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I've used this belt sander for 30 years will no problem, but my son found the hazard. Photos show the issue and my solution. The metal ribs inside the drum are just little guillotines flying around waiting for a finger to get close. Also watch the video (no flying fingers, just the end of a chopstick)

Video: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dbur971/13889200874/

I guess I'm not allowed to post urls or upload videos so you need to search flickr for "BeltSanderHazard" or google that string above to see it.

You may want to check your belt sanders for this hazard.

It was near Halloween. What can I say?
 

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Theo
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And you stuck your finger in there, while it was running?
 

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When I bought my Makita belt sander over 40 years back, a more pecunious friend bought an Elu. Apart from using a broader belt, it came with a rectangular frame that fitted around the base of the machine, and limited the tendency to gouge. If the sander was turned upside down and table-mounted (the design facilitated such use), the frame served as a ledge on which to register the workpiece, and a fence could be attached at one end.
I am not sure whether DeWalt continued this idea after the takeover, but have not seen it as an option for other popular brands. Elu had a lot of thoughtful add-ons in those days. A pox on limited budgets.
 

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Few tools don't have hazards but I seriously never have seen or thought of that one. My old Sears belt sander hasn't been used in a very long time but it warrants a look for sure as it's easy enough to correct as is pointed out in the pictures. Thanks for posting the warning.
 

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Any tool can be dangerous. A carpenter was installing a stair tread on a deck stair. He caught the edge of the nail's head. It flipped up and hit him in the eye...no safety glasses. No eye.
 

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I inserted a working link into your post David. Good warning. I would have never thought about that hazard.

One of the first belt sanders I used was short and narrow and terrible for gouging. So when I bought a good one I opted for a 4 x 24" PC. It's much better for not gouging but the sucker is heavy as hell. Which may be a safety plus as I don't like trying to start it with all of it's own weight on the wood which means both hands are on handles and I usually keep my left hand on the front knob to keep it from getting away from me. An odd fact was that the 4" was cheaper than the 3" at the time.
 

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Rick
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It seems odd to me how a person could get his finger in there ,but apparently it happens.
I’ve had two of those sanders . Lent them both out and they both came back broken.
I finally bought a General belt sander that weighs over 400 pounds . Great thing about is it’s in perfect condition,cause it’s too big to lend out
 
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I’ve been fortunate in never having an issue/accident with my belt sander so when a friend asked to borrow it to refinish his deck I spent an hour with him running through the ins and outs of the beast. One of the first thing I showed him was how to load the belt. When he saw the wheel SNAP back in place he paid very close attention to everything and used it very successfully, I.e., no injuries and a reasonable finish on his deck.

They have their place and they are vicious. Fore warned is fore armed.
 

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I removed my fingerprints accidentally. I grabbed the belt sander by the front knob while it was running, and my finger tips dropped down and made contact...
 

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That sounds like how the OP's son's finger got nabbed.

Holding a piece against the stationary belt sander, with the unneeded pinky finger dangling off to the side, and nearing the edge, it got caught in the vanes of the platen wheel.

VERY informative post and mind searing insight on how to avoid injury. Thank you for sharing your son's story, and your solution.
 

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Theo
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That sounds like how the OP's son's finger got nabbed.

Holding a piece against the stationary belt sander, with the unneeded pinky finger dangling off to the side, and nearing the edge, it got caught in the vanes of the platen wheel.
I must be doing it wrong. Because if my pinky finger is not needed to hold the wood, I do not dangle it, I curl it up and tuck it in behind the other fingers. Because I am always wary of any power tool I am using. If you're not afraid, you aren't cautious. If you're afraid, you're always cautious. Hell, I even make bridges on any saw sled I make - you would have to lay your hand flat, then slide it under the bridge about 2 inches before you contact the blade - I would have to be a lot stupider than I am to get hurt using a saw sled.
 

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Rick
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I removed my fingerprints accidentally. I grabbed the belt sander by the front knob while it was running, and my finger tips dropped down and made contact...
My huge General belt sander was going ,and for some unknown reason I wanted to touch it . Kind of like putting your tongue on a 9V battery , you know you shouldn’t but you do .
Well I had my finger pointed in the direction of the way the belt was feeding . All of the sudden I hear this crack in my knuckle as my finger gets pushed away at high speed lol.
Didn’t do it twice
 

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My huge General belt sander was going ,and for some unknown reason I wanted to touch it . Kind of like putting your tongue on a 9V battery , you know you shouldn’t but you do .
Well I had my finger pointed in the direction of the way the belt was feeding . All of the sudden I hear this crack in my knuckle as my finger gets pushed away at high speed lol.
Didn’t do it twice
Rick, you can get that same feeling (wanting to touch it) when standing at Niagara Falls. There is one viewing position of the Horseshoe Falls (the Canadian falls) where you are standing on a sidewalk behind a stone wall a little less than chest high.
The water is about ten feet down on the other side and you're about ten to fifteen feet upstream of the brink. The feeling of wanting to step in is very compelling to a lot of people. Most linger much less than a minute. It's very compelling. When I go I never take my barrel.
 

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Theo
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I’ve had two of those sanders . Lent them both out and they both came back broken.
Rick, you're doing it all wrong. You need to watch more Red Green videos. You don't lend out anything, unless it is already broken.
 
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