Replacing Felt on a Widebelt Sander Platen
I would clean your old bar with Acetone or something similar to remove all the old glue/tape that in on there. Acetone is usually used as it doesn't leave any residue and cleans great. After the bar is cleaned, I used contact spray adhesive. I would spray the bar and then the felt. Make sure you don't get any over spray on the bar. Or just clean it afterwards. Place the felt on the bar and start at one end. Work your way down making sure it is lined up and you don't have any bubbles in the middle. After the felt is applied, let it sit with weight on it for 1/2 hour or more before using. This will let the spray setup. Then you are ready to run.
I would recommend purchasing your felt from McMaster. White extra firm is the typical type used. They also sell an economical synthetic felt that I've meaning to try (1/4" x 2" x 10'). You can get felt with an adhesive backing. Since you didn't know where to get felt, I'm guessing you don't know where to get graphite canvas. For 40 years I've been getting it from Process Engineering. You won't find a better and more complete source.
From the original questioner:
No I didn't know where to get it. The canvas wasn't bad but the white felt strip was expensive. I'll certainly keep McMaster in mind.
A lot of folks don't really understand how to use the platen. You don't want to keep the platen engaged all the time. Most of your sanding should be done with the drum and for the last pass or two you drop the platen down. If you don't know how much the platen drops down when you turn the platen engagement knob you don't know the machine at all.
I recommend F1 pressed felt. It is usually pretty inexpensive and works great. I also use 3m super 77 contact cement. It goes on thin. After running the felt a few years you can pull it off with your fingers and wipe it down with lacquer thinner and do it again with no scraping. I also use that on the graphite if it's the type with the glued on graphite. You can often remove the graphite without damaging the felt and get a few more changes out of it.
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