Is My Belt Sander Toast

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Old 07-23-14, 09:39 PM
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Is My Belt Sander Toast

Iím not sure how I did this, as Iíve used belt sanders for hundreds of hours over the years and never came close to doing this. (See photo below). I tried taking the roller off, but the screw head broke. If you look close, you can see that. I have no idea how to take this apart to retrieve the power cord, but Iím not sure I even care. I have never liked this sander from day one. The sawdust catcher never worked. Didnít make any difference if the selector switch was open or closed. I was forced to use my old 30+ year old Sears sander I havenít used for years to finish the job. It was lighter than the DeWalt, and easier to use. My only complaint with the old sander is that it is so noisy, I have to wear hearing protection to use it.

Iím trying to figure out if itís worth paying someone to fix this or just replace it with something that is lighter and easier to use?

 
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Old 07-23-14, 10:09 PM
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I doubt it. I fix tools myself if I can, usually because it costs more than the tool does if you take it anywhere to get it worked on. Looking at a schematic, it looks like that back roller (and shaft) comes as an assembly and it's $50. But to get to it it looks like you pretty much need to completely tear it down. Not sure I would attempt it, and I'm pretty adventurous.

The nut is gone, right? Came off when you broke the shaft? Can you get a hex head into the shaft of that wheel and rotate the entire wheel backwards? Or is that broken shaft flush and you can't stick anything into the hex part?
 
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Old 07-23-14, 11:21 PM
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There is nothing broken. Just the head of a slot screw in the center of the roller. There is no way to get any tools in there. No room. Canít budge the roller by sticking a screwdriver in there.

I see DeWalt does not even show belt sanders on their site anymore, so Iím wondering who makes a good belt sander that I could look at? I havenít looked at sanders for years. Iíd like something with a dust catcher that actually works, and something that will keep the sandpaper centered. I thought the DeWalt did a rather poor job of that. It was always chewing up sandpaper.
 
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Old 07-24-14, 04:42 AM
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Likewise, I spend some of my time repairing tools that malfunction on site so my guys can keep working. Sometimes it requires a simple tear down and rebuild, sometimes parts are needed. I should think you could start with the yellow cover, taking it down to release parts. Hey, it went together in pieces, so I think it will come apart the same way. Take pictures as you go so you can reassemble it.

As for a reliable less noisy belt sander, I have been using my 4x24 Sears Craftsman for over 20 years with only a drive belt replacement (simple two screw cover off replacement). It has a dust bag and is not that noisy, considering the job it is doing.
 
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Old 07-25-14, 06:27 PM
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I might try to tear it down, but I have Never liked this sander from day one, so Iíd rather buy a new one rather than mess with this one. This thing is a brick. I weighed it today, and itís 12.5 pounds. I also weighed my old Craftsman sander that was my fathers and has to be 30+ years old, and it is 9.5 pounds. Quite noticeable when using it right after I sucked the cord up in my DeWalt. I own quite a few DeWalt tools, and this belt sander is the only one Iíve never been happy with.

I just went by the local lumber yard to look at sanders, and they had nothing. (Small town) I think Iím going to order this Craftsman 8A 3X21 belt sander. It only weighs 8 pounds. Anyone have any experience with this sander?
 
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Old 07-25-14, 07:20 PM
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The reason many belt sanders are so heavy is so that gravity will help make the sander operste with ease. All the operator needs to do is move it around. That being said, I'm not sure you will be happy with a sander that is lightweight. Sure they may have their place... sandin a door edge or something, but you may find that a light sander is not as fast or aggressive.
 
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Old 07-25-14, 08:01 PM
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I'm all about heavy belt sanders. I find them less tiring to use. A belt sander is a tool that is supposed to remove a lot of material quickly.

However, there certainly is a place for small, lightweight belt sanders. You know best how you use the tool.

My favorite belt sander of all time is the Porter Cable locomotive belt sander. Heavy, chain driven, and indestructible. I wish they still made them.
 
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Old 07-25-14, 08:02 PM
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The difference between my 12.5 pound DeWalt and the old 9.5 pound Craftsman was night and day. The Craftsman was not only lighter, but seemed to do a better job. Some of that might be due to a lighter center of gravity on the Craftsman. For doing vertical surfaces, the DeWalt is a nightmare to use. Being 68 with a bad back, lighter is better. It takes no effort to lean into the sander. Something I had to do with the DeWalt anyway, but didnít seem to have to do with the lighter Craftsman.
 
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