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  • rigid oscillating spindle/belt sander combo belt tracking problem

    I have a rigid oscillating spindle/belt sander combo and can't make the belt track right. It wants to ride up to the top no matter what I try. Has anyone else had or having the same problem? I need to know how to fix the problem. I've read the manual and had the belt mechanism out and everything appears to be OK. HELP!!!!!

  • #2
    Re: rigid oscillating spindle/belt sander combo belt tracking problem

    http://www.ridgid.com/ASSETS/8DD3EC1...482_eng_01.pdf

    page 21 of the above linked manual deals with the tracking of the sanding belt and states, "If the sanding belt runs down towards the table, turn the tracking knob clockwise 1/4 turn. If the sanding belt runs up away from the table, turn the tracking knob counterclockwise 1/4 turn."
    there's a solution to every problem.....you just have to be willing to find it.

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    • #3
      Re: rigid oscillating spindle/belt sander combo belt tracking problem

      FINER9998 - Thanks for the input but I've already read the manual, I have the one that came with the sander, and tried what it says to do. I've even tried running the belt in both directions to no avail.

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      • #4
        Re: rigid oscillating spindle/belt sander combo belt tracking problem

        Does the belt wander when not under load? Or does the belt only move up when you're pressing material against it? If the belt wanders when you apply pressure to it with the material you are pushing too hard, let the tool do the work or get a coarser grit.

        Usually when the tool is new the belt adjustment is almost neutral, no tracking up or down. If you purchased the tool used all bets are off....and you may need to take a close look at the belt mechanism.

        I would install a new sanding belt. I would verify it is on the belt drive correctly [direction is indicated on most belts] and at the correct tension. If the belt is too loose or too tight you will experience tracking challenges. Also ensure the spindle knob is tight!

        After you verified the rollers are ok and the belt drive mechanism is ok then you need to begin looking at the tracking control. You may have it adjusted beyond the "proper range".

        turn the tracking control clockwise and counter clockwise counting the number of turns for each direction. Then determine the "center position" and set the tracking knob there.

        For example cw=12 and ccw=8 total=20 I would set the control at max cw then turn is ccw
        2 or 3 turns and start tracking from there.

        This takes some patience so if you are angry or just can't focus on the problem walk away grab a cup of coffee and start fresh! This is not difficult but can be frustrating..similar to trying to adjust the tracking on a band saw.

        Be sure to come back here and follow up with the end results.


        Cactus Man

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        • #5
          Re: rigid oscillating spindle/belt sander combo belt tracking problem

          Hello all, I am also having a belt tracking problem with the Ridgid EB4424 osillating sander. I brought the new sander home and installed the included 80 belt. I did not have any problem setting the tracking or using the belt. After that I installed a Norton "All Purpose" 120 grit. I cannot get this or the Norton 80 belts to track very well. Home Depot carries Norton Premium belt, but these don't seem to come in a 120 so I haven't tried them. I have tried the ideas presented by Cactus Man and Finer9998 with no luck other than slowing the rate of drift.

          I have noticed that the belt that came with the sander is on a softer cloth than the Norton belts. (After a little research I am guessing that the included belt is a J grade backing and the Norton is a stiffer X grade. Anyway, I am wondering if this is the source of the problem. (I've noticed that the Ridgid manual point to HD as a source for belts. One would think that these would work with the sander.)

          Anyway, has anyone notice a difference with tracking ability when using various grades and/or brands of belts? What brands have you had the best luck with - and where can I get them?

          Thanks, Chuck

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          • #6
            Re: rigid oscillating spindle/belt sander combo belt tracking problem

            i just changed out the belt on mine and the same problem. ridgid is sending me some of there belts but said the machine should be able to use norton belts with no problems. did you ever figure out your problem. ive thought about taking mine back and trying another one to see how it tracks the belts.

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            • #7
              Re: rigid oscillating spindle/belt sander combo belt tracking problem

              Have you examined the drive and idle spindles or the inside of the belt for sawdust buildup?
              It wouldn't take much to throw everything out and cause the tracking problems you talk about.
              I don't have the Ridgid sander but my belt sander did get some sawdust on the idle roller which
              is the roller which has the tracking control too and I found some dust build up that once I cleaned
              it off I had no more trouble.
              ---------------
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              • #8
                Re: rigid oscillating spindle/belt sander combo belt tracking problem

                I have the same problem and I fixed with a small wedge of wood...I will go out to the shop in the morning and pull the belt sander and then post up where and what I did.

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                • #9
                  Re: rigid oscillating spindle/belt sander combo belt tracking problem

                  I had the same problem when I tried to use Norton belts at Home Depot. I too thought it was because the original belt was not as stiff, but I bought some belts from a specialty supply company that are just as stiff as the Norton belts and they seem to work fine. I have given up on using Norton belts.

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                  • #10
                    Re: rigid oscillating spindle/belt sander combo belt tracking problem

                    That's good to know becuase my Sander used to track just fine. I may have picked up my current belt (s) at Home Depot. I will check that as well when I make it to the shop today.

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