It failed, I can attest to that. Rejoining sanding belts

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Blog entry by Karson posted 08-04-2010 05:20 AM 18637 reads 0 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well I’d like to report that I was unable to repair my sanding belts.

I did have a success the next day doing something else.

My belts were 1” X 42” and were made with a Zerconia Grit and were 120 grit.

While talking to the supplier of these belts Supergrit in Gettysburg, PA I told her that the belts were failing after putting them on the sander. The splice is failing within 1 minute. She asked when I bought them. I told here maybe 5 years ago. She stated that was probably the problem. If the belts are not stored in an environmentally friendly area then their life is shortened. Humidity, heat and cold causes splice failure in belts.

But, I talked to her after I tried to repair them.

I had found on the web that a suggestion was use Tyvek as a repair bonding splice. I used a long cure epoxy glue to splice them.


This is the belt after putting on the tyvek patch. The tyvek is the product that is used on new homes as a moisture barrier.



This is the completed belt.


The glue on the surface caused a burning of the wood when sanding some mahogany. Sanding lightly stopped the burning.

Then it happened.

About 20 minutes after the belt was installed on the sander the splice failed. The Tyvek separated. The glue bond didn’t fail, the Tyvek failed.

I spliced two belts. This is the second one.

The life on each of the belts were about the same.

I bought some new belts. She threw in a couple of free belts, Of course I lost 10 new belts.

End of story.

I bought a couple of ceramic belts that are used in knife making. They are working great on wood.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

19 comments so far

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5623 posts in 5162 days

#1 posted 08-04-2010 05:57 AM

What glues do the manufacturers use? Surely this glue should be available. Interesting that nobody has managed to fix their own belts.

What are ceramic belts? I had not heard of them prior to reading your post.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View jack1's profile


2169 posts in 5477 days

#2 posted 08-04-2010 06:23 AM

Their glue may be applied with heat IR or some sort of chemical catalyst that is unavailable to the general public. Maybe some 23 ga pin nails… ;0) just kidding.

-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3672 posts in 5162 days

#3 posted 08-04-2010 06:30 AM


I’ve been curious whether you could use a sewing machine with zig-zag stitch to make it hold or would it cause a problem where the connection runs across the wood?

I cut the angled end of the sandpaper too short for my drum sander and sewed it together on the sewing machine. (I didn’t want to waste 25” of coverage because it was an inch too short.) I’ve had no problem with it holding, but then it is at the very end and it doesn’t generally come in contact with the wood.

I purchased a 1” x ? long roll of sandpaper for the 1” x 30” sander and was going to experiment with making my own belts but maybe it just can’t be done without some kind of expensive equipment to heat seal the bond.

It will be interesting to see if any other LJ has had success in solving this dilemma.


-- Voltaire: “Those Who Can Make You Believe Absurdities, Can Make You Commit Atrocities” There are 112 genders (not including male and female)

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 4641 days

#4 posted 08-04-2010 07:08 AM

Well, interesting repair idea, like Young Tom Edison, you just need to find what works.

I was thinking maybe the idea would have worked using a thick painters canvas as the

backing. Well brand new belts are better anyway!!!!

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View TheOldTimer's profile


226 posts in 4536 days

#5 posted 08-04-2010 08:16 AM

I had 12 6” sanding belts for my combination machine that fell apart after a few years. They too fell apart at the seams due to age. I simply pitched them and re-ordered only six belts. When I get down to the last belt, I will order six more as needed. I only use 120g belts on that machine.

-- TheOldTimer,Chandler Arizona

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6883 posts in 5429 days

#6 posted 08-04-2010 09:57 AM

Hi Karson;

Nice try on the repair. I wonder what the manufacturer bonds them together with. Maybe just using the same thing would work.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View SPalm's profile


5338 posts in 5332 days

#7 posted 08-04-2010 01:52 PM

Hey Karson,

Hmmm. I guess maybe it just depends on a lot of stuff.
Yes, please explain ceramic belts.

I always wondered if it really mattered if I put on the belt with the arrows pointing in the correct direction. I have flipped used belts around and gotten a bit more life out of them.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9239 posts in 4370 days

#8 posted 08-04-2010 02:00 PM

I wonder if the epoxy failed because of the constant flexing and straightening of the belt when it is on the sander? Is there an epoxy that stays flexible that would work better? Does Marine epoxy stay flexible?

