Strip Beld Sander or Disc Sander


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I've routinely found myself wanting some sort of belt sander be it a 6x80" edge sander or 1x30 strip sander. Also i see combo machines that have a disc sander.

Do any of you have experience with what would be a good option here. There is a large difference between the 2 machines so my main question is, is one more useful than the other or are there features that will allow one to work better than the other? Any recommendations or thoughts on the matter would be appreciated.

Most of the time I'm going to end up using it for working on small turning objects or other shop odds and ends like grinding a chisel, putting a quick taper on something. Scarf joint for edging or strips etc.

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I have a belt/disk combo, and the Rigid belt/spindle combo. Mostly, I use the Rigid, works for must things. For shaping wood, a coarse disk is nice. For steel, I'd want a vertical strip sander of some sort, although the belt on my belt/disk combo can be positioned vertically, and will do in a pinch.

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32 minutes ago, wtnhighlander said:

I have a belt/disk combo, and the Rigid belt/spindle combo. Mostly, I use the Rigid, works for must things. For shaping wood, a coarse disk is nice. For steel, I'd want a vertical strip sander of some sort, although the belt on my belt/disk combo can be positioned vertically, and will do in a pinch.

I was eyeing this guy for a while. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07GRDR7SZ?pf_rd_r=JV63CK8X4SHN04K82VRY&pf_rd_p=edaba0ee-c2fe-4124-9f5d-b31d6b1bfbee

Variable speed could be pretty handy.

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I used one of these for years it worked great. If money or space were an issue this would be my choice:

https://www.homedepot.com/p/RIDGID-Oscillating-Edge-Belt-Spindle-Sander-EB4424/202459151

I know have separates (probably 13ish years) a Grizzly belt sander, shop fox spindle sander and Jet disc sander.

I use the spindle and belt sanders about 40% / 60% so if I could only have one it would be the belt. I haven't plugged the disc sander in in 2 or 3 years. 

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I think i asked this question poorly. My main goal is how often do you use a belt sander in your shop of the different varieties.

What I linked is what I'd use to shorten bolts or sharpen a blade or shape a knife scale. It would be useful but beyond woodworking.

A big belt sander like this https://www.grizzly.com/products/Grizzly-6-x-80-Benchtop-Edge-Sander/G1531 is another tool I've been eyeing but would do an entirely different job.

An OSS is yet again a different tool with a different set of jobs. I already have an OSS and i never use it, i just don't find it useful.

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7 hours ago, Chestnut said:

That looks like a great combo, although a 6" disk is of limited use, IMO. If one could find a 2x72 belt with a 12" or larger disk, that would be awesome.  But for wood, I'd still probably use the belt+spindle combo more often.

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1 hour ago, wtnhighlander said:

That looks like a great combo, although a 6" disk is of limited use, IMO. If one could find a 2x72 belt with a 12" or larger disk, that would be awesome.  But for wood, I'd still probably use the belt+spindle combo more often.

x2

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For me the edge sander is indispensable and ended up building my own 12"x89" version as an upgrade to the 6"x80".  I was designing my projects around that 6" limitation.  I use it on nearly every project.   

The 1" vertical sander gets used once every couple months.  It is useful to have the force of the belt into the table like that sometimes.  I would probably use it a little more if I had the space to have it out in a permanent place but it along with the scroll saw are the two tools that are relegated to being stored under stuff.  

But I'm weird.

PS The Grizzly 6x80 is a good machine but the way the table is supported is a joke. 

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10 hours ago, wtnhighlander said:

That looks like a great combo, although a 6" disk is of limited use, IMO. If one could find a 2x72 belt with a 12" or larger disk, that would be awesome.  But for wood, I'd still probably use the belt+spindle combo more often.

I never use my spindle sander. I am tempted to sell it as when i do use it I'm reminded why I don't like it. I can't seem to get smooth curves with it. Something always seems to catch and dig in. Dust collection is great though.

8 hours ago, krtwood said:

For me the edge sander is indispensable and ended up building my own 12"x89" version as an upgrade to the 6"x80".  I was designing my projects around that 6" limitation.  I use it on nearly every project.   

The 1" vertical sander gets used once every couple months.  It is useful to have the force of the belt into the table like that sometimes.  I would probably use it a little more if I had the space to have it out in a permanent place but it along with the scroll saw are the two tools that are relegated to being stored under stuff.  

But I'm weird.

PS The Grizzly 6x80 is a good machine but the way the table is supported is a joke. 

