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Old 08-10-2017, 05:11 PM
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Default Handheld belt sanders for metal?

I quite fancy a belt grinder, but dont have anything like the use to justify a proper one.

I've seen bench grinders with a belt on them but the power is generally tiny, 3-400W motors seem to be the norm.

Then a thought struck me. would a handheld belt sander be any use for metal if you mounted it?

1000-1200w motors are not unheard of on higher end 4 inch sanders, youd pickup a makita 9401 for fifty bucks.


So, anyone tried it? not gonna hog off metal like a 3 phase linisher will, but are they capable of doing anything?
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Old 08-10-2017, 07:50 PM
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I have never done it.
But I am sure it could be done.

My question would be finding belts for metal?
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Old 08-10-2017, 09:02 PM
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Sure can be done but belt life will be short because of small belt. You can get better belts.


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Old 08-10-2017, 10:08 PM
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The belt speed on a wood belt sander is way too slow for effective metal removal.
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Old 08-11-2017, 10:19 AM
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I have a 4" DeWalt I have used on metal, it works, slow but works.
For the occasional job it is fine. You could always build one.
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Old 08-11-2017, 10:32 AM
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Hope this is enough inspiration

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkjQ82KDyBA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kl02Ia4YbQA

It can be and has been done.
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Old 08-11-2017, 01:06 PM
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Generally speaking a 5" sanding disc on a mini-grinder will remove more material than you ever will with a hand-held belt sander. As has been pointed out belt speed is a factor and, to the best of my knowledge, metal appropriate belts for the small sanders are few and far between.

That said, we did use a hand-held belt sander one time to put a linear surface finish on a decorative piece that we made--can't remember what we used for belts though...
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Old 08-11-2017, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LKeithR View Post
Generally speaking a 5" sanding disc on a mini-grinder will remove more material than you ever will with a hand-held belt sander. As has been pointed out belt speed is a factor and, to the best of my knowledge, metal appropriate belts for the small sanders are few and far between.



That said, we did use a hand-held belt sander one time to put a linear surface finish on a decorative piece that we made--can't remember what we used for belts though...


Real helpful on #4 Stainless Steel Brush Finish. I had found some Ceramic ones for my belt sander I thought one time. Or maybe they were just orange colored like the ceramic sanding discs I get.


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Old 08-12-2017, 08:18 AM
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I use a benchtop 4x36 sander for shaping knife handles and flattening parts. It doesn't cut anywhere near as fast as my 2x72 inch grinder but it beats the heck out of a normal bench grinder for the tasks I do with it. In the 4x36 size you can get ceramic belts that will work better on metal.
I don't know if you have an equivalent to harbor freight where you are but they carry a serviceable 4x36 that isn't all that expensive. Mine is a Delta and is over 20 years old, think I paid $99 for it back then

I would try to get a 4x36 if you can. If you go down to 3x21 or smaller you lose all the useable space on the platen for flattening parts. Most handheld sanders don't have the front roller exposed enough for you to make concave parts with it either.
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Old 08-12-2017, 10:55 AM
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Handheld belt grinders are noisy and hot, due to the universal motor. The couple I have don't have a good way to mount them, though I use them for metal on occasion. It's kinda hard to work sitting on the floor with the sander clamped between the soles of my feel. Have to be careful of squeezing the plastic handle in a vise.
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