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Belt sander died


builditguy

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My belt sander finally died. It lasted a long time, had a hard life, and I have no complaints. I think it had been dropped one too many times.

So now it's on to a new one. But which one? Of course I looked for Dewalt, but I don't think they make one anymore. I'm not opposed to getting a slightly used one from eBay, but there is another option I am considering.

I've been looking at the small porter cable one. 2 1/2" x 14" belt. I think the size will work for me. Fit in the truck better. Will probably do everything I need it to do. The reviews say it gets really hot. Almost too hot to hold. Since I don't use mine to sand a lot, I think it will work. The biggest issue is sanding belts. No place near me has them. I can get plenty of 3. X 21. Even 3 x 18 are hard to come by. Locally that is.

My first choice would be a 20v 3 x 21. I seriously doubt that will ever happen.

Any opinions/ input?

Thanks in advance. bb4bc1a27a454fd22c87853153794177.jpg

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I supposed I should have added, I mostly use my sander to sand down to a scribe on a countertop.  Yesterday was sanding to a scribe on 1/4" thick plywood.  An end panel.

 

I don't use it for woodwork.  (At least what I consider woodwork)  I really just use it to take of minimal amounts of material.  Just any type of fine tuning to get pieces to fit better.

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Flap discs on an angle grinder, I use them for pretty much any type of material removal, whether it's wood, metal, etc.. Only problem is trying to find finer grits than the standard 40, 60, or 80 you find at HD, Menard's, etc..

 

 

I use this Skil sander, so far it's been great. It has a pretty fair amount of power, and the pressure feature is pretty cool, keeps you from going hog-nuts into your material.

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Yup, I tend to think hard about things when looking at Skil stuff but the sander has been great. There's been a few times now that I've actually purposely smashed the thing into material just to see what would happen. Most of the time it wants to just take off out of your hands, it's got some good power to it. I bought it because I needed one, and it was fairly cheap. I took the chance and so far I haven't had any regrets. The pressure feature is actually a good thing, with the power the sander has and how easily it can tear into material, the pressure feature helps you from destroying your material.

 

My only complaint is the dust canister, it's a bitch to clean out sometimes. I suck it out with the shop vac and then tap it on the ground to dislodge whatever didn't come out. I still haven't figured out how to get it open without breaking it...

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I haven't used a sanding disc in the grinder, for wood. Until yesterday that is. We used it for the rest of the day. It was ok, for what we were doing, but I'll probably stick with the belt sander. Old dogs I guess.

I looked at Home Depot and Lowes. Wasn't very impressed. I guess I never realized how good mine was. They are a lot of plastic.

While I was at Lowes, I picked up some 2.5. X 14 belts. Even though I couldn't get my hands on one, I'll probably go with one of the porter cable ones.

Thanks for the input.

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My old belt sander was such a pain.  The bag for the dust never really worked.  It would blow dust everywhere.  Mostly right in your face.  The speed adjustment seemed to always adjust lower, everytime you sat it down.  It was heavy, probably because I wasn't using it on a flat surface.  I was always holding it up to something or running it sideways.

 

After a weekend of looking at what's available and the new belt sanders.  I miss the old one.  I didn't appreciate how good it was.

 

Oh well.  Things change, tools change. 

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1 hour ago, builditguy said:

My old belt sander was such a pain.  The bag for the dust never really worked.  It would blow dust everywhere.  Mostly right in your face.  The speed adjustment seemed to always adjust lower, everytime you sat it down.  It was heavy, probably because I wasn't using it on a flat surface.  I was always holding it up to something or running it sideways.

 

After a weekend of looking at what's available and the new belt sanders.  I miss the old one.  I didn't appreciate how good it was.

 

Oh well.  Things change, tools change. 

Porter cable makes a good belt sander

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I have Porter-Cable 352VS, I love it. I had been taping a small diameter hose to the bag adapter on it, but I just got the Rockler Dust Right hose kit, so hopefully that just got lots easier.

 

Have you thought about getting your old sander looked at? It could be a relatively low cost repair perhaps new brushes or a replacement trigger. 

