Orbital or Belt sander? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 Old 08-01-2015, 02:01 PM Thread Starter
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Question Orbital or Belt sander?

Hi all! I'm new to the forum here and am looking for some guidance. I'm a DIYer with not a ton of experience. I currently have a Corner Cat sander that works, but I'm wondering if I should invest a little into a belt sander to make the sanding process move along quicker? My projects are mostly small furniture pieces, shelving, and wooden signs. Any advice is greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
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post #2 of 7 Old 08-01-2015, 02:10 PM
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belt sanders require a lot of practice

They are not used for finishing as they tend to tip, wobble and dig in, leaving lines which have to be sanded out afterward with an orbital sander.... been there, done that with years of experience. They are great for roughing down a proud surface on a glue up, but even that require a special skill set.

So... are you convinced yet?

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #3 of 7 Old 08-01-2015, 02:48 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks!

Thanks for the reply woodnthings. I was thinking this would be the case but it's great to have someone with experience using both confirm! Much appreciated!
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post #4 of 7 Old 08-01-2015, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
They are not used for finishing as they tend to tip, wobble and dig in, leaving lines which have to be sanded out afterward with an orbital sander.... been there, done that with years of experience. They are great for roughing down a proud surface on a glue up, but even that require a special skill set.

So... are you convinced yet?
+1 on what he said. I normally use a smoothing plane for glueups, but other times I use my belt sander. In fact, that is the only time I use my belt sander.
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post #5 of 7 Old 08-01-2015, 07:33 PM
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When you have a ton of material to remove and the finish doesn't matter, the belt sander does a great job. If you want precision, it may not be the tool of choice.

I use my random orbital sander much more than the belt sander, but there are times where the belt is THE tool for the job at hand. Eventually, you will want both. Darn. More tools. :D
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post #6 of 7 Old 08-01-2015, 09:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by powertoolgirl View Post
Hi all! I'm new to the forum here and am looking for some guidance. I'm a DIYer with not a ton of experience. I currently have a Corner Cat sander that works, but I'm wondering if I should invest a little into a belt sander to make the sanding process move along quicker? My projects are mostly small furniture pieces, shelving, and wooden signs. Any advice is greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
~Powertoolgirl
A belt sander is like any other tool, you have to learn to use it. I automatically belt sand all flat wood and then use the orbital sander. There is defects in wood and mill marks that you really can't get completely out using an orbital.
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post #7 of 7 Old 08-02-2015, 12:09 AM
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I prep a lot of work with a beltsander. Usually, only some hand sanding is needed afterward. Fairly difficult to tip the Porter Cable or make it gouge, drives like a Cadillac. You may be able to blow up these pictures by clicking on them, 80 grit belt on red oak. I seldom use random orbit sanders for woodworking but I have several.
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