Homemade Sanding Belts
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  1. #1
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    Default Homemade Sanding Belts

    I've been making my own 1"X 42" sanding belts from 1" emery rolls. I cut the ends to a matching bevel, then grind the grit off one end with a silicon carbide dressing stick, and glue it to the back of the other end. Neither Super Glue nor Duco contact cement seem to hold for long, even when joined under pressure.

    Anyone else making their own belts? What adhesive would work better?

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    I've made more of 'em than I can count, and I'm still in the research stage. My method duplicates the store bought version. If you'll notice their joint, it is two matching 45º angles with about a 2" strip of plastic tape glued across the two ends. This method seems to work well, but the key is, of course, that plastic tape. I'm using strapping tape, the kind that is used for shipping, that has that cloth/fiberglass strands embedded in it. I would prefer something else, but I haven't found it yet.

    I fully coat the back side of the two ends with two part epoxy. I happen to be using Devcon, but I'm sure any type will do as long as it is not the five-minute variety. For some reason the quicker it sets up, the less the strength. Get the 8 to 12 hour version. Then place the tape over the joint. Put wax paper on both sides and using two pieces of flat wood, C-clamp everything together.

    On my first trial runs, I found that if I left the belt under tension in the machine, over time the glued joint would begin to slip apart. The culprit turned out to be the tape adhesive. It apparently does not get along too well with the epoxy. So far the answer is to clean as much adhesive off of the tape as possible with acetone. You're not going to be using it anyway, as the epoxy is the bonding agent.

    So far I'm having success with as large as 1 1/2" emery cloth that you get at Harbor Freight. That stuff is about as stiff and cheap as you can get, and it is still holding.

    Let me know if you need any pics, and I'll see what I can dig up.

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    you can get plain glass fiber tape about 1 or 2" wide its used in boat building.

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    I wanted to make my own belts a couple of years ago. I called 3M and they said they would not sell belt splicing supplies to an individual and if they would, the individual couldn't make belts that would stay together. They ship the adhesive/tape packed in dry ice and the receiving company immediately puts it into a freezer until just before it is ready to go on the belt making machine. They use a combination of heat and pressure to properly bond the belts together. An individual can glue a belt together, but they will not last as long as the commercial ones. I don't like my 2 x 72's or 2 x 132's coming apart at high speeds. Some things are better left to the experts.
    Lewis

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    I don't doubt for a minute they said that. Not only would it cut into their sales, but the potential liability associated with their do-it-yourself supplies would be enough to keep their legal dept. going full time.

    Out of all the belts I have made, none have flown apart. Those early ones that didn't hold over time simply began to loosen at the joint, and thus slip on the machine. I'm sure 3M would be very happy for you to believe that they are the only people in the world competent enough to glue a sanding belt.

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    3M makes a thermosetting fiberglass tape for high temperature applications. I don't remember the name or part number (25 years have gone by). You might try that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Converse View Post
    I've been making my own 1"X 42" sanding belts from 1" emery rolls. I cut the ends to a matching bevel, then grind the grit off one end with a silicon carbide dressing stick, and glue it to the back of the other end. Neither Super Glue nor Duco contact cement seem to hold for long, even when joined under pressure.

    Anyone else making their own belts? What adhesive would work better?
    Dave,
    Try gorilla Glue. Tough stuff!

    http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=gor...-8&fr=veri-ie8

    Ray

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    I've never made a new belt but have reglued with some success, perhaps limited, commercial belts that have had joint failure. I am using Titebond 3 at the moment.

    I must say I don't like ti when belts self destruct: it makes me think the world's falling apart.

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    Thumbs up Update

    Occasionally a flash of brilliance warrants reviving an old thread, but it is more like a "Duh", why didn't I think of this before.

    The perfect "tape" for gluing over the joint appears to be Tyvek. You know that cloth/paper type stuff that they make priority mail bags out of. I happen to have a roll of it left over from building the house, but the mailbag is the same stuff. Can't tear it, is highly flexible, and presents a cloth to cloth glue joint. No more plastic strapping tape and fighting the adhesive that has to be removed before gluing.

    So far so good, but obviously the true test will be a few hours of sanding. I'll let everybody know if I experience any UFO's.

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    Lightbulb

    Has anyone tried some of the iron on adhesive patch for fabric?

    my mom is a seamstress and she has some stuff that you can not get off, ditto for the tags they iron on clothes for work uniforms.

    I bought some iron on tags to identify my daughters clothes for when she went to summer camp, you can not remove them at all.

    Since most of the belts are fabric backed, I would think this type of iron on patch would work, they are also pretty thin so they would not pose a problem for running on the pulleys.

    anyone willing to try it, let me know, my dad has a bandsaw/belt sander combo he can not get belts for. this might just be the ticket.

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    Cant find the belt you like? Try these guys.
    https://www.econabrasives.com/produc...=153&size=1x42

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    I have never tried this:
    Take twice the length of belt you need, minus 1/8". Remove the abrasive from half, if you like. Now, glue it together double thickness, except for a small gap at the seam. Advantages: no high spots to interfere if you are trying to sand something flat and square, etc. Strength potentially as high as the original belt. No high spots concentrating stress at the seams or causing to sand primarily at the seams. Disadvantages: wastes a lot of belt material. When the belt goes around the roller it is subject to delaminating sheer stresses but there is a lot more surface area to hold than a short seam. Stiffer. Need to align both belts parallel. Keep the 45 degree cut. Make sure belt rotates in correct orientation with respect to lapped seam edges. If your adhesive is gloppy, you end up with inconsistent thickness. Variation: Make your splice material (tyvek, old belt with remaing abrasive removed, cloth, etc) the full length of the belt with the seam opposite the seam in the belt.

