There I was standing at the belt sander, wondering when I would need a
new belt, when I got to thinking. What if I used the belt the opposite
way to the arrows? The bits of sand or abrasion would be worn on one
side and clean on the other side.
When I decide a belt has had enough, I rip it into 3-4" pieces and use
them for hand sanding. It works no matter what angle I use them at.
So would it make any difference really?
It will indeed disintegrate. Maybe even give you a good slap.
The arrows are put on the belt to show the correct placement in
regards to the lap joint where the belt is glued. The arrow has you
put the belt on in such a way that the lap is dragged across the work
in a manner that will not lift the lap on the glue joint.
If you're lucky. I had to fix one once (big, but cheap Chinese crap)
where the belt had gradually come unhitched, until it then managed to
wedge itself round the workrest sufficiently to demolish that too.
Also the wear mechanisms on abrasive sheet aren't as unidirectional as
all that. If it's worn one way, it's worn all ways.
Some belts are indeed bi-directional for just the reasons you stated.
I don't know if they are available for stationary machines or not, but
I have used them on my portable belt sander. On the bi-directional
belts, the joints are butt joints with a piece of what looks like tape
across the joint on the back side. The but joint doesn't care which
way it goes 'round. The joint is also smoother and doesn't bump every
time it passes. They are labeled bi-directional and are usually more
expensive than uni-directional belts. Uni-directional belts usually
are lap-jointed with cement. As others have said, they don't like to
be dragged the wrong way.
"I'd rather expect the best of people and be wrong than expect the
worst and be right."
As a little further proof that it is because of the "splice", I have a
Performax drum sander that came with Klingspor paper. That paper simply
winds around the drum however the paper has arrows on the back. Performax
recommends reversing the paper, as you have indicated doing with yours, to
extend the useful life of the paper.
I suspect that Klingspor uses this same paper for making belts also.
hard to buckle and looks dorky?
Actually, I asked about the same question of the folks at Klingspor's, because I
buy their bargain boxes and use them to sand on the lathe..
They said that the arrows indicated direction of travel relative to the darts
and joints in the belt, not the abrasive.. and that the belt would probably
separate if run the other way..
Their wording was some legaleeze like "we don't advise and can't warrant our
product if not run in the required direction"..
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