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Thread: belt sander dead, need recommendation

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Fort Washington, PA

    belt sander dead, need recommendation

    I rarely use a belt sander, prefering a random orbital for almost all the sanding I do other than by hand. But once in a while, you need one. My 20 yr old Craftsman 3x21 finally made a few screaching death sounds and bit the dust today while sanding a "cookie" I sliced from the end of an interesting log. Sounded like a bearing deteriorated, but didn't take the time to tear it apart. Since I still have tons of 3x21 belts, thought I'd stick with that for a replacement. Anybody here have any "well whatever you do don't get an xyz"? Anybody use one they really like and would recommend highly? I'm not going to say money is no object, but at this point in my woodworking, I'm willing to pay top dollar for a tool in order to get one that works well if I have to.

    Thanks in advance for your input
    Build it Break it Fix it ...repeat

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Indianapolis area
    Porter Cable has served me well. I would by another.


    "Individual commitment to a group effort--that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work."
    Vince Lombardi

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Rio Rancho, NM
    Makita has served us well for over 20 years - I'd buy another one.
    Nancy Laird
    FWW Registered Voter and Voting Member
    Woodworker, turner, laser engraver; RETIRED!!

    A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to his country for an amount of 'up to and including my life.' If you love your country, thank a vet.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Delton, Michigan

    Lightbulb belt sander

    well i use a porter cable 4x24 when i need one but was told by a professional table maker to get one of those porter cable hand helds cant remeber the model no. its the new one thats in the wood mags alot only approx 12 inches long and fits your hand well. he said that it was the best litte belt sander he had every used.. and i take his opinions highly
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  5. #5
    I have a 20 + years old Craftsman as well and I see no reason why it shouldn't serve your purposes to purchase another. I would look at the outlet stores and get a reconditioned one. (Especially after you look at the price)

    I have had PC and other Sanders at the different schools and they have held up well but not any better than the Craftsman that I bought back in '78 (heck, that makes it 30 years old.) Used it just this past week and as you say,,, "Not very often" but sometimes you nee to be agressive...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    new york city burbs
    Imonly using it a bit over a year I think, but I love my bosch1274
    3x21 belts

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    RETIRED(!) in Austintown, Ohio
    A new Craftsman won't be nearly as well built as your old one was. When mine died, about five years ago, I replaced it with a Porter Cable.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    N.E. Arkansas
    If you didn't let the smoke out of the motor, chances are a good cleaning and maybe replacing the brushes would fix it just as good as new. When power tools don't get used often they will freeze bearings and brush mounts to the point that they won't work well at all. I think I'd have to take it apart and see. I was just about to replace my old Ryobi 3 hp router not too long ago when I took it apart and replaced a bearing, now it works anytime I ask it to.
    I once heard that cats and women will do darn well what they please and that men and dogs would do well to accept it and just go on.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Central (upstate) NY
    A friend of mine has one of those small Porter Cable units Larry mentioned. It works great, but he told me that since you are holding the motor it tends to get warm. He doesn't think it gets warmer than other larger units, just that you're holding right where it does get warm.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Southeast Pa
    Well when I replaces the one I loaned my son I was in a Lowes looking and a flooring contractor started talking. He said to get the cheap Black and Decker, and I wouldn't be sorry. I did and haven't been sorry yet. It was dirt cheap made of plastic and works great for a couple of years now. I am a light user but he said he used one daily and it was the best value he had found and had no big functional problems. Now just to show I don't always buy the cheapest I have Bosh jig saw as well as their circular saw. The B&D is also very light and easy to handle. Its a 3x21 I believe where as my old craftsman was a 4x something..


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