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Thread: Best sanding belt cleaners?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    2,562

    Best sanding belt cleaners?

    Morning all,

    I've been spending a lot of time at my stationary sander lately, cranking out wood blocks for young children. Consequently, I've been using up rubber stick belt cleaners pretty quickly. I recently bought PowerTec sticks and noticed they were not nearly as dense as an older stick I had for years. And as expected I went thru those sticks in pretty short order. I wish I could remember the brand of that old stick and where I got it.

    So, the request to the collective is what cleaner sticks do you recommend?

    I'm running the typical aluminum oxide belts, if that might matter.

    Thanks!
    Brian

    "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger or more complicated...it takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." - E.F. Schumacher

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    New Hill, NC
    Posts
    2,501
    Brian, we use a sanding belt cleaning service that based about an hour from us. As I recall, it costs us around 8 bucks a belt for our 52" wide belts. They do an outstanding job.

  3. #3
    Ive used an old Wallabee shoe for over 40 years works great though when i walk im lop sided.

  4. #4
    Other than the conventional sticks and flipping them occasionally running them against the assigned rotation, the best cleaning solution Ive found to get them cutting like new again is unfortunately the trash can. I order edge sander belts from Industrial Abrasives in PA and keep a good bit on hand when we are going to be using them regularly.

    Trying to stretch the life has never proven cost effective for our 6x99's

  5. #5
    Yes: The "shop" answer would be to just buy more belts. What is your time worth? Sanding or rubber blocking?

    Erik
    Ex-SCM and Felder rep

  6. #6
    6" x 310" it takes 30 seconds to clean a belt, wallabee siting withing arms reach of where I stand on the machine machine running, it makes an instant difference,

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    2,562
    Thanks for the replies.

    I'm not a pro, and this particular work is all volunteer effort on my part, so no value to assign for my time.

    As far as the business case goes, I estimate that cleaning the belts frequently is giving me at least 5x belt life. Belts (648) cost me $12, the cleaning sticks are about $9, and for discussion purposes, let's say I use 1 cleaning stick to get me those 4 additional belt lifes. Pretty easy math to see there's a benefit to cleaning the belts. It takes me less than a minute to give the belt a thorough cleaning, so I'm not losing any appreciable productivity.

    But my original post was to find a denser cleaning stick like I used to have to give me better economics since this is all volunteer work. I think the denser stick also cleaned faster.
    Brian

    "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger or more complicated...it takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." - E.F. Schumacher

  8. #8
    never used a cleaning stick but ive likely used one wallabee if not I used up one up and this is the second one. The rubber on these things is sticky like crazy. I dont know why I tried one of these but they work great.

    P1620484A.jpg

  9. #9
    Mine came from Industrial Abrasives.

    I find it useful for resinous woods. With the domestic hardwoods I use, by the time the belt is loaded it often is also dull and needs changed. Sometimes one or two cleanings are worth it, depending on the wood. Doesn't take long, but running a dull belt certainly does.
    Last edited by Kevin Jenness; 12-07-2021 at 7:21 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Ouray Colorado
    Posts
    1,175
    The high pressure car wash works well for cleaning cloth belts gummed up with pitch. Especially wide belts. When the belts are dull from running hardwood they are shot and need replacement.

  11. #11
    Joe, do you use any cleaning agent, or just high pressure hot water?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Ouray Colorado
    Posts
    1,175
    Kevin, just hot water with soap at the car wash then rinse. I have a cold water pressure washer at home but have not tried that on belts.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Ouray Colorado
    Posts
    1,175
    I hang the belts on the clips that hold floor mats.

  14. #14
    Simple green works amazingly for cleaning any sanding discs or belts. Even burnt-on gunk just falls off. Takes a little more work, but if you want a 100% thorough clean, it's the way to go.

  15. #15
    Kindt- Collins, pitch solvent.

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