Do I need a belt sander

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So, I am getting better at gluing up boards but still have some that don't match perfectly which means I sand. I have a random orbital sander, would a belt sander be better until I get to the point where my boards match better?
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or you could plane them. I just got back from Borders today after taking a loooong look at a very interesting book on planes; history, tuning; usage, all very well explained. Might go on my X-mas wish list...oh, hell, I already got my X-mas toys! I've got the nagging feeling I'm gonna be Neandering before too long. My resolve not to is slipping.
dave
Pops wrote:

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How far out are they? Hand held belt sanders scare me. One wrong move and . . . . .
Ed
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

Actually no. They aren't that hard to master. Just keep things moving and steady. It really ain't no big thing.
UA100, belt sanderer...
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Better to figure out why your cuts are out. Adjusting your saw/fence could help, as could planing.
If you offer a detailed f'rinstance you'll get better advice...
djb
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Pops wrote:

I trued and tuned and futzed and fiddled, and my POS saw isn't going to get any better than this. To do a multi-board glue-up, I have to doctor up the pieces.
I originally used my combination 36" belt/6" disc sander for this sort of stuff. With the fence removed, it's possible to sand long boards. The problem is keeping it perfectly even, since you can't get the whole thing onto the belt at once. There are bigger sanders, but they're expensive.
I get *much* better results now that I'm a burgeoning Neander. A few quick swipes with a plane, and I get perfect edges every time. I'm cheating and using a jointing fence to reduce my chances of screwing it up.
The thing about planes is that you really can't just go out and buy one and use it. You have to sharpen it, tune it up, and then there's the question of outfitting your workbench for that sort of work. It's a slippery slope, but I don't regret any of it.
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Silvan wrote:

Unless you buy a plane from Steve Knight ;)
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Jeff Buck wrote:

Yeah, well, some day, some day indeed. Not anytime soon though, I'm afraid, unless Steve has an ugly one he wants to sell me cheeeeap. :)
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Plane them.
Belt sanders have a terrifying appetite for digging divots by accident (never let them tilt, so they become a drum sander). Although they would do the job, I'd hazard that it's easier to learn to plane than to learn to belt sand.
Why don't your boards align ? Does the thickness vary, or is it just an alignment problem ? Some careful biscuit jointing can make alignment less troublesome.
-- Die Gotterspammerung - Junkmail of the Gods
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Everyone keeps saying how hard it is to use a belt sander. Why? I always found it to be one of the easiest things to do. The problem probably has a lot to do with those two big handles they put on them. People try to overpower them. Just like a floor buffer, try to overpower it and you will be sorry. Just guide it around. Let it do the work. That said, I will plane and scrape before I ever sand. Faster and cleaner.
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wrote:

All this talk of planing makes my arms hurt. Scrapers, too. All that is great for little stuff, but get into big things, and production work, and give me a belt or ROS any time. -- Jim in NC
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It's basically my inexperience. They are the same thinkness but there is a little misalignment, not much, maybe 1/32. I use a biscuit jointer. I think they will get better as I gain experience.
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On Mon, 03 Nov 2003 05:34:27 GMT, Pops wrote:

I always seem to get some misalignment too no matter how carefully I go even with panel clamps.
What I use to rectify matters is a no.80 Stanley scraper plane. They're cheap tools but with a bit of fettling they're good for all sorts of purposes including removing glue ooze on your panels.
A few strokes with the scraper plane, maybe a bit of mucking around with a hand scraper and a bit of light sanding will do the trick. Your panel probably wont be dead flat but it will be good enough.
If the misalignment is much greater then you'll have to get a bench plane out.
I'm doing a built-in desk ATM with which I used that technique & the results are acceptable. Unfinished pics at:
http://www.esperance-linux.co.uk/pics.php?type &data So to answer your question; I think you can get away without a belt sander, I'm quite happy with my ROS and if I wasn't lazy I could probably get away without that too.
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Frank


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That's a nice looking desk. What's your plan for the area under the stairs?
Michael

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On Thu, 06 Nov 2003 04:05:30 GMT, Michael wrote:

There's a sort of gallery with a couple of drawers there now. I'm going to the job today to start building some shelves above the desk.
I'm hoping to have it all finished in a couple of weeks time. I'll then take some more pictures & post a link on the wreck.
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Frank


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Great looking desk.
I guess the next long thread is what type / brand of scraper to buy. I don't have one but from all the comments (not on just this thread) they are handy gadgets.
Pops

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On Thu, 06 Nov 2003 16:57:02 GMT, Pops wrote:

Thanks a lot.

I'm really fond of my Stanley #80 (Is it the only Stanley tool worth buying? ;)
I honed the edge of mine before turning a burr and I also lapped the sole & put a bit of wax on it. It's invaluable for panels IMO:
http://www.axminster.co.uk/default.asp?part=STA80
For hand scrapers I like Cliftons:
http://www.axminster.co.uk/default.asp?part=CLI4212
If you live the other side of the pond, I'm afraid I don't know where you get them from.
There's a bit of an art to fettling and using them. Hopefully, somebody could provide you with a relevant link.
You'll need a burnisher too - loads of different makes of those but I believe Veritas make one; pretty sure they make card scrapers too but I haven't tried them. My impression of Veritas gear is that it's pretty good though & worth the bit extra.
--

Frank


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Pops wrote:

IMO, no. I've got a belt-sander...it would be one of my last choices for jointing. If that's your only option...I'd take it over a ROS.
Do you have a router? A router, a flush-trimming bit and a straight-edge will give you a much 'straighter' edge than a sander.
After than...I'd pick a jointer-plane and do it by hand.
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He's not talking about jointing.

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Belt sanders are aggressive and do a good job. Buy a biscuit (plate) jointer.
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