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Looking for advice on devices used to calibrate wide belt sander conveyer beds to the sanding heads

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Forum topic by SweetTea posted 02-02-2019 02:55 PM 760 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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SweetTea

476 posts in 1430 days


02-02-2019 02:55 PM

Ok so I am trying to dial in my wide belt sander and get the sanding drums/head assembly perfectly parallel to the conveyer table. I figure that I would need some type of dial indicator that I could slide from side to side on the conveyer table under the drum/sanding head. Is this the best way to do something like this? I wonder because of the belt on the conveyer platform. With it being somewhat nonridged I would assume that it would make getting an accurate reading very difficult. It would be way too time consuming to remove the conveyer belt but I would be willing to do that if that is the most optimal way. Any advice on that topic? What would be a good measurement device to use for this? I thought about the one way multi gauge. Just not sure.


10 replies so far

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

3774 posts in 1992 days


#1 posted 02-02-2019 03:35 PM

The method I like is to remove the conveyor (optional*) and remove the sanding belt.
I then use two strips of equal thickness and place them on either side of the conveyor platen so they rest under the ends of the drum. It is then a simple matter to lower the drum and adjust the tilt so that the drum rests on both strips equally.

Mike has a simple shimming trick to work around the inevitable backlash in the drum lockdown bolts to eliminate the last few thousandths of tilt.

  • I said “optional” because since it is usually a bit of a chore to get the conveyor belt on/off. Leaving it on with a flat/ even thickness board covering it works very well and usually you need to tweak the tilt slightly after taking a test sanding pass anyway…
View mpsprunger's profile

mpsprunger

34 posts in 2631 days


#2 posted 02-02-2019 03:38 PM

The belt has too imprecise for any useable information. I usually run material through the sander, check it Vernier caliper reading and set the machine to reading

View SweetTea's profile

SweetTea

476 posts in 1430 days


#3 posted 02-03-2019 11:07 AM



The method I like is to remove the conveyor (optional*) and remove the sanding belt.
I then use two strips of equal thickness and place them on either side of the conveyor platen so they rest under the ends of the drum. It is then a simple matter to lower the drum and adjust the tilt so that the drum rests on both strips equally.

Mike has a simple shimming trick to work around the inevitable backlash in the drum lockdown bolts to eliminate the last few thousandths of tilt.

  • I said “optional” because since it is usually a bit of a chore to get the conveyor belt on/off. Leaving it on with a flat/ even thickness board covering it works very well and usually you need to tweak the tilt slightly after taking a test sanding pass anyway…

- splintergroup


The belt has too imprecise for any useable information. I usually run material through the sander, check it Vernier caliper reading and set the machine to reading

- mpsprunger

So both of you guys think the most accurate way of making sure that the sanding head is parallel to the conveyer table is to do the measurements with the conveyer belt off? I realize that would be a lot of work, but I want to get this thing perfect.

View sawdustdad's profile

sawdustdad

379 posts in 1655 days


#4 posted 02-03-2019 01:13 PM

Run two strips of wood through the machine, one at each end of the drum. Measure them. Adjust accordingly.

-- Murphy's Carpentry Corollary #3: Half of all boards cut to a specific length will be too short.

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

3774 posts in 1992 days


#5 posted 02-03-2019 02:18 PM

Taking the belt off is usually a real pain to be avoided if possible (it tends to get compressed).
The simplest advice is to run the two strips (at the same time), measure, adjust.

Going to “bare metal” gets things “perfect”, then that perfection goes out the window when a conveyor and drum belt are installed (but it gets you real close)

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eflanders

326 posts in 2620 days


#6 posted 02-03-2019 02:34 PM

As some others have said, taking the conveyor belt off is not needed. Using two flat boards of equal thickness, run one into the machine on one side of the sanding drum and measure thickness. Run the second board through after the first one is done on the opposite end of the drum and measure. They should be the same within .010”. Adjust if not. I should also mention that the finer grit paper will yield tighter tolerances. The +/- .010” tolerance I mention is based on 120 grit. If a coarser grit is used, allow more tolerance.

View SweetTea's profile

SweetTea

476 posts in 1430 days


#7 posted 02-03-2019 04:01 PM


Taking the belt off is usually a real pain to be avoided if possible (it tends to get compressed).
The simplest advice is to run the two strips (at the same time), measure, adjust.

Going to “bare metal” gets things “perfect”, then that perfection goes out the window when a conveyor and drum belt are installed (but it gets you real close)

- splintergroup

I will try this first and see how far off, if any, that I am from being as parallel as possible. The reason that I want to attempt to get it perfect is because I would like to send my stock (which I buy S4S and use to make face frames and doors) through the machine on edge and sand the edges prior to cutting it up for use in assembling face frames and doors. I figure if I can sand a 32nd off each edge twice I can avoid running the stock through my planer and have a much better edge that doesn’t require as much sanding when the finishing time comes around. Is this a wise move? Or overkill?

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SweetTea

476 posts in 1430 days


#8 posted 02-03-2019 04:02 PM

I will try this first and see how far off, if any, that I am from being as parallel as possible. The reason that I want to attempt to get it perfect is because I would like to send my stock (which I buy S4S and use to make face frames and doors) through the machine on edge and sand the edges prior to cutting it up for use in assembling face frames and doors. I figure if I can sand a 32nd off each edge twice I can avoid running the stock through my planer and have a much better edge that doesn’t require as much sanding when the finishing time comes around. Is this a wise move? Or overkill?

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

3774 posts in 1992 days


#9 posted 02-04-2019 10:50 PM



I will try this first and see how far off, if any, that I am from being as parallel as possible. The reason that I want to attempt to get it perfect is because I would like to send my stock (which I buy S4S and use to make face frames and doors) through the machine on edge and sand the edges prior to cutting it up for use in assembling face frames and doors. I figure if I can sand a 32nd off each edge twice I can avoid running the stock through my planer and have a much better edge that doesn’t require as much sanding when the finishing time comes around. Is this a wise move? Or overkill?

- SweetTea


I kind of do the same thing.

My planer has been relegated to smoothing rough sawn wood, the DS is used for all other sizing.

If you are trying to square up pieces (sanding all four sides/edges), I’d recommend you use a sled. I have one made from 3/4” MDF with a fence to keep the work pieces moving as one. The hard surface keeps the stock from rocking slightly as it passes through.

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pottz

9847 posts in 1754 days


#10 posted 02-04-2019 11:03 PM



Run two strips of wood through the machine, one at each end of the drum. Measure them. Adjust accordingly.

- sawdustdad


+1 it’s simple and no special tools needed.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

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