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View JB1999's profile

18” Belt Sander for cabinet doors?

by JB1999
posted 09-28-2018 12:29 PM


9 replies so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5207 posts in 4356 days


#1 posted 09-28-2018 01:06 PM

Just a reference to my days at the cabinet shop…….
Went from a drum to a wide belt (a big boy), and it really made a difference. Time saved, better finish, real adjustability.
It wasn’t a Grizz, but it sure was a welcome change.

-- [email protected]

View bruc101's profile

bruc101

1343 posts in 3937 days


#2 posted 09-28-2018 02:12 PM

Do you make cabinet doors as a profession, own a cabinet shop, about how many doors a year do you make. If you’re in the door making business, then a wide belt is the way to go. If not, and you can afford a wide belt then go for it.
And yes, you’ll need to sand the doors with a rob after you run them through a wide belt.

As Bill stated, a wide belt would be a much welcomed change compared to a drum sander.

-- Bruce Free Plans https://traditionalwoodworking.org

View GR8HUNTER's profile

GR8HUNTER

6110 posts in 1108 days


#3 posted 09-28-2018 02:39 PM

in the cabinet shop I worked in use to have his doors made by a professional door makers they had about 10 widebelts but we still sanded when we got the doors back from them :<))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View SweetTea's profile

SweetTea

430 posts in 1055 days


#4 posted 09-28-2018 04:20 PM

Wide belt sanders are the defacto standard in the cabinet industry. Drum sanders leave lines and much worse cross grain scratches. Wide belt sanders leave no lines and have very little cross grain scratches. If you are sanding cabinet doors then by all means use a wide belt sander. Sanding the lines out of a drum sanded door takes forever. The Grizz 18” is nice, but for that price you can find a used 36” Timesaver or another better brand that is bigger with my sanding compacity.

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

5284 posts in 2705 days


#5 posted 09-28-2018 06:01 PM

I have had a 15 inch open end Bridgewood sander for about 17 years. It’s been a great addition to my shop. contrary to what I have seen many poster say I can sand up to 30 inch wide panels or door without “wittiness lines. I believe that Grizzly and my Bridgewood was made in the same factory. Looking at the manuals they appear to be
pretty much identical.

Now on to your question. First the sanders in this class, while the are worth having for a hobby shop or small one man shop they are not production machines. Second it will not eliminate hitting the doors or panel with an ROS sander. This class sander with do a great job of flatten the joints on door and panels and get them ready for final sanding. Final sanding with an ROS will me much quicker though. Maybe we should call it a polish sanding but you still need to run a ROS over you work. BTW in the 17 years I’ve had my sander I’ve never had to make a repair or and adjustment to it.

For betters answers to you question, answer the question Bruc101 asked.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View bruc101's profile

bruc101

1343 posts in 3937 days


#6 posted 09-28-2018 07:12 PM


I have had a 15 inch open end Bridgewood sander for about 17 years. It s been a great addition to my shop. contrary to what I have seen many poster say I can sand up to 30 inch wide panels or door without “wittiness lines. I believe that Grizzly and my Bridgewood was made in the same factory. Looking at the manuals they appear to be
pretty much identical.

Now on to your question. First the sanders in this class, while the are worth having for a hobby shop or small one man shop they are not production machines. Second it will not eliminate hitting the doors or panel with an ROS sander. This class sander with do a great job of flatten the joints on door and panels and get them ready for final sanding. Final sanding with an ROS will me much quicker though. Maybe we should call it a polish sanding but you still need to run a ROS over you work. BTW in the 17 years I ve had my sander I ve never had to make a repair or and adjustment to it.

For betters answers to you question, answer the question Bruc101 asked.

- AlaskaGuy

Good post.
I’ve got a friend that has a sander that looks like yours. He swears by it and says I don’t think I could ever wear it out.

-- Bruce Free Plans https://traditionalwoodworking.org

View JB1999's profile

JB1999

2 posts in 271 days


#7 posted 09-29-2018 01:01 PM

Thanks everyone for the replies!
I tried to send messages directly to each of you but the forum rules say I have to post at least 5 times prior to being able to do that.

