I have a cheap Black & Decker belt sander. The belt slips halfway off
every time I use, new belt or old belt; it does not matter.
I am not a woodworker, craftsman or carpenter. I don't use it often
but it is handy to keep around. Is just a cheap belt sander? Is there
an adjustment I can make? Is it my technique? Type of belt?
As another poster mentioned, there is usually a tracking adjustment to
help you keep the belt centered. Generally, the rollers are crowned
slightly to help the belt track in the center. You can check for this
crown by laying a straight edge along the length of the rollers. The
rollers should have a larger diameter in the center. If there is no
crown, then it will be virtually impossible to keep a belt tracking
without continuous adjustment. The problem is that the belt heats up
as you use it, changing it's length and shape. If there is no crown
then the situation is hopeless.
A friend of mine has a saying about buying cheap tools: "I can't afford
to save that much money". In other words, 100% of the investment is
wasted when you are required to replace the cheap tool with the one you
should have bought in the first place.
It should have a tracking adjustment on it somewhere, generally there
is a knob or wingnut or something near the front roller. If it is of
recent manufacture, it would be fair to call it "cheap" but if you are
fortunate enough to have an older one, it may (depending on exact
model) actually be a decent tool.
No dumb questions, just dumb answers.
Larry Wasserman - Baltimore, Maryland - firstname.lastname@example.org
I had a Black & Decker belt sander. By carefully adjusting the tracking I
could run it 20 seconds before the belt slipped off.
When I actually needed a belt sander I bought a Makita. Oh the difference;
you put the belt on and it works!
Three thumbs up on the Makita.
I go through beltsanders on a regular basis. Porter Cable (4x and 3x
but not the ChooChoo yet) Bosch, Ridgid (which I returned) and a few
others. I bought the Makita as an act of desparation, as nothing else
was availabe in this town at that precise moment yet another Porter
Cable blew a motor bearing. The Makita turned out to be the best one I
have ever owned. I am beating it up pretty hard, but doesn't
quit...oh...and the belt tracks beautifully.
(One nasty side effect was that I had pretty much justified, with the
help of others here, to go buy that insanely expensive Choo Choo
version of Porter Cable...now I may never have that fabulous tool.)
That is a really good question. A mediocre tool might just hold up long
enough to help somebody. Stuff like Ryobi, for instance. But the
absolute drek that B&D puts out is almost criminal. All the parts are
there, yet they can't even bother to try to make them work even a
little bit. I'm with you higgledy, how do they get away with it?
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