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Dressing a wide belt coveyer3/12
How often are you guys dressing the surface of the conveyor? I have done it once probably three years ago(one man shop but it gets a lot of use). I am having trouble with parts slipping and think this might be the problem, just don't want to wear out the belt if I don't have to.
I have never dressed mine and it is a 1997 Powermatic. Still has excellent grip and i dont see a need in the foreseeable future and it is used every day. I see guys talk about how it needs to be done every year...
The guy that posts here from SurfPrep knows how to i think.
I dress the conveyor when parts start to slip. On our rebuilt Sandingmaster the waffle pattern on the conveyor belt is between 1/8" and 3/16" deep, and the dressing removes about .002", so I expect the belt will last a good long time. In our small (5 woodworkers) shop I find myself doing it every 2-3 months . If people would use the full width of the machine consistently the frequency would be less.
Like Kevin implied, I think the need for dressing depends on the type of belt. The softer ones with the rubber carpet type surface probably don't need it. The more solid waffle or grid types do tend to wear smooth and start to glaze over. Hitting it lightly with 60 grit or rougher perks it right back up.
Dressing a belt would solve the problem. But it is not recommended to do that often. Usually I recommend first to use Simple Green cleaning solution and wipe down the belt. This can be done as often as needed.
This usually helps in most cases, the next option is to use acetone to wipe down the belt. This will help get the tackiness back to it. But it is not recommended to do that often. It will decrease the life of the belt over time. Doing this too often, will cause the belt to become dry and start to crack.
If both solutions don't work or you have a problem of your operators running parts in the same area. This will cause wear in just one spot, then it is recommended to dress it with the wide belt. This should only be done when needed and should not be done more than once a year.
Thanks for the responses. I have always thought the conveyor felt slick, except immediately following the dressing. Maybe this particular design just needs more frequent attention. I will try the simple green first.
Please don't use acetone as it will oxidize the belt and destroy it over time.
Please run a stick test on both sides of the belt with just the drum and make sure your head is level before dressing the belt. If they measure the same you should be okay to dress. Not checking for level before grinding a conveyor is very poor workmanship.
Do not use the platen to dress your conveyor.
I recommend dressing your conveyor once every year or two, but once it's flat you will only be removing a few thousandths of an inch each time. A new belt can last the lifetime of the machine if it is not abused. The only exception to this is rough top belts because they wear much faster than the diamond and other various patterns.
What brand of machine? Single head?
Adam, thanks for the advice. I will double check the head before proceeding. The machine is a 2000 SAC single head with platen.