Sanding flat with a belt sander....tricky?! - Router Forums
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-21-2015, 06:37 AM Thread Starter
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Question Sanding flat with a belt sander....tricky?!

Hi

I've just made a large, heavy (40mm thick, 400 x 300mm) chopping board with glued on edges. I made the edges sit about 1mm proud of the chopping surface, and as such need to sand the edges flush with the chopping surface. I've done this a number of times, however always seem to end up with a chopping board that isn't perfectly flat. In bad cases, it 'rocks' ever so slightly when placed on a flat surface such as a granite kitchen bench.

Any tips on how to sand the board flat with a belt sander?

Matthew

PS - I finish the sanding with my orbital, progressing up through the grades - however feel I need to use the belt sander to get rid of the 1mm high edges as the orbital is just too slow.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-21-2015, 06:47 AM
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I am a klutz My belt sander manages to prove it everytime I use it A sharp hand plane would be my choice. But on the bottom you wont see the cups I would dig with a belt sander.

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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-21-2015, 06:58 AM Thread Starter
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I've got 3 nice sharp hand planes (including a low-angle Veritas block plane) however my concern is that as the grain directions on the edging (wood type A) may be different to the actual chopping surface grain (wood type B), I'll chew into one or the other... Are my concerns justified?
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-21-2015, 07:00 AM
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Search for "belt sander frame"

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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-21-2015, 07:11 AM Thread Starter
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Hmm - just searched the forums and didn't turn up anything that sounds helpful. I like the sound of a belt sander frame though. Perhaps I'll search the web. I do have router skis, but doubt they will help here.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-21-2015, 07:20 AM
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Matt:
I would opt for the hand plane as well. Plane the edging as close as possible to wood type B, then level the two surfaces with an orbital sander. I find belt sanders too aggressive and have a lot more control with a hand plane - and quite frankly, I get a lot of enjoyment using a tool that doesn't have a cord attached.

Vince
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-21-2015, 07:29 AM Thread Starter
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Hi Vince - ok, maybe I'll give that a go. I just hate it when the plane digs in and you know you've done some damage that needs some deep work to remove...
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-21-2015, 07:49 AM
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belt sander frame-- check our these images. There may be a premade one for your sander, or you can make one

https://www.google.com/search?q=belt...2&ved=0CCoQ7Ak

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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-21-2015, 08:05 AM
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Unless you can support the belt sander as with skis, possibly using one if Doug's frames, then I wouldn't try it. I've never been able to get a smooth surface with one.

I would probably go with the router skis and then a ROS. I also like the plane idea. You might try running a strip of tape down one side so that only one side of the blade is making contact. That would put a slight bevel on the edge but would that matter?

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-21-2015, 09:31 AM
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Matthew,

Because my cutting boards are wider than my thickness planer, I used my router to thickness plane the cutting boards. To do this I ripped two 3/4" thick sacrificial boards that were about 1/2" wider than the thickness of my cutting board. I then put 2-sided masking tape along two opposite edges of my cutting board. I then placed a couple of 1/4" thick strips of wood down on a flat surface (my table saw top) and laid the cutting board across them so that it was spaced 1/4" above my flat surface. I then took one of the sacrificial boards and stood it on edge and slid it across the flat surface and pressed it against the 2-sided masking tape edge of the cutting board. I did the same with the other sacrificial board. I firmly pressed both boards against the 2-sided tape by squeezing them with clamps. I removed my clamps. This results in my cutting board being held off of my flat surface by about 1/4". I then used a dish cutter bit in my router and mounted it into my router table. I raised the bit until it just barely touched the bottom of my cutting board with its taped on skis. I set my fence of the router table so that when one ski was against the fence, the router bit would be beyond the cutting board I was trying to plane but only about 3/8" into the ski leaving about 3/8" of the sacrificial ski intact. I then started the router and planed off a small amount of the thickness of the cutting board moving the cutting board back and forth on the skis. When I had covered the whole surface area, I inspected the result. If there was some portions of the cutting board that had not been planed, I would raise my bit a little and repeat the process. Once one side was planed flat, I flipped the whole assembly over and readjusted the router bit height to barely touch the cutting board and planed the 2nd side. This resulted in a perfectly flat cutting board with both sides parallel to each other. I then removed the skis and 2-sided masking tape from the cutting board and used my ROS sander to sand it perfectly smooth.

Glenn
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