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I have a couple of belt sanders. A large Hitachi one which I use very little as it requires 2 hands and then some. I have an old Skill small belt sander which I use a lot as it only require one hand. My small Skill one is now kind of turning off and on by itself. I wonder if I should by another small belt sander or something like the Rigid belt/spindle sander. I don't have a lot of room so I need something small.

What would be a good solution?
 

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look to the brushes...
after that I'd replace it...
 
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Lee I have the Ridgid belt and spindle sander and really like it.
 
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I guess it would depend on the type of sanding you do. I just picked up a new Rikon 4x36 belt disk sander on Ebay for $115.00 including shipping. The seller has 9 more of them. I had a 6x36" Rikon but during my usual toolpurge sold it a few months ago. I like the disk belt sander because I can do contours as straight sanding.
 

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The Ridgid is a nice machine for the $199. Love mine
 

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Discussion Starter #6
What size belt is used for the Ridgid belt/spindle sander? Is it the same size as a small belt sander?

There is a used one on craigslist. He says its in excellent shape. I guess I will go look at it.
 

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Lee,

a very simple and often overlooked problem with any electric tool is the plug and it's wires. You stated that it goes on and off by itself, it could be a broken wire near the plug, If you check this it could save you a bunch of money. A bonus is it's an easy fix and inexpensive repair.
Good luck
Dan
 

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I guess it would depend on the type of sanding you do. I just picked up a new Rikon 4x36 belt disk sander on Ebay for $115.00 including shipping. The seller has 9 more of them. I had a 6x36" Rikon but during my usual toolpurge sold it a few months ago. I like the disk belt sander because I can do contours as straight sanding.
I could not find it on ebay. They may have all sold. In what I do I think an edge sander and spindle sander would be more useful. Sometimes I have a need for a Disc sander but not enough to push me to buy one. I think you can buy separate Disc sanders. I saw a 12 inch Delta for $150 used.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Lee,

a very simple and often overlooked problem with any electric tool is the plug and it's wires. You stated that it goes on and off by itself, it could be a broken wire near the plug, If you check this it could save you a bunch of money. A bonus is it's an easy fix and inexpensive repair.
Good luck
Dan
I guess I need to check the brushes as stick mentioned.

I will check the continuity of the power wires also.
 

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Have and really like the Ridgid sander. Has about a 4 inch belt. It also ostilates up and down to spread the work. If I want to use more of the belt with a skinny work piece, I just put a block of scrap on the top and work off that instead of the base. The spindle allows use of many sizes from wide to skinny cylinder. Nice machine. Check prices at HD online and even WalMart online. I find many tools are cheaper there than at Amazon, and delivery to a local store for pickup is free.
 

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I had a B&D 3x21 and I found it had to keep from digging in at times because of the small footprint, plus it was junk. I replaced it with a 4x24 PC and it does a way better job but is much heavier. I just let it sit and use it's own weight and just steer it for the most part.

The problem with a belt/disc combo is that you are limited how long and how wide you can sand. With a handheld there is no limit. So both is better than "which one" since both can do things the other won't.
 

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I've got a small bench belt sander, with a sanding disc, that I use. If it ever dies, I plan on making a replacement myself. Plenty of free plans on line. I may make a small disc sander also, but somewhere I have a sanding disc to fit a saw, and I have a spare bench saw I may put that in, as a dedicated disc sander. I'm a great believer in making things myself rather than buying, if I can - usually more fun that way.
 

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+1 on checking continuity of cable right up to the switch, as well as the brushes.
My Hitachi is 40 years old, and feels distinctly heavier than when I bought it. At the time, I made a simple metal frame (stole the idea from Elu) to hold it securely upside down, clamped to the bench. With a simple clamp-on fence, edge sanding is possible without having to do the Charles Atlas course first. Elu went one better at the time, they had an accessory frame for their belt sanders, which prevented dig-in when used in this manner.
I have subsequntly noticed that Triton make a frame to hold their belt sander side-on to a table (i.e. Belt surface is vertical, like in the Rigid), but do not use it enough to warrant the construction. Have a Bosch ROS which can remove stock from flat surfaces quite aggressively, with the right grit.
I bought the sanding disc for my RAS about 35yrs back, but rarely used it, because it meant removing the blade. However, when I bought my lathe, it came with a sanding disc. Since I do not do that much turning now, the lathe mostly acts as a disc sander.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well I bought the Ridgid belt/spindle sander off craigslist. It is in good shape. They were a nice couple with kids and he was selling his wood working tools off as he does not have any more time for them. I did not try to talk him down and I just gave him the money.

I want to buy a course belt and I was thinking 50 or 60 grit kind of leaning toward 50 grit. Any thoughts? I like 3M sanding supplies so I am looking for a 3M purple belt.

Tearing apart the old belt sander is on my to do list.
 

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My finest for my 6 x 108" is 80 grit. It's enough for semi rough finishing.
 

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You'll like it. Takes stock 4 x 24 belts. The belt sander will get used much much more than the spindle.
 
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