Edge sanders and google groups search weirdness

I am either going crazy or Google Groups has decided that it doesn't like the word "sand" or "sander" in the wreck. I get about 15 results for either term. Trying to research edge sanders, and previously I was getting results but now I get... 2. Other words seem to be returning normal results. Does google not think I should get one?
I am mainly curious about what kind of surface do they leave? Will a 150 grit belt get me close to a finished surface and last a reasonable amount of time? I don't have a lot of experience with belt sanders.
I am doing more small production runs of small dovetailed boxes, between 6-9" length of sides and 3-5" high. Currently I do all the sanding after assembly with a ROS (the small Festool) and then a bit of hand sanding and with a stack of 20 boxes to go through 3 grits it's not the least bit fun. If I could totally eliminate the ROS and go straight to hand sanding that would be fantastic.
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On Thu, 28 Aug 2008 17:11:10 -0700, LEGEND65 wrote:

If by edge sander you mean a stationary belt sander, I have trouble controlling one. Just a tiny amount more pressure with one hand than the other and I get tapered sides.
I find I spend less time sanding if I use more than 3 grits. I usually run boards through my thickness sander at 60 grit after planing and then do 80, 100, 120, 150, 180 and sometimes even 220 with an ROS. Only takes a couple of passes with each grit. I seem to spend more time changing sandpaper and workpieces than I do sanding :-). Of course, with 20 boxes you wouldn't run into that as much/
Also, if possible I sand before I cut and assemble. Lots easier. In fact I often finish before assembly as well.
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That's good info. I'm not looking to remove a lot of material, just to clean things up. I think people usually have around 100 grit on them, I don't know how they behave with 150-180 on them. I can always set up a jig to hold the box square to the belt if need be.

I start with 4/4 rough cedar which I resaw in half, then it goes through the drum sander with 60 grit. It takes quite a few passes but I can be fairly aggressive with each pass with the soft cedar and I don't get any tearout around the knots. Then I do 2 light passes each side with 120 grit. Then I do all the machining and assembly. Then it's 80, 100, 150 with the ROS. Then I search for swirlies and hit any of those with 100 and 120 by hand, then everything with 150 and 180 by hand. I also put a slight chamfer on the top edge of the base of the box with 80 grit on a sanding block.
So my two avenues to explore to make this go better is a different sanding technique and a different dovetail jig that might give me more repeatable results. I currently have the small Leigh Super. Sometimes I get it set up better than others, but it's never quite perfect. I've been looking at the Akeda. But there's no way I could even think about doing the final sanding before assembly with the results I get from the Leigh.
I have seen the kind of surface you can get from a wide belt sander - a lot better than what I get from my shop built drum sander - so I am wondering if the edge sander with a fine belt can do the same thing. I can't see why it wouldn't, it's the same thing happening just sideways, but I don't like to be wrong when there's 250 lbs of cast iron and steel down the basement stairs and a big hit on the credit card involved.
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On Aug 29, 1:01 pm, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

I use an edge sander quite a bit, and find it puts an excellent finish on things with a 180 grit belt. We don't often make our own drawers, but when we do we always hit the sides on the edge sander. You can put a fence on it to hold the box square, but I find it's easier just to ease it into the belt and maybe put a hair more pressure on the back than the front. If you've not used one before I'd practice with a few boards before sticking a drawer box up there. And if you're sanding anything shorter than say 12" you should put up the fence for sure until you're real confident about not losing control of it. That belt can give a violent manicure right quick.
An edge sander's a real timesaver and the quality can't be beat for keeping things straight and square (ie. not rounded over).
JP
JP
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On Thu, 28 Aug 2008 17:11:10 -0700, LEGEND65 wrote:

I clean up the dovetails on my boxes with a sharp low-angle jack plane followed by a hand scraper. Just a touch of sanding required after that.
scott
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On Aug 29, 3:47 pm, snipped-for-privacy@slp53.sl.home (Scott Lurndal) wrote:

Oh man - I didn't read this part of your post. If you're doing even small production runs than I would run - not walk - RUN to your nearest dealer to get yourself an edge sander. It's a HUGE timesaver, and the quality improves too. It's a win-win by far.
JP
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Thanks for the info, that's what I wanted to hear. I only do this once a month usually, though I am trying to get ahead of their orders and build up an inventory so I can just send them out immediately when they need something, and I won't have time to make any during November- December. So at some point I'm going to have to crank out a slew of them which I have been dreading for months.
There's a used Grizzly on craigslist I may need to take a look at. Looks like only the Grizzly and Jet are in my price range new.
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On Aug 29, 3:47 pm, snipped-for-privacy@slp53.sl.home (Scott Lurndal) wrote:

I do use a plane to flatten the bottoms of the boxes where I can, but I'm dealing with knotty cedar. While I cut around knots to not have any in the actual dovetails sometimes I have to take a bit off a side and I can't get anywhere near it with anything with a blade. There are probably people out there good enough with their hand tools to do it, but I'm not one of them.
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