Am I crazy or did I just learn something new about belt sanders


I bought a 21" Craftsman belt sander and a few belts about a year ago. I was very unhappy because the belts didn't track worth a shit. The minute you put pressure on the sander the belt dove inside and got chewed by the sander. It was OK with 100 plus grit but ate the coarser belts. I figured the sander was crap but lived with it. I just tried it with some high quality belts not bought from Sears and guess what they track just fine. Even the 50. So I found one of the old Craftsman belts and once again they scoot sideways.
I never thought belts might cause the bad tracking. Has anyone else seen this?
-- Dan
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I think you may have not learned about belt sanders but instead learned about Craftsman.
R.C.
On Wed, 07 Sep 2005 15:03:49 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@woodshop.invalid wrote:

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I have a 30 year old Craftsman belt sander that tracks like a champ but I quit using Craftsman belts years ago. Wouldn't even think about buying one of their sanders or accessories today.
Very slight conical shape to a belt will cause what you describe. I suspect your first belts were more than slightly out of shape.
RonB

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snipped-for-privacy@woodshop.invalid wrote:

of 6" planer knives and my Craftsman planer tried to maim me. The quality control was truly awful. The thickness varied by .008" from one end to the other. May not seem like a lot, but the gibs could not hold the knives in place and keep them parallel to the table at the same time. Beware.     mahalo,     jo4hn
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Yep.

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Absolutly, all belts are not created equal. Norton is a reliable brand. Beware of any abrasives from China.
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They have no direction arrows. The crappy ones I got on sale from Sears have a direction arrow and they are very stiff.
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snipped-for-privacy@woodshop.invalid wrote:

The ones I buy at the Lee Valley Store are Klingspor belt. Very good indeed. A proper belt is worth the extra money many times over.
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No doubt about it. Ever been slapped in the face by a 6"x48" belt? Believe me, once is enough.
wrote:

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Tough way to shave!(R,D & G)
--
Nahmie
The greatest headaches are those we cause ourselves.
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Have you ever considered adjusting the wheels on the sander to stop the tracking problems? I don't have a Sears unit buy my DPC has an adjustment screw to correct the tracking for belts.

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You might have been able to track the old bump belts by the trial and accidental success method. Put a slight bias or just adjust the knob to the point at which the belt would run opposite the way it does when in use, and things will often work just fine. It's a dynamic process, with heat and wear on the belt changing the setting.
The new taped belts are much nicer and more reliable. They don't jump, either.
Now try one of those LV smoothers, and put the belt sander back against the bottom of the door where it belongs. Easier on the wood, healthy exercise for the operator, and, in my experience, faster than a belt sander for almost anything, including crude leveling, where a jack is a good idea.
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Until you hit a nail.:)
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