Belt sanders are prevalent and versatile tools with which carpenters can easily complete their woodworking and metalworking jobs efficiently and quickly. Determining the right sander belt is highly important for a good performance. As the woodworking or metalworking project performance depends on a belt sander, you need to know what size belt is needed. This content is about how to measure belts in some easy and practical ways that you can count on.
What Is A Belt Sander?
Belt sanders are amazingly effective solutions for smoothing and preparing wood or metals for less aggressive tools. They are designed to allow them to remove a large amount of material within a short time. A belt sander is a less time-consuming solution that works on a continuous loop principle.
Types Of Belt Sanders
To make the woodworking and metalworking jobs more accessible for people, the belt sanders come in different types. They are-
Belt File Sanders
These sanders are handheld machines. They use narrow and smaller sanding belts. People consider these belt sanders ideal for working in confined areas or removing welds from corners.
Unlike belt file sanders, they are operated manually to sand wood floors.
Tube Belt Sanders
It is a sanding tool consisting of a pulley system that contours the sanding belt around tube-shaped surfaces.
Hand-powered Belt Sanders
These sanders are portable, and they are becoming popular day by day. Besides, they are excellent for smoothing and finishing small pieces and large surfaces.
Stationary Belt Sanders
These belt sanders can be bench-mounted, even-mounted, or pedestal-mounted.
Why Measure Belt Sander Belts?
A suitable size belt is required to perform your project better. You have ideas about different belt sanders, but if you don’t know what size belt sander you need, it is impossible to perform an accurate measurement. So, you should locate the product manual from which you can get an idea about the correct belt size. Don’t worry if you haven’t received the hard copy. The manuals about sizing and others can also be found on the manufacturers’ websites. In addition, you can take help from the experts to get practical tips for accurately measuring a belt sander belt.
Different Methods Of Measurements
It is a pervasive question people ask about how they can figure out what size belt they need for their sander. There is nothing to worry about, as some methods are highly effective in determining the correct size. Belt sander belts are measured in width, length, and grit, followed by the material you will sand with. If you don’t know the size, the methods below are for you. A couple of ways can help you to determine the correct size to fit the machine and have you sanding immediately.
Method 1: Double Measurement Method
If your belt is small, you can measure it from one end to another by pressing it down on a hard surface. Use a measuring tape or string to measure. Now, double the length to get an idea of the belt size you need. Remember, this method is suitable for small-sized belts only. This method is considerably challenging to apply with the longer belts.
Method 2: Cut & Measure Method
For an old belt, cut it to turn it into one long strip. Next, lay the belt flat to measure the whole length. The cut and measure method is applicable for all-sized belts. However, this method may need you to have a sanding belt that you can cut in half.
Method 3: String Method
In a string method, you should take a piece of string and wrap that around the belt. Then, cut the strings wherever the two endpoints meet. Lay the string flat and measure the length. This method is comparatively better to use with small-sized belts.
Method 4: Rotation Method
The rotation method is the easiest and most accurate way to measure a sanding belt. For measuring with the rotation method, you need to take a pen or marker first to put a small mark inside the belt. Later, put a corresponding mark on a flat surface. After that, you can move the belt in a full rotation slowly. The belt again touches the hard and flat surface. Once the belt touches the surface, mark the touch point. Measuring between the two marks will help you get the belt’s length.
All the methods work well if you know the steps and application process perfectly. It would be best if you also learned how to custom the size of sanding belts for any application.
What is the most common belt sander size among all?
Belts sanders can be small, medium, or long measured by the width and length of the belt. Some standard sanding belt sizes are- 1×30, 1×42, 2×36, 2×42, 2×48, 2×60, 2×72, 4×24, 4×36, and 6×48.
How do we determine the replacement size for the existing belt?
Cut the old one and wear it out straight across. Then, it will be turned into a linear line from a circular shape. As you measure lengthwise, the cutting should be straight. Measure the width now and shop for a replacement.
Does a belt sander work well on metal?
The heavy-duty belt sanders are used to remove general material, whether wood or metal. A belt sander works well on metal if you use the correct grit and type of belt for the metallic material you need to sand.
What should I consider before buying a belt sander?
It would be best to look for several things before buying a belt sander like size, weight, speed of operation, dust collection capacity, and warranty.
How long does a sanding belt usually last?
Many factors like sandpaper grit, humidity, abrasive material, the surface used, maintenance, etc., are responsible for determining the duration of a belt sander. In a workshop, belt sanders usually last about 1-1.5 years.
The requirement of applying the right sanding belt becomes an issue when you don’t use your sanding belt, or it has been a while since you changed the belts last. Is it possible to perform an actual measurement without knowing what size belt is appropriate for your work? This content on how to measure belt sander belts has given you good ideas about the measuring trick of a belt sander that you can easily follow.