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greendot 10-08-2011 06:44 PM

I keep ripping sanding belts

I bought a used Bosch Belt Sander 3x21". I never used one of these before. I am sanding down a hundred year old floor joists that I salvaged from the dumpster. I'd like to make a table from them. I started off with a 36 grit paper and after doing one face of the wood I ripped it. I put another one in and it ripped after finishing another face and a half.... I am now on my third one and it ripped a bit already..... What am I doing wrong?:huh:

Daniel Holzman 10-08-2011 06:58 PM

If the sander is improperly adjusted, the belt can track to the side, contact the metal housing, and rip. You need to read the instructions in the manual for adjusting the tracking, and make sure the belt tracks down the middle.

loneframer 10-08-2011 07:13 PM

Some of the cheaper belts are lapped at the joint and will rip if the lap snags on a splinter if the belt is installed improperly. The lapped belts are directional, indicated by an arrow on the inside of the belt.

loneframer 10-08-2011 07:14 PM

Actually, with 100 year old wood, you may be wearing the belt out by the time you complete 1 face.

greendot 10-08-2011 07:33 PM

I'll look into the manual.

I sure hope this isn't going to require so many belts..... :(

The wood looks incredible though.... I will post pictures soon.

oh'mike 10-08-2011 07:39 PM

Salvaged wood can yield some wonderful colors--I find Minwax wipe on Polly is a great finish for old wood.

Look for a knob on the side of the sander---that should be the tracking knob---it moves the front wheel and allows you to keep the belt centered.

Nails in the wood can rip a belt in an instant.

Ron6519 10-08-2011 09:05 PM

Sanding belts are directional. Make sure you put them on in the correct orientation.

ratherbefishing 10-09-2011 07:54 PM

Belt rubbing on the side, really tough old wood, belt on backwards, imbedded nail?
Find someone with a planer (or rent a benchtop unit). Buy them new set of blades and run the boards thru couple of passes. It'll make e'm smooth and flat. Gluing them together will be much easier. Or, buy an old fashioned plane, and learn how they did it in the old days. It's fun and surprisingly fast(er than you think).

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