Why do my sander belts break? I recently made several fairly small
boxes for rocks using rough cedar boards. Just nailed them together.
Started sanding with my 3" x 21" sander and the belt ripped. No
problem it was an old belt. Then I put on a new 80 grit belt and it
popped before I had finished one box. I decided I better take off the
sharp edges with a rasp first. The next 80 grit belt popped after
touching the wood for less than 10 seconds. The third belt popped
quicly also, and I was throughly disgusted. All belts except the
first broke apart at the glue seam. I don't think the belt popping is
due to me as I carefully centered each the belt, nail heads were below
the wood, and I applied little pressure.
I have had this sears sander for over 20 years and been pissed before
when belts broke for no apparent reason. I've wondered before and am
still wondering if maybe belt tensioner (which isn't adjustable) is
set way too high. Any thoughts?
Thought that they all were directional. I just bought a new belt from
Harbor Freight to try and it has an arrow. Nonetheless, I am always
careful to run them in the direction of the arrow.
FWIW, the other day I had occasion to get out the belt sander, which I
haven't used in a long while. Belt broke. Next belt broke. Every belt I
had broke. All of them stored in a dry basement for several years. Went
down to Sears (closest place to get such things) the next morning and
picked up some new belts. They didn't break.
Don't know if was the humidity or if the glue just isn't very good. I've
had a similar experience with velcro-backed sanding pads--if they've been
stored too long the velcro layer peels off after a few minutes of use.
Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
I have had bad luck with Harbor Fright, they seem to break before the grit is
gone but the Nortons I get from the BORG seem pretty good. I have some blue
Nortons that are almost slick but they are still together.
I agree age could be the problem. I'm not sure how fast these things turn over
in our local stores. My Fla garage/shop is a pretty hostile environment too.
Glad to hear (not really glad) that other people have had the same
problem, so maybe it isn't the machine. You guys are beginning to
convince me that it is the belts. If so, it sure doesn't make any
sense to buy more than you need immediately.
I was so pissed, I looked at the thing and said maybe a good drop on
the concrete driveway would fix it. Childish, but if felt good, and I
was convinced it was the machine. The drop didn't do anything so I
dropped it again and broke a little bit of the housing at the back.
It still ran. Threw it in the garbage can along with the broken
belts. After about an hour, I dug it out of the can and put it in a
drawer with the intent of taking it apart later to see if I could do
something with the tension spring. Some time this week I'll put the
new HF belt on and see if it breaks.
Most companies don't advertise it (Klingspor, Norton, 3M) but the seam tape
they use on belts is a closely guarded secret and none of them will
guarantee a shelf life greater than one year. They will give you
recommendations on how to store them (temp, humidity, and how to hang them
so as not to put any permanent creases in them) but the bottom line is don't
stock up on sanding belts and buy them from a source where the turnover is
high so you know they haven't been sitting on the shelf - sort of like
batteries. Same goes for PSA sanding disk.
Interesting. I broke out my ~25 year old Craftsman 4x24 sander last night
to clean some paing of the front fence. the relatively new,4-5 years old,
bidirecitonal belt on it broke at first touch. I dug out one of the old
one directional, slightly clogged belts, figuring if it broke I'd be no
worse off, and attacked the rails. Cleaned the belt 3x with a belt
cleaning rubber stick and it held up as long as my lower back did. Tonight
I'll switch to a slightly cleaner belt and do another section. If I run
out I hope someone besides sears has 4x24's.
Max Mahanke wrote:
Probably 4 years old and stored in a drawer. These were not cheap
belts. Poor belt construction could be a factor, and possibly age,
this time, but I've had newly purchased belts break in the past. Of
course newly purchased doesn't mean the belts are newly constructed.
My experience in talking with other is rather unusual so that was why
I was wondering if could be the sander itself.
"J. Clarke" wrote:
Chances are they are old or have not been stored in a cool,
dry area. I have an old refrigerator in my garage that I
keep my belts and masking tape in. I have masking tape in it
that is about 4 years old and works like it was just bought.
On Mon, 17 May 2004 23:41:47 GMT, "George E. Cawthon"
You did not mention the brand of sander belts which can make a big
difference. The thing that comes to mind is the 10 seconds after use.
It could very well be the tension is too high. Give it just enough
tension such that belt does not slip.
Possibly Sears, possibly not. Don't remember where I bought them, but
believe they were the polyester cloth one. However, the breaks are
always at the glue seam. The parts diagram, indicates a spring but
no tension adjustment. I have always thought the tension was high,
but what do I know. I'm going to try it with a new belt and if the
belt breaks, I'm going to take it apart and modify the spring than
tensions the idler pulley.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.