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Thread: Belt Sander platens

  1. #1

    Belt Sander platens

    I have a Porter Cable 3 x21 belt sander I use for preparing glued up panels. I've noted that the platen gets extremely hot and seems to affect the joint tape on sanding belts shortening life.

    Has any one replaced their factory belt sander platen with one of the aftermarket ones that are supposed to reduce friction?

    If so which ones are good ones and which should be avoided.

    Where did you find them?

    I've seen some Graphite platens, bout wonder if the graphite would leave graphite dust residue on the boards that would be difficult to remove.
    Lee Schierer - McKean, PA

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  2. #2
    Join Date
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    I have used an adhesive back graphite pad on the factory platen and it worked great. No noticeable residue and no ill effects discovered during the finishing process.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    I only used mine (a 4x24) to do a floor, but I did notice that changing to the PC graphite platen reduced heat a lot. It also had a lot less influence on the bottom, though, so if you like to ride the platen and you like the rigidity, it's definitely a different feel IIRC.
    Unleaded tastes a little tangy, supreme is kinda sour, and diesel tastes pretty good.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Todd Burch View Post
    I have used an adhesive back graphite pad on the factory platen and it worked great. No noticeable residue and no ill effects discovered during the finishing process.
    That sounds like a better idea than total replacement.
    Unleaded tastes a little tangy, supreme is kinda sour, and diesel tastes pretty good.

  5. #5
    I've used the cloth backed graphite on special shop made curved wooden platens ,but not to replace the standard cork and metal platen. Long time ago all the shops around here used it on the edge sanders and disk sanders,now I see them just running the belts directly on the steel. The graphite is definitely better in that application.

  6. #6
    I do what Todd does. A small roll of 6" wide material has lasted me a long time. I still have most of it.
    “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” -- George Orwell


  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Magnolia, Texas
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    I have to ask but how hard are you pushing down on the sander? Also what grit belt are you using? I've never had a problem with them getting that hot unless your really working it hard with lots of pressure or a combination of pressure and too fine of a belt.

    I use 80 grit for panel prep after glue up and I only use the weight of the sander to do thw work. My hands are only there to guide the sander and never to apply any pressure. Been doing it this way since the early 80's without a single problem.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Peoria, IL
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    I'm with Alan. If you are making that kind of heat, that will melt the tape, you need to change some habits and change the belt more often. Age is the only thing that kills the tape for me. I've been doing more turning than furniture making for the last few years, and all the belts are ruined from age.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Bienlein View Post
    I have to ask but how hard are you pushing down on the sander? Also what grit belt are you using? I've never had a problem with them getting that hot unless your really working it hard with lots of pressure or a combination of pressure and too fine of a belt.

    I use 80 grit for panel prep after glue up and I only use the weight of the sander to do thw work. My hands are only there to guide the sander and never to apply any pressure. Been doing it this way since the early 80's without a single problem.
    I just let the weight of the sander do the work. Still the front roller and the platen get too hot to touch. I just wonder if graphite runs cooler.
    Lee Schierer - McKean, PA

    My advice, comments and suggestions are free, but it costs money to run the site. If you found something of value here please give a little something back by becoming a contributor! Contribute

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