I am just throwing out questions because I am like the others in thinking there HAS to be some glue that the manufacturers use that works.

Hummmm . ... .

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Karson's profile


35300 posts in 5850 days

#9 posted 08-04-2010 02:40 PM

When I turned the belt by hand, when it was on the sander, I could hear the glue cracking. I clamped it straight when it dried. But like I said the the glue bond didn’t fail between the Tyvek and the sanding belt.

I did remove the old splice before putting on the new splice.

The sales lady told me that they make the belts as wide as they have belt material (Lets say 36” wide) They cut any angle align the belt and then use their splicing material. They then cut the wide belt into belts as what they need. 1”, 2” 4” 6” etc. On mine the splice material looked about 1” wide with some nylon fibers running through it. Kind of like nylon filament packing tape. (It also doesn’t work)

The belts on my sander are going over a maybe 2” diam wheel. The heat that is generated can be make the belt warm.

But, the failure seemed to be in the Tyvek itself. It seemed to delaminate within the material.

I Keep wondering what carpet tape is like. The stuff I’m thinking about is what they use to seam wall to wall carpet when they are installing it. It’s a material that they use a hot iron to melt the glue.

I don’t know if the sanding would cause the same amount of heat to unbind it.

The sanding belts have a ceramic grit on them. (Like Alum Oxide and Garnet, or Zirconium) Zirconium is two steps removed from diamond and ceramics are even harder and more durable than Zirconium and more expensive. They are favored by metal workers.

The Aluminum belts cost $9.00 for 10 belts The Zirconium were maybe $1.80 each and the Ceramic maybe $2.10 each. I don’t do as much sanding with these belts as I used to do. When I was in my toy making days in St Louis 35 years ago I would go through 20 belts a year. (only AO then). Now it seams the belts fail before I use them up. I buy 10 and throw 8 away because of the seam failure.

That’s why I was trying to reclaim my old belts. A brand new belt with a life of 30 seconds didn’t seem right.

The belt can be used on a lathe though for sanding so it’s good material for that. But, that was not what I signed up for when I bought them.

The compoany I buy my sading materials from is Their online catalog is pretty good. The paper catalog usually has a 2 year life. The current one is 2009-2010. They are outside of Gettysburg, PA I went to their store/offices once when I was in Gettysburg. The last time I was there it was a Sunday and they wern’t open.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Karson's profile


35300 posts in 5850 days

#10 posted 08-04-2010 02:53 PM

When the belt is spliced with an overlay, meaning the belt material is itsself the splicing material then they use arrows. That is so that the leading edge does not hit the material being sanded. When they use butt splices then they don’t use arrows, because the direction doesn’t mean anything. The grit is usually sanded off the material at the area of the overlap so the belt is not real thick at the splice.

I’ve been unable to find any material on the web that has been called splicing material. The Tyvek was the clossest suggestion that I could find.

I’m still willing to try but I’m now back in sanding bussiness for a few years. (With my new belts) I bough 14 belts and they gave me 2 new ones so I’m good to go for a while.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 4565 days

#11 posted 08-04-2010 04:26 PM

hello Karson
unfortunly you ain´t the first one
I had the same problem with new belts to my handhold beltsander
the belts was new but had been stored in my house for about 4-5years
under the right condition so there most be something with the glue
that just fail after 3-6 years


View JJohnston's profile


1622 posts in 4741 days

#12 posted 08-04-2010 05:36 PM

It’s too late now, but could you try belt material itself for splice material? Use an old belt with the grit worn off, and put it back to back onto the belt you’re splicing.

-- "A man may conduct himself well in both adversity and good fortune, but if you want to test his character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5623 posts in 5162 days

#13 posted 08-04-2010 08:13 PM

Thanks for the info on the ceramic belts…I had a really wrong mental picture before you cleared that up LOL!

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View lew's profile


13532 posts in 5205 days

#14 posted 08-05-2010 02:20 AM

Sorry to hear about the failures.

Had similar experience with old (never used) belts. Guess it was from being stored in the basement shop.


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Grumpy's profile


26811 posts in 5301 days

#15 posted 08-11-2010 10:15 AM

Interesting, thanks Karson.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

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