Belt Sander Feedbelt Replacement

Tips on replacing the feed belt for a 70's vintage widebelt sander. December 9, 2010

I just picked up an older (1977) 43" Timesaver for my shop. I've got it cleaned, lubed, and running, but still have a couple issues I'll need to address in the somewhat near future. One of those issues is that the feedbelt is on its last legs. Not something I'm overly excited about getting into. But my buddy, (who I acquired the machine from), mentioned I should check into feedbelts that can be laced on, as opposed to removing the whole table for a continuous one. Has anyone had any experiences with this type of belt? It sounds like it could make life significantly easier, but are there any downsides? Any recommendations for suppliers?

Forum Responses
(Solid Wood Machining Forum)
From contributor J:
I had an older Ramco with one on it. Zero difference in use as far as I can tell. Mine had a belt with loops on each end with a large diameter wire through them. I have a Sandya Uno with a continuous belt. To replace a continuous one piece belt would be a monstrous undertaking to say the least. Pretty good indicator on low hours if your still has the original butt spliced belt.

From contributor A:
We replaced one last year. The belt had multiple loops. Itís kind of like the binder to a note pad. Each end had that and a thinner piece of wire joined the two ends through the middle of the loops.

From the original questioner:
I called Timesavers this week and they quoted almost $500 for the new belt. Think I'll see if I can't get by for a little while with taking a light pass off the top of the one I have.

From contributor C:
I repair sanders for a living and I will recommend not using a clipper splice. The biggest reason is safety - if you sand something thin and the abrasive belt touches that metal splice, sparks will result, go up the dust hood with all the fine dust mixed with lots of air (oxygen.) Those are the ingredients needed for big boom.

The second reason is if you are sanding thinner pieces, there will be thick spots in the material where they cover the splice since the splice is usually thinner than the surrounding conveyor material.. This could be avoided by purposely not putting the material over the splice.

The third reason is the splice is metal and the metal will scratch the wood when in contact.

To change the conveyor is not a big job. Remove the outfeed gib guides (two), unbolt the bed rails from the bed plates underneath, remove the conveyor feed motor and gearbox, remove the outfeed conveyor drive roller, remove the infeed conveyor drive roller. Use a fork lift (extensions may be necessary if it's a multiple head machine), and pull the conveyor out the outfeed end. Replace the conveyor belt. The outside splice always leads the inside spice (sometimes they're improperly marked). Reassemble. About four hours tops for a beginner.