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Need a wide belt sander but don't want to break the bank, suggestions?

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Forum topic by bigblockyeti posted 08-04-2014 01:58 AM 1076 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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bigblockyeti

1655 posts in 405 days


08-04-2014 01:58 AM

As the title states, I’m ready. I need something at least 24” wide, wider would be better, but nothing super wide where the belts will cost me $300 every time one has to be replaced. Used seem to be few and far between, which is discouraging given the price of new ones. I have seen a few deals out there, but they usually don’t last long. This is the latest one I’ve seen: http://hgrinc.com/buyOurs/inventoryItemDetail.do?inventory_num=02140370007&itemName=AEM+400AP+ABRASIVE+PLANER

By anyone’s definition, this certainly qualifies as a monster at 5.5 tons and a 125hp drive motor, If I was already where I hope to be within 10 years I’d get it ASAP, despite being more than a little rough. The Grizzly G0582 looks like a nice machine and has good reviews based on my research, but about twice what I’m comfortable spending now. Any suggestions on like new or used machines?


20 replies so far

View CharlesA's profile

CharlesA

1638 posts in 482 days


#1 posted 08-04-2014 02:05 AM

Have you checked CL? This one is smaller than you’re looking for, but is an example: http://indianapolis.craigslist.org/tls/4578714293.html

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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CharlesA

1638 posts in 482 days


#2 posted 08-04-2014 02:07 AM

Worth driving to Peoria? http://peoria.craigslist.org/tls/4539444519.html

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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kdc68

1995 posts in 962 days


#3 posted 08-04-2014 02:30 AM

This is actually in Charleston Illinois. About 2-1/2 hours south east of Peoria. Off of Interstate 57, south of Champaign…...


Worth driving to Peoria? http://peoria.craigslist.org/tls/4539444519.html

- CharlesA


-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

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CharlesA

1638 posts in 482 days


#4 posted 08-04-2014 02:33 AM

Oh—I just saw it was listed in the Peoria CL. Still, if it saves you $2000 . . .

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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kdc68

1995 posts in 962 days


#5 posted 08-04-2014 02:46 AM

I seen the listing. Lots of equipment. Everything from A-Z. Great for anyone near central and southern Illinois, southern Indiana, and northern Kentucky. Everybody that has $$ and a need.


Oh—I just saw it was listed in the Peoria CL. Still, if it saves you $2000 . . .

- CharlesA


-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View Loren's profile

Loren

7714 posts in 2333 days


#6 posted 08-04-2014 03:07 AM

Wide belts can be problematical and costly to repair. I
have a small wide belt which I got going and I learned
a lot getting it to that state. If the machine has been
used in a production shop it may not have been very
well maintained. That said, a lot of shops outgrow
24” wide belts quickly and such a machine may have
been pushed aside without a whole lot of wear.

A stroke sander is a much simpler and more forgiving
machine. It’s great to have both of course.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

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bigblockyeti

1655 posts in 405 days


#7 posted 08-04-2014 03:16 AM

I look there constantly. That Grizzly would be perfect even with a higher asking price if it was 24 in. I’ve thought about a stroke sander, and it’s on my long term tool list, for now I can’t afford the floor space. I would be just fine with a 24” right now, I am worried about out growing it down the road, but certain not in the near future. My thought is to buy for what I’ll need way down the road instead of buying twice. A good deal now could change my train of thought, especially for something I can sell close to my purchase price down the road.

View freddy1962's profile

freddy1962

795 posts in 234 days


#8 posted 08-04-2014 04:01 AM

Woodmaster has some good machines. The 25” molder/planer has a available drum sanding head. You might google to find a used one for sale.

-- JEFF Illinois (Banks of the Mississippi)

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bigblockyeti

1655 posts in 405 days


#9 posted 08-04-2014 06:07 AM

I’ve played around with drum sanders enough to know that I don’t want one. The wide belt sanders I have had the opportunity to use were far superior in performance to the drum sanders I used.

View rick1955's profile

rick1955

54 posts in 116 days


#10 posted 08-04-2014 09:10 AM

Get a stroke sander. One of the most versatile and certainly the least understood sander out there. Also the best deal for the money and power requirements are minimal compared to a widebelt. Give a superb surface finish compared to a drum sander. One shop I worked we had three different Stroke Sanders and one widebelt and we would never have given up the Stroke Sanders for anything. I’ve even put them in metalworking shops. One guy thought there was no way we could reproduce his hand rub finish with a machine…boy, was he wrong.