I have thought long and hard about making my own. I bought Wandel's plans just to see what it might entail and it looks strait forward. I'm just not confidant i guess that i can do it. I'm also worried about sinking a lot of time into building something and having it not turn out well.

Are you happy with your home made machines? Do you think the average wood worker could make a sander and be happy with it? If i can make the belt sander i'd just buy the strip sander and not think twice about it.

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I've had multiple sanders for a long time to make a job I hate go a little easier. I have my Ridgid OS on one side of a flip cart and a 1x30, 4x36 & 12" sanders on the other.

My little 1x30 is used almost as much as my Ridgid OS. I use it for smaller pieces and also bought some stuff from Pro Sharpening that are great for touching up knives.

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Way back in the 1970's during the dark ages before Taiwanese machine lowered the prices of tools and a 12" disk sander cost many hundreds of dollars, I built my own with a Dayton motor and some bits of steel. It has been on of the most used tools in my shop - a quick way to clean up an edge or to shape something. 

Having said that, I am thinking about a 6x48 vertical belt sander and wouldn't mind a 1 x something either.

I would love to have one of the old Delta belt & disk sander combinations. 

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18 hours ago, Chestnut said:

I never use my spindle sander. I am tempted to sell it as when i do use it I'm reminded why I don't like it. I can't seem to get smooth curves with it. Something always seems to catch and dig in. Dust collection is great though.

I have thought long and hard about making my own. I bought Wandel's plans just to see what it might entail and it looks strait forward. I'm just not confidant i guess that i can do it. I'm also worried about sinking a lot of time into building something and having it not turn out well.

Are you happy with your home made machines? Do you think the average wood worker could make a sander and be happy with it? If i can make the belt sander i'd just buy the strip sander and not think twice about it.

It's those stupid inserts that catch the corners of the work.  The best thing you can do for the spindle sander is get a piece of 1/4" mdf or whatever, cut a hole in it, stick it on the spindle sander and glue some blocks around the edge of the table to locate it.    I make one for 3" and one for 1" and just use the bigger one for the in between sizes.

Zero regrets with any of my machines.  The woodworking involved is generally easier than any other furniture project you are going to do.  It's the "Oh I need a whizzlepuff" and then wait for the whizzlepuff to get shipped that makes the projects drag out, not the complexity of doing it.  But you're dealing with plans that have already figured all that stuff out from someone who knows what they are doing.  The only thing I would question about Matthias' belt sander is how fast it is to change belts.  I think he just puts one grit of belt on there and only changes it when it wears out.  But on the real thing it's like 10 seconds to change a belt so you actually do change grits.  An edge sander can leave a decent finish with a 220 belt.  Not finish ready much better than a 120.  And an 80 belt makes shaping a breeze.  So I think functionally you're leaving something on the table without those quick tension and tracking adjustments.

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5 hours ago, krtwood said:

Zero regrets with any of my machines.  The woodworking involved is generally easier than any other furniture project you are going to do.  It's the "Oh I need a whizzlepuff" and then wait for the whizzlepuff to get shipped that makes the projects drag out, not the complexity of doing it.  But you're dealing with plans that have already figured all that stuff out from someone who knows what they are doing.  The only thing I would question about Matthias' belt sander is how fast it is to change belts.  I think he just puts one grit of belt on there and only changes it when it wears out.  But on the real thing it's like 10 seconds to change a belt so you actually do change grits.  An edge sander can leave a decent finish with a 220 belt.  Not finish ready much better than a 120.  And an 80 belt makes shaping a breeze.  So I think functionally you're leaving something on the table without those quick tension and tracking adjustments.

There may be a way to set up a quick release for tension on the belt. Honestly I'd probably leave 1 grit on and not change very often. Sanding isn't commonly the final step before finishing for me and most projects get planed or scraped prior to finish. My use case for this would be rough shaping prior to some sort of other process. That or it'd be flattening a work piece for joinery eg jointed. turning blanks.

It's just hard for me to tell what i'd use some thing like this for as i don't have an equal in my shop.

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I have a 12" delta disc sander that gets a lot done. If it broke I'd replace it. Woodworkers supply has cubic zirconium disc paper that last a long time. There is a trick to putting the disc paper on. Different but not hard. I also have a cheap combo 6" disc with a 6 x 36 stationary belt sander. The belt gets use.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I could update this. I've posted this elswhere.

I built the woodgears strip sander and it's given me some decent faith in making my own device like this. As a result I'll probably end up building the 6x48 80 belt sander as well. The strip sander has already shown it's use. A larger belt sander would defiantly be useful also.

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