decisions, decisions...

Hi folks, I've been in lurk mode a while, waiting for the dust to settle from the various trolls, etc. But once again I need to dip from the fountain of knowledge here in "The Wreck". I have been using a Craftsman 4"x24" belt sander (and putting up with the constant need to re-adjust the tracking) for taking the top dirt encrusted layer of rough sawn lumber that has more than it's share of grime before sending it through jointer/planer. The platen has finally worn out, and I don't want to use it any longer. It's probably 18-20 years old, anyway. I read through a long list at Google on posts relevant to "which should I buy" and as usual came away confused. Bosch and Porter-Cable held the lead (The 405 is nice, but out of my league, Lew). Bosch has a frame and other goodies and the PC is accessory shy. Bosch had at least one negative post that claimed it had to be repaired a number of times (could this be the exception to the rule?). AEG and others are too expensive and I'm not likely to run one for hours on end. I won't be grinding fiberglass and it is unlikely that I'll use it on metal, ever! Variable speed seems to be in the "better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it" class, any real world additions? I look at 4x24 because it is unlikely I'd need to hold the big boy up for vertical or overhead work, and I have a large box of belts that size in many grits. And as was stated many times, the bigger footprint makes for a more stable "ride". Input welcome, PLEASE. Tom
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Hi folks, I've been in lurk mode a while, waiting for the dust to settle from the various trolls, etc. But once again I need to dip from the fountain of knowledge here in "The Wreck". I have been using a Craftsman 4"x24" belt sander (and putting up with the constant need to re-adjust the tracking) for taking the top dirt encrusted layer of rough sawn lumber that has more than it's share of grime before sending it through jointer/planer. The platen has finally worn out, and I don't want to use it any longer. It's probably 18-20 years old, anyway. I read through a long list at Google on posts relevant to "which should I buy" and as usual came away confused. Bosch and Porter-Cable held the lead (The 405 is nice, but out of my league, Lew). Bosch has a frame and other goodies and the PC is accessory shy. Bosch had at least one negative post that claimed it had to be repaired a number of times (could this be the exception to the rule?). AEG and others are too expensive and I'm not likely to run one for hours on end. I won't be grinding fiberglass and it is unlikely that I'll use it on metal, ever! Variable speed seems to be in the "better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it" class, any real world additions? I look at 4x24 because it is unlikely I'd need to hold the big boy up for vertical or overhead work, and I have a large box of belts that size in many grits. And as was stated many times, the bigger footprint makes for a more stable "ride". Input welcome, PLEASE. Tom
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I have no clue why this post replicated three times! Tom <snip>
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On rough-sawn stored outdoors I just use a wire brush. Easier, less noisy, and works well. I would suspect you could easily get into a tradeoff position with embedded preexisting grit and newly added using a belt sander.
When I get the stuff green and fresh, I just store it indoors (garage) and it stays very clean.

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I second George's response. I have sanders take too much off of the material I want to keep. I have used a combination of hand wire brushes, and rotary fiber (or wire, depending on what I'm up against) brushes to take off just the " undesirable" crud layer.
--
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Hi Tom,
I have a Bosch (Model ???) 3 x 18 variable speed that I purchased at the borg for about 60 bucks about 6 years ago. I have used it on everthing from smoothing rough cut stock to preparing a deck for refinsihing. I would definitely recommend the variable speed, if only to reduce the chances of sanding gouges in softer woods.
No problems or complaints thus far, just a good reliable belt sander that I would recommend.

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Thanks for your reply, George. I have a substantial amount of old growth cherry and walnut stored indoors for a few years that wasn't always under cover... It had been stacked out doors in an area that got a lot of blowing sand and grime. These boards run from 4" wide to 10"+ and up to 12' long... a BUNCH of wire-brushing <G> Tom

noisy,
sander.
<snip>
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Oh yeah, you can get those horribly stiff-bristled "natural"scrub brushes like they had in the military, if you want. They'll clean a lot, and fast. Sometimes you can even find them handled as garage brooms. Else, what you choose.
Don't get a belt sander, get a couple of planes.

and
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I like my PC. Always thought the bosch was a brute. Being a small guy, even the PC is enough to give me a work out.
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Young Carpenter

"Save a Tree, Build Furniture"
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This may sound brutal, but it doesn't take long to develop a "touch" when using a 4.5"mini grinder with a sanding disc mounted, if you go with sandpaper. I don't know how much material you have to remove but one 80 grit disc will go a long way if the material is free from anything that would smear.
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PC , Milwaukee, Bosh and Makita. They are all good. I personally like variable speed; most of the dust bags don't work that well but I've learned to work in front of a fan when sanding. YOu will be satisfied no matter whuich you buy if all you've used was a Craftsman. I like some of their stuff but like you, I had a 3x24 and was always adjusting it. Thought it was me or my technique until I sold it and bough a Makita (I think). I LOVE my PC Whisper Series though.
On Fri, 8 Aug 2003 08:18:06 -0400, "Thomas Bunetta"

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