I hate my belt sander. - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 Old 06-25-2018, 08:14 AM Thread Starter
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I hate my belt sander.

I'm not sure if it's an inferior piece of equipment, or just the nature of the beast so to speak. It's just a cheap Skill sander (although fairly new), and most of the time it works fine, but every now and then, it won't track a belt to save it's life. One time I think it's the brand belt I buy, then I get proved wrong. Yesterday I thought it was just when the belt got hot and stretched, but then it did it with a new belt.

I'm guessing that this isn't the case with all belt sanders, but before I run out and buy a more expensive one only to have the same frustrations, I thought I'd get some opinions from those that have had good luck with the belt sander.
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post #2 of 11 Old 06-25-2018, 08:50 AM
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My belt sander is a very old metal bodied Craftsman sander. It is a good sander, but still on occasion there will be a problem. Usually it is the belt.



There is a tension adjustment of this sander. Usually this adjustment will cure the run off. On those rare times when it does not, installing another belt does the trick.


You do not say if your sander has this adjustment.


George
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post #3 of 11 Old 06-25-2018, 08:52 AM
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I'd suggest reading the published reviews. I have an inline, 3/21 belt sander. It tracks perfectly and the tracking adjustment is very finite and holds the setting forever. Dust collection is really good too. I chose the inline style as it can lay on its back to use as a grinder or small part sander also. It's a Ryobi and looks like a Bosch clone. Probably a tad noisier than the belt driven sanders, but it works just fine and it's getting pretty old by now. I tried my Brother-In-Law's belt driven PC and I think this inline style is more stable and easier to handle.

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post #4 of 11 Old 06-25-2018, 09:05 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeC View Post
My belt sander is a very old metal bodied Craftsman sander. It is a good sander, but still on occasion there will be a problem. Usually it is the belt.



There is a tension adjustment of this sander. Usually this adjustment will cure the run off. On those rare times when it does not, installing another belt does the trick.


You do not say if your sander has this adjustment.


George
Yes, it has the adjustment. I've tried adjusting it when it starts to act up, and it seems like all I do is chase it from one side to the next. The adjustment screw doesn't seem to move, and given the fact that sometimes it's just a matter of putting a new belt on, I'm leaning to think that it's not an adjustment issue. It may be that the adjustment system is loose, and moves from time to time, but it doesn't appear to be the screw.
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post #5 of 11 Old 06-25-2018, 09:13 AM
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Most likely it's the belts

Belts are finicky. They don't age well and are subject to humidity and temperature changes. Walmart has a pretty good selection online, I don't know about in the stores.
https://www.walmart.com/c/kp/sanding-belts

Go to a store with a high turnover rate, possibly Lowes, and where their return policy is good.

This brand gets good reviews:
https://klingspor.com/products/KlgprBlts.htm

I have used Benchmark Abrasives online with good results
https://benchmarkabrasives.com/

Then there is always :
https://www.ebay.com/b/Sanding-Belts/71306/bn_7835471

My common portable sizes are:
3 X 21, 4 X 24,
Stationary bench sanders are:
4 X 36, and 6 X 48
Grits are aluminum oxide, silicon oxide, and zirconia oxide. There are different grits for metal than for wood, so get the correct grit. Portable, hand held belt sanders have a steep learning curve even when the sanders are functioning properly. If you haven't used it in a few months, you'll have to practice a bit before starting out on your finished project to get back in the "rhythm" . JMO.

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; 06-25-2018 at 11:15 AM.
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post #6 of 11 Old 06-25-2018, 09:16 AM
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I have three belt sanders now (one Skil, one Bosch and one stationary Delta) and Iíve owned other belt sanders before these.
A good belt sander has its place in a woodshop but many projects have been damaged or destroyed with a belt sander. Especially table tops.
A good belt sander will hold its adjustments. If you have a machine that wonít hold its adjustments and you have to constantly make adjustments as you use it, my advice is to trade it off. More trouble than itís worth.

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 #7 of 11 Old 06-25-2018, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeC View Post
My belt sander is a very old metal bodied Craftsman sander.


George

I have one I inherited from my dad. It's a beast.
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post #8 of 11 Old 06-25-2018, 04:10 PM
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Sometimes the belt is the problem. It won't track on any sander you put it on. More often than not it's dust built up under the metal plate or pad. Sometimes all you have to do is blow it out with compressed air and it will work fine. I have the same issue with the two HF sanders I have.
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post #9 of 11 Old 06-26-2018, 02:14 AM
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LOL!

I hate my belt sander also. Oh, wait, that is your belt sander.

I hate them all, Even after building an ABSOUTELY square fence across the belt. (Don't go there)

Rich
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post #10 of 11 Old 06-28-2018, 04:38 PM
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My first belt sander was a Craftsman, circa 1979. Brand new, it could not track a belt. I returned it and they readily gave me a new one. Same thing. The store manager took out another from a carton and that one would not track either. We tried a different model, a 3" wide instead of the 4" I'd had. Finally got one that would hold a belt on the machine.



The moral of the story is....some models are junk and will not track a belt. Unlikely that it's the belt.
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post #11 of 11 Old 06-28-2018, 10:44 PM
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I have an olde belt sander,,, over 60 yrs old,,, not sure the brand, but it tracks like a champ.....oh, well, not really helpful, I know,,, just my two cents.
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