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Thread: Do you leave sanding belts on?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
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    Do you leave sanding belts on?

    I have a pre Grizzly 6"x48" belt/12" disc 2hp combo sander that I have had for years. I have always taken the large belt off when done with a project to keep it from stretching, I guess. Kind of like detensioning a BS blade. I am now doing more woodworking now that I have fully retired and its a real pain to keep having to unscrew the side and take off and on the belt now that I use it more. What do you all do? Will it hurt to just leave it on tensioned? Maybe the worse case is that it will stretch the belt and it fails some day? Randy

  2. #2
    I leave the belt on, under tension, and never had a problem.

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Henderson View Post
    I leave the belt on, under tension, and never had a problem.

    Mike
    Same here. I've worked in many shops with belt sanders, I don't recall anyone ever backing off the belt.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
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    I think it depends on how often you use it. I left a belt on mine (I have the same Grizzly machine you do) for two years in storage and it definitely warped the belt. I couldn't get it to track straight and, when I took it off, one side of the belt clearly had a greater diameter than the other. If I used it somewhat regularly I'd leave it on.
    Brian Evans

    "Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society." - Mark Twain

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    I've never seen belts or band saw blades de-tensioned in industry< and I do the same thing at home..........Rod.

  6. #6
    My widebelt sander lets the tension off when I turn off the air. My edge sander, I take the pressure off, belts are just taped now, not overlapped and glued.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    I only take the tension off on my 6 x 89 edge sander to change belts.

  8. #8
    I leave 'em on. I have also gotten lazy about de-tensioning my bandsaw but, no ill effects from either. Of course, I am out there several times a week so . . .
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Henderson View Post
    I leave the belt on, under tension, and never had a problem.

    Mike
    Same here as well.
    Thanks & Happy Wood Chips,
    Dennis -
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    I don't think I have ever heard of anyone removing or releasing tension on a belt sander. I have two and they seem to do fine without it. mine have a tension spring that takes up the slack if the belt stretches a little.

  11. #11
    I don't. The only belts I take the tension off on is the widebelt, that's just part of my ritual, there's no reason for it.

  12. #12
    We always turned off tension,and in commercial shops the belts will sometimes "run bumpy" after being tentioned while still. Especially in cold weather ,but the private shops are usually well heated.

  13. #13
    Have 4" x 72" edge/radius sander.
    I only take the belt off if I have to change it.
    Never slack the tension.
    The worst demon for a belt is humidity.
    Dry the belt out & it'll cup like hell.
    In high humidity it stays flat. And the abrasion is more aggressive in high humidity.
    Here in inland San Diego, the RH can vary from 5-80+% in one day.
    At 5-20% RH I can't sand. The belt is so cupped I can't flatten it with the work.

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