Starter Belt Sander
Looking to start dabbling in Wa-handles/sayas, and I am in need of a belt sander. I have read here that having a separate belt/disc is the way to go, however money and space are an issue in my case, so i am most likely looking for a combo.
I will most likely rough it at first few with just the belt sander, then look into a band saw and drill press.
All of your comments and advice is welcome. Please school me!
What kind of pricing are you looking at? I use the 6x48 unit below from Harbor Freight. It cost me $200. I bought this mostly because it was local.
I've read a lot of guys here use the disc for the angles on wa handles, but I can't seem to get things true that way. I use the disc to square up the blank, then the sander (with the platen set vertically) to cut in the angles.
I could see where having a separate belt and disc might be nice...and a larger disc would be a huge benefit, but all in all this does everything I need for handle making. Plus I was able to get belts all the way up to 600 grit for it.
Thanks for the suggestion Cris! I am pretty flexible as far as price. I just dont know much about belt sanders, and my needs are only for pretty small projects. I surfed HF and saw your sander as well as a smaller, 4x36 6in disc unit. Also saw a Rockwell of the same 4x36 on Google. There are small differences is specs, but i dont know what specs even matters in belt sanders or what i should even be looking for haha.
Not sure if the difference in quality is worth worrying about for handles and the like.
In all honesty, I like having the highest quality tools, of course. But with the budget I had, this tool suited me perfectly. You can get 80-240 grit belts at Harbor Freight for pennies, and for wa handles, I can't imagine you need anything more. The other thing is the larger surface area might be of better use with the saya making? I don't really know, as I don't make saya yet :).
I have the 4x36 with 6in disk from harbor freight. I use it for setting bevels and shaping handles. Only complaint is underpowered and its trouble getting the heel bc the entire grinding aurface is a platen wider than the belt.
Can the belt be set flat?
Originally Posted by jared08
It is within reason, flat. Its just two pulleys with very minute slack points on each side and the belt runs against the body of the inner housing. Angles can be adjusted but there is very little room for slack work to convex.