Belt Disc Sander Question

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Forum topic by MSquared posted 01-02-2019 02:11 AM 556 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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620 posts in 366 days

01-02-2019 02:11 AM

Hey Folks. Hope you’re all relaxing after the Holidays. I’ve started looking around for a belt disc sander. Should I run away from something like this, or is it a viable machine? As a beginner, what should I be looking for? Thanks for your input.

-- Marty, Long Island, NY

19 replies so far

View Picklehead's profile


1053 posts in 2381 days

#1 posted 01-02-2019 02:25 AM

I would wait for a 6×48 belt with at least a 9 inch disc. They show up fairly regularly. 4 inch belt and less than 3 usable inch disc isn’t much real estate to work with.

-- Quote from ebay tool listing: " Has nicks and dings wear and tear dust and dirt rust and pitting but in good working condition"

View jutsFL's profile


180 posts in 293 days

#2 posted 01-02-2019 03:21 AM

While old, and likely slightly, better made… That is the Taiwanees design likely still used for the HF version sold currently, though id wager to say the HF model is NOT made in Taiwan. They are nearly identical in every pic I saw in the listing. Ive owned the HF version for a bit over a year now. Its works just fine for my needs, but that being said – it can be had for about 60 bucks new w coupon.

Its a fine budget machine IMO, but get yourself a new one at least from HF if you decide to go this route.

-- I've quickly learned that being a woodworker isn't about making flawless work, rather it's fixing all the mistakes you made so that it appears flawless to others! Jay - FL

View Woodmaster1's profile


1193 posts in 3039 days

#3 posted 01-02-2019 03:28 AM

A new one from harbor freight is around $50 on sale.

View PPBart's profile


86 posts in 282 days

#4 posted 01-02-2019 02:39 PM

I looked around for a while for a belt/disk sander, and finally settled on HF 6×48 model after deciding the smaller unit was just too small for my needs. I’ve had my sander for a month or so and am well pleased with it so far. My only complaint is the flimsy (although perfectly adequate) base; my plan is to either reinforce the stock base to reduce vibration, or build a new cabinet base incorporating additional (needed) storage.

-- PPBart

View bigJohninvegas's profile


644 posts in 1914 days

#5 posted 01-02-2019 05:44 PM

I would pass, wait for the 6X48. I have the Craftsman 6X48 with the 9” disk. It works well for me, and I picked it on CL for $90.
It does look like the harbor freight version.
It looks like the belt tension release lever is missing.
So if you are going to look at it, Make sure to check that.
Its not good that the extra belts are rolled into a tight ball.
You see how they are pinched tight at the ends. That will effect them on the machine.
My craftsman came with a couple belts that were pinched on the ends like that. they do not flatten back out, and came apart quickly. New belts last a long time too. so no need to keep more than a 3 pack of your favorite grit.

-- John

View MSquared's profile


620 posts in 366 days

#6 posted 01-02-2019 06:27 PM

All good info folks, thanks! I recognized the resemblance to the HF unit right away. At first, I was thinking for the price (I would try to bargain down for $40) and the additional belts, might be a decent deal for a small machine. THEN .. upon closer inspection, it’s 1/4 hp, my guess is it’s more than likely prone to bogging down. I’ve seen similar at 3/4 hp. Also, it seems to be missing the belt tension/ locking lever. ( I missed that!) Then factor in it’s basically a 35 y.o. HF machine! At that age, I’m figuring the same type from a higher-end manufacturer would be more reliable. i.e., say C-Man, Delta, PC, etc.. Size wise, I feel 4×36 with 6” disc will accommodate my needs for the foreseeable future. All that being said, is there all that much difference in quality and durability in a fairly basic machine like this? For example, HF, Wen, Powertec and Skil get decent reviews.

-- Marty, Long Island, NY

View MSquared's profile


620 posts in 366 days

#7 posted 01-02-2019 07:18 PM

Big John, I forgot to mention that. Yes, the belts look crimped. My #6 post seems to have been delayed! I mentioned the missing lever. I’m definitely passing on it and will keep shopping.

-- Marty, Long Island, NY

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2993 posts in 3889 days

#8 posted 01-02-2019 07:39 PM

Wait for a 6×48” craftsman. You’ll see them once and awhile online. I’ve had mine since 1976 and am still using it today with no repairs. If you should find one, let it run with the belt on and tensioned properly. Make sure the bearings don’t have and squeals to them. If so then for the right price it would be a go.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View splintergroup's profile


2779 posts in 1674 days

#9 posted 01-02-2019 08:17 PM

I have a similar sander (Delta) from my FIL. It works and is great for small things but that’s about it. I picked up an older Powermatic 6”x48” with the 12” disc for $150 and the difference is night/day. This is one style of machine that going bigger doesn’t necessarily limit still working on smaller items. The big advantage to having both machines is not having to swap out grits (especially the disc). It’s nice to have a coarse set up and a fine grit setup, kind of like having several bandsaws 8^)

View WoodenDreams's profile


670 posts in 363 days

#10 posted 01-02-2019 10:09 PM

Offer him $25 for it all. And you still need to build a dust collecting jig to attach a shop vac. Or you’ll have sawdust everywhere. A 4”x24” belt sander with a dust collecting attachment is handy for small projects. It’s nice to have a 6”x48”, but at $400. This one isn’t much of a sander without a dust collecting method.

View MSquared's profile


620 posts in 366 days

#11 posted 01-02-2019 11:05 PM

WoodenDreams- I figure I’ll just pass on it and watch CL. Who knows what else is wrong with it! On dust collection , I’ve seen where some have built a simple box with a port that seem to work well, but if I don’t have to …

Oh!.... Coincidence!I Just came across this ad. This belongs on the ‘CL sellers have gone mad’ forum!!

-- Marty, Long Island, NY

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

11702 posts in 3880 days

#12 posted 01-02-2019 11:14 PM

As others have opined, wait for a 6X48.
As to that Toms River listing…everything there is pricey. Even their candy.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View MSquared's profile


620 posts in 366 days

#13 posted 01-02-2019 11:17 PM

Eh! The candy ain’t much to write home to Mom about anyway. But, I mean, really! Is this guy nuts or what?

-- Marty, Long Island, NY

View tblank's profile


78 posts in 3422 days

#14 posted 01-02-2019 11:35 PM

If your need for a sander is more in the disc side rather than the belt, you can make one VERY easily. An old appliance motors is easy to get and the rest is mounting it and making the disc. I got a 2HP motor off an old washing machine from a salvage yard and an aluminum plate. Cut the plate to 10.5 inch diameter to accept any type of paper and mounted the disc. It spun a little off center and wobbled a bit. So, I took and old dull carbide toothed blade and “trued” up the disc to be concentric with the motor shaft. Made a table to butt up to the disc with a notch to go past the edge and it tilts past 45 deg. both ways for flexibility. That was twenty years ago and it is still working well. This affords a lot of sanding space being 10.5 inches across.

View MSquared's profile


620 posts in 366 days

#15 posted 01-04-2019 01:24 AM

Well, sage advice all around. My conclusion is to wait until I see a 6×48” w/9” (or so) disc for sale. BUT! ... If I come across a decent 4×36” w/6” disc for ‘dirt cheap’, I’ll grab it. As Splintergroup mentioned, two machines with different grits would be handy. Thank you all for helping out a beginner!!

-- Marty, Long Island, NY

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