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Thread: Wide Belt Sander

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Watertown, SD
    Posts
    57

    Wide Belt Sander

    Hello

    I am looking for some input or advise on wide belt sanders. I am looking for a new one for my shop at school. I am looking at the 42" wide machines. The two I am looking at is the Ironwood by stiles and Time saver 1300 models.

    Does anyone have experience with either one of these.

    I am wanting minimal knobs and buttons as students will be using these machines.


    I really like the Timesaver is a midwest company located in a neighboring state. We have had a Buffuring 36" (stiles) wide belt sander for the past 10 years, it has been okay, but anytime I needed parts from stiles they seemed high priced, not only charged shipping, but also had a handling fee as well.

    Thanks for your input.

    Mike
    Last edited by Mr Mike Mills; 05-08-2020 at 1:53 PM.
    ~ universal vls6.60 32"x18" table with 60watt laser. Accessories = rotary fixture, honeycomb cutting table, & air assist. Using Corel draw x6.

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    Machines are used in an educational setting. Thanks from Mike in South Dakota

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Cache Valley, Utah
    Posts
    1,559
    I had a Timesaver in my shop at school, and my experience with them was that customer service was pretty much non-existent and no documentation was available on line. It was a somewhat older Taiwan made model, and I got the impression they didn't want to deal with it (or me). I would be surprised if any of the smaller single head machines are still made in the US, but I could be wrong.

    I do agree about the minimal knobs and buttons for student use.

    My current (personal) widebelt is a Safety Speed Cut, 100% made in the US, and the customer support has been excellent. They are a very simple machine, easy to operate, and I have run up to full size 3/0 doors through them without any trouble.

  3. #3
    I would buy anything I could, that would eliminate Stiles from the equation.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Woodstock, VA
    Posts
    834
    I've never dealt with them, are they that bad?
    What machine brands do they sell?

    I don't have much experience with different brands but the big mill shop that I take work to had a Timesaver years ago and from what I gathered they were glad to see it go away.


    Quote Originally Posted by Darcy Warner View Post
    I would buy anything I could, that would eliminate Stiles from the equation.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Central WI
    Posts
    5,502
    There are a few Euro sanders made now, EMC and SCM in Italy, Butfering are mainly Euro again, Houfek is Czech I think. Most of the others ( Timesavers included ) will be Taiwan or China. Not judging, just saying. For a 43" machine you would want at least 20 hp, electric eye tracking, combination head with 5-8" drum and 1.5-3" platen. I like a fairly soft or flexible platen as these are not veneer sanders anyway and you are just kissing the stock with the drum doing the work. A digital readout is nice but you can add a Proscale and make do. There are no really simple sanders. The electrics are complicated. I am not familiar with Safety Speed cut but the others are fairly similar. You get similar features for similar price with the Euro machines having a slight upcharge. Dave

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Bartley View Post
    I've never dealt with them, are they that bad?
    What machine brands do they sell?

    I don't have much experience with different brands but the big mill shop that I take work to had a Timesaver years ago and from what I gathered they were glad to see it go away.
    Yes. I could write a short book as to why.

    You have already alluded to one reason why.

    Stiles basically controls the market for all the brands they sell. You need service out of warranty, 1800 bucks to show up, 250/hr after that, parts 5x the price (most components that fail are not proprietary), oh they can't fix it the first trip, hey you get to pay that again. They will not sell parts to anyone (machine owners are usually an exception) but how many owners/operators can diagnose what an issue is.

    PLC goes out? About 10k for a new one, they will ship it to you, you can put it in, it won't work without a pin #, which requires another $2k visit for someone to punch that in.

    That's just part of it.

  7. #7
    Sounds like a good reason to buy a Grizzly.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Andrew View Post
    Sounds like a good reason to buy a Grizzly.
    They are starting to get close to that point, tried ordering parts for a project I needed to do, I gave up.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Central WI
    Posts
    5,502
    Probably everything in SD is a drive but I'd find out who would be the repair person you would use. I know Chris Peterson is in Minneapolis. I'd then call the repair guy and ask what machines he prefers to work on. That might help you find something you can deal with yourself. There is a lot of troubleshooting you can do for yourself. Dave

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Oregon, Wisconsin
    Posts
    324
    Stiles has been great to me. Shipped me a part from Germany air freight to my door for free. Does not get any better than that.

    Tech support is always available via phone and is very good.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Gregory Stahl View Post
    Stiles has been great to me. Shipped me a part from Germany air freight to my door for free. Does not get any better than that.

    Tech support is always available via phone and is very good.
    Only under warranty I assume?
    Any dealings with them outside warranty is horrible an expensive.

  12. If you are interested in selling your older wide belt sander please hit me up. I am looking to buy a used model and donít mind if it is old or needs a little TLC.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    New Hill, NC
    Posts
    2,355
    Iíve had good service from my Pioneer (Laguna) 37Ē WBS. Used it for 10 years - sometimes for days at a time.

    I just replaced it with a used 3 head Timesavers 52Ē. In my area, Timesavers has a good reputation and Iíve found that the factory engineers have been very responsive to my questions thus far.

    The only thing that I did not care for with the Grizzly machines is that I thought that they were underpowered for their size.

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