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4" x 36" belt/disc Sander issues

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Forum topic by Rightousdan posted 04-12-2017 03:54 PM 427 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Rightousdan

16 posts in 967 days


04-12-2017 03:54 PM

Topic tags/keywords: belt sander scratches random orbital sander help box finishing finishing

Good Morning all!
I have a 4” x 36” belt disc sander combo. I have had it for about 2 years and never really use it. I find that when I use it, the unit tends to leave the workplace in rough shape after sanding. Lots of deep scratches and causes more issues in the long rung. I have tired 60 grit, 80 grit, and 100 grit Sandpaper but it all seems to be causing the same issue. I batch out lots of small boxes (8×5x3) and was hoping this would be a great way of speeding up the rough sanding process so I can get to finish sanding on my Orbital Sander. I haven’t used the unit in 1.5 years now but wondering if Im doing something wrong?Maybe bad sand paper? Maybe I’m expecting to much?

I am mainly trying flush up all the joining pieces with sanding in order to put everything on the same plane. The bottoms of the boxes have a 1/4 rabbet on all the sides so that the bottom can fit in nice and flush. This doesn’t always end up perfect so sanding is helpful.

Any ideas?

Thanks for your help!


10 replies so far

View papadan's profile

papadan

3584 posts in 3203 days


#1 posted 04-12-2017 04:14 PM

It can only be too rough of belt, cross grain on the wood. How are you cutting the pieces to even need a belt sander? What type of wood, soft wood does not sand well on belts.

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

4510 posts in 973 days


#2 posted 04-12-2017 04:21 PM

I’m not sure exactly what you’re doing and whether your talking about the belt or the disk but, if the problem is the paper leaves scratches too deep, then it’s probably simply too coarse. I typically do my rough sanding with 120 grit. If you’re looking for something to leave a near-finished surface, I’d go to 180 or 220 on a belt. And yes, cheap abrasives could be the issue. If the grains aren’t fairly uniform in size and distribution, it’s not going to leave as good a surface.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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Rightousdan

16 posts in 967 days


#3 posted 04-12-2017 04:28 PM

I am referring to the belt portion of the unit not the disc. I am sanding walnut so its certainly not a softwood. I am sanding with the grain.

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HokieKen

4510 posts in 973 days


#4 posted 04-12-2017 04:33 PM

In that case, I’d try a finer abrasive.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

18612 posts in 2518 days


#5 posted 04-12-2017 04:34 PM

Maybe make sure there is nothing under the belt, and stuck to the platten? Watch how the belt wears, and you may see a ridge appear….

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View MrUnix's profile (online now)

MrUnix

5988 posts in 2034 days


#6 posted 04-12-2017 04:38 PM

I use an 80 grit disc and 120 grit belt and it leaves a very smooth surface – and that is with cheap belts and discs from HF! I also frequently clean them with one of those rubber things, which helps prolong life and remove any build up or contaminants that can cause problems. This is on a 10”-6×48” machine, but that should not be a factor.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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Rightousdan

16 posts in 967 days


#7 posted 04-12-2017 04:40 PM



I use an 80 grit disc and 120 grit belt and it leaves a very smooth surface – and that is with cheap belts and discs from HF! I also frequently clean them with one of those rubber things, which helps prolong life and remove any build up or contaminants that can cause problems. This is on a 10”-6×48” machine, but that should not be a factor.

Cheers,
Brad

- MrUnix

Interesting, the sander i have is from HF and in all honesty it seems kinda junky. Is it possible that the belt isn’t spinning fast enough causing a rough surface? The belt i am using is also from HF but have tried others as well.

View pottz's profile

pottz

2218 posts in 819 days


#8 posted 04-12-2017 04:44 PM



Maybe make sure there is nothing under the belt, and stuck to the platten? Watch how the belt wears, and you may see a ridge appear….

- bandit571


i agree check the platten.60 grit and 80 grit are very aggressive and should only be used for when you need to remove large amounts of wood fast.id say for small boxes 220 grit!

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View Bill1974's profile

Bill1974

119 posts in 2820 days


#9 posted 04-12-2017 04:47 PM

Clean the belt first and try finer grades till you find the happy place of sands fast enough and doesn’t leave marks that take a while to sand out. I have a good luck with Klingspor belts.

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

7655 posts in 2749 days


#10 posted 04-12-2017 06:18 PM

It is my experience that this belt sander, with its flat plate/platen behind the belt, will leave those type of uneven scratches because the overlap of the sanding belt causes the sanding surface to “bump” every time that overlap passes under the piece being sanded.

IMO, you would be better off using a 1/4-sheet powered sander when trying to sand flat the sides of a box.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

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