Belt Sander recommendation. - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 16 Old 08-08-2016, 10:39 PM Thread Starter
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Belt Sander recommendation.

Looking to buy a belt sander for very occasional use. No major projects on the horizon however I would like to own a decent belt sander.

Like to spend around $100 and have been thinking about the Rigid one that Home Depot is selling for $100.

Recommendations would be appreciated. Thanks

Last edited by Rickcin; 08-08-2016 at 10:40 PM. Reason: adding a Thanks
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post #2 of 16 Old 08-09-2016, 08:13 AM
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I think I would rather get the Harbor Freight sander. It's only 33 bucks and works pretty good. Some times it doesn't track very well but if you keep the dust blown out of it that usually solves that problem.

I used to use a Porter Cable 360 sander but they kept re-designing the sander to where they aren't any good anymore. It's more than twice the money you are wanting to spend anyway.
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post #3 of 16 Old 08-09-2016, 11:00 AM
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I have a cheap Skil belt sander from menards. $50. Is it the cats meow, no. But it does do what I need occasionally. I agree with Steve, unless you do a serious amount of sanding with a belt then I'd suggest just getting a cheapo.
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post #4 of 16 Old 08-09-2016, 12:33 PM
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I have the porter cable, with the drive (weight) being off to one side. I don't like that design, as I always think I have to compensate for that and apply more pressure on the opposing side of the sander.


there are some mfrs that have everything in-line, or directly over the belt. bosch comes to mind.
http://www.rockler.com/how-to/find-3...sander-review/
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post #5 of 16 Old 08-09-2016, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all of your comments. I will not use this tool very often at all so think I should just go with the Harbor Freight sander.
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post #6 of 16 Old 08-09-2016, 07:04 PM
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I think HF does pretty well on certain things, I'm still lukewarm on their hand power tools.

They are either hit or miss on some tools, so with a 90 day warranty make sure you use the sander a bit when you get it, to make sure it works properly. A sander that won't track annoys the crap out of me...

You don't really indicate what you will use the sander for. I personally have never bought a new belt sander, my current unit is a Makita that is likely almost 30 years old, I probably paid $35 for it used, and it's been a great unit. I'd try to find a quality used one myself, but that is just me.
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post #7 of 16 Old 08-09-2016, 10:06 PM Thread Starter
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Funny, I had a used heavy duty one for years and when loading up the PODs, moving from NY to Virginia, I sold a bunch of tools thinking I would get some new ones when in Virginia. Big mistake, the belt sander was solid and I also got rid of a Hilti pistol hammer drill. Now I can clearly see I messed up big time!
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post #8 of 16 Old 08-09-2016, 10:22 PM
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I have two of the HF sanders. They sand well but if you let them build up with dust it causes the belt to want to walk off running it especially if you put pressure on it. Keep it clean and lubricate it from time to time with some dry lubricant and it will do better for you. I still find them better sanders than the Porter Cable sanders I replaced with them. They had changed the design on the Porter Cable sanders with a different drive belt which soon stretches out and slips.
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post #9 of 16 Old 08-09-2016, 10:49 PM
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What size are you looking for?

I have 2 - 4 X24's and 1- 3 X 21" a Porter Cable, a Craftsman and a Dewalt. I Like them all.

Fopr dust collection the small Dewalt is best, but any dust hose you have should be light weight type. I find that the weight of the sander is all you need for fast removal, but a fresh belt in the proper grit is very important. Skill in using a belt sander is acquired with a lot of practice/use. You can cause a whole lot of damage in a hurry IF you aren't paying attention.

I would plan on combining the belt with a ROS or a half sheet sander for best results. :smile3:

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)

Last edited by woodnthings; 08-10-2016 at 12:07 AM.
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post #10 of 16 Old 08-10-2016, 03:43 PM
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I've learned not to stock up on sanding belts. Sanding belts seem to have a short life span when kept in an unheated and uncooled shop or garage. It's very frustrating to install a brand new belt and have it break at the seam in less than one minute of use.
I bought a bunch of sanding belts and learned the hard way. Now I just buy one package at a time.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #11 of 16 Old 08-10-2016, 07:52 PM
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I have a very old metal housing Craftsman which I like very well because of the weight. Of course, they are not made of metal anymore. With a heavy weight sander you do not have to push down on it. You just use your hand to control movement.

On my sander the belt tracking can be adjusted with a purposed knob. I thought all sanders had this adjustment.

George
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post #12 of 16 Old 08-10-2016, 08:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
I have 2 - 4 X24's and 1- 3 X 21" a Porter Cable, a Craftsman and a Dewalt. I Like them all.

Fopr dust collection the small Dewalt is best, but any dust hose you have should be light weight type. I find that the weight of the sander is all you need for fast removal, but a fresh belt in the proper grit is very important. Skill in using a belt sander is acquired with a lot of practice/use. You can cause a whole lot of damage in a hurry IF you aren't paying attention.

I would plan on combining the belt with a ROS or a half sheet sander for best results. :smile3:
I have never owned or used a half sheet sander, just a belt and orbital sander.
Perhaps not the right use, but I am building a work bench with dimensional lumber, 4X4's, 2X6's and 2X4's and I was going to belt sand the exposed faces an coat with some satin poly. This might be a little over the top??
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post #13 of 16 Old 08-10-2016, 08:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rickcin View Post
I have never owned or used a half sheet sander, just a belt and orbital sander.
Perhaps not the right use, but I am building a work bench with dimensional lumber, 4X4's, 2X6's and 2X4's and I was going to belt sand the exposed faces an coat with some satin poly. This might be a little over the top??
I have a 1/2 sheet, and 1/4 sheet orbital sander, neither have been used in at least 10 years, maybe longer. Once I got a random orbit sander the orbitals became dust collectors, and I don't miss my hands getting numb from using them...

I would just get an RO sander for what you are doing.
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post #14 of 16 Old 08-10-2016, 09:35 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shoot summ View Post
I have a 1/2 sheet, and 1/4 sheet orbital sander, neither have been used in at least 10 years, maybe longer. Once I got a random orbit sander the orbitals became dust collectors, and I don't miss my hands getting numb from using them...

I would just get an RO sander for what you are doing.
I have a random orbital sander but was thinking a needed more power to smooth construction grade dimensional lumber?
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post #15 of 16 Old 08-10-2016, 09:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rickcin View Post
I have a random orbital sander but was thinking a needed more power to smooth construction grade dimensional lumber?
I think you are on the right track. Wood always has planer marks and tear out places on it which should be sanded out first before using an orbital and unless you have big bucks for industrial sanding machines a belt sander can be a lot of help. There is no telling how many kitchens I built where I sanded every square inch of the cabinets and doors with a hand held belt sander before I bought a stroke sander. Now my main belt sander is 6"x281"
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post #16 of 16 Old 08-11-2016, 09:49 AM Thread Starter
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Will do, thank you!
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