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Woodtek wide belt sander tracking

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Forum topic by dieselpusher6262 posted 01-19-2014 11:44 PM 3129 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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dieselpusher6262

16 posts in 1337 days


01-19-2014 11:44 PM

Topic tags/keywords: sander question

Hi, I just got a Woodtek 900-888 13” wide belt sander. Great shape, everything works but I am having a problem getting the belt to track. No matter what way I turn the lever on the top of the machine the belt wants to track off the roller to the left. And since you have to adjust it while running all I can do is just start it for a second, turn it off and see what happens. I don’t want to run the belt into the machine because both are expensive. The manual isn’t the most helpful. Any advice is greatly appreciated, having a new machine and not being able to use it sucks.


9 replies so far

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RogerInColorado

321 posts in 1415 days


#1 posted 01-20-2014 05:01 AM

Unless you have a really good reason to believe the instructions in the manual are absolutely wrong, I’d use those instructions. Having said that, this adjustment is very “iterative”. On my Delta, I make a mark on a place on the platen that represents where I want the belt to run when it is perfectly running. Then I turn it on and let it run until I see if it is running toward the mark or away from it. That can take several minutes. Sometimes I have to watch it for 5 minutes or so to get an indication. I never start this adjustment without enough coffee to see me through. Once you know which screw adjusts for which direction, make a note. There should be two, one on each side of your drive roller. On my Delta, it can be a really touchy adjustment, never over 1/8 turn. In fine tuning it, the adjustment is way less, a 1/16 turn or so.

The theory is that the belt wants to run “downhill”, that is, toward the direction that has the least tension on the drive roller. I don’t know if that’s true or not. I just try to reach an acceptable trade off of some slip (to protect the gearing if the piece gets jammed up) and minimum slip to get the material through the machine under normal conditions. Use both screws. if one only seems to do one thing, leave it for a few iterations and see what the other one will do. If nothing you do works, call Woodtek and see what they think. You may need to do a “Macro” adjustment before your fine tuning screws can have any effect.

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dieselpusher6262

16 posts in 1337 days


#2 posted 01-20-2014 05:15 AM

Thanks for the advice. I only have 1 tracking adjustment. I didn’t know you had to wait so long. But the biggest help or oversight on my part was on the my machine the little level that adjust tracking looks like from center it turn either way 90 degree. Little did I realize the lever can pull out so u can continue to adjust one way or another. I was wondering if the manual they talk about parallel adjustments so the rollers are the same distance from feed belt as the lower roller. Is that is misaligned, making the distance to the feed greater on one side would that cause a tracking problem?

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RogerInColorado

321 posts in 1415 days


#3 posted 01-20-2014 06:07 AM

Yes, parallel is probably an apt description, but It would be more precise to think of it in terms of “this is what works” because if the belt is not precisely the same “circumference” on one side as the other, being truly parallel won’t track properly. You just need to be patient with the lever until you reach a point where you can run the machine all day long and be confident the belt is not moving sideways so that you can enjoy the benefit of having it to use without fussing with it constantly.

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dieselpusher6262

16 posts in 1337 days


#4 posted 01-20-2014 06:14 AM

Ok so getting this right takes some time and patience. I got it on there and it’s working. Does the belt stay perfectly center all the time or is normal for it to kind of float between the edges of the two rollers?

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RogerInColorado

321 posts in 1415 days


#5 posted 01-20-2014 07:04 AM

I can’t say that it never moves sideways, I can say that I have never seen it do that. If it does move, you should see the distance on your adjustment mark change. If that happens, I’d stop sanding and observe it for a while. It may be possible for your material to force the belt to one side or another, but if your platen is dead flat and the platen to frame is dead on, I think that you probably shouldn’t experience that change.

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Loren

8295 posts in 3109 days


#6 posted 01-20-2014 12:18 PM

That sander doesn’t have a platten I think.

Shredded belts will have you pulling your hair out.

I recently acquired a heavier wide belt sander than
the Woodtek/Reliant. It has switches on either side
the that shuts it down if the belt hits them. It has
a tracking system too. Perhaps adding switches would
be a good idea.

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dieselpusher6262

16 posts in 1337 days


#7 posted 01-20-2014 12:26 PM

I have gotten it pretty close. How would you destroy a belt. I would just switch it on then off, adjust it closer, repeat, repeat. Then after doing that a lot of times I could switch it on and run for 30 seconds. Now it can run all day, I ran a couple of boards threw it. The belt stays pretty center, it kind of walks back in forth. Maybe a half inch to either side of center. I don’t believe I have a platter that I know. I know its no where near top of line, but $300 with 10-15 belts included u have to try.

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Don Johnson

651 posts in 2242 days


#8 posted 01-20-2014 12:36 PM

Perhaps if it stays within reasonable bounds, ‘walking’ back and forth is a ‘good thing’ – its acting like a bobbin sander, so reducing the chance of sanding lines.

-- Don, Somerset UK, http://www.donjohnson24.co.uk

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Loren

8295 posts in 3109 days


#9 posted 01-20-2014 12:45 PM

You may have to re-track every belt. The bigger sanders are
designed to track automatically using an optical device and a
pneumatic thing that wiggles to idler roller back and forth…
I’m still figuring it out. I think it compensates for belt changes
in a professional setting and if it is set up right it never
throws a belt. If a belt runs off one end even a little it can
cause stretching and then the belt won’t run as true or as
flat. If the belt runs off and the edge gets messed up the
optical eyes won’t work correctly. Considering the cost of
throwing away wide belts before the abrasive wears out,
managing belt life is a bit part of how wide belt machines
are moneymakers for shops that have them.

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