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Wide belt sander advice

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Forum topic by Dabcan posted 02-05-2015 11:34 PM 1384 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Dabcan

252 posts in 2137 days


02-05-2015 11:34 PM

Topic tags/keywords: wide belt sander general

Anyone have experience with the General 15-030 wide belt sander? Maybe you’ et used a similar model by another manufacturer? I like the size and weight and with the number of boards I’ve been doing lately I’d really like to get away from using my ros (and the numb hands)

-- @craftcollectif , http://www.craftcollective.ca, https://www.etsy.com/shop/craftcollective?


5 replies so far

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AandCstyle

2575 posts in 1723 days


#1 posted 02-07-2015 01:55 AM

I don’t have any experience with that sander, but know that General products have a good reputation. I have a Delta 18-36 and have found it to be very useful for getting stock to a particular dimension, thicknessing thin stock (like veneer) (using a sled) and flattening cutting boards. However, they do have their limitations: it is not a planer and shouldn’t be used to remove much more than 1/128” at a time, they will burn the stock if you use too fine a grit paper or feed too slowly, when using coarser grits they can leave scratches that are difficult to sand out afterwards, especially if you sand a frame and sand across the grain.

You might also consider getting a different ROS if the vibration is causing numbness or using anti-vibration gloves. Maybe you could retrofit your planer with a spiral head or learn to use a flattening plane and a scraper. HTH

-- Art

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Dabcan

252 posts in 2137 days


#2 posted 02-07-2015 02:13 AM

Would the wide belt save me time? I’m into production runs so I do 30+ cutting boards at a time. Getting all of them through 80 grit paper to get the mill marks off can take over an hour, the other grits go faster.

-- @craftcollectif , http://www.craftcollective.ca, https://www.etsy.com/shop/craftcollective?

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AlaskaGuy

2406 posts in 1775 days


#3 posted 02-07-2015 03:46 AM

First that wide belt is General’s made in twain. Not saying that good or bad just saying so you know.

Second that machine is not really what I call a wide belt sander. If you look at the manual digram you’ll it has a single drum and of course no platen. Because it uses a wide belt it’s much easier to change the belts as opposed to wrapping sand paper around a drum. That about as close as it come to being a WBS. Any time the sand paper makes contact with the stock and the drum and the sand paper is in contact with each other that a drum sander IMO.

The potential problems whit drum sanders the drum has to be perfectly round and stay that way. If it is not perfectly round or gets distorted from over heating the surface of the stock is going to have small hills and valleys if you will.

What I call a wide belt sander will have a 3 roller, a drive roller and 2 idler rollers with a sanding platen between the idler rollers. The sanding platen is a fuzz lower than the idler rollers. The sanding platen is where the sanding takes place, not under the rollers. See picture below.

In the picture you’ll see what look like a metal bar between 2 rollers. That the sanding platen and the yellow knob adjust it up and down. The platen can be adjusted up out of the way for more aggressive stock removal but you what in down for finish sanding (finish sanding, I’ll get into that later).

Another thing, wide belt sander take a lot of power. The General with 3 hp is not lot of power for a wide belt.

That being said, I own a Bridgewood 15-30 wide belt sander. It’s a 7.5 HP machine. It does pretty good for sanding but I’d never use it for heavy stock removal. From looking at the manuals I’d say the Bridgewood, Grizzly and North State 15-30 are made in the same factory and are near identical.

I’ve had my sander and like it a lot. It dose a good job and I’m very happy to have it. Now, don’t think a wide belt is going to end all your other sanding. You will still have to hit it with ROS but you’ll much less time doing it.
If you run something like a face frame through a wide belt you going to make cross grain scratches that you have to sand out with your ROS. If you building fine furniture it is recommended the last sanding be done my hand with the grain.

I think you need to get on the Internet and do a lot more research on sanders before you spend you money. From what you say you want to do I think you would be disappointed it the General sander you referred to.

BTW these small wide belts are great for making veneer.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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AlaskaGuy

2406 posts in 1775 days


#4 posted 02-07-2015 04:16 AM

Dabcan,

Here’s a good place to start you research.

http://www.woodweb.com/cgi-bin/search/search.cgi?Realm=All&Terms=wide+belt+sander&submit.x=0&submit.y=0#reference

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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Dabcan

252 posts in 2137 days


#5 posted 02-07-2015 12:37 PM

@alaskaguy thanks for all the advice, I was looking at the manual yesterday and wondered about it being more like a drum than a wide belt. I’ll do some more research, I guess I was thinking I could get the general used for about three times the price of a nice ROS which seems like a deal, but not if it isn’t going to work well.

-- @craftcollectif , http://www.craftcollective.ca, https://www.etsy.com/shop/craftcollective?

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