WE ARE A SMALL SHOP (12) AND BOUGHT A BUTFERING OPTIMA SWO 313 SANDER FROM STYLES MACHINERY IN 2008 AT THE ATLANTA SHOW. SINCE NEW IT HAS BEEN A PARADE OF STYLES SERVICE MEN, INDIPENDANT SERVICE MEN, AND MY OPERATOR IN A NEVER ENDING BATTLE TO KEEP IT RUNNING. IT IS NOT AN EXAGERATION THAT THE NUMBER OF HOURS WE HAVE WORKED ON THIS MACHINE EXCEEDS THE HOURS WE HAVE WORKED WITH IT. IT IS TIME FOR ME TO BITE THE BULLET GET RID OF THIS PIECE OF JUNK AND BUY A NEW SANDER. MY QUESTION I NEED A SANDER ( 3 HEAD 54" WIDE) WE SAND ONLY HARDWOODS,(NO VENEER). CAN ANYONE GIVE ME A RECOMENDATION OF A RELIABLE SANDER. THANKS FOR YOUR INPUT.
Whether it's an employee or machine, as hard as it is to make the final step, you're only costing yourself more and more until you make that decision.
As a brand, Timesavers seems to have a good reputation. We have a small one that we bought used, and it's been great. We've had two others (both a lot older when purchased) and the Timesavers has been by far the most trouble-free (not any actual trouble) and it does a good job.
I can't express an opinion on brands on an open forum. Please do yourself a humongous favor and buy a steel drum, 65 shore drum, and combi-head with a 30-40 shore drum before the platen.
I can tell you that this is the best configuration for a three head there is for solid wood sanding.
Run all paper. 80/120/150 or 180 if you are doing doors, framed, and assorted hardwoods. After the 80 grit, the 120 should take off .008", the 180 on the drum in the combi should take .004", and the platen .001".
The capacity of this set up is .036" total so I just call it .030". This is one of my favorite set-ups!
Do not buy a machine lacking air exclusion on each contact surface. This means you can pop each head up or down at will. This is a huge asset.
Do not buy a machine that does not have dead shafts. The drums spin around the shaft instead of journals welded into end plates. This type of head is much more rigid.
If you don't know machines really well you might not realize I just eliminated quite a few brands of machine. Lol!
If the salesman starts talking about machine weight as an important feature of the machine, laugh him down. He is clueless.
Expensive is no indication of quality.
Can I ask what failed on the Butfering? I have a love/hate relationship with them. Steel hold down rollers with stiff springs over a very soft conveyor is just plain stupid. Shoes without hold down rollers altogether is even worse. 78-90 shore drums in a combi head isn't really that smart either.
I just purchased a new Viet 2 head unit and after much debate I was advised to go with a 90 shore on the first head rather then steel. The argument being that the rubber would dissipate heat better then steel and that in the event something went through that shouldn't a rubber head is much easier to repair then steel.
Seeing as you're never lacking an opinion, which I like, how about weighing in on this?
It does have a 40 shore on the combi head along with all the other whistle and bells you've mentioned as necessary for a good widebelt.
As far as sanding goes, 85 shore rubber might as well be steel. Nothing wrong with that.
I will say that in the hundreds of sanders I worked on with steel drums I've never seen a steel drum damaged enough to need repaired. If it is that hard to damage then I wouldn't worry about it.
Your 85 shore drum should run for decades without damage if simple basic rules are followed. Measure your work before you sand it and know how much you can take off. Never close the machine before confirming the machine really is empty.
Are you using paper or cloth? An 80 grit belt on average is capable of removing .020-.030 of material with a depth of scratch of .015-.018 and a 120 grit belt on average is capable of removing .010-.012 of material with a depth of scratch at .008-.010. Keep in mind the stock removal rates are based on HP of your motors, material being sanded, feed speed and the amount of material being loaded into your machine. But from the .013 you mentioned, I would say you are well within the parameters of your abrasive belts.
Personally, I would not recommend using a paper belt on a steel drum, especially on the 1st head. First, a paper belt is made for finishing, not stock removal. Second, you will burn a paper belt faster than a cloth belt even if your steel drum is serrated. If you ever wonder what the serrations are for in a drum, they are there for air flow and cooling purposes. A cloth backing can absorb more heat than a paper belt. A cloth belt on the first head can also take more abuse than a paper belt, especially if you have a few parts that are thicker than the others. Not only that but running that cloth belt should improve your belt life on the proceeding heads. In the years I have been working on these machines, I cant honestly tell you I have never seen a customer use an 80 grit paper belt. If you really are looking to save abrasive costs, most of the time you can take a cloth backed abrasive belt to any car wash and pressure wash it if it is loaded up. Try doing that with a paper belt. Unless the grit on the cloth belt has been compromised, (hitting a metal object, pins, ect and knocking the grit off) you may find success in pressure washing that cloth belt.
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