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Harbor Freight sanding belt


#1

I’m thinking about getting a belt sander from Harbor Freight. It
requires a 1" x 30" belt. In addition to sanding, I’d like to use it
for smoothing. I’d like to find finer grits than 180 in that size
belt (320, 400, 600). I’ve already contacted 3M & they say it’s a
special order & that I must buy 200 belts. I know about the Foredom
attachment (1/4" wide, too narrow) & the Wolf belt sander (too
expensive). Any suggestions where Ican find the belts I’m looking for

thanks in advance for your help.
Sheila


#2

Hi Sheila,

I think you’ll find a bench top sander a bit on the aggressive side
for most jewelry work. The other fun bit is that sandpaper in the
grits you’re looking at (320+) clogs in seconds on a (dry) power
machine. So the belts would be horrifically expensive, and last for
only a few seconds of use. Not exactly optimum. (There’s a reason
they don’t normally make those grits for that machine…)

I’ve got one of the wolf sander units, and like it a lot for its
variable speed aspect. If you’re going to get one, get the little
adaptor bit so that you can mount it in the mount for your
benchmate. Having a heavy, rigid base that’ll handle any oddball
angle is really useful.

The reason I suggest the Wolf unit is that the belts are short enough
that you can get a belt splicing kit, and splice up your own out of
any particular sandpaper you want. (a belt splicing kit in this case
consisting mostly of scissors and the heavy duty belt-tape. (Call 3M,
I know they make it, I just can’t figure out what they’re calling it
these days.) The savings on the belts may make up for the added
initial cost of the Wolf unit, or at least it’s worth investigating.

FWIW,
Brian.


#3
I'm thinking about getting a belt sander from Harbor Freight. It
requires a 1" x 30" belt. In addition to sanding, I'd like to use
it for smoothing. I'd like to find finer grits than 180 in that
size belt (320, 400, 600). 

Get with trugrit.com they carry belts up to 1000 grit for that belt
size.

But honestly, if your looking for controlled sanding and smoothing
with a fixed speed machine that runs as fast as that one does, your
going to be hard pressed to keep things under control, especially on
small items.

Yes the Wolf sander is more expensive, and the belts are relatively
expensive for what they are, it is a great tool to have. The ability
to vary the belt speed is a HUGE bonus, this alone will trump larger
fixed speed machines.

Anyhoo, trugrit has what you need, have fun.

P@
www.patpruitt.com


#4

Use the worn out belts, works for me on the same machine

Steve


#5

The Wolf belt sander is not too expensive, for what you get out of
it. And Kate Wolf’s integrity, product support, and customer service
are second to none!

M’lou


#6

If you get one of those belt sanders, try running it through your
flex shaft foot pedal.

If you are lucky, you will have a variable speed sander. If you are
not, you will have burnt something out :-p

Just an idea. If you try it, let us know how it works.

Pat


#7

Try a knife making supply house, they will carry this size in fine
grits. But I agree with the other posters that the fixed speed may be
a problem. You could try ebay for a cheap speed controller to fix
that.

Here’s one link to a place that carries 1x30 in fine grit:
http://www.jantzsupply.com

Regards,
Bob Edwards, GG
Chromis Designs


#8

I was at a Harbor Freight store and this sander was on sale so I
thought I’d give it a try. It’s a nice little sander, but moves way
too fast for metals. I tried plugging it into a variable speed
control. It has two speeds… on and off!

Pam Farren
Newburyport, MA


#9

Thank you all so much for your responses to my inquiry about the
Harbor Freight sander. The huge majority of you recommend the Wolf
sander, which I will start saving my money for. In the meantime, I
thank those of you who referred me to websites where I can purchase
fine grit belts. A friend has offered to loan me a Dremel belt/disc
sander & I will try using those belts on it - until I can afford the
Wolf. One further question:

Someone mentioned that on the Harbor Freight model, the belts would
get gummed up in a hurry & it would be expensive to keep buying belts
for it. W ouldn’t that also be true for the Wolf sander? Any
suggestions? I intend to use the sanding disc on the side to true up
edges on sheet that I have sawed (no sanding disc on the Wolf model).
I make a lot of tapered wire picks & intended to use the different
grade belts to refine the steps that occur when tapering on the
rolling mill. Should I be looking for a different piece of equipment
altogether? O.K. - so it was a few more that one question. I thank
you all for your suggestions.

Sheila


#10

do you have a variable speed electric drill?

if the chuck closes and holds the gauge of metal you using[and the
workpiece isn’t too long] you can use it to taper that way. secure
your wire in it, rest it on your bench pin[inside a custom groove].
turn on the drill, run your files/sanding sticks to work the surface
and get the taper you want.

hth,
richard


#11

Hi Sheila,

Regarding using a sander for various truing jobs…

For the edges of sheet, I’d either get a shear or take time to become
one with the zen of a straight line. Being able to saw a straight
line is both harder and much more useful than it sounds.

For smoothing out the steps left in wire from step rolling, I’d
definitely get a couple of good planishing hammers to planish out
the steps. It’s quicker, simpler, and doesn’t cost you any material
weight. Planishing can also leave you with a final finish, if your
hammers are well polished, thus saving you a lot of time, provided
you like a faintly faceted finish. Nobody likes sander marks, so you
have to budget the time to clean them out too, if you go the other
way. Slips with a planishing hammer are a lot less likely to dig
huge grooves than a sander will.

FWIW,
Brian.


#12
Someone mentioned that on the Harbor Freight model, the belts
would get gummed up in a hurry & it would be expensive to keep
buying belts for it. W ouldn't that also be true for the Wolf
sander? Any suggestions? 

No, metal gumming up an abrasive belt is easily cleaned with one of
those eraser type belt cleaners. Personally I havent gummed up a belt
with metal, the belt does get dull and wont cut as effeciently as it
used to. More than likely, with a fixed speed machine, you can hit
some super high metal temperatures rather quickly, these temps can
kill some of the common abrasives in a split second, making the
abrasives useless.

The advantage of the Wolf Sander, IS the variable speed. This lets
you tone down the surface feet per minute the abrasive sees, keeping
the contact controlled and cooler. You can still get the piece hot,
dont get me wrong, you just have way more control on the abrasive
action with the Wolf.

P@
www.patpruitt.com