make sense is a problem I have with silicone carbide belts (for sanding glass). Humidity or moisture shouldn't affect the belt because they can be run in water. What happens is the glue line breaks. It's an age thing. No telling how long the distributor stocked the belts, or how old they are.

For Al Oxide and garnite type belts I think the same applies. The bond looks to be a fabric type of glue tape that is catalyzed or cured by wave form.

I usually will pitch the belts when one goes because in a box of 10 they will usually all be affected. Having one come apart and flying around slapping the work can be a PITA.

The only luck I've had when I absolutely needed to repair one was to scrape off that fibrous coating (whatever it is) on the glue line, and spread out a thin even coat of a two part epoxy. I've gotten lucky and had it last long enough to finish the immediate need. Most other methods of attachment don't hold up to the tension, speed, or heat.






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post #8 of 14 Old 06-12-2010, 07:49 AM
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"I find that the shelf life can depend on the humidity and age. There are drastic humidity swings here, it can be 30% before noon and 95% in the afternoon."

Cabinet man "hit the nail" exactly on the head. If you want you belts to last, then store them in a place where the heat and humidity is controlled.

GMC
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post #9 of 14 Old 06-12-2010, 08:49 AM Thread Starter
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storing belts

The shop never gets below 50 degrees in winter, about 80 degrees in summer and the humidity is somewhat controlled by a window AC unit which is operated when I'm working in the summer. Most Michigan summers are not excessively hot.
Based on suggestions, (thanks guys) I think I'll immediately put new ones in plastic bags and store them in a cooler place.
I'll try the epoxy, easy enough to do, but you would think the whole splice needs to flex and so will the epoxy .....we'll see.
Seems other have had the same problem. It could be a quality control issue. Another idea is to magic marker the source on the inner side of the belt to establish "liability" heh....heh bill

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post #10 of 14 Old 06-12-2010, 10:42 AM
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Same problem w/Craftsman

I bought a Craftsman belt sander a few years ago, along with a selection of belts. I didn't use all of the belts right away, some sat for a few years. Virtually all of the leftover belts separated at the seam. I pretty much attribute it to cheap belts. CH
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post #11 of 14 Old 06-12-2010, 11:08 AM
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I had some HF belts go bad after a couple of years. When I pay for better quality they last a lot longer.

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post #12 of 14 Old 06-12-2010, 12:04 PM Thread Starter
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Same problem another thread

Sanding Belts
bill

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post #13 of 14 Old 06-12-2010, 12:31 PM
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The only time I toss a belt is when it is totally glazed over. I've had and still do have belts that're 8 to 10 yrs old and a couple 3 in my trailer which drops below -0- in the winter and well over 110 in the summer if it's been closed all day, (it's black). It's dry inside if its raining but the moisture content is high, condensate all over metal tools on cool nights and mornings. I used 2 6 or 7 yr old belts from the trailer late this spring and they were fine.

I can't say whether the belts are high quality or not I've had them so long and bought them at the Lumber yd.
Is it possible you put the belt on backwards? The belts have a rotation direction arrow.

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post #14 of 14 Old 06-12-2010, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chubbyhubby View Post
I bought a Craftsman belt sander a few years ago, along with a selection of belts. I didn't use all of the belts right away, some sat for a few years. Virtually all of the leftover belts separated at the seam. I pretty much attribute it to cheap belts. CH
Craftsman belts are as good as any, probably better than most.

As has been stated above, temp and humidity are your emenies.

Gmc
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