Belt Sander --- hand held or benchtop? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-19-2007, 10:55 AM Thread Starter
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Default Belt Sander --- hand held or benchtop?

Question was prompted by a comment in a reply to reiki -- but question is a different tangent so started a different thread.

Reiki's question was ROS vs Pad and someone brought up benchtop belt sanders.

I've thought about buying one of those from time to time -- but have always just turned my belt sander upside down to achieve much the same goal.

Belt sander has recently died ----- so I'm faced with a spending decision -
Do I replace it with another hand held? or do I go ahead and get one of those benchtop combos with the belt and the disk?

If you had to choose 1???? all opinions welcome.

I have an ROS and a quarter sheet pad.

The one who says it can't be done --
Should avoid interrupting
the person doing it.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-19-2007, 11:19 AM
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Hi Cowboy, that's kind of a preference thing. I have never gotten along with a hand held belt sander myself. Dont know why, I just felt like they were awkward and unwieldy. I do use a benchtop belt sander that also has a disk sander on it. I primarily use mine for grinding downthings such as corners and things like flushing up box ends with box joints, dove tails and miter splines. I use a 150 and 220 belt on mine. I use the pad sander for finish sanding. Lot's of models out there and they are basically simple machines. I had a craftsman 4 x 36 inch model for about 20 years, now I have a 6 x 48 inch with a 6 inch disk sander and a spindle all built in to one unit. The Ridgid model is a neat machine and a little different from others. The belt is on it's side and is convertible to a spindle sander. I find my disk sander on the bench tops great for rounding corners and quickly removing stock up to a certain point like with miter keys.
The hand belt sander seems applicable to large projects for shaping down and roughing in my opinion but others may have other thoughts. I always thought they were to agressive for my work. My projects are small enough I can use a RO sander for that same work. Hope this helps.

Corey

My Carving Website: The Iowa Woodcarver
http://iowacarver.tripod.com/

Last edited by challagan; 10-19-2007 at 11:22 AM.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-19-2007, 11:49 AM
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Hi Cowboy

Out of all the sanders I have I use the benchtop most of all, I have two Deltas set up not because I need two, it's because I nail one and then I order a belt and repair one,,, some stock sliped out of hand and jamed and took out the belt ,,, now I one setup of the horz. and one setup on the vert. I think I use the benchtop 90% of the time over the hand type I have many hand sanders most are the hook type pads...

The best hand sander was/is my Delta I took out/wipe out the speed control then and had to rewire it ,now it runs at full speed all the time but still my best one, it just feels right in my hand... I have many Grizzly sanders and most I would rate at so so sanders...the same for B & D, Robroy stuff

The one I don't use most of the time is my hand Belt sander, it's a fast way to remove stock but it's also a good way to nail a nice job..

I should Note,,,the Deltas have a hard time with the round disk pad,that's to say it only has one set screw (small set screw) to hold the disk in place and it's always needs to be tighten, they come with a extra long allen hex key and it's real pain to crank it down...it takes a flash light and about 5 mins. just to find the set screw in that dark hole I have a Snap-On light on the end of a 14" long tube and that's the only one that I can use to find that dam set screw....and yes it's true on both Deltas sanders I have...
Before I had the Delta I had a Grizzly and they are made about the same way with that dumb set screw error..

Good Luck with your quest...


============

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drugstore Cowboy
Question was prompted by a comment in a reply to reiki -- but question is a different tangent so started a different thread.

Reiki's question was ROS vs Pad and someone brought up benchtop belt sanders.

I've thought about buying one of those from time to time -- but have always just turned my belt sander upside down to achieve much the same goal.

Belt sander has recently died ----- so I'm faced with a spending decision -
Do I replace it with another hand held? or do I go ahead and get one of those benchtop combos with the belt and the disk?

If you had to choose 1???? all opinions welcome.

I have an ROS and a quarter sheet pad.



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Last edited by bobj3; 10-19-2007 at 04:05 PM.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-19-2007, 01:21 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by challagan
Hi Cowboy, that's kind of a preference thing. . . .The hand belt sander seems applicable to large projects for shaping down and roughing in my opinion but others may have other thoughts. I always thought they were to agressive for my work. My projects are small enough I can use a RO sander for that same work. Hope this helps.
Corey
Yep - different tools for different tasks --
My projects are mostly larger -- cabinets, tables, remodeling.
When I am hand holding the belt sander it is for things where aggressive cutting is a plus -- trimming down doors - stripping off 40 years of paint - etc.
Often as not though -- I have it resting on its back using it to shape molding and other detail work --- that's where I can see the benchtop with its adjustable rests coming in handy.

