Belt Sanders - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 11-14-2008, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
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Belt Sanders

Hey gang, I wanted to give you all a word of warning many never think about. Belt sanders create alot of dust and it's a genuine concern to be careful not to breath dust particles but... I wanted to call your attention to another aspect of safety concerning belt sanders. In 1971 I was about 16 years old and enjoyed woodworking with my step dad in the garage/shop ( we never used the garage for cars) I was building a couple of padauk octagan entables. The tops had some inlays at the 8 joints on the top. We had this big old beltsander that was made so as to allow its inversion thus sat on its handle and allowed it's use with the belt facing upwards like a table top. I was sanding these thin strips of wood for the inlays and fitting them when all of a sudden I came concious and my vision was like an old tv turning on with a small dot in the center and began to become larger and a picture becomeing visible. When it made sense as to what I was looking at it became apparent that it was my hand and on it was a still running beltsander. I felt no pain as the shock had obviously set in. I freaked out and threw the belt sander off my hand...far enough that it unplugged the 25 foot extension cord before it bounced passed the end of the driveway out into the street. I do not know if the initial insertion of the thumb and index finger into the small space between the 80 grit belt and the knife edge on the housing was what broke my index finger in 7 places or if it was the hasty removal. The thumbnail and what was used to be under it along with 1/2 of the bone that used to be there was gone. I know this is gross but I want to warn you. Belt sanders are dangerous. Do not be fooled by the lack of a blade or other tool so obviously sharp and rigid. Thanks to plastic surgeons after surgery and recovery I have full function of all my digits in their entirety but I sill have a deformed thumb nail. Wear close fitting clothes. Take a break when you get tired. Avoid distractions. While horror stories may seem cool to tell they are always better if they are fiction.
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post #2 of 7 Old 11-14-2008, 08:59 PM
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Very good advise there mics. Besides all the damage it can do - my belt sander has a mind of its own and when turned on travels just to about any place on my board that it wants too.


" have you hugged your pet today"
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post #3 of 7 Old 11-15-2008, 08:03 AM
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It's true about belt sanders as they are heavy and cumbersome, and really a two handed tool. My most memorable incident was getting my little finger caught by the belt near the rear and getting pulled up and around the housing and then discharged out the front.

It was very quick, and my finger got "sander rash".

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post #4 of 7 Old 11-15-2008, 11:08 AM
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Wise words mics 54. We hopefully all learn from other's misfortunes. There are far too many mistakes waiting out there for us to learn them all the hard way.

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post #5 of 7 Old 11-16-2008, 10:06 PM
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Very true. I was just telling a friend how I was belt sanding something at waist height one day and didn't realize I had a small tear at the bottom of my sweatshirt. In a blink of an eye I had a belt sander hanging off my sweatshirt at about chest height. No damage, but I can see how they could gnaw on the flesh pretty good.

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post #6 of 7 Old 12-11-2008, 12:29 AM
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i turn mine over quite often and use as a top sander for my turkey calls. have lost several finger nail tips. it is quite easy to get placid aroung these things.
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post #7 of 7 Old 01-13-2009, 03:46 AM
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Thanks for the advice. I keep that in mind. :)
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