Bench top sander

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Forum topic by Chuck Shellem posted 03-18-2010 05:40 PM 6588 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Chuck Shellem

36 posts in 3192 days

03-18-2010 05:40 PM

Hello all,

I’m looking for a bench sander for all the various uses. I was really intrigued with the Ridgid EB4424 and saw here and other forums where most folks were very pleased and a few had big problems with belt tracking. I fall into the second group. I’ve tried two now, the second is worse. The Norton belts from HD catches on the ‘wear plate’. I really wanted the Ridgid to work, but I don’t think I’m going for the ‘third try is a charm’ thing.

So, having looked around I’m debating between the Rikon 50-120 disc/belt compo or a 12” disc like the Delta 31-120. Rikon has a 12” disc also the 51-200, but I haven’t found any reviews on that. (Anyone have one?) At $350 the Rikon compo is way over the pre-approved budget, but I figure a couple of well place complements and promises of glorious new bedroom closet storage to the household treasurer might get me the go-ahead. I’m wondering how useful do folks find the belt sander on these compos? One of the reasons I liked the idea of the Ridgid was for sanding inside curves and edge sanding (albeit a short sanding plane.) I’m not getting a spindle sander anytime soon, but I wonder about the practicality of using the belt sander for curve work.

Any thoughts?

-- -- Chuck S.

21 replies so far

View dbhost's profile


5767 posts in 3431 days

#1 posted 03-18-2010 06:18 PM

If you still have the Ridgid, call their customer support line… Belt tracking problems are NOT normal, but I am sure they have a solution for it. Most likely a minor adjustment…

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

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Chuck Shellem

36 posts in 3192 days

#2 posted 03-18-2010 07:44 PM

I did call Ridgid support. Since the belt that came with the sander worked they believe that it was the Norton belts from HD (and the Gator(?) belts from Lowes) that were the problem and recommended that I use Klingspor belts. That’s find, but I can’t find them locally and don’t want to order them without knowing that they’ll work. I already six belts I can’t use.

Do you have the Ridgid, dbhost… Dave, just saw your shop – you do. What belts do you use? Have you ever had any issues with tracking? I really do like the idea behind the Ridgid. Oh, and I’ve heard people say that they have a hard time finding sleeves to fit the drums. (Looks like you only use the 2”, I suspect that would be my favorite too.)


-- -- Chuck S.

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5767 posts in 3431 days

#3 posted 03-18-2010 08:12 PM

The only replacement belts I have tried have been Norton from Home Depot… No tracking issues at all. I have a friend with a Bosch belt sander, same size belt as this benchtop job, and his sander HATES the Norton belts, no matter what he does the Nortons walk off of the platen… He uses Klingspor belts now with no problems. I am not sure why, but belt sanders can be funny about tracking, and the up & down oscillating motion of the EB4424 can’t make it any easier…

I’ve never bought sanding belts or pads from Lowes, but have bought he full sheet sandpaper for my 1/4 sheet sander there. The Gator stuff is okay…

I really like the Klingspor and / or 3M… If you have an Ace Hardware retailer close by, you might try to see if they carry the belt in a 3M.

Yeah, the 2” has been my go to spindle… As far as replacement sleeves are concerned, I have no issues with getting replacements from Home Depot. Not the best selection of grits, but they are there…

This is going to sound dumb, but have you tried adjusting this using the tracking knob?

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

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Chuck Shellem

36 posts in 3192 days

#4 posted 03-18-2010 09:44 PM

Yep, I did tweak the tracking knob. I was worried that I might wear it out before I could get any meaningful work done. I don’t like the way that the spring is installed on the tracking bolt. Seems to me that it should have flat surfaces on each end to press against. Anyway I hadn’t tried the 3M belts. I might just run to Ace. But first I have to exchange this sander for one with only the tracking problem.

-- -- Chuck S.

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5767 posts in 3431 days

#5 posted 03-18-2010 10:19 PM

Honestly, it sounds like something is goofy in the belt head on your sander. If you have the belt tension set right, the tracking knob basically is suposed to make the two spindles coplanar so the belt tracks straight.

Is your tracking trying to go up or down?

I am really sorry you are running in to these issues. Like you have noted, most folks that own them are very happy with them. Aside from the sleeve availability issue, yours is the first problem I have seen with these sanders…

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View Viking's profile


880 posts in 3394 days

#6 posted 03-18-2010 10:36 PM


I have the Ridgid as well and have had several months of absolutely trouble free operation with both belt and spindle sanding. I have used Norton belts, whatever Harbor Freight sells, and some I got from Sears yeas ago for my Craftsman belt sander

Don’t give up, there are too many of us having excellent results.

