Ruined drum sander belt

Earlier tonight I accidentally ruined the drum sander belt — I forgot to use my brain and sanded something with paint on it, and I guess it got gummy and set into the belt. Worse, it looked like a brand new belt. Anyways, I apologize to anyone planning on using it in the very near future, and to whoever bought and replaced the belt last time! I’ll go to woodcraft and grab a new one and a couple spares as soon as I can tomorrow. 120 grit is the one, correct?

Sorry again!

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I think it is a 120 grit. Thanks for getting it. It happens. We all learn from mishaps

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I that sandpaper is messed up almost every time I want to use it. I bought my own rolls and use them for my projects. I left an extra roll in the cabinet. I will frequently leave my role on after my project is over. The most common problem is when someone sands glue. Here are some tips that I have learned.
Even dried glue will melt under the heat and stick to the sandpaper. Try to scrape off as much glue as possible About an hour after it has dried. Then after completely drying, you can remove much of it with a scraper or a planer (either hand or powered). The sander is not meant to remove glue. Use the giant eraser to clean the sandpaper before and after use.
After fully drying, if you send your peace in at an angle, any remaining glue Will not form The tell tale “stripe” caused from rotating over the same spot over and over again. On your next pass, change to the opposite angle. On your final pass you can send it through straight as most of the glue will have been removed. This will also Align your sanding marks with the grain.

FYI The sandpaper is a real pain to change on the right hand side. It must be inserted straight into the slot. You cannot see what’s happening. If there is ANY curl to the sandpaper, it will miss the clamp. I will back curl the end of the sandpaper prior to insertion. I hated this process so much, I bought the tuf tool designed to change the sandpaper with And left it in the cabinet below. It is also tricky to use. Here is a video that shows how to use it. Even the guy in the video is having trouble. But it’s better than using your finger. Note that the tool is not inserted in the slot. Make note of the distance from the slot. You can’t see what you’re doing when you put this in.

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I’ll my 2 cents here as it hasn’t been said. I had this same sander. I had better results sanding with a coarser grit, very light cut, with a higher feed rate. Fred is right about any glue melting and gumming up the belt. Sanding at an angle helps but removing all excess squeeze out is a very good idea.

A hand held belt sander is pretty good at removing a lot of squeeze out you couldn’t get to because you couldn’t get to it under a clamp. It also helps to use a damp rag to remove as much as possible as soon as your glue up it complete.

Finally, a sharp blade is very effective at removing excess glue both while it hasn’t set up yet and later to get into the corners of a glued joint. And then there are scrapers! If you know how to sharpen them they are an EXTREMELY effective tool at removing small bits of wood and glue. They will leave an incredibly smooth surface on the wood when properly sharpened. There are some good videos on YouTube on their use and how to sharpen them. Woodcraft has some for both flat surfaces and curves but I have not mastered the art of sharpening the curved variety.

This is to use both a blade and sander to get the surface you want. A scraper will get a better finished surface than ANY sander - glassy - but it may not be flat. A drum sander can get a surface flat - pretty much.

Get the excess glue off the wood with a belt sander. damp rag or scraper

flatten if desired with the drum sander

finish with a scraper.

I might mention that a scraper will work well with squirrely grain very nicely. It’s not recommended for soft wood.

Thank you @David78737 and @Fmartin for the wisdom. We need a laminated document on the machine with instructions and a qr code to a good youtube video. I think the woodshop class is helping. We also need to add a list of things that can’t be sanded. I have seen other makerspaces restrict pine because of the sap gumming up the sandpaper.

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I have used Drum Sanders for a long while mainly because I hate sanding. From experience, a good all-around utility grit is 80. Is not too rough and also can take some abuse and can be effectively cleaned with the sanding belt cleaner (big eraser). Pine, Plywood, painted lumber, and knotty aromatic red cedar should be a no-no as they can clog the belt rather quick. but they are doable with very light passes and 60 or 80 grit. Steamed Walnut, Padauk, Cocobolo, Yellow Heart, Blood Wood, and Bocote will clog the belt too if you take aggressive passes. Steamed Walnut at times has residual oil around the knots and or voids in the lumber and will put a nice line on the belt, sometimes it can be cleaned if you run soft maple or red oak in between passes. Apitong lumber has a lot of silica and will clog the belt making it unusable. This one you can not see as is transparent what it does it make the grit slide on top of the lumber instead of sanding. Should not be a problem as is not frequent lumber used for projects (trailer deck use). Once you move to 120 grit and above you’re looking more at a finishing sanding and more care should be used on the passes. Meaning that each pass should be less than 1/8" of a turn on the top wheel. When replacing the sanding belt, look at the back if it has arrows, the grit is directional and when installing the belt should be with the direction of the rotation of the drum which is from front to back or away from you. If it doesn’t have arrows you can install it either way. If you’re going to go through different grits on your stock, if you do a good job on the 80 grit (meaning you get your pieces evenly flat, no blemishes) the subsequent grits (120, 150, 180, etc.) should not require more than three passes on each face. You will always have visible straight lines no matter the grit used. Use an orbital sander or hand sanding with the grain to get rid of the lines. It does not require a lot of work though. If you sand across the grain, you are going to hear a loud noise (something like toc, toc, toc), depending on the density of the wood (maple or purple heart) it will overheat the drum and trip the breaker of the machine. It is not designed to sand cross grain. Incidentally, the Drum Sander in there is a workhorse, it takes a lot of beating before it breaks down and it is due to happen, if the roller bushings, conveyor switch, and the spider have not been replaced, more than likely they are going to go bad soon. They are normal wear and tear parts. It looks like the switch has been replaced.