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  • Stationary belt sander

    I am considering purchasing a stationary belt sander with attached disk sander. small projects right now, primarily making knife handles out of wood, antlers, bone, plastic, etc.. I have several old knives and a blank blade that I want to build handles for

    I’ve looked at three different units:

    1) Harbor freight - Central Machinery 4”x36” belt, 6” disc 3.5 amp, 1185 fpm 28# shipping weight. $74.99
    about 20 miles to pickup at store

    2). eBay. Wen 6500T same belt/disc size 3.2 amp, 1150 fpm $96 to $102 shipping included

    3). Grizzly G0787 same belt/disc size, 4.3 amp, 1900 fpm, 41#. $144.95. Pickup in Bellingham, wa about a 55 mile drive from my home.

    I'm strongly inclined to go for grizzly as the ratings for that sander are very high and the other two are ok, except that several thought the Wen and Central machinery were underpowered and slow. I’d rather pay less than what the grizzly is but I believe that buying too cheap is not always a bargain. The grizzly appears to be out of stock presently but that’s no problem- I may be able to find a good used one on Craigslist while waiting.

    Any comments/recommendations will be appreciated.

  • #2
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    My first stationary belt sander was a no name brand 4x36 unit. It did the job well, created uncontrollable bust plumes any vibrated like crazy. The disk sander was almost useless. I put it in storage when I replaced it with a Delta 6x48 stationary sander. There was day and night difference in the sanding capabilities of the slightly larger unit. There was very little difference in the build quality in the 2 sanders, the Delta also vibrated badly and created lots more dust! The disk sander was slightly more useful, but I believe that the disk sanders on a stationary belt sanders are an afterthought. The larger belt sander belts lasts many times longer before they wear out and don’t have a tendency to curl up on the edges like the 4” belt did. That makes a difference when flattening stock. I found the vibration was caused by the Sanding disk and remove it, Runs like a sewing machine now. The dust problem was solved by building a collection box on the back roller and hosing it directly to my dust collector.
    I also use a Grizzly 1x48 stationary belt sander a lot. It is a great belt sander, somewhat better disk sander than the other units also. It’s factory dust collection is woefully lacking as well.

    My recommendation is to purchase a 6x48 sander if it fits your budget. Buy your last tool first!

    When I replace my Delta 6x48 sander it will probably be a Grizzly. ( I think most Jet and Grizzly belt sanders are the same mfg, different colors)






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    • #3
      I might add, 6x48 belts are not much more expensive than 4x belts. $3 ea at HF and Amazon. Crazy prices at Lowe’s & HD $19-$30 ea

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      • #4
        I have the older Ryobi BD 4600 which I bought back around 2005 for about $70 or so (Christmas 20% off sale). It's held up very well. Today's model BD4601G is much higher priced at $159. (https://www.homedepot.com/p/RYOBI-4-...601G/205509608) I'm not sure what the 'upgrade' entails, other than that putrid green color. This has a heavy cast iron base and, to me, seems to be a pretty standard design as I've seen a few brand names with only minor differences It's a 4 x 36 inch belt and a 6 inch side disk with a separate miter table. Looking at the few pictures that I presently see, it looks very much like the WEN. The Ryobi has a 3-yr warranty and a 30-day satisfaction return policy.

        It is pretty fast and you'll easily remove some finger tip skin if you're not careful. I wish the speed was adjustable and as is, I don't know that I'd call it all that great if you're looking for fine detail like making a knife handle, but that may very well be me.

        CWS
        Think it Through Before You Do!

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        • #5
          My BD4600 like CWSmith has held up well. but its 15 year sold. 4" x 36 with 6" disk sander.

          Don't buy too many belts... they have a limited time life when the adhesive goes bad, DAMHIKT.

          But also let it be known I have a 1" (x24"?) belt sander I enjoy using and also a oscillating spindle sander.
          Loring in Katy, TX USA
          If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
          BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

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          • #6
            Originally posted by capncarl View Post
            I might add, 6x48 belts are not much more expensive than 4x belts. $3 ea at HF and Amazon. Crazy prices at Lowe’s & HD $19-$30 ea
            I have an old 6 x 48 Sears sander (at least 40 years old) and I agree with what Capncarl said, it is night and day difference between that and a 4' belt sander. Those extra 2 inches wide and 6 inches longer makes a big difference when sanding the flat side of a 1x4 or 2x4, or 1x6/8 or2 x 6 or 8 or plywood pieces.
            Hank Lee

            Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted!

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            • #7
              The 6x48 belt sanders that I’ve seen operate at a faster belt speed than the 4x36 sanders. The speed is still within acceptable “Wood sanding speeds”. Combine the extra belt speed and extra belt width and length, to me, it’s worth the little bit of extra money it cost. The footprint of both sizes of sanders is almost the same so there is no noticeable loss of shop space.

              A 1” x ?? Belt sander is more useful to me on knife handles and any kind of contour work, I use mine hours on end shaping my Tiny Trees.

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              • #8
                I had the HF, very much junky. I currently have a huge Jet edge sander, very good, but really, too much. It will go away. I also have the Ridgid belt and spindle sander, which is surprisingly good. I find the spindle useful, maybe more than the belt. I'm also finding that I need the belt MUCH less as my tools got better, more precise, and my skills improved. Now there's so much less to sand.

                I have no idea if this thing is still available, I stole it for $50 on CL.

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                • #9
                  Thanks gang for the info. It’s a good thing I’m not in a hurry as there are many options. Price is not as much a concern compared to getting one that suits my potential needs as well as not taking up too much space as my car shares the garage with my tools. The space constraint literally means a bench top unit so I can bring the sander out when I need it and then put it back on the shelf when I’m done. There’s a new MasterCraft (Canadian Auto?) 1”x30” belt sander without disc for $50 on Craigslist that I may look at if I feel like driving 50 miles to get it.

                  if I need a disc sander I can roll out the 10ER shopsmith and use the disc. In the event I need a larger belt sander, I have seen DIY belt sanders to attach to a lathe or shopsmith.

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                  • #10
                    Notice the flip table that mine is on. That would help with your space issue. The flip side is the planer. I never need the planer and sander at the same time.

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