Why are my sanding belts breaking?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by JesseTutt posted 01-11-2013 06:20 PM 18280 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View JesseTutt's profile


854 posts in 2617 days

01-11-2013 06:20 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question ridgid belt sander sanding belts sanding

Three years ago I purchased a bunch of belts for my Ridgid oscillating spindle / belt sander. Recently I have been using them and they keep breaking at the glue / tape line. I stored each belt hanging from a 1” dowel (old broom stick). They have been exposed to Missouri winters in an unheated workshop (0 degree days) and uncooled summers (100+) and sunlight through a west facing window. I purchased them from Woodworkers Supply so I figure they are of reasonable quality. Usually I remove tension from the belt for overnight storage.

I have been sanding the bottoms of scroll sawn figurines flat and then rounding over the edges.

Here are three pictures showing a completely broken belt and one in the process of breaking:

-- Jesse, Saint Louis, Missouri

9 replies so far

View AUBrian's profile


86 posts in 3178 days

#1 posted 01-11-2013 06:37 PM

Looks like all the heating and cooling took its toll on the tape. Your method of storing them (Meaning not putting stress on them) sounds fine, but any tape will eventually start to lose its “umph” after a while, and get brittle or have the adhesive dry out. Looking at your last picture especially, it looks like that’s the case. The glue residue left on the right half of the belt tells me that everything dried out. Adhesive and tape failed, assisted by the repeated flexing on the machine.

View AJLastra's profile


87 posts in 2735 days

#2 posted 01-11-2013 06:39 PM

I have to echo what Brian just said. the belts have simply worn out. I had the same thing happen with a number of purple belts for my PC belt sander. they just sat too long. Time to go shopping!!!!

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 2695 days

#3 posted 01-11-2013 06:47 PM

It definitely looks like temperature and maybe also humidity swings are taking their toll. I have had belts sit for years in a climate controlled shop without any problems.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View Bluepine38's profile


3387 posts in 3592 days

#4 posted 01-11-2013 08:33 PM

I picked up three nice boxes of belt sander belts this summer for $3.00 a box because they had been subjected
to the same treatment as yours. They are great for hand sanding, and one Lumberjock posted a curved sanding
jig that utilizes the belts, (I cannot locate it now) but they cannot be used on a machine unless you come up with a way to retape the joints. I try to store my belts in my basement shop, where the temperature is a lot more even all the time.

-- As ever, Gus-the 80 yr young apprentice carpenter

View pintodeluxe's profile


5985 posts in 3320 days

#5 posted 01-11-2013 08:36 PM

Try the Freud brand (red) belts available at Home Depot. I find theywork very well, and don’t clog like garnet paper does.
I have not had one break yet.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View ratchet's profile


1391 posts in 4293 days

#6 posted 01-11-2013 08:38 PM

Same thring here. No biggie. Use some 100 mph tape or reinforced wide packaging tape to reinforce.

View JesseTutt's profile


854 posts in 2617 days

#7 posted 01-11-2013 11:10 PM

Ratchet, Are you suggesting that I can repair the broken belts? Or are suggesting that I can save the remaining belts?

-- Jesse, Saint Louis, Missouri

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3196 days

#8 posted 01-12-2013 02:58 AM

I’m anxiously following this thread as I have never had any luck “patching” or retaping these belts. I haven’t had problems since going to a better quality belt (Norton 3x).

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 2513 days

#9 posted 01-12-2013 02:07 PM

I tried the 100mph tape once for this same issue. Problem was the heat generated melted the tape and cleaning the gummy residue it left was a pain in the butt!

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics