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  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by LGS View Post
    I have a rather large hardware store close by, so I don't carry belts in stock, I just go and buy them if I need them.
    No such luxury here unfortunately. The only "hardware" in town is a Home Hardware, and whilst I haven't checked their belts, I'd be extremely surprised if they weren't rubbish and if they are good they'll be very expensive.
    Quote Originally Posted by LGS View Post
    I don't know about adjustable speed on a belt sander. Sounds like a bell or whistle to me.
    Not sure myself, but useful to have. First thing that comes to mind is slowing it down to mitigate melting paint.

    Quote Originally Posted by LGS View Post
    As far as power goes, the Mak has plenty of oomph for any of the things I do. Again "your mileage may vary".
    Yeah, I'd very much doubt I'd need more than 850 watts. That's not a real biggie.
    Regards, FenceFurniture

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  3. #17
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    Brett

    The old AEG is about 1100W and has variable speed. I have never looked like stopping the thing in full swing. I haven't used the variable speed more than twice and I don't remember even why I used it.

    On occasions I have used the front roller as a shaper for concave profiles. I did wear out the base plate (I wore through it) and that had to be replaced. I would would regard the belt sander as the roughing gouge of sanding.

    Regards
    Paul
    Bushmiller;

    "Power tends to corrupt. Absolute power corrupts, absolutely!"

  4. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushmiller View Post
    The old AEG is about 1100W and has variable speed. I have never looked like stopping the thing in full swing. I haven't used the variable speed more than twice and I don't remember even why I used it.
    Noted Paul. Similar situation with my 150mm ROS. I've only turned it back from full speed on a couple of occasions, however when I did I was glad the function was there because it did stop the paint melting and clogging.
    Regards, FenceFurniture

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  5. #19
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    I'm concerned that you're still considering the Metabo you mentioned. In terms of overall quality it just doesn't compare to its Reich made predecessor. In fact the AEG version of this exact tool (available incidentally for only 2/3 the price of the Metabo badged version) has been resoundingly condemned by users as an inferior product. One example had a service life of about 20 minutes!

    I can recall using a borrowed one of those 3" cum 4" Makita machines, & found it a bit too big , bulky & just a bit weird. The platten in particular was inevitably smearing graphite, especially when new, over arrises on the edge & corners of the workpiece. Just not my personal cup of tea, but as other users say how wonderful it is I suppose the odd bit of graphite contamination can be forgiven: the problem is of course that oil-based finishes won't stick to even the merest hint of graphite. I suppose that's not so important in every circumstance, but it's the reason why I went for a 600w Swiss made Bosch Green tool in 1981: this had a cork-backed stainless steel platen. The well used machine I tried also had problems of belt slippage especially when using 24G carborundum belts, from graphite & dust buildup on the "tyre" of the rear drive roller.

    The main reason I bought my Metabo Ba E 1075 was that the additional power & variable speed would be advantageous for driving super-coarse 24g belts. I have found it to be good, but I've found the variable speed function less so, except perhaps in inverted metal linishing mode for shaping & sharpening steel mower & shredder blades, or roughing out blanks for kitchen knife projects. Reduced speed means less heat generated, but I still think it's better not to lean on the machine too much, which in itself generates heat. A motor running at full speed generates a greater cooling draught anyway, so most of my sanders are run at full speed almost all the time: peak efficiency.

    The best feature of the Metabo was the removable handle. I had a whole house of colonial lining boards to strip, and floors to prep and found the handle-on-top position so convenient that it made the impossible possible: sanding ceilings overhead on a 4" ladder. But it was still too slow for restoring hardwood floors. For this purpose I borrowed 4" Makita 9403. These days I'd probably be using a big Rotex instead for both tasks, with a Deltex or Bosch GDA sander & Metabo SXE 400 for the fiddly bits & corners.

    I think if you want a 4" sander use one: if you want a 3" machine, then use that. Every other compromise is just that - a compromise. Look at the Fuss-tool RO 90 as another example: at tool so versatile but so compromised in performance that it doesn't perform any particular task as well as a dedicated tool would. Sort of a Jack of all trades but master of none.

    Makita makes excellent belt sanders. Everone seems to agree on that, but I'd still recommend buying a machine of whatever size you find most suitable specifically dedicated to a particular belt size. If for no other reason than being able to get a particular 75 x 533mm or 100 x 610mm belt late on a Sunday at your local hardware store!
    Sycophant to nobody!

  6. #20
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    I see. I've just read this short thread where you made comment (this is the 20 minute life thread):
    https://www.woodworkforums.com/f13/aeg-belt-sander-hbs1000e-175166

    So, Metabo out.

    I went to the local hardware while I was out just now and they had three BS there.
    The Hitachi felt "ok", a bit plastic, and not a whole lot of heft.(although it's 4.3kg)
    The Makita 9910 (76mm) felt like plastic junk with no heft at all. (2.9kg)
    The Makita 9924 has really good heft, but I can see what is meant by the exposed graphite - it's primarily on one side and that also means that a 100mm belt would be quite exposed on the top side at the front. Furthermore, I couldn't hold the front knob properly (with end of fingers and thumb only) so that would get very tiring I believe. Palm on top would be ok, but that's not always going to be the case. It may well work for a different hand shape, but not mine.

    So, all out.

    Then there is:
    Bosch GBS 75 AE and at 3.4kg it's only 500g heavier than the Makita plastic junk, and must have a lot of plastic in the construction.
    OUT! (even if it does have an inpatient facility)

    That leaves:
    Makita 9403 100mm which looks like a real brute. 6.9kgs and 1200 watts. $409 at Sydney Tools but no inpatient facility or sanding frame available. Belt speed 500m/min
    Festool BS 75 800w, 3.8kg, $598, takes standard 75x533mm belts. Sanding frame available $300, stand available $66, variable speed. Belt speed max no load 380m/min
    Curiously Sydney Tools have that, and another 1010w version in a set for $1057, belt speed max no load 380m/min, but this is not listed on the Festool site. Bit weird.
    Festool BS 105 1400w $1587, 6.5kg, only offered here as a set. Belts 105x620mm at $10-11.40 each in a box of ten only. Belt speed max no load 380m/min

    Curiously, Festool have Tyrolit belts on their site, and the say the 100x610mm belt fits the BS 105. I presume that the tensioning can still lock tight at 5mm shorter length. Don't know if that exposes 5mm of graphite on one side, but presumably it does if the graphite is 105mm wide.

    There may be a bit of a clue to the 100mm belt on the 105 platen here:
    http://www.festool.com.au/epages/too...roducts/490825

    That little notch in the corner looks like it's ready to have 5mm cut off the graphite which would solve any exposure problems with a 100mm belt.
    Regards, FenceFurniture

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  7. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by FenceFurniture View Post
    I see. I've just read this short thread where you made comment (this is the 20 minute life thread):
    https://www.woodworkforums.com/f13/aeg-belt-sander-hbs1000e-175166

    So, Metabo out.

    I went to the local hardware while I was out just now and they had three BS there.
    The Hitachi felt "ok", a bit plastic, and not a whole lot of heft.(although it's 4.3kg)
    The Makita 9910 (76mm) felt like plastic junk with no heft at all. (2.9kg)
    The Makita 9924 has really good heft, but I can see what is meant by the exposed graphite - it's primarily on one side and that also means that a 100mm belt would be quite exposed on the top side at the front. Furthermore, I couldn't hold the front knob properly (with end of fingers and thumb only) so that would get very tiring I believe. Palm on top would be ok, but that's not always going to be the case. It may well work for a different hand shape, but not mine.

    So, all out.

    Then there is:
    Bosch GBS 75 AE and at 3.4kg it's only 500g heavier than the Makita plastic junk, and must have a lot of plastic in the construction.
    OUT! (even if it does have an inpatient facility)

    That leaves:
    Makita 9403 100mm which looks like a real brute. 6.9kgs and 1200 watts. $409 at Sydney Tools but no inpatient facility or sanding frame available. Belt speed 500m/min
    Festool BS 75 800w, 3.8kg, $598, takes standard 75x533mm belts. Sanding frame available $300, stand available $66, variable speed. Belt speed max no load 380m/min
    Curiously Sydney Tools have that, and another 1010w version in a set for $1057, belt speed max no load 380m/min, but this is not listed on the Festool site. Bit weird.
    Festool BS 105 1400w $1587, 6.5kg, only offered here as a set. Belts 105x620mm at $10-11.40 each in a box of ten only. Belt speed max no load 380m/min

    Curiously, Festool have Tyrolit belts on their site, and the say the 100x610mm belt fits the BS 105. I presume that the tensioning can still lock tight at 5mm shorter length. Don't know if that exposes 5mm of graphite on one side, but presumably it does if the graphite is 105mm wide.

    There may be a bit of a clue to the 100mm belt on the 105 platen here:
    http://www.festool.com.au/epages/too...roducts/490825

    That little notch in the corner looks like it's ready to have 5mm cut off the graphite which would solve any exposure problems with a 100mm belt.


    It's great to see that you're doing your homework.

    Some points require clarification however. The small 3" Makita you dismissed uses a non-standard length belt! Fuss-tool have clearly rationalised their range in addition to increasing prices. They've dropped the 3" "set" model. That their 3" sander is now only available without a (maxi)systainer, frame and fence is hardly surprising, as the combined price would now exceed some $1300!! That sort of money for such a basic (40+ year old) tool is, quite frankly, a disgrace!

    It also makes their awkwardly long 4" model - at a "mere" $1600 odd - almost appear good value in comparison! Sort of..... If you're embarrassingly wealthy & a little bit silly. It also makes Sydney Tool's discontinued 3" "Set" deal a bit more appealing, even if it does lack an angled fence!

    I think that you're being a bit precipitately dismissive of the Bosch model, however. Remember it was originally a licenced Reich design, and as such shares much design DNA with those Holz-Her, Milwaukee, Wolf, Wurth, Metabo & Festool clones. Looking at the lit. on my Metabo it quotes a weight of 3.8kg, but over the scales (with a belt fitted) its actually 4.3kg approx. Manufacturers are sometimes a bit strange with quoted weights, accidentally "losing" essential things like power cables etc. in order to reduce perceived weight. Some cordless tools are measured WITHOUT batteries: weird or what?

    Can't weigh my old Bosch as it's down at the shack, but I can tell you with some authority that I've never perceived any noticeable weight difference between the two, not that I've ever actually done a "back-to-back" comparison. As previously stated my Bosch is a 1981 vintage single speed 600w Swiss-made green version of the GBS 75 AE. Back then all Bosch belt sanders were Green, & the only alternative version of my PBS75 was an "E" version of the current model, with variable speed & 750w.

    My old Bosch has provided sterling service for the past 35 years, having been used, misused & abused mercilessly by myself and others. It has been dropped, sat & trodden on, kicked, "raced" across bare floors & into walls and even occasionally used as it was intended. It has required some spares however: a couple of sets of brushes, a few (3??) drive belts, a couple of new stainless platens and a couple of home-made graphite covers for the same and a replacement small "locking" spring located behind the tracking knob which eventually weakened allowing the tracking knob to unwind during use. I stripped it down a few years back to check the condition of the motor & bevel gear bearings & was amazed to find them still almost virginally tight & the packing grease uncontaminated! My only complaint is that after 35 years the dustbag is now a bit threadbare & leaks fine dust, and at a mere 600w a bit gutless for using 24g belts on hardwood flooring!

    The salient point I'm long-windedly trying to make here is that the GBS is just a sensibly priced alternative to a Fuss-tool or clone, with slightly reduced power (25%) and a more comprehensive accessory package. You don't need an "inpatient facility", or at least I never have. It's in my opinion just an unnecessary extravagance. However they do make one (part # 1608030024 @ Euro 32.94) which not only clamps to the tool but also clamps itself to the bench edge too! In other words a superior & much cheaper design to the alternatives. Likewise a sanding frame (# 2608005026 @ Euro 79.60), parallel & transverse fence (#2607001079 @ Euro 49.55) & vacuum adapter (# 2600499045 @ Euro 7.65) are also available. You should be able to get the whole fruit salad for less than the price of the Holz-Her/Fuss-tool's bare tool!

    I think it deserves consideration. I'd be giving the GBS 75 a serious look if I ever needed another. This Swiss tool is probably 90-95% as good as the German clones about 40% of the price! As an owner & user of both (related) models for many years I can confidently recommend the Bosch as a good value, long lasting quality alternative to a Festo clone.