View BoardSMITH's profile

BoardSMITH

88 posts in 948 days


#11 posted 08-04-2014 09:21 AM

I purchased the G0582 earlier this year and wrote a review on it here. A very good machine at a very decent price. And, I searched the internet looking for machines and the used machines I found were certainly not worth what the asking process were.

-- David www.TheBoardSMITH.com

View rrww's profile

rrww

263 posts in 798 days


#12 posted 08-04-2014 11:25 AM

That machine you linked to is a abrasive planer not a typical widebelt that is used for a finer finish. I wouldn’t buy that used. These are made to replace industrial planers that run all day. Thousands and thousands of board feet per day.

The belts for my 36” wide belt can cost as little as $25 each. They also last much longer under normal use then the woodmaster dedicated drum sander that I have. So the sanding belt investment isn’t very high. You also have to remember to have a spot to store the belts. You will slowly wind up with many different belts.

Do you have three phase power & a dust collector big enough to handle a wide belt? Do you have a compressor that can handle an older widebelt that has air tracking and belt blowing nozzles?

If you looking used machines Loren is right they can be used and abused. They also can be used and maintained. There are 36” machines by AEM SCMI Timesavers, etc that can be purchased for under $3000 very often.

Do you need a platen? I wouldn’t buy one without. Stay away from widebelts that are used in the metal grinding industry.

I understand you said you don’t want a stroke sander but depending on how bad you need a sanding solution it might be worth trying. With all that said, I also own a beach stroke sander that you can’t pry from my dead hands. Stroke sanders will leave a excellent sanded surface, require much less power, take care of the platen issue, and are pretty quick to use. I can finish sand items faster and in control with my stoke sander faster than running it through the wide belt. My 27’ belts cost me around $25 each. I have to order 4 at a time. I also can lower the table way down and sand assembled items to deal with fitment issues, can’t do that with any other machine.

Cons of the stroke sander are, footprint, and dust collection can be tricky – but that depends more on the machine design. If your concerned about the footprint look at the Grizzly / Woodtek models for a smaller machine. For a full size machine look for a MiniMax with the fold up table. These have a smallish footprint when folded up and I think they come with the power elevation (very very nice). If I remember right Loren might have one of these. My stroke sander cost $280 at a auction where everything was going pretty high. It paid for itself in the first two days of being operational. I had to have a sanding solution and choose to give up some floor space. Some of those widebelts take up a chunk of real estate too.

A long time ago the only option was a stroke sander (for the most part) these require a small amount of technique to use. Wide belts came along to serve production shops where you can pay someone $9 an hour to stick parts into a machine with zero skill required.

I’m much more leary of buying a used widebelt for the reasons Loren mentioned, I would buy a stroke sander with a whole lot less concern. These are simple machines.

Hopefully this helps. Good luck.

View Tony_S's profile

Tony_S

429 posts in 1768 days


#13 posted 08-04-2014 12:05 PM

Good advise from rrww.
Not sure of your process or sanding methods right now, but consider that a wide belt can be a BIG step up.
Assuming you’ve considered things like electrical, dust collection, air, etc. What is your max budget number?

There’s no shortage of used machines out there, but anything local would probably be few and far between. As rrww said, you’d more than likely be looking at 3 to 4 thousand for a decent used machine without freight.

Btw….the abrasive planer you linked to is a p.o.s. and not even remotely suitable. You’d spend as much time repairing that beast as you would tearing things up with it. There’s a reason it’s only 1300 dollars. And at 3/60/440, 125 hp, you’d probably shit when you saw your first power bill.

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bigblockyeti

1655 posts in 405 days


#14 posted 08-05-2014 02:00 PM

That monster was really more just impressive than practical to me. Looking on the same site, they have three Timesavers that meet my specifications & within budget that I hope to take a look at soon.

View Iwud4u's profile

Iwud4u

403 posts in 214 days


#15 posted 08-05-2014 02:36 PM

I found an SCMI 37” wide belt (3 phase) at an auction for under 1000.00. I’ve had it over 15 years and the only maintenance I’ve had to do has been belts on the motor and a few air fittings. It’s an old machine but has been a good machine for me. Sanding belts run me between 60 and 80 bucks for what I generally use.

-- It's far better to be criticized by a wise person than applauded by a fool --

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