Is a belt sander any use for this?

I have been given a few pieces of substantial oak shelving I'd like to "reclaim" and then something useful out of them (!) Problem is the surface is a rough & stained. My obital sander doesn't get deep enough to clean it up and I don't really have any kit to plane it properly. (It's too wide for my electric plane). I just wondered if this is a job for a belt sander? I've never used one so appreciate some pointers as to use for a job like this - and maybe suggested a mode tool? I don't anticipate huge use but don't want to buy junk. tvm
ps I saw a TV programme "The Salvager" - it's a hairy bloke who makes chunky funiture out of reclaimed stuff - it'd stand attack by A bomb! He seems quite fond of his belt sander :-)
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Angle grinder.
--
Frank Erskine

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On 19/09/2011 16:33, Frank Erskine wrote:

Do not under any circumstances use a disc sander. You'll never get it flat again.
If the shelves are _really_ big and dismantled renting a floor sander might do the trick.
Andy
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On 19/09/2011 15:52, dave wrote:

I'd agree that a belt sander is ideal for this. Get some 40 grit paper for it and keep your fingers well clear - been there, done that - ouch.
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Belt sanders are only useful if they have a frame attached around them. Try web searching for photos of one supplied with, then make your own.
Using it without is just a recipe for divots from the front roller.
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On Mon, 19 Sep 2011 12:22:10 -0700 (PDT), Andy Dingley

thanks. This is the kind if info I hoped for - rather than screw up decent timber to find out!
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I've sanded innumerable boards with a belt sander. No need for a frame, just keep it flat, it's not difficult.
When sanding softwood I've started with 60 grit, followed by 80 grit to remove the marks, followed by 120 grit to finish off. I've not tried this on oak, so you might need to start with coarser (40 grit), but the principle of progressing from corase to smooth would still apply.
As has been said, take your first coarse cut across the grain to take the surface down and remove most of the imperfections. Then go along the grain to remove the coarse cut marks. Then your finer belts as above. Keep the sander flat and keep it moving, and the job's a good 'un.
Cheers Richard
Cheers Richard
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Belt sanders are only useful if they have a frame attached around them. Try web searching for photos of one supplied with, then make your own.
Using it without is just a recipe for divots from the front roller.
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On 20/09/2011 2:52 a.m., dave wrote:

Why not take it to a workshop with a thicknesser?
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who is going to put a used piece of wood through a thicknesser?
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wrote:

Someone with a drum sander. Just like a belt sander but a couple of feet wide and power fed.
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I would. But I have a metal detector as well :)
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In message

I'll bet it doesn't detect bits of grit:-)
regards
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Tim Lamb

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All right then. I have two belt sanders and an angle grinder.
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But water can if you hose it down well. Oak will detect most metal capable of damaging a planer.
Hence the stains.
Oooofff!
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I would, I keep a spare set of old blades just for the job.
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Option 1 would be get a local joinery shop to run it through a thicknesser. As long as you check it for nails or screws it should be o/k. I do it all the time on my own thicknesser. ( Nobody with a wide belt sander is going to dream of feeding reclaimed lumber through it given the price of the abrasive belts or rolls.)
Option 2 Rent a belt sander with a sanding frame. The gentleman who said you didn't need one also said he had sanded lots of boards with no trouble. Or to put it another way he had lots of experience of using one. You presumably haven't and you don't want to learn on your nice bit of oak. Its not a question of if you'll screw up but a question of when.
Option 3 would be to use paint stripper on it to see if that will clean it up. If it does then an orbital sander should finish the job.
Option 4 would be to buy a scraper, learn how to sharpen it and how to use it.That'll take no more than 15 minutes after which you are good to go. When sharpened the are remarkably effective and relatively safe to use. You won't damage yourself or the wood. In the absence of a thicknesser this would be my preferred method.
Paul Mc Cann
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Nope, I still disagree that you need any kind of special frame. I've never had the problem you describe at any time, at any stage of experience, using a belt sander on a board, on a bench. It's exactly what a belt sander is for, and it's a job of a few moments.
I'm not trying to be controversial, just save the OP unnecessary faffing about over a simple job that my grandmother could do, had she not died in 1990 at the age of 97.
I *have* had digging in when using a belt sander on my hands and knees knees to sand a floor, but that, clearly, is not what a belt sander is for.
Cheers Richard
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To the OP Buy a jack plane and a sharpening stone at a car boot and learn to use that. Go easy on the learning curve then follow the advice above to finish it off. Oak is about as hard as any wood in normal use certainly few boards are harder. Practice planing on some softwood then set the plane to as fine a cut as you can.
It will skim along until you have it good enough to sand. You won't be digging clumps out of oak. But start with 120 while you learn.
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...however if you know a trsuting man with a thicknesser it will save you a lot of work. A thcicknesser is also going to give a newer- looking planed finish, if that's what you want.
Cheers Richard
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