    The fact that neither Bosch, Reich nor Festo have changed either tool at all in the past 35 or 40 odd years makes me think that they somehow got it right first time around.
    Sycophant to nobody!

  8. #22
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    Here's some interesting links Ratty:

    eBay.de

    eBay.de again

    I've got a friend who could help with something like that.
    Regards, FenceFurniture

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    Am I the only one following this thread who hasn't got a clue what the inpatient facility is?

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    An 'inpatient' is what you end up after explaining to the wife you paid $1600 for a belt sander !

    Joking....

    Think it's some kind of stand for the sander ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin62 View Post
    Am I the only one following this thread who hasn't got a clue what the inpatient facility is?
    It's a Babelfish mistranslation of the German phrase for "inversion stand".
    Sycophant to nobody!

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    The weight of belt sanders is really important to get them to bite properly particularly with low grits.

    Like a tall ruckman, as the game progresses they don't get any shorter, so as you tire the weight of a sander will help keep them sanding with no downward pressure.
    Once the belt is moving they all act like hovercraft anyway so their weight doesn't really matter that much from a sideways effort point of view.

    BTW I never saw a graphite slip cloth mark on anything I sanded.

  13. #27
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    I learnt on an old 4" Makita in the '70s, a real workhorse but inglorious and inflexible. I currently use an old Bosch PBS75. It gets used for everything including linishing. Cheap, flexible, easy belt availability, very usable. It's flat top allows me to turn it upside down on the bench and I even use it on its side so I can use my bench as a workpiece rest. See my photos.i would have no problem using it on fence palings but fences usually have a lot of palings, is there an alternative?

    If i were to spend real money on a replacement sander inside a workshop, notwithstanding construction work, dust removal would be high on my needs list. I don't have any high end sanders but I have used them and envy their dust extraction, even with bags alone. Breathing paint dust won't be fun. If all else fails, whack 'em through the thicknesser, quick and easy. You know you want to.
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    Last edited by dakotax3; 2nd May 2015 at 11:49 AM. Reason: add photos

  14. #28
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    Default which portable belt sander

    Hi Brett,
    I have a makita 9401 a very heavy 4" belt sander that I have been using for 35 years. As soon as I hear strange noises, I blow all the dust out after removing the belt, place a little oil around the bush of the front roller, & if I have time, let it cool down somewhat. If after that it sounds "grindy" Its time to remove all bearings, wash out the dried grease & dust & re-pack with white grease. I have done this about 6 times now. The graphite cloth needs to be replaced after obvious wear.
    I find with keeping the machine well tracked & tuned you can do superb sanding with a quality belt sander, I go up to 180 grit with mine & the solid timber is ready for the lacquer gun. I always have 40,80,120 & 180 grit belts in stock which I buy from AIA. 24 of each grit at a time.
    I also have the makita 9924db which is a much lighter 3" machine that will also use 4" belts & fully support them. So I only need to buy 4" belts. This machine is excellent for holding vertically & sanding edges. I also use it for delicate timbers like paulownia which erode quickly.
    However if I was in the fence furniture game, I would leave my belt sanders on their shelves. Instead I would have 2 small stroke sanders, 1 with say a 60 or 80 grit belt, & the 2nd one with a 120 grit. I would expect to be able to cut sanding time in half. The other big advantage is that you are lifting only a light paling & not a heavy machine each time. Also, in that situation a stroke sander is much more practical than say a wide belt sander because a stroke sander can cope with all the variations of paling thicknesses.

    Regards,
    Leecab











    a

  15. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by chambezio View Post
    Another thing that I have found that any belt sander can't do is sand a flat surface without leaving "gougy" type lines in the surface. I have tried many times over the years and have had no success.
    I thought that's what the belt sander frames are for - make the sander a bit more "plane-like" evening the pressure on low spots and adding more on high spots and eliminating gouging with the toe. At least Festool and Bosch do frames for belt sanders. I ended up getting the festool after figuring the bosch + frame ends up costing in the same ballpark. I have got japanese belts from monotaro in very fine grits to play with.

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    You don't need a frame to get a flat surface, just practice.

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