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Buying advice for a wide belt sander

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Forum topic by Warren posted 04-06-2020 10:15 AM 542 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Warren

79 posts in 4742 days


04-06-2020 10:15 AM

Topic tags/keywords: wide belt sander advice sander widebelt

Hi All,

Im investigating the possibilites of buying a wide belt sander. These are crazy expensive machines so Im looking in the second hand market and I wanted some advice for what I should be looking out for. I will mainly be using it for surfacing big slabs and panel glue ups but from what I read these things can get pretty addictive and useful for all sorts of things!

Here are some of my questions in no particular order:

1) Generally speaking, are these the type of machine that hold up well over the years? In other words, is buying second hand a good idea? ( I know every user is different)
2) Number of belts, one of the ones I looking at has 2 belts, others have 3, how important is the number of belts?
3) Power consumption, these machines seem require a lot of juice, any one got an estimation for how much they cost to run? Lets say I ran it for 30 minutes a day
4) Maintenance, whats involved in keeping it running or restoring one?
5) What dont I know that I should know?

Thanks all for your time and energy in replying

Warren

-- Im more succesfull at making sawdust than I am at making furniture


20 replies so far

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

9628 posts in 2850 days


#1 posted 04-06-2020 12:59 PM

Still not exactly cheap and I don’t have one but Woodcraft has the Rikon belt and disk sander on sale right now for $169. I’ve seen it in the store and looks like a solid machine. Belt sanders are basically a motor and some pulleys so there isn’t much to go wrong with them so I would not have any qualms about buying one used as long as I could test it to make sure that it tracks okay. Of course I am too cheap to shell out the dough myself so I made my own. All said and done it probably costed at least $75 because I had an old blower motor laying around so at the end of the day it is not that much more expensive to buy one, especially if you have to add a motor. .

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EDIT: I wouldn’t worry too much about the extra belts. If they are like new, they could be a tie breaker but they aren’t so expensive that I would let that be anything but a tie breaker between 2 that you are considering. The type of belts could also be a consideration but that will depend upon what you want to do with it. Also, you can look at the amp rating and calculate the cost to operate and compare that to what you pay per kilowatt hours. A 15 amp motor for 30 minutes a day will be less than 1 kilowatt hour, if I remember the conversion correctly.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View Warren 's profile

Warren

79 posts in 4742 days


#2 posted 04-06-2020 01:10 PM

Thanks, I’m actually looking at something bigger, one of these…

-- Im more succesfull at making sawdust than I am at making furniture

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

9628 posts in 2850 days


#3 posted 04-06-2020 01:20 PM

Hah. So a giant belt sander. Never mind :-)

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View Robert's profile

Robert

4989 posts in 2944 days


#4 posted 04-06-2020 01:33 PM

No personal experience, but as these are commercial machines, chances are used one will have seen a lot of hours. So the risk is fairly high unless you can get it dirt cheap. You’re probably looking at either an auction or a local shop looking to upgrade. But my point remains re: wear and tear.

AFAIK the really big ones are usually 3 phase.

I would think it best to find a local shop upgrading where they can demonstrate the machine.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View GrantA's profile

GrantA

3167 posts in 2870 days


#5 posted 04-06-2020 01:42 PM

Are you in a commercial shop with 3-phase power? My single belt timesaver 37” pulls 26.9a 480v 3-phase. 56.4a 208v 3-phase. It has a 20hp motor
It also requires air supply but not a lot.
I haven’t run it yet as I’m waiting on the city to put in my new 480v feed, I got it as a package deal from a shit down millwork shop so maybe you can get one that doesn’t need so much power, I haven’t shopped around

View Jared_S's profile

Jared_S

496 posts in 1422 days


#6 posted 04-06-2020 01:51 PM

GrantA beat me to it..

Woodweb is the better forum to ask commercial shop related questions

View Warren 's profile

Warren

79 posts in 4742 days


#7 posted 04-06-2020 02:25 PM

Yeah my shop has 3 phase and all my big equipment run on that right now. I have 30kw coming into the building so I think illl be fine power wise.thanks for the WOODWEB tip too, I had never heard of that one before!

-- Im more succesfull at making sawdust than I am at making furniture

View JackDuren's profile

JackDuren

1858 posts in 2422 days


#8 posted 04-06-2020 04:35 PM

You can find used and new machines. Whats your budget?

View Warren 's profile

Warren

79 posts in 4742 days


#9 posted 04-06-2020 04:47 PM

I have found a few ranging in price from €2000 up to €15000. I’ll be shopping at the bottom of that range which is what worries me. If they are relatively easy to maintain and fix, no problem. But if they are mega complicated to fix and to fine tune then I’ll probably give it a pass

-- Im more succesfull at making sawdust than I am at making furniture

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JackDuren

1858 posts in 2422 days


#10 posted 04-06-2020 05:49 PM

Do you have 3 phase where you want the machine.

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JackDuren

1858 posts in 2422 days


#11 posted 04-06-2020 05:51 PM

Having a three phase building is not the same as having what you need at the spot you want the machine.

You can pick a variety of machines. You need to decide do I put all my chips in or do I hold some back. Where are you located and what’s the machine intended for in use?

View Warren 's profile

Warren

79 posts in 4742 days


#12 posted 04-06-2020 06:17 PM

I’m in Madrid Spain, my workshop is 2700 square feet, I have a Felder sliding table saw (3 phase), thicknesses (3 phase), jointer (3 phase), bandsaw (3 phase) and extraction system (3 phase). Power isn’t my problem but I appreciate the concern.

As I mentioned earlier I’m going to use if for sanding large slabs and panel glue ups

-- Im more succesfull at making sawdust than I am at making furniture

View CWWoodworking's profile

CWWoodworking

2391 posts in 1642 days


#13 posted 04-06-2020 06:28 PM

Im not here to talk you into something else, I wish I had one. But have you considered a higher end drum sander?

Before I had my drum, I took everything to my suppliers wide belt to flatten panels. Honestly the only difference is it was a little faster.

I slightly looked into a used WB. Even machines that looked like they needed to be melted down were twice the money as new drum.

I am one that hates working on broken machines. Just food for thought.

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Warren

79 posts in 4742 days


#14 posted 04-06-2020 06:36 PM

Yeah I should look at them more. I guess I was thinking the wide belt sander would be more durable. I’m in a shared workspace so I need something robust! Also, I’d like to get around 130cm width too. I sometimes work woth some very wide slabs

-- Im more succesfull at making sawdust than I am at making furniture

View GrantA's profile

GrantA

3167 posts in 2870 days


#15 posted 04-06-2020 06:50 PM

you mentioned 30kw, depending on voltage a WB like mine or more powerful may require a service upgrade. A decent WB will use 3-4x the current of your tablesaw. Plus you need the dust collector, air compressor at least running simultaneously. Lights are nice to have turned on too ;-p

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