belt sanders! - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 05-16-2020, 10:02 AM Thread Starter
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belt sanders!

3X21 belt sanders - why do they always fail in the middle of a project, and why can't they build one that will last for more than 2 or 3 belts at a reasonable price? Over the years have killd a number of them. Last three were a Craftsman (1980s era), then a Harbor freight, and lastly a Wen. Craftsman the motor burnt out, the HF the drive belt broke and no replacement to be found, and lastly the Wen had a motor bearing die. Granted all these are the $50-60 type sanders, but should last more than for two or 3 belts.

I don't beat on my tools, I let the sander do it's thing without pressure, and vacuum it all over when done using. So, the Wen quit yesterday after (I think) about the third belt, so off to Lowes I go.
Just two models in stock - Craftsman, $60, and a Metabo for $160. Craftsman carries a 3 year warranty, so I'll keep the receipt, but it is still China made. Doubt the warranty is much good, but who knows. No other place anywhere nearby, so the Craftsman came home with me, fingers crossed.

OK, minor rant over.

Alexis de Tocqueville was a very smart man.

Last edited by John Smith_inFL; 05-16-2020 at 10:45 AM. Reason: removed corrupt emoticon symbol
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post #2 of 16 Old 05-16-2020, 11:05 AM
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The Bosch amd Porter Cable are expensive but worth it. Makita and Milwaukee are okay....
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post #3 of 16 Old 05-16-2020, 11:16 AM
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I just bought a pointy nosed Ryobi corded belt sander in 3"; after a longish period of only having a big Bosch 4" belt sander - which was/is too heavy. I shouyld have kept my Craftsman 3" belt sander.

Retired engineer-bureaucrat in Oakland, CA. Been working with wood since the 1960's.
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post #4 of 16 Old 05-16-2020, 11:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwi_outdoors View Post
I just bought a pointy nosed Ryobi corded belt sander in 3"; after a longish period of only having a big Bosch 4" belt sander - which was/is too heavy. I shouyld have kept my Craftsman 3" belt sander.
Send me the Bosch......How much?
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Last edited by Rebelwork; 05-16-2020 at 11:37 AM.
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post #5 of 16 Old 05-16-2020, 02:05 PM Thread Starter
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One thing I dislike on the Craftsman already - the goofy little bumpers sticking out. Already got in the way on the first sanding job. Might just saw them off - and there goes the warranty.
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post #6 of 16 Old 05-16-2020, 02:20 PM
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the big Bosch Sander

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Originally Posted by Rebelwork View Post
Send me the Bosch......How much?
I'm keeping it for my son, he just bought a 1910 era house
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Retired engineer-bureaucrat in Oakland, CA. Been working with wood since the 1960's.
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post #7 of 16 Old 05-16-2020, 03:24 PM
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The Bosch 4x24 with the left hand bag was the best made. I started with a Craftsman in 1983 when Holly a veteran cabinet maker was mad because he was asked to sand salad bars for laminate and suggested the young buck do it. I was tired but learned and was happy...

The Bosch is an excellent hand me down tool.....
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post #8 of 16 Old 05-16-2020, 03:44 PM
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I wouldn't drive to the hardware store and stand in line for $60 in warranty anyway, cut them off.


One thing I've found successful is to evaluate a piece of equipment when I buy it for future replacement parts. I've bought belts, switches, brushes etc etc immediately after purchasing the item. They are usually readily in stock while the item is current and I just toss them in a drawer for later. This has worked especially well with Craftsman since the manual always included an exploded diagram and a list of part numbers. Take a look and try to guess what might wear out then spend $20-$30 on a parts order. I don't get to use all the parts I buy because some just don't break but it keeps me from having to buy a new motor or search all over to find brushes ten years later.
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post #9 of 16 Old 05-16-2020, 05:04 PM Thread Starter
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Anyone see a problem here?
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post #10 of 16 Old 05-16-2020, 07:37 PM
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My 3 X 21" belt sander is a Makita. It's about 30 years old and has never needed any kind of service. Buy better tools if you want them to last. I steer clear of that low end garbage. It's a total waste of money, unless you know you only need it for one half hour job and will trash it or never use it again later. Buy once, cry once, and have a tool that will likely last you a lifetime.

Charley
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post #11 of 16 Old 05-16-2020, 08:09 PM
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I've got an older Makita 4x24, it just keeps on kicking...
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post #12 of 16 Old 05-16-2020, 08:18 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharleyL View Post
My 3 X 21" belt sander is a Makita. It's about 30 years old and has never needed any kind of service. Buy better tools if you want them to last. I steer clear of that low end garbage. It's a total waste of money, unless you know you only need it for one half hour job and will trash it or never use it again later. Buy once, cry once, and have a tool that will likely last you a lifetime.

Charley
It all depends. I have had some expensive tools bite the dust prematurely, and some cheap one lasting a long time. I have a small Harbor Freight trim router that must be 15 or more years old and still going strong, along with a couple of their 4.5" grinders almost as long. Best cheap tool I have bought was a HyperTough oscillating sander from Walmart. Saw it on the shelf for $9.00 and grabbed one. Worked well, so went back and grabbed two more - one for when the 1st one quit, and one for a gift. My "spare" one is still on the shelf, and the first one has gone through 15 or 20 or more disks already, and still works fine. Had a Ryobi prior to this, and gave it away because it vibrated so bad and was hard to control. Unfortunately Walmart raised the price- and now it's not listed any more.

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post #13 of 16 Old 05-16-2020, 08:35 PM
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I rarely use mine but it's a reliable beast. It's a 4" Craftsman I inherited from my dad. It's probably 50 years old, all metal construction and weighs a ton. I think even the trigger is metal.
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post #14 of 16 Old 05-22-2020, 08:30 AM
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Anyone see a problem here?
Your balls are bad.
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post #15 of 16 Old 05-22-2020, 08:38 AM Thread Starter
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Alexis de Tocqueville was a very smart man.
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post #16 of 16 Old 05-22-2020, 03:53 PM
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You are missing your balls!!! (as in ball bearings)
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