Single Phase Wide-Belt Sanders

      Single-phase wide-belts top out at about 10 horsepower. Most woodworkers seem to prefer the beefier models that run on 3-phase power. September 7, 2006

What is the largest wide belt sander in single phase? I don’t really want 3 phase with a converter.

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor A:
The most practical thing you can do is get a phase converter. I ran my 15hp sander for years with a converter without any problems. I have seen advertised sanders with 10hp single phase motors, still you would be better served with a converter. Most electric suppliers have a maximum on motor size you use for single phase. It is the starting load that causes concern. When in doubt, phone and ask.

From the original questioner:
I am looking for someone who has already bought one - the brand and features, then the form to confirm or dispute the performance. Items such as platen versus drum, single head versus double head, cost, used versus new, lease options, etc. I have remained single phase until now. If I was going to convert, it should have been 30K ago.

From contributor B:
I have to side with contributor A on this. I don't think there is such a thing as a single phase *real machine*. While it might not be the answer you're looking for, 3 phase is the way to go.

From contributor C:
Check Extrema, Bridgewood, and Grizzly. Some of these may have a soft start, so you won't dim the lights when you start it up. It sounds like you are looking for an animal that does not exist - a *real* machine and single phase. You need a bigger motor to keep the belt spinning. If it bogs down, you will get variations in finish and thickness.

From contributor D:
I purchased a 10 hp single phase 43'' wide x 75" wide belt a little over one year ago, after using a 37" double drum Performax for a number of years. I love the wide belt - it is the best value tool I own. After being accustomed to using the drum sander, the wide belt (with platen for final sanding) is great, and much more efficient. The manufacturer is Safety Speed Cut.

From contributor E:
Go for the horsepower. I've been using a rotary phase converter for over 15 years. They’re reliable and if another machine comes along that has a 3 phase motor in it, you might snag it versus passing on it, waiting for a single phase machine. Think big even if you’re small.

From contributor F:
I've got a single phase wide belt from Grizzly 37" with the 10 HP. We build our own doors and this machine has a great timesaver in my 2 man shop. Where it used to take hours to sand a set of doors, frames and drawer fronts, now it takes 30-40 min. I personally run the machine and have never thought it was under powered, and never saw the motor bog down. I have to admit, I have never used a 3 ph model, so I don't know what I am missing. I chose the single phase because I did not want the extra 3K expense of a phase converter.

From contributor G:
I got a 37 x 75 Sandingmaster, took off the 18hp three phase and put on a new 10hp one phase. The belt was faster than I needed, so I slowed the belt speed down with a bigger pulley, giving it more power - about 15 hp. This worked great - I have changed back to the 3 phase as I have other machines that need to run on three power. I use my own 30 hp cont. (homemade). If you remember it is a sander and not a planer, you won’t have a problem using it that way.

The comments below were added after this Forum discussion was archived as a Knowledge Base article (add your comment).

Comment from contributor G:
I have the Safety Speed Cut 43" x 75" with a 10 hp single phase. It is reliable, accurate, repeatable and not underpowered. Even doing a full width pass with a lower grit belt, I have never felt that it was underpowered.

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