Belt sander or disc sander - or both?

   / Belt sander or disc sander - or both? #1  

jim_wilson

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I put this in the welding forum because I would be using the sander(s) - for prep and cleanup work on steel welding projects.

I'm slowly outfitting my shop to get some "real" work done. The goal is to (hopefully) - have a well outfitted shop I can use to maybe support a small business or retirement type business. I've been building up my equipment roster , got a Miller 350P, a Stronghand welding table, a good sized blasting cabinet, 7.5HP compressor , just bought a mag drill, would like to get a CNC plasma table - etc.

At the moment any sanding I've had to do - I've done with a 4 1/2 grinder with a sanding disc attached.

There seems to be a huge range of options out there for sanders - from combined disc and belt sanders , to large 15" or 20" diameter disc sanders and 4 to 6" wide belt sanders.

For doing steel prep and cleanup work - which one is the better option? Does it mattter - is it just a personal preference thing?
 
   / Belt sander or disc sander - or both? #2  

Mysfyt

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I had a small 'combo' one for a while and sold it for a larger disc sander. Both have their place, but I found myself using the disc sander way more than the flat belt. I like the disc for squaring up edges.
 
   / Belt sander or disc sander - or both?
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jim_wilson

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I had a small 'combo' one for a while and sold it for a larger disc sander. Both have their place, but I found myself using the disc sander way more than the flat belt. I like the disc for squaring up edges.

Right now I have nothing. I already know that one of the smaller combo type units isn't going to cut it. I need to do exactly what you're saying: squaring up tube ends and stuff like that. I've been working with stuff like 2"x4" rectangular tube (and in a few cases larger) - one of the small combo unit's isn't going to cut it.

What I'm debating myself on is something like this:

xdisc-grinder-dg500.jpg.pagespeed.ic.a9n1FQspJF.jpg


vs. something like this:

G-75061002_image.detail.jpg
 
   / Belt sander or disc sander - or both? #4  

JCByrd24

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You're looking at the right type of machine for steel work. I don't recall seeing a combo unit designed for steel vice wood. I have the multitool 2x36" belt grinder attachment on a rugged 8" bench grinder and it's a great tool but certainly not in the class of either that you posted. 2x72" belt units are very popular among fabricators but a big old disc like that with an adjustable table I would see to have great advantages as well. No sliding of the belt across the platen to cause heat, larger working area, especially for squaring/making straight edges.
 
   / Belt sander or disc sander - or both? #5  

ruffdog

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Worked in a large fab shop with 60 people and the large disk sanders were the most used. They are quiet, durable, run cooler, don't worry about belt running straight, and easy to change pads.
 
   / Belt sander or disc sander - or both? #6  

Sodo

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I have the combo belt+disc. And the angle grinder/sander too. I like it for squaring up too. Real handy tool and and not expensive I think mine was about $125. Mine is horizontal, I'd get the vertical one next time. Something like this.

000999420001lg.jpg
 
   / Belt sander or disc sander - or both? #7  

Big Barn

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Right now I have nothing. I already know that one of the smaller combo type units isn't going to cut it. I need to do exactly what you're saying: squaring up tube ends and stuff like that. I've been working with stuff like 2"x4" rectangular tube (and in a few cases larger) - one of the small combo unit's isn't going to cut it.

What I'm debating myself on is something like this:

xdisc-grinder-dg500.jpg.pagespeed.ic.a9n1FQspJF.jpg


vs. something like this:

G-75061002_image.detail.jpg

Jim, ideally you would have BOTH of the machines you posted pics of.

Combination machines (IMHO) should be called "compromise " machines.

Here's the Kalamazoo I have in my "same old grind" station:

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1455473076.110505.jpg

It works fine, (has a vacuum system) but ideally I'd have the two machines (or similar) you posted.

Terry
 
   / Belt sander or disc sander - or both? #8  

PILOON

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I have a bench unit that uses a 6" belt and and a 10" disc.
Also a 12" disc on the outer side of my lathe.
I find that I always go to the disk for general clean up and edge finishing and use the belt for precise work.

Were I to go it again I would not bother with the belt/disc unit but simply have a 12" disk mounted on a stand, or maybe a HD wire brush combined with a disc.
(belt disc unit was a $40. yard find, hard to refuse)
 
   / Belt sander or disc sander - or both? #9  

Jim Timber

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What kind of life are you guys getting out of your disks?

The thing that attracted me to belts initially was the cost of abrasives and their expectation of lifespan. In practice, I haven't been overly impressed with how long any of the belts have held up on the grinders I've used. One hard burr in the splice and you're out $8.
 
   / Belt sander or disc sander - or both? #10  

s219

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I have a cheap belt/disc combo, and find that I will want to use one or the other based on what I am doing at the moment. Sometimes one feels more right than the other.
 
 
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