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    OK Snocat here's your answer.

    You had a damn good idea, and it was certainly worth a try, mainly to avoid the hassle of gluing with the wood strips and C-clamps, but alas....no go. I must admit, in all my research, I've never had a belt snap apart.....until now. No damage, but a sound that will get your attention. All of my prior joints that involved the tape adhesive simply and slowly slipped apart resulting in the belt just stopping on the pulleys. This was a definite and sudden disconnection.

    I suspect the failure lies in the cloth backing on the belt. It wouldn't surprise me that the cloth is impregnated, and thus contaminated, with some type of petroleum product, oil, wax, etc. that simply doesn't get along with the iron-on glue.

    So far, the Tyvek with epoxy glue looks to be the winner. At least with this method the bonding substance soaks in to a degree with both the Tyvek and the cloth backing resulting in a pretty solid junction. If you can't get a belt for your Dad's sander, then I can recommend this method for the time being. I have many, many hours on the plastic strapping tape with no structural failure, only eventual slippage. It looks so far like Tyvek has solved the slip problem.

    Thanks for the thoughts, though. There's always a way.

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    By the time you get your supplys and screw around with making a belt I can't beleve you can't buy one ready made for less than it costs to make them yourself. what is your time worth? I get mine from klingspor. they seem like they last along time and don't cost much. They will make any size you want and get them to you fast. I made a 24" disc sander, 5hp with a vfd. I have the discs made by klingspor

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    What is my time worth??.....Nothing. When nobody is standing around offering to pay me, it is worth nothing. When I take time to build a sanding belt instead of a paying job, NOW it costs me. Unfortunately, I have not had that problem lately. I just love these people that compare every task to "how much is your time worth?". I guess the answer is: if you're not going to get paid, then just sit and don't move. Now, you are really elevating the art of not getting paid to a higher degree.

    Better yet, why not take a few cheap pieces of sanding rolls and figure out a way to turn them into something useful. Cost: sanding roll - 5 cents/ft, required 4' = .20. Tyvek - free, postal envelopes. Epoxy - one app., 5 cents. So for the sum of 25 cents, and a lot of time that I'm not getting paid for, I produce a perfectly good, fully functional sanding belt that, hopefully, will come in handy for those jobs that I will be paid for.

    On the other hand, since I'm not getting paid for building belts, I suppose I could just sit down, watch TV.....after I put in my order to Klingspor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by atty View Post
    Occasionally a flash of brilliance warrants reviving an old thread, but it is more like a "Duh", why didn't I think of this before.

    The perfect "tape" for gluing over the joint appears to be Tyvek. You know that cloth/paper type stuff that they make priority mail bags out of. I happen to have a roll of it left over from building the house, but the mailbag is the same stuff. Can't tear it, is highly flexible, and presents a cloth to cloth glue joint. No more plastic strapping tape and fighting the adhesive that has to be removed before gluing.

    So far so good, but obviously the true test will be a few hours of sanding. I'll let everybody know if I experience any UFO's.
    On occasion it is nice to repair a new belt that broke with little use, I will have to give this method a try.
    It sounds like you are using plain tyvek paper, not the tape that says tyvek on it for taping the paper.
    The only thing I could think of was the tape carpet layers use to splice with, but never tried it.
    Rob

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    Default Gluing sanding belts

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Behner View Post
    Dave,
    Try gorilla Glue. Tough stuff!

    gorillaglue.com - Yahoo Search Results

    Ray
    I agree with Ray. I have finally had success with making belts and re-gluing old belts with Gorilla glue. I picked up a large quantity of 1x48 belts at a sale that were older and the joints were failing. My method is to take a single edge razor blade and remove all traces of old adhesive from the joint. I then align the belt ends using a piece of aluminum angle.
    Then I wet the canvas backing slightly and apply a thin coat of Gorilla glue to the joint area and clamp them together using a small Teflon block on top of the seam and apply pressure with a c-clamp.
    The glue expands into the wet joint.

    After setting over night, I scrape the excess glue away that has expanded out of the joint and use the belt. I have not had one break as of yet or a least not until it is worn out!
    I can make custom belts from shop rolls when I need a finer polishing belt. It works for me but your results may vary.
    Charles

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    Hard to imagine that four years has gone by since I posted that, but on the other hand, I have logged many hours with Tyvek joined belts since then, and I'm still happy. It's not Kevlar, and it will eventually break, but I usually wind up with a worn belt before that happens. The version of Tyvek that I was using came from a large roll of house wrap. Never tried the tape. It may be better. One thing I did learn early on is that any form of tape that has an adhesive does not get along with the epoxy, thus allowing the "slip" that I referred to.

    Four years is a long time for adhesive and material improvement. Try some new things and let us know what you find.

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    Sheldahl sell all the belt splicing supplies, from the polyester jointing tape to the urethane glue to the Desmodur cross linker additive to impart the extra strength and heat resistance. The crosslinker lets you join a belt with urethane glue in a heated clamp in about a minute instead of 24 hours. The website also has data sheets with require temps and pressures to join a belt, I had all the right glues and additives and left the belt for 24 hours after joining for maximum strength.


    WebPages - SplicingTapes


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