Good luck!

-- Rick Gustafson - Lost Creek Ranch - Colorado County, Texas

View sphere's profile


109 posts in 3230 days

#7 posted 03-18-2010 11:01 PM

Try a wrap or two of masking tape around the center of one of the drums. This “Crown” will help keep the belt centered once running properly.

I have the Orange version of the Rigd and use Klingspor myself and the blue norton ( I think) w/out any problems.

BTW I recently acquired a neat old no-name 4×36” belt 6” disc machine for had a worn out belt on it, and I had none that size. I did have some 6” x 16’ stroke sander belts in all grits, so I sacrificed one and used the old belt as a pattern, made my own with an angled join or splice, I used clear duct tape for the joint and it works like a store made belt or better.

-- Spheramid Enterprises Architectural Wood Works

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Chuck Shellem

36 posts in 3192 days

#8 posted 03-18-2010 11:25 PM

There are a lot of folks that like this sander!

Here’s what I tried (using a couple of different brands and grits). I put a belt on and start/stop to get a rough setting for tracking. Then I let it run to fine tune the tracking. Sometimes I can get it to track pretty well until I start using it. I only need to just touch the board to the belt for the belt to start moving up or down. I don’t see and particular preference for which way it moves. Other times I just can’t get it to track. The movement is always slow, but not slow enough that you can work without keeping a hand on the knob. There isn’t any tension setting is there? Just swing the lever over, right?

Anyway, I’m gonna give it another try. The one I have now has some other issue so I have to exchange it first. I’ll give that tape idea a shot too, but I don’t think I’ll try making my own belts right now. ;^)

Thanks guys.

-- -- Chuck S.

View 308Gap's profile


337 posts in 3202 days

#9 posted 03-18-2010 11:25 PM

DO NOT try the Rikon 4” x 36” Belt/Disc Sander Model 50-110 , I used it for less than on minute. Reboxed it and got a refund. The support for the disc table is plastic, very cheap tool.

-- Thank You Veterans!

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Chuck Shellem

36 posts in 3192 days

#10 posted 03-21-2010 05:40 AM

Well it seems that the third try is a charm. I went to HD and got another Ridgid and this one seems to be tracking just fine. I haven’t had a chance to give it a good workout yet, so I’m still a little leery. But the best part is that I didn’t have to make my own belts.

Speaking of belts were is a good online place to buy Klingspor belts? I’ve looked at the Woodworking Shop site, the selection seems to be limited. The premium belts are mostly the stiff Y belts. Anyone run these on the Ridgid?


-- -- Chuck S.

View Abbott's profile


2570 posts in 3503 days

#11 posted 03-21-2010 05:47 AM

Not yet Chuck but I may go ahead and order some myself after reading this thread. I haven’t had any tracking issues at all with my Rigid sander but it sounds like it would be worthwhile to order a few Klingspor belts.

-- Ohh mann...pancakes and boobies...I'll bet that's what Heaven is like! ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

View Dusty56's profile


11822 posts in 3887 days

#12 posted 03-21-2010 06:04 AM

I am an unhappy owner of a Rikon Boat Anchor / sander that I’ve sent 3 emails to Rikon to see if they could help me with the issues with their product . NOT a single reply from them to date !
Anyway , I purchased the Ridgid sander and haven’t even touched the Rikon for at least 6 months now….I knew that I should have gone with the Ridgid from the very start…..NO issues with tracking at all and I get my replacement spindles from Harbor Freight….nice grit selection and they are only about 20 minutes away from me : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

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Chuck Shellem

36 posts in 3192 days

#13 posted 03-21-2010 03:45 PM

I am sure glad I didn’t go with the Rikon. I surprised though, generally it sounds like people are happy with some of their other tools i.e. band saws, but then I really didn’t look into other tools much.

-- -- Chuck S.

View snowdog's profile


1166 posts in 4182 days

#14 posted 03-21-2010 05:43 PM

I just started looking for one. I was looking at the PORTER-CABLE 4” x 8” Bench Belt/Disc Sander at Lowes for $179.$Ntt=bealt%20sander$y=0$x=0&spellCorrectedTerm=belt%20sander

-- "so much to learn and so little time"..

View syenefarmer's profile


512 posts in 3279 days

#15 posted 03-21-2010 06:41 PM

snowdog, take a look see at the Hitachi SB10Yl. I have been very happy with mine for well over a year now. The dust collection isn’‘t bad either when hooked up to a shop vac or DC. I never used the dust bag that comes with it so I can’t speak to how well that works. The unit weighs in at about 60lbs, IIRC, so it doesn’t move around when running and even the axillary table is made of cast iron.

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