Do belt sander belts go bad over time?

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lnelson

New User
Larry
In an earlier post, I mentioned that I am finally back in action from a woodworking standpoint after a three and a half year absence due to living in a rental property. Now that we have our own home again I am busy making replacement cabinets. I had a lot of 3" x 18" belts left which had now been sitting around for 3-4 years. To my utter disappointment, these belts (all new and unused) are all breaking after 30-60 seconds of use. Failure is the same for each; they all let loose at the glue seam. These were not cheap belts; German manufactured. I have probably 20 bad belts and 20 more that I have not used yet.

My question is; does the glue that binds the belt together go bad over time? Is this an expected failure after this amount of time or should I contact the manufacture to request replacements?
 

MtnWing

New User
Dennis
Larry, I've had the same problem with some belts that I inherited from my dad. I don't know their actual age, but every one I tried to use came apart in the glued joint. I guess, like me, everything tends to fall apart with old age.
 

Mark Gottesman

New User
Mark
I see you are in High Point area. Maybe a call to Klingspor might turn up someone who makes custom belts for sanders. Maybe they could reglue them or tell you how.

You would have to determine if that is worthwhile. I would guess that the glue used in making up belts, while strong and flexible does not last a long while like hide glue or epoxy.

Just my $ 0.02
 
yes the answer when I toured Klingspor during their woodworking show in hickory is yes the belts do go bad and it is something not to stock up only buy what you can use within 1 year was the time period cause the glue does degrade over time
 

jhreed

New User
james
A manufacturer gave me over 50 belts. I told myself I would not have to buy any when I retired. Wrong Answer. They all came apart at the glue joint as soon as tension was put on them. DO NOT STOCKPILE SANDER BELTS.

James
 

ScottM

Scott
Staff member
Corporate Member
Yes lots of quality products have a self life. We can often extend them by proper storage which normally means cool, dry and out of direct sun light. Cool and dry is tough here in Carolina with temps over 100 and humidity in the high ranges.
 

JimD

Jim
Senior User
I have had them go bad too but it seems like they were more than 5 years old, possibly more than 10. 3-4 years does seem early to me. But failure at the glue seam is where mine failed. If you didn't get them as hot, rested them more, they might hold up a little longer (but that frustrates me so I just use them to failure).

Jim
 

CDPeters

Master of None
Chris
Yes lots of quality products have a self life. We can often extend them by proper storage which normally means cool, dry and out of direct sun light. Cool and dry is tough here in Carolina with temps over 100 and humidity in the high ranges.

As Scott points out and in my experience - storage in a cool dry place is the key. I suspect that having lived in a rental, most of your shop stuff was stored in a non-climate controlled storage locker. The exceptionally high heat would dry the adhesive and make it brittle, I would think rather quickly.

I usually buy my belts 2 or 3 at a time - usually don't have them in "inventory" more than a year or two. Unfortunately, that makes it difficult to stock up when the really good sale comes along. :cry_smile

C.
 

MrAudio815

New User
Matthew
Thanks for asking the question, as I had no idea.


When I bought a belt sander for my wife to redo two dressers, I bought a package of ten of each grit a year plus ago and some of the boxes/wrapping are still on the belts. I used one the other day for a neighbor for about 10 seconds, as it was to abrasive for her project, but have not used them since.

I hope they are still good, as I am in Utah where the weather is much better.... Guess I will have to find a project to try them out on.

Thanks again for bringing this to my attention, I will never stock pile them again.
 

merrill77

Master Scrap Maker
Chris
I have some Craftsman belts that still seem good after nearly 20 years of storage in humidity-controlled basements. I'll have to put one on the sander to see if they are OK.

On the upside, you can still use the belts for sandpaper - they seem to hold up better than regular sandpaper :>
 

lnelson

New User
Larry
Thanks to all for the input on my post. Lesson learned. As one post questioned, these were all kept in a storage unit which got quite hot during the summer. No more bulk purchases for me on belts.
 

junquecol

Bruce
User
According to Paul at the Woodworking Shop, Klingspor keeps the Kelvar tape used to join belts in a freezer. It has only a one year shelf life. Old belts which weren't bi-directional used a overlap glue joint. These lasted for ever, but could only be run in one direction. At one time it wasn't unusual for a production shop to make their own belts from stock roll. They kept a pattern to cut by, ground off abrasive from lap, and glued with regular yellow glue.
 

Dudelive

New User
Dude
They kept a pattern to cut by, ground off abrasive from lap, and glued with regular yellow glue.

I have never tried but could that be used to re-glue the belts back together where they separated?
Has anyone tried that before? I would think the worst that could happen is the glue to fail again and that would mean just sand paper use for each belt.

Just wondering...nothing ventured nothing gained
 

junquecol

Bruce
User
I have never tried but could that be used to re-glue the belts back together where they separated?
.

Just wondering...nothing ventured nothing gained
Are your belts bi-directional, which means they have the kelvar splice. If so they will be too short after lapping and gluing. If they are lapped, it's almost most impossible to glue over glue. New belts are inexpensive, especially when you do a "group buy" from Klingspor.
 
M

McRabbet

I store all of my belts in a tightly covered "Rubbermaid" storage container to keep them from any elevated humidity. I've been able to use 3-4 year old belts that way. I haven't tried this, but you might try "reactivating" the glue on lapped belts with a hot iron before using them if they've been in storage for a long time -- it can't hurt to try.
 
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