3x21 Belt Sander on Cutting Boards?

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Forum topic by Ynot posted 10-16-2021 02:47 PM 304 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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49 posts in 2872 days

10-16-2021 02:47 PM

I saw a vintage 3×21 Wen 910 belt sander that someone’s selling for $30 and wondering what it’s best uses would be.? Could it be used on cutting boards beyond the 13” of my planer. I sometimes have a wide cutting board that a lamination slips and ends up higher than the others. If I went light on the grits to not cause valleys could it work or is it simply too narrow?

I know in the end a belt sander like this would be nice to flip and bench mount rather than using the 6×48 for small parts, but want to know if it’s viable for the above before I pull the trigger.

Thanks for any advice.

8 replies so far

View JackDuren's profile


1747 posts in 2246 days

#1 posted 10-16-2021 02:52 PM


View bigblockyeti's profile


7774 posts in 3007 days

#2 posted 10-16-2021 02:56 PM

In my experience, you want as powerful a belt sander as possible flattening even the slightest of bumpy end grain cutting boards. Long grain would be a little easier but you’re still dealing with a lot of surface area. I have a 12amp Porter Cable 4×24 and a 10amp Milwaukee 4×24 and work is slightly faster with the PC. Wen was never on the same level as the professional users back in the day and worked hard, that would likely translate into disappointment if not destruction.

Bottom line, it would work if it didn’t melt itself as it would be very slow going.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View northwoodsman's profile


682 posts in 5033 days

#3 posted 10-16-2021 03:11 PM

A cutting board surface must be FLAT to function properly. You need to be able to pivot the knife on the end portion of the blade (away from the handle and bolster) and cleanly cut through without using a sawing or pulling motion. If there are any dips or humps, and I mean ANY at all, it is defective. A belt sander would work on a charcuterie board.

Build a slab flattening sled and use a router like this. It has a 21” x 30” surfacing capacity. Be sure to clamp your material down, I use wedges.

Use a bit like this.

-- NorthWoodsMan

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49 posts in 2872 days

#4 posted 10-17-2021 04:35 PM

Thank you all for your advice. If and when I come across a longer and wider belt sander I may grab it just to have around.

Northwoodsman, I like it and may go that route as it’s familiar with things I’ve done in the past, but with a straight bit and a sled made of acrylite and oak. With your bit I’ll make up a new system to have on standby, but I know I’ll need it. What’s the bit called, a planing bit? Do you have an online source to purchase.

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19900 posts in 2425 days

#5 posted 10-17-2021 05:33 PM

For a handheld belt sander, you want a big sumbich. Not anything underpowered or plastic-bodied. Something heavy enough to do the work for you. I rarely use the 40 year old craftsman one I have but it’ll eat wood away fast when that’s what I need done.

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

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7569 posts in 1876 days

#6 posted 10-17-2021 07:02 PM

A 4×24 sander with a shoe is great for leveling. The shoe expands the surface area, and the sander height can be adjusted so it just skims the surface. That’ll eliminate any gouges.

The sander does have a plastic body though. Sorry Kenny.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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8297 posts in 3491 days

#7 posted 10-17-2021 08:00 PM

If I am working in surface finishing I use my router sled as a preference but also have a belt sander too.

or the belt sander

It rips into paint and other unwanted surface finishes no probs.

I would also use my half sheet sander but somebody pinched it ! tee hee

Note:- You can if your confident and competent, and take it easy, use a thicknesser or planer.
there are a couple of videos/blogs showing just what is required on the site somewere.

-- Regards Rob

View northwoodsman's profile


682 posts in 5033 days

#8 posted 10-17-2021 09:50 PM

Ynot – the bit is Spoilboard bit. I picked them up at Woodcraft. The 1/4” shank is $34, the 1/2” shank is $85. They go on sale from time to time or you can use their coupons when they come out. They work extremely well and leave a finish that you can quickly finish with a ROS. I use paste wax on my sled rails and base that the router sits on. A lot of shavings are created so I set up dust collection on one end and figured out which direction to move everything so the majority of the shavings are collected.

-- NorthWoodsMan

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