So most of you agreed that a wide belt sander does save time overall, but that there is still some sanding work to do afterwards. After going through the belt sander, door stiles and panels would seem easy to finish-sand, but since the belt sander sands the door rails in a perpendicular direction to the grain, is this more difficult to sand out?

I am using 13/16” stock for the cabinet doors. After two (front/back) passes through a wide belt sander, then some RO finish sanding, are we looking at a final door thickness of 3/4” ?

Here’s the thing: Usually when I purchase 13/16” S3S maple, poplar, oak, etc from the lumber supplier, there are very small (but noticeable) planer machining marks on the lumber. After every cabinet door is assembled, these machine marks have to be sanded out completely. This takes time.
Sure, a wide belt sander will sand away all of those machine marks, level the wood joints, and flatten the door, but will I be spending just as much time sanding out the marks from a belt sander?
And specifically, the cross-grain sanding of the door rails?

Your input is much appreciated!

Thanks friends,
Joe

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

8652 posts in 2972 days


#8 posted 09-29-2018 02:04 PM

Maybe run the stiles and rails through the sander first….

View SweetTea's profile

SweetTea

430 posts in 1055 days


#9 posted 09-29-2018 02:13 PM



Thanks everyone for the replies!
I tried to send messages directly to each of you but the forum rules say I have to post at least 5 times prior to being able to do that.

So most of you agreed that a wide belt sander does save time overall, but that there is still some sanding work to do afterwards. After going through the belt sander, door stiles and panels would seem easy to finish-sand, but since the belt sander sands the door rails in a perpendicular direction to the grain, is this more difficult to sand out?

I am using 13/16” stock for the cabinet doors. After two (front/back) passes through a wide belt sander, then some RO finish sanding, are we looking at a final door thickness of 3/4” ?

Here’s the thing: Usually when I purchase 13/16” S3S maple, poplar, oak, etc from the lumber supplier, there are very small (but noticeable) planer machining marks on the lumber. After every cabinet door is assembled, these machine marks have to be sanded out completely. This takes time.
Sure, a wide belt sander will sand away all of those machine marks, level the wood joints, and flatten the door, but will I be spending just as much time sanding out the marks from a belt sander?
And specifically, the cross-grain sanding of the door rails?

Your input is much appreciated!

Thanks friends,
Joe

- JB1999

In short, no. It depends on the depth of cut you take with the wide belt sander and the grit used. You don’t want to take a 16th off in two passes (one on front and one on back). That is in my opinion too much unless you have a 20HP+ sander. I will let others chime in with their experiences with regards to different grits and which ones are more optimal for x wood or y wood. The amount of sanding with an orbital sander is very minimal. I can take a door that was put through my wide belt sander and sanding up to 150g-180g on the sander and have the front and back of each individual door completely finished with the orbital sander in less than 2 minutes per door. That is being a little extreme, most door are maybe half that time. Especially if they are shaker doors. If you are processing a lot of shaker doors with a flat panel, I would suggest going with a 5” pneumatic random orbital sander powered by your air compressor, assuming that it’s big enough (your compressor). I run my sander off a 3HP 60 gallon Charger Air Pro and while this compressor is pretty weak and not really optimal in size or horse power, it works fine.

With regards to the wide belt sander, I would suggest buying at least a 25”. If you go with a 15” or 18” I can promise that you will end up regretting not going bigger very quickly. There are lots of options in the 25” range, and while wide belt sanders are pretty simple machines, I would get a good one. I looked at a 36” or so Biessee a couple of years ago and it was around $40,000. It was a single head. I did my research and soon learned that for my purposes, which are strictly sanding cabinet doors, there was no reason what so ever to pay the extra coin for the Biessee. Grizzly has a 25” model that would be perfect for a custom cabinet guy. The bigger machines from Biessee, SCM, ect. are for production shops that run their equipment 24/7/365. They offer no tactical advantage over a Grizz when comparing single head machines. Their only superiority is in longitivtiy. Even then you would have to pay thousands of dollars to get a technician to work on one. I would get the Grizz or Powermatic in a 25” if I were you and had the coin. If you are open to buying used you can get a nice 36” sander for well under $7,000.

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