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When you pull the trigger, it runs, but the best does not move.  It sounded like grinding gears right before it quit.  I didn't really consider having it looked at.  Even if it could be repaired, it would probably cost almost as much as a new one.  That is, if the parts are available.  I tried to get a new dust bag for it, years ago.  The were no longer produced.  I know there are some parts out there, but most aren't made anymore.  

 

I can't remember how old it is.  Maybe 15 years?

 

Just looked up the 352vs.  Looks pretty good.  I am probably going to get the small Porter Cable one, but I've been thinking about getting a full sized also.

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Sounds like gears and that old too, I probably wouldn't bother either. The great thing about the 352VS is they have been building them since before they changed colors and target markets. They take a 3" X 21" so they are easy to come by at most big box stores. Like Jimbo's comment, it does have some weight to it. I just looked the weight up and it is 10 3/4 pounds. It is very similar in design to the 4" X 24" beast they have which comes in at a svelte 15 1/2 pounds. That big one is just the thing to do small bathroom or closet floors though. 

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I agree with all your thoughts on the Porter Cable.  Although I still plan on buying the smaller one, I'm seriously considering the bigger one also.  

 

I have really thought about what I use the sander for.  Initially I was thinking I only use it for scribing tops, panels, or finished woods.  The more I thought about it, we do use it for sanding sub-floors.  Knocking off high spots.  We've also used it for sanding down decks, when we're done.  No finish sanding on decks.  More like making sure there are not splinters sticking up for bare feet to catch.  Especially on docks.  While we don't do too many, we did 3 last year and have another one, to be done by Memorial day weekend.

 

Come to think of it, I'd better get one ordered.  I did go to Menards yesterday, but they didn't have anything I wanted.

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I thought about grumpy' s advice on fixing it. Since I was going to salvage the cord anyway, I decided to check it out.

Turns out it is only the plastic pulley on the bottom. Easy fix. The problem is the parts are obsolete and unavailable.

What really got me about trying to fix it, was reading reviews on other sanders. Everyone was talking about the tracking. The dw431 has electronic tracking. I realized I've never had to touch the tracking knob.

Looks like that is it. I ordered the smaller porter cable this morning.

Still considering a larger one though. I might even go cheap and try a rigid.

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6 minutes ago, builditguy said:

 

I thought about grumpy' s advice on fixing it. Since I was going to salvage the cord anyway, I decided to check it out.

 

Turns out it is only the plastic pulley on the bottom. Easy fix. The problem is the parts are obsolete and unavailable.

 

What really got me about trying to fix it, was reading reviews on other sanders. Everyone was talking about the tracking. The dw431 has electronic tracking. I realized I've never had to touch the tracking knob.

 

Looks like that is it. I ordered the smaller porter cable this morning.

 

Still considering a larger one though. I might even go cheap and try a rigid.

 

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f6dffb690e701c87123aec6b06642ceb.jpg

Have you checked for used ones? Maybe to use for parts.

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Try looking at other dewalt models on ereplacementparts, they might have a close enough part on a newer model that you can substitute.

 

Definitely don't cheap out on a larger belt sander because usually they just increase the belt size and not power to cut costs.  There's nothing worse than a belt sander that bogs down under it's own weight.

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That's a good idea, looking for other parts that might fit.

I couldn't find any used ones. Not even broken used ones. I lost out on an eBay bid. Too rich for my blood.

Of course you know what I'm doing tonight. Putting humpty dumpty back together again. I don't think I have all the pieces. Right now I have 3 pieces back together.

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It's not working. The gear is made of a material that seems similar to Bakelite. It is very brittle and continues to break into smaller pieces. I also don't have all the pieces. I suspect some of them were so small the went through the holes in the guard.

Oh well. I'll keep my eyes open for some parts. I think there is a chance, this gear just fell apart due to age.

On a brighter note, I bought the small porter cable and an older Dewalt off eBay.

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No luck.  Like the other sites, they list the part number, but it can't be added to the cart.  I'm sure there are some out there somewhere, but finding them would be tough.

 

I do appreciate the help though.

Is it the DW430?

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Nope.  DW431.  I assume you mean the old one.

 

The new (to me) one showed up the other day.  DW433.  It's heavy.  Works good.  I also got the small Porter Cable.  It showed up as well.  I figured I would take a picture of both and post them.  I've only used them a couple times for very small things.  The homeowner, where we are working, has used the DeWalt more than I have.

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