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Wide belt sander for flooring

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Forum topic by JHarvey posted 12-31-2018 01:11 PM 458 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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JHarvey

4 posts in 1501 days


12-31-2018 01:11 PM

I need a way to sand hardwood flooring. I have a drum sander but it leaves snipe. I am considering a wide belt sander. Do wide belt sanders leave snipe?


9 replies so far

View mpsprunger's profile

mpsprunger

34 posts in 2638 days


#1 posted 12-31-2018 01:46 PM

No. They leave it even, just support the outfeed drop point at the end of the roller

View dhazelton's profile

dhazelton

2839 posts in 3074 days


#2 posted 12-31-2018 01:55 PM

There are random orbit sanders that won’t do as much damage and let you get closer to the baseboards. You also don’t have to worry as much about gouging across the grain of the wood.

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JHarvey

4 posts in 1501 days


#3 posted 12-31-2018 03:13 PM

I’m not working on-site, I am an industrial finisher and need to sand unfinished plank flooring.

James


There are random orbit sanders that won t do as much damage and let you get closer to the baseboards. You also don t have to worry as much about gouging across the grain of the wood.

- dhazelton


View ohtimberwolf's profile

ohtimberwolf

985 posts in 3129 days


#4 posted 12-31-2018 03:37 PM

I have not tried it but some say if you run the pieces as one piece (ends pushed against the other) as it goes through the planer or sander that the snipe will not happen. You might try on some scrap and see if it suits your need. larry

-- Just a barn cat, now gone to cat heaven.

View Mike_D_S's profile

Mike_D_S

605 posts in 2992 days


#5 posted 12-31-2018 04:02 PM

What drum sander do you have?

A wide belt sander might be what you need, but snipe in a drum sander is basically due to the same things that cause snipe in a planer.

So before you go buy a new piece of equipment, I’d do the following:
1. Build a sturdy set of infeed/outfeed tables for the drum sander. Make sure that they are long enough to support at least 2/3 of the longer flooring pieces you will run. The goal here is to insure that the pieces stay level for their entire trip through the sander.
2. Check the infeed/outfeed rollers and make sure they are not damaged.
3. Adjust the pressure for the infeed/outfeed rollers. This may be adjustable on the machine or you may have have to figure a way to shim the mounting blocks.

I’ve only used one wide belt sander, so I’m not an expert, but it seems to me that whether it’s a drum or belt sander running a long unsupported piece off the back of the sander and letting it droop is still going to produce snipe.

Mike

-- No honey, that's not new, I've had that forever......

View JHarvey's profile

JHarvey

4 posts in 1501 days


#6 posted 01-01-2019 12:39 PM

This does help a bit. I use this technique when I have to plane the finish off of flooring.


I have not tried it but some say if you run the pieces as one piece (ends pushed against the other) as it goes through the planer or sander that the snipe will not happen. You might try on some scrap and see if it suits your need. larry

- ohtimberwolf


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JHarvey

4 posts in 1501 days


#7 posted 01-01-2019 12:43 PM

I like all of your suggestions and have implemented a few. I have the Supermax 19-38 drum sander. I have two issues with it. Snipe and feed rate. I need to be able to process flooring as quickly as I can to remove planer marks and leave a finished surface sanded to 120.

I’m in process right now of doing my research and all of the comments here have been very helpful.

James


What drum sander do you have?

A wide belt sander might be what you need, but snipe in a drum sander is basically due to the same things that cause snipe in a planer.

So before you go buy a new piece of equipment, I d do the following:
1. Build a sturdy set of infeed/outfeed tables for the drum sander. Make sure that they are long enough to support at least 2/3 of the longer flooring pieces you will run. The goal here is to insure that the pieces stay level for their entire trip through the sander.
2. Check the infeed/outfeed rollers and make sure they are not damaged.
3. Adjust the pressure for the infeed/outfeed rollers. This may be adjustable on the machine or you may have have to figure a way to shim the mounting blocks.

I ve only used one wide belt sander, so I m not an expert, but it seems to me that whether it s a drum or belt sander running a long unsupported piece off the back of the sander and letting it droop is still going to produce snipe.

Mike

- MikeDS


View Mike_D_S's profile

Mike_D_S

605 posts in 2992 days


#8 posted 01-01-2019 03:25 PM

Thinking it over and since this is your business, then a wide belt may be right for you. Being able to gang feed 3 or 4 pieces at the same time and a bigger motor will let you get the process done faster which means higher $/hr.

Don’t forget though that a bigger wide belt sander could mean more dust though, so make sure your dust collection is up to the task.

Mike

-- No honey, that's not new, I've had that forever......

View SweetTea's profile

SweetTea

477 posts in 1437 days


#9 posted 01-01-2019 03:51 PM

I would buy a wide belt and never look back. With you being an industrial finisher, I am sure that this wide belt sander will help you with many more jobs in the future. You can sand cabinet doors, entry way doors, moulding, flooring, face frames, panels and on and on. Wide belts are soooo much better than drum sanders. I would get at least a 36” with a minimum of 15-20 horse power. Those things will power through any thing. You can even throw on a 60grit belt and do abrasive planing. I don’t know what your budget is, but you can get a Safety Speed or Grizzley 25” to 36” for between $9,000 and $13,000. Budget another $2,000 on a phase converter if you don’t have three phase (you can get a custom VFD for under a grand) and maybe $700-$2,400 for a nice dust collector. You can get two Harbor Freight dust collectors for around $170 each or Grizzly makes a really nice 10 horse power dust collector for under $2,400. I have an older Shing Sheng WDM-25 wide belt sander that I am trying to get up and running myself. I just have to find an affordable phase converter that will power a 10HP three phase motor and pay someone to replace all the bearings in the sanding head. (Not cheap, about $3,000 for labor and $400 for the bearings!).

Anyway, if you can afford one of the big boys from Biesey, Vietnam, or SCM you can have the ability to do sealer sanding which is freaking awesome. That is where say you have a cabinet panel or door that has a clear coat or just primer then instead of having to scuff it by hand before the next coat you just send it through the wide belt and let it do the fine task of scuffing the primer or clear coat. Those machines start at around $36,000.

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