One problem I have - is MAJOR lack of benchtop space.
It would probably wind up having to be set up when needed and then moved.
My shop is half of a 2-car garage and I still have to allow room to get most of a car in when needed --- so -- the only permanent bench I have 2'x4' along the back wall -- everything else I do on my Workmate or throw some boards across saw horses.

The one who says it can't be done --
Should avoid interrupting
the person doing it.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-19-2007, 02:05 PM
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I too have a small shop and most of my assembly and work area is on a hollow core door on top of saw horses. My benchtop sander got the prime location on top of an old bureau along the wall as it is very heavy cast iron and will not be moved. It sounds like you do have use for a belt sander. Consider investing in both, and get the one that will be used the most first. One of the small benchtops that run 149.00 or so from delta, grizzly etc. 4 x 36 inch with 5 inch disk would serve you well I think. I had a Menards Tool shop brand I bought that was around 89.00 and it lasted just under a year . Same thing as the Harbor Freight one I believe.

Corey

My Carving Website: The Iowa Woodcarver
http://iowacarver.tripod.com/
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-19-2007, 03:16 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by challagan
. . .One of the small benchtops that run 149.00 or so from delta, grizzly etc. 4 x 36 inch with 5 inch disk would serve you well I think. I had a Menards Tool shop brand I bought that was around 89.00 and it lasted just under a year . Same thing as the Harbor Freight one I believe.
Corey
Delta has one in their Shopmaster line that lists for about $120.
I've seen it at a surplus chain for about $99. Any thoughts?

And yes -- I suspect I will ultimately need/want both.
Just can't affort that right now.
Will probably boil down to whichever will come in the handiest for whatever my next project is. Right now my plate (like my pocketbook) is pretty much empty.

As for Harbor Freight -- we have one just up the road.
I've bought some clamps and hand tools etc from them --
Always been a LITTLE bit leery of their power tools ---
To cut costs THAT much -- you have to be cutting corners somewhere --
Plus - I haven't been able to find out much info on who manufactures the brands they carry.
But -- that's probably a whole 'nuther thread.

The one who says it can't be done --
Should avoid interrupting
the person doing it.

Last edited by Drugstore Cowboy; 10-19-2007 at 03:19 PM.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-19-2007, 03:32 PM
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Cowboy, the Delta unit is very much like the craftsman I had for about 20 years. Amazon has it for 99.00
http://www.amazon.com/Delta-SM500-Sh...2822103&sr=8-2

The cheap on I had was a little underpowered and it would have been ok but I knew I was over working it and one day I let the smoke out of the motor There are some HF items that are diamonds in the rough, I don't think this is one of them though. The Bandsaw and Lathe are pretty well thought of itms for instance...

But anyway, I think the delta is definitely worth the consideration. Used properly it should last a longwhile and it has a small foot print which fits your needs as well.

Corey

P.S. look at the reviews on the Amazon site. I think you have to take this with a grain of salt. A unit with a 1/2 HP motor is ideal but many of the smaller items come with 1/3 HP and it would probably be ok. I dont know what they were doing with it but it should handle small stock like box work etc. My little craftsman took everything I threw at it for a very long time.

This craftsman is a great unit and 149. and worth conisderation if you can swing it.
http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_1...&sName=Sanders
Much like the one I bought but mine is a much larger unit. Cast Iron and a 1/2 HP and still a small footprint. Made by palmgren like mine is.

Corey

My Carving Website: The Iowa Woodcarver
http://iowacarver.tripod.com/

Last edited by challagan; 10-19-2007 at 03:40 PM.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-19-2007, 04:32 PM
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Cowboy,

After reading your posts, I would suggest a good handheld for the time being until you can later add the benchtop. I think in your case it would be more versitale and serve the purpose of both uses temporarily. But when you go for the benchtop, I sure would look at the one Corey has, it is a dream machine
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-19-2007, 05:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob N
Cowboy,

After reading your posts, I would suggest a good handheld for the time being until you can later add the benchtop. I think in your case it would be more versitale and serve the purpose of both uses temporarily. But when you go for the benchtop, I sure would look at the one Corey has, it is a dream machine
I would go for the link I posted if you look at Craftsman. Mine has a much bigger foot print and is much more than your looking for I think and way to heavy to move around at nearly 100 lbs.

Corey

My Carving Website: The Iowa Woodcarver
http://iowacarver.tripod.com/
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-20-2007, 02:24 AM
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Hey Cowboy, This may not be what your looking for. But I have one and love it.

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/...cStoreNum=8125

It switches between spindles and the belt very easily, and all oscillate. I mounted mine to a piece of mdf to store under the bench, and clamp to the top when in use. It has a good working dust port that accepts a standard shop vac hose. The table tilts and holds all the drums and inserts in place when all the way down. Also has a place on the back to stow the belt assembly when using a drum. I have used the heck out of mine and its great for shaping patterns

Rusty

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