Materials

Sanding Belt Cleaner

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Increase the life of your sanding belts and discs

I have used belt sanders for many years for the usual things — smoothing rough lumber, evening out surfaces, spot refinishing hardwood floors (carefully!), etc.

A couple of years ago, I made a simple block to hold the belt sander in place so I can use it as a table sander. As expected, after using a belt for a while it gets clogged up with sawdust, paint slag, and glue schmoo.

In the past, my solution was to put more weight behind the sander until it was just heating the stock without taking much off — a sign it was new belt time.

Then one day whilst picking up some new belts, I noticed a king kong-sized rubber eraser labeled “Sanding Belt Cleaner” on the store shelf. It was about $10 so I figured “Why not?”

It languished in the sanding tool drawer for a few whiles/months until I was sanding some old painted window sashes for restoration. As you might anticipate, sanding old painted wood really clogs up the belt fast. When I went to the drawer for a new belt, I saw the Sanding Belt Cleaner and decided it was a good time to give it a try. Boy howdy, it was a revelation.

After a few seconds of pressing it on the running sander and the belt looked like new. Not only that, it worked like new too! The Sanding Belt Cleaner is literally a super-sized gum rubber eraser. I believe the rubber gum melts a little on the running belt, catching and rolling up all the wood dust, paint flakes, and plywood glue schmoo into rubber eraser slag. Not unlike using tape to lift hair and dust off clothing.

Now I always use it before putting the sander away so it will be clean and ready for the next use. The sander belts not only work way better clean, they last way longer. I guesstimate I get 5-10 times more use per belt by keeping them clean. You can probably find one at your local tool/hardware store but of course, Amazon has a bunch of vendors too.

-- RJ Godin 06/21/21