Cleaning belt sander belts.

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Hi all,
I made the mistake of sanding a painted surface with my old 6x48 belt sander. Now, of course, the belt is clogged with paint. I got most of it out, but there is still enough to make it practically useless. I have tried a few things. The big eraser thingy didn't do much. trying to loosen it with water and mineral spirits didn't do anything. The thing that did the most good was creasing it while rolling it between my hands (hope you can get the drift of that) so a lot of it broke off. But there is still too much paint on it. Any ideers on getting the rest of it off??
Thanks,
Wayne
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RE: Subject
Call it a lesson learned, and buy a new belt.
Lew
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Chuck it, belts are cheap (relatively), lesson learned.
Frankly, I'm just jealous of your 6x48 sander......
jc
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A crepe cleaner block. Or use the soles of an old pair of crepe soled shoes.
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Aren't these the same thing?
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If the "big eraser thingy" is a crepe block, then yes.
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NoOne N Particular wrote:

You can try a wire brush. Run the sander and brush the brush against the belt. Now that's a tortured sentence. You will get some paint off and some grit off, but the belt was a tosser anyway. Good luck.     mahalo,     jo4hn
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On Sat, 23 Feb 2008 00:16:00 GMT, NoOne N Particular

Hi Wayne,
If I had some in my shop, I would put a dab of paint stripper on part of the belt.
It would remove the paint, and might soften (or even remove) the bond holding the grit. But if the bond survived you could easily renew the belt.
All the best,
--
Kenneth

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Been there done that and thanks for your comments about the mineral spirits and or water. Regular belt sander belt? toss it. I have had the same problem except on a $10, 22" drum sander belt and tried the rubber belt cleaner stick, PVC pipe, a wooden dowel hard wood, with results that amounted to a waste of time. I did however find like you, that if you fold the paper over on it self to create that crease, the paint simply popped off when rubbed with a finger IIRC. That is a LOT of bending and folding on a 3" wide strip of paper that is over 10' long.
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On Sat, 23 Feb 2008 00:16:00 GMT, NoOne N Particular

Hi again Wayne,
I just had another thought...
What would happen if you simply ignored the paint? That is, why would the paint make the belt "useless?"
All the best,
--
Kenneth

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The paint acts like large particles that stand proud of the grit. The result is either groves in the wood or burned groves in the wood.
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Soak in TSP, brush off with a stiff-bristle or wire brush while wet, lay flat to dry.
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NoOne N Particular wrote:

If the paint was latex then a product called "Goof Off" would probably do you some good...Its quite effective at softening or removing paint without hurting much else including carpet, cloth and even car paint. It can be found in any reasonable hardware or big box store. I'd brush some one, soak a bit, brush lightly with a wire brush and maybe if needed rinse with water lightly. Rod
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I've made the same mistake using several different sanding media. You might try sanding something really hard like a piece of steel. This might heat the paint residue up through friction, make it soften and come off. Second suggestion is to try sanding a piece of concrete, maybe a chunk of concrete brick or cinder block. This will act as a strong abrasive and grind the paint off. You also risk grinding some of the grit off of the belt this way too.
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How bout sanding it with another piece of sandpaper?
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I'd say it depends on how much your time is worth. If is just a regular belt @ about 7 bucks any time over about 15 minutes isn't worth it IMHO. I'd set it aside for future paint removal.
--
Mike
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Is that how much a 6" by 48" belt goes for?
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On Sat, 23 Feb 2008 00:16:00 GMT, NoOne N Particular

Use the rubber cleaners _before_ th ebelt is completely clogged, and before the paint resin sets into a solid mass.
Also coarser belts.
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wrote:

Yeah, in my experience that takes about 2 seconds before the paint sets up.. You gotta use the right kind of paper to remove paint IMHO.
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NoOne N Particular wrote:

Thanks all. Lotsa good things to try. I am trying to save the belt because it is a relatively new and high quality blue belt that cost me over $25. A little time to clean it is not a problem for me. Although I did say that the belt was "useless" that isn't exactly true. I am still using it but it's effectiveness is greatly diminished.
Someone was also jealous of my 6x48 belt sander, but you may not be so jealous when I tell you that it is a circa 1952 Sears Craftsman sander that I inherited from my MOM. LOL. It is a little finicky to get the belt tracking straight but it works. OK, so maybe more than a little finicky. And there is absolutely NO dust collection. But Sears still had parts for it when I got it about 4 years ago. How about that?
So I think I will start by trying a little bit of paint stripper to see how that works. Maybe a little Goof Off (the paint WAS latex and I do have a little bit of Goof Off) on another little piece. With any luck at all maybe the bonding will stay intact. Someone else mentioned trying a wire brush, and I have tried that with no success at all. I don't want to try sanding a piece of metal because a while back I made some metal parts for my 9" Southbend lathe and sanded them on this sander. The belt was toast in just a few minutes. I also have some real TSP around here somewhere that I can try. If all that fails maybe I can try using a piece of 36 grit paper and see if that can knock some of it off.
Thanks again for all the suggestions. I will let you know how it goes.
Wayne
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