How to Find the Best Wide Belt Sander
In the woodworking industry, determining which sander is right for the job can be a challenge. After all, thousands of sanding machines are at your disposal, and many of these models can be outfitted with different head types and abrasives to achieve specific results. Wide belt sanders are a versatile option for many woodworkers because they have so many configurations. Finding the right wide belt sander is critical because a sander that works beautifully for one product might damage or destroy another.
Find out how a wide belt sander could benefit you, and what to consider when choosing a wide belt sander.
What Are Wide Belt Sanders Used For?
Wide belt sanders are popular machines on the woodworking market. They're designed to sand down wooden pieces to a specified finish and thickness. Wide belt sanders can be used to sand and create even surfaces on solid wood materials and composite boards such as plywood. They can also be used for leveling uneven wood, sanding down rough surfaces and preparing a piece of wood for special coating. Wide belt sander uses also include removing unwanted residue like paint from the surface of your material.
Wide belt sanders typically operate the same. A height-adjustable table sits under the wide abrasive belt. The table should be raised to make the space between the table and the belt slightly less than the thickness of the wood you're sanding. As the wood is fed through the machine, the abrasive belt sands the piece down to the specified thickness.
How Wide Belt Sanders Benefit Woodworkers
Wide belt sanders for woodworking are popular in the industry because of their many advantages. Whether your shop creates cabinets, doors or wooden furniture, a wide belt sander can make the job easier because of the following benefits:
One of the biggest benefits of a wide belt sander is that it gives operators the ability to sand large surfaces quickly. With a wide belt sander, you'll be able to produce a very flat surface in less time than you could with a handheld sander. While portable sanders are useful for small jobs, a wide belt sander is more advantageous in a high-demand setting. If your woodworking shop needs to sand a large stock and meet deadlines, wide belt sanders can be beneficial to you.
Because wide belt sanders are configurable, they have many applications. You have the option to change the abrasive belt to achieve different finishes on the materials you're working with. Changing the sanding belt allows you to use a range of grits from fine sandpaper to coarse sandpaper. Finer sandpaper will give you a shinier finish.
Changing the abrasive belt also allows you to work with both soft and hard materials. For example, some wood materials are softer than others and require more careful sanding. Other wood materials may have a combination of hard and soft spots, and the ability to adjust the abrasion will be beneficial to these applications.
More Consistent Results
A wide belt sander will give you more consistent results than a portable belt sander. Because of how powerful belt sanders can be, it's easy to accidentally sand a surface too much with a manual sander. Unfortunately, this can have the opposite effect of what the tool is intended for, which is to create smooth, even surfaces. Because wide belt sanders eliminate the need for a steady hand, consistent results are much easier to get. This makes these tools ideal for replicating results in large batches of stock.
Finding the Best Wide Belt Sander for Your Application
Finding the best wide belt sander for your shop's needs is important to ensuring you get the results you're looking for. When searching for an industrial wide belt sander, the most important consideration is the application so you know you're getting a sander that can handle your materials. Consider the width of the largest pieces you work with and think about what infeed height would be required for your pieces to pass through the machine.
More specific aspects of your application to consider may include:
- Calibrating: If you need to calibrate solid wood pieces, you'll want to find a wide belt sander with a steel sanding roller. This feature will help you remove hard and soft sections of wood evenly. Materials like particle boards will need something softer than steel rollers, like rubber rollers.
- Vintage wood: If your shop does a lot of work with pieces of wood that require a vintage or worn look, cutter block and band saw aggregates can give you effective results. Similarly, for stock with various grain patterns, you may consider a sander with orbital sanding aggregates, which create good results for furniture restoration projects.
- Irregular shapes: Laser cameras and sensing rollers are good features for applications that frequently work with pieces of wood with irregular shapes. These features can sense where a piece of material puts different pressure on the abrasive belt. This helps the operator adjust the piece to accommodate for varying shapes.
- Production line incorporation: While it's most common for wide belt sanders to have an adjustable feed table, you can find machines with height-adjustable rollers instead. This feature is effective for incorporating these machines into a production line. In this case, the feed table could line up with the conveyor or table before it, and the head would be adjusted as needed depending on the piece's height.
- Small pieces: If your shop handles smaller pieces, you should consider how easy it is for small pieces to slip under the feeding belt. In this case, you may consider looking for a sander that has vacuum transport belts to hold smaller pieces in place and prevent them from chattering under the abrasive belt.
Choosing the Best Manufacturer
When choosing wide belt sander manufacturers to work with, it's best to do your research. Consider their products, services provided, level of expertise and customer testimonies. Make sure you get a product from the manufacturer that has what you need for your application. You also want to make sure you're choosing a reputable manufacturer that produces quality machines so you can avoid unnecessary maintenance.
Find Industrial Wide Belt Sanders From Timesavers
Here at Timesavers, we take pride in providing you with all the resources you need to find the best machine for your application. That's why we design and manufacture an extensive selection of high-quality wet and dry woodworking equipment, including finishing machinery, deburring machines, calibrating grinders, wide belt sanders and brush sanders. We're also passionate about saving you time and money, so we're happy to give you advice and direction when choosing the best machinery for your specific needs.
With over 75 years in the industry, we're confident we can help find a sander that will help you create quality products more efficiently than before. For more information about our products and services, contact us today!