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EB4424 oscillating sander – Can I use a narrower belt?

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  • EB4424 oscillating sander – Can I use a narrower belt?

    I’m considering buying a Rigid EB4424 oscillating sander (and I probably will), but I'm curious about something. A while back, I inherited a giant box of 3” x 24” belts (of assorted grits) that I would love to put to good use. I understand that the EB4424 takes 4” x 24” belts and that it has a 3/4” stoke, but I was wondering if I might have the option of using 3” belts on it. I recognize that this would create some limitations on how I am able to use the machine, but I would really like to know is if doing so is even possible, safe, and non-detrimental to the machine. Does anyone know? Or is there a current EB4424 owner willing to give it a try for me?

  • #2
    It may work if you put the belt on low enough that you would not be able to contact with the spindle on the "upstroke". However, since it won't be sitting at the proper height on the tension spindle it may not hold the belt tightly. The belt may end up slipping or not tracking correctly. I am not sure and although I do own that sander, I do not have any belts of that size and not sure I would be willing to try it.
    Still enjoying all 10 fingers!

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    • #3
      Thanks wwsmith for replying. Having seen your other posts as an avid owner/user of the EB4424, I was hoping to get your opinion. If I were to try a 3” belt, my assumption is that it would most likely want to track in the center of the 4” spindles (if at all) and I would be left with about 1/2" less belt at both the top and bottom. I figured that could compensate by clamping a piece of 1/2" sheet stock to the table top, with a cutout around the belt assembly.

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      • #4
        I think that could work and is a good thought. I did not see it from that angle. I would be curious to know how that works out for you. Unfortunately my shop is still all in boxes or scattered about the floor since my move until I complete another project in house first and do not have the opportunity to try any of it myself at this time.
        Still enjoying all 10 fingers!

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        • #5
          I must have over 100 of these 3" x 24" belts, so I will certainly be giving it a try at some point after I buy the sander. I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks again.

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          • #6
            Skyking

            Are you talking about regular 3 x 24 sanding belts? If yes, that is a very popular size for hand held portable belt sanders. If nothing else, you should be able to sell them or maybe before long you'll own a nice belt sander.

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            • #7
              Woussko

              Yes, these are regular 3 x 24 sanding belts and I'm sure you're right about this being a popular size for hand-held belt sanders. I actually have an old hand-held belt sander, but unfortunately, it only takes 3 x 21 belts. If I can't use the 3 x 24 belts on the EB4424 (when I get one), then perhaps I will hold on to them until the day I breakdown and buy a new hand-held belt sander. Otherwise, as you suggest, I could just sell them.

              There is, however, a bit of sentimental value, which is part of the reason I would like to make good use of these belts. When my Grandfather died, I inherited this giant box of belts along with an assortment of materials, hand tools and power tools from his woodworking shop, including a planer, jointer, band saw and drill press. I have some great childhood memories of working with him in his shop. He was a talented tool and die maker and got into woodworking (among other hobbies) when he retired. He made dozens of fine furniture pieces. The reason that I’m in the market for a sanding station is because I didn’t take his. He made it himself (easy for a machinist, I guess), it worked great and I used it as a kid, but it was built-into a permanent workbench, so I opted to leave it. Early in his career, he worked for Norton Abrasives http://www.nortonabrasives.com/. I’m guessing that he maintained some ties there and this is why he had such a large quantity of belts. Oh, I also have a giant stack of sanding disks too. These belts and disks are not exactly new, but they are high quality and do not appear to have deteriorated with age.

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              • #8
                Skyking

                In that case KEEP them. Norton is one of the most respected abrasives manufactures. In time you'll be glad to have them. As for the 3 x 24 belt sander, you might want to keep your eyes open for estate sales and tool auctions. Sometimes you can pickup a good belt sander for a nice price and then have it repaired if needed. I personally like the Porter-Cable 360 series, but not the newest of them. I like the somewhat older single speed models. Be careful as they come in both 3 x 24 and 4 x 24 sizes that look very much alike. Just measure the roller width to be sure. Do you know the diameter(s) and center hole size(s) of the discs? A good angle grinder with the rubber backup pad and nut is a very handy tool to have.

                Maybe to help pay for some of your new tools, you could think about selling some of your stock, but not all. Just an idea

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                • #9
                  Woussko

                  Thanks. I appreciate your advice. I don't recall the diameter of the disks offhand. I'll have to check and then determine how I might use them...

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