De-Glazing a Widebelt Conveyor

The standard method is to sand the conveyor with the wide belt, but you can just use a random orbital hand sander instead. October 15, 2012

The conveyor belt on my widebelt sander is getting kind of shiny and slick. Have tried cleaning it, but nothing seems to make it have more traction. Have heard about raising the conveyor belt into the sanding belt a small amount, but am curious how effective this is.

The machine is a 2 head 42 inch Butfering. First head has a steel contact roller. The manual for the machine sort of talks about this process, but the Germans didn't exactly hire someone who is fluent in English to write the manual.

As I interpret it, they suggest using an 80 grit belt for this. I am assuming this belt only goes on the first head.

Is there anything else to watch for in this process? Assuming this is successful, how long does the traction last? Is the glazing a function of UV or miles of material run through it? Can I do this myself or do I need a factory guy to do this?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor L:
While it is probably quicker to do it with the sanding head after you disable the upper travel limit switch, but you can always just use a random orbit sander with 80 or 100 grit paper and remove the glaze that way. Age has a way of making rubber less grippy. Especially the older machine belts.

From the original questioner:
Contributor L, that was exactly what the doctor ordered! We dusted the belt with a 4 x 8 pad sander and all the slipperiness went away immediately. Thanks so much for the tip.

From contributor J:
I also find the glazing on these belts seems to not detract from the function of the machine. My belt was really worn and glazed when I bought it. When I found out the cost of a new belt I decided I'd just try to sand the belt out a bit when I had a chance. Well that was almost 2 years ago and I still haven't done anything to it and it still holds the work just fine. I can feed 1" wide strips of 1/8" thick hard maple through (which seems to me to beg to be thrown back), with no trouble at all. So it's good that you got rid of the glazing, but it probably wouldn't have hurt anything anyway.

From the original questioner:
I'm not sure about this, but all the clues I have to work with say that a grippier conveyor belt is having an impact for us.

I bought this machine new about ten + years ago. The glazing on the belt has, of course, been a slow buildup over this time. Just lately, though, 3 x 20 inch pieces of maple boards have either been shot out of the machine or stalled outright inside it. A 5x16 inch piece of white oak board stalled just the other day inboard of the back belt. Others that made it through paused slightly at this juncture. That was what prompted me to make this post.

Since we freshened the belt this problem has seemed to disappear. No other variables have been changed but the boards now just march right through. I can't say for sure this is the cause but anecdotal data seems to support it.

From contributor J:
Ah, well, if I had boards come shooting back at me, I think I'd be proactive as well;>)