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Thread: Do Sanding Belts Have a Shelf Life?

  1. #1

    Do Sanding Belts Have a Shelf Life?

    Do sanding belts have a shelf life? I was just outside trying to sand down the rough edges of my current project, and the belts on my trusty Bosch kept breaking at the splice. I checked that I put them on the right way etc. But one after another popped. Yet an old worn out Norton belt worked fine.

    These are Klingspor belts which are two or three years old - never used, stored in my basement shop along with the Nortons of similar age. I always thought they were known as a good brand, but after tonight's performance, I don't know.

    What are your thoughts?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Villa Park, CA
    I've had old sanding belts break (come unglued) on me. But I think the new belts are better and the joint lasts a lot longer. Note you can put new belts on in either direction, while the old ones had an arrow indicating direction.

    But, to answer your question, yes, I think there is a shelf life to sanding belts.

    Ancora imparo
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM
    I agree with Mike. The old ones with the arrows seemed to get real fragile with age, but the newer ones I've used haven't shown the same signs of brittleness. (I really like the blue Norton 3x belts for my belt sander.)
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    North West Indiana
    Is there a possibility that you are tightening them to tight ie:stretching them beyond their capabilities thus shortening their life span?
    God and family, the rest is icing on the cake.

    I'm so far behind, I think I'm in first place.

    Premier Bovine Scatologist


  5. #5
    The belts that are directional I've never had a problem with them coming apart unless you put it on backwards. Now the newer ones that are NOT directional do have a shelf life. Something happens to the glue as they age and when they heat up in use they seperate. I know its not to much tension cause you can't adjust that on a belt sander.

  6. #6
    Yea, I think they definitely have a shelf life. I thought I scored bigtime when I bought a bunch of belts at a garrage sale, but they were old and most of them broke after a few minutes of use. I don't think it's just the old style though, I've hade the blue Nortons go bad after a couple of years as well. The heat here doesnt help matters.

  7. #7
    AWW SHOOT!! I had a bad feeling about this. Thanks for the input guys. I guess it's not Klingspor's problem (it is, and it isn't). Just a case of not getting through the supply in a timely manner. I just need to get into the shop and do more woodworking!!

    Well, on the bright side, I have a bunch of hand sanding belts now! I'll have to make up one of those blocks with the wedges and use them for block sanding.

    Thanks again, Wes

    Off to buy a few belts.

  8. #8
    I have found that the big difference in belts has to do with where you buy them (you pay for what you get) and how they are stored (not the age) If they are stored too long laying flat and maybe get flattened out and the crease is on the flap then they are history in no time. I hang mine on a large dia. dowel

    Also if they get really hot and dry out during storage they seem to crack. and the pad or foot on the bottom of the sander can rip them apart if it is worn. Many sanders have a SS flap of sheet metel that the blade rideds across, over time the edge wears thin and acts like a planer knife and slices the flap

  9. #9
    Well, I ran to the Borg this morning and picked up a package of Norton 3X belts one each of 60 and 120. In between rain showers, I ran the coarse belt - no issues. Ran the finer belt - again no issues. If nothing else can be concluded, I know the belts were the problem (versus user ). Whether they are too old, or just a bad batch, I dunno.

    Thanks again for the input.


  10. #10

    Question Good question on old Belts ! !

    I found this very interesting cause I have a bunch of these belts that I've had for five or more years . This tell you that I don"t use the belt sander hardly ever but if needed its their for sure ................Marshall
    Usually Busier than a Cat In A sand Box : Arkansas Red Wolf & Razorbacks Fan

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