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Do you need to joint prior to using a wide belt sander

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Forum topic by Damian Penney posted 05-16-2008 07:26 PM 1070 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Damian Penney

1141 posts in 3987 days


05-16-2008 07:26 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I’m thinking of having my workbench top (currently under construction) run through a wide belt sander to flatten it. One thing I don’t get is how this works. I picture it as big planer but with sandpaper instead of blades, but on a planer you need to have the opposite face jointed otherwise you just end up with parallel but not flat. Do these things just have huge infeed/outfeed tables?

Any insights much appreciated.

-- I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso


8 replies so far

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Toolz

1004 posts in 3738 days


#1 posted 05-16-2008 07:39 PM

Damian, I don’t joint first. In fact when making cutting boards I run them through my wide bely sander to flatten one side then take it to the 13” planer to plane the other side then flip it over and plane the sanded side. Hope this helps you.

-- Larry "Work like a Captain but Play like a Pirate!"

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GaryK

10262 posts in 3984 days


#2 posted 05-16-2008 07:51 PM

Just think of a sander as a big planer. If it goes in twisted, it comes out twisted, unless you put it on a sled with wedges or whatever to keep it from wobbling.

You can just use the router method.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

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Damian Penney

1141 posts in 3987 days


#3 posted 05-16-2008 08:15 PM

Okay, so it is indeed pretty much useless for flattening without a sled. Thinking the router method is the way to go then (at least for one side)

-- I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

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GaryK

10262 posts in 3984 days


#4 posted 05-16-2008 08:48 PM

Do you know the different ways to use the router method? And you are right about only having to do one
side before you take to the sander.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

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Damian Penney

1141 posts in 3987 days


#5 posted 05-16-2008 09:17 PM

The method I’ve read about is to attach two rails, level them with string tied to each corner, and then use a router in a sled. What do you recommend Gary?

-- I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

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GaryK

10262 posts in 3984 days


#6 posted 05-16-2008 09:29 PM

I used two rails, but put spacers between them and your table. This will allow you to route past the edges a little. Also only have them about 1/2” above the table because of the stackup. You don’t want to have to extend your bit too far out of the collet.

I also used winding sticks and not string. If you eyesight is a little off like mine, look through a small hole
punched in a piece of paper to focus everything up.

You could also use the method above and just route two grooves along the length and use sticks under them before you take them to the sander : http://lumberjocks.com/topics/1992

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

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gizmodyne

1779 posts in 4086 days


#7 posted 05-17-2008 01:20 AM

When I sanded my table top for my dining table I just stuck it on the sander. If you have just slight offsets up to 1/8” it should be fine. The sander takes light passes.

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke."

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6855 posts in 3975 days


#8 posted 05-18-2008 06:37 PM

Hi Damien;

Sounds as though Gary has provided all the help I can be!

If you have access to a large sander or planer I’d be kind of partial to using a sled and shimming the top to prevent it from rocking. It’s a very quick method, and quite effective.

I’m really looking forward to seeing this bench when you have it completed.

Stay well;

Lee

-- by Lee A. Jesberger http://www.prowoodworkingtips.com http://www.ezee-feed.com

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