Time to purchase small wet belt sander - need your input

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Time to purchase small wet belt sander - need your input

Postby tbach » Wed Jun 13, 2012 5:44 pm

My glasswork has gotten to the level that has me thinking more about coldwork. I believe that I need to get a Wet Belt Sander, and any feedback would be most appreciated.

It needs to be small - my studio does not have room for large belt sander, so I'm thinking "tabletop" would be just right.

I have seen the Griffin online, and I have read both positive and negative comments about it.
Came across the Glastar B15 that has a 2in. wet belt AND a polishing/grinding wheel on one unit. Have not searched for comments yet.

It seems to me that I would use the belt sander a lot more than I would use a lap grinder/sander . . . but not sure. What do you think?

Or am I better off to stick with Diamond pads and good, old fashioned elbow-grease?
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Re: Time to purchase small wet belt sander - need your input

Postby bob proulx » Wed Jun 13, 2012 5:55 pm

Check out the Covingtons on the link below, these are nice small units. I have a bigger unit now but I had a Gryphon table top and would recommend you stay away from Gryphon, I had problems from day one, service sucked and they never took care of their problem. I have talked to many other fusers who are not happy with the Gryphon.

http://www.covington-engineering.com/belt_sanders.htm

Bob
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Re: Time to purchase small wet belt sander - need your input

Postby DonMcClennen » Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:54 pm

If your studio is a finished room inside your house, then that is not the place for a wet belt sander.....too messy. Depending on your circumstances you could maybe plan on having it in a garage or out building..then you could get the big one which is much more versatile. Just my 2 cents. :D
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Re: Time to purchase small wet belt sander - need your input

Postby Mary Lou » Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:24 am

I've got a floor model WBS with wheels on it, in my garage. Easy to roll outside and wash off after every use. I considered the table top size but decided if I wanted to work with larger and heavier pieces the features of the floor model would suit me better. Up to that time I was using a Lortone combination machine which did the job on small pieces but severely limited me on anything over 14 inches. I am really happy with the floor model. My 2 cents too.
ps. I kept the Lortone in the garage as well, wet sanding is a messy job, especially water on the floor when you get to the finer grits.
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Re: Time to purchase small wet belt sander - need your input

Postby Bert Weiss » Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:59 am

I buck the trend and use a small, hand held, dry belt sander.
http://www.crlaurence.com/crlapps/showline/offerpage.aspx?Productid=47079&GroupID=40581&History=39324:111:40566:40569&ModelID=40581

I have the tabletop Covington 24" wetbelt sander. I rarely choose to use it.
Bert

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Re: Time to purchase small wet belt sander - need your input

Postby Rick Wilton » Thu Jun 14, 2012 11:35 am

Like Bert said, the hand helds are a great inexpensive tool. You can achieve a complete polish with them also.

I will sometimes put a water drip line (smal amount off water) on the area I'm polishing to keep heat and dust down. They also make a polishing oil to spray on the belts, works good also.

http://www.crlaurence.com/crlapps/showl ... elID=13754
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Re: Time to purchase small wet belt sander - need your input

Postby DonMcClennen » Thu Jun 14, 2012 7:53 pm

I don't know what type or size of work your planning but a "dry", hand held grinder suggested above would not come close to providing the precise, quality work I can do with my WBS!! Don't cheap out with your tools!...it will show in your end products.
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Re: Time to purchase small wet belt sander - need your input

Postby Rick Wilton » Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:31 pm

Don,

I have a 4x106 sander a couple of 1" x 30" a 4"x 36" and the hand held machine we mentioned. The absolutely least used one of the bunch is the "professional" 4 x 106. I can achieve an optical polish with my hand held very easily. I been in many professional glass shops that use these for many uses, these are glass shops that have polishing equipment that costs over $100,000 and they'll use the $100.00 hand sander to finish off a rounded corner or polish a