George Vondriska

How to Clean Sanding Belts

George Vondriska
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Duration:   3  mins

Want to get more life out of your sandpaper? If you’ve been wondering how to clean sanding belts, the good news is, it’s easy. All you need is an abrasive cleaning stick.

Especially important on drum sanders

Of course we want to get more life out of every piece of sandpaper we use in the shop, but this is especially important on drum sanders, for a handful of reasons. Good-quality paper for drum sanders ain’t cheap, so it makes sense to get as much mileage out of it as possible. In addition to the cost of the paper, you may be custom-cutting rolls of abrasive to fit your sander. That means you’re investing money, and your time, to keep sandpaper on your machine. A little preemptive cleaning will go a long way toward keep your sandpaper cutting. Clean sandpaper is going to cut better—with less chance of burning your material—than clogged paper.

How to clean sanding belts

The simplest approach is to grab the abrasive cleaning stick and run it across the drum. Want to distance yourself a little from the action? No problem. We show you how to make a drum sander cleaning “wand” for just that purpose.

Drum sanders are great

A drum sander is a wonderful tool to have in the shop. It can save you A LOT of time sanding, and give you better results than a hand-held sander. There are a ton of benefits of a surface sander. In order for a drum sander to work correctly, the abrasive has to be put on it correctly. On many machines, this is done by wrapping the paper on the drum. This can be a little tricky. Here are tips on how to wrap sandpaper on a surface sander.

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4 Responses to “How to Clean Sanding Belts”

  1. Rev. Andy Levine

    I've used this for several years, great on all types of sandpaper, not just the cloth backed abrasives.

  2. Greg Just

    I’m a segmented woodturner and my belts get gummed up with glue. The abrasive cleaning stick won’t remove glue so I learned that if you soak the belt in a 50/50 mix with water and Simple Green will soften the glue and after 24-48 hours the glue comes off. Sometimes I use a brush to help clean the sand paper

  3. Edgar Sims

    You should also mention that you should not touch the cleaning stick as it gets real hot and will stick to your hide and burn and hurt.

  4. Ed Sanders (no joke)

    An inexpensive alternative to the crepe bar, is to use the crepe sole off of an old shoe. You get more mileage from your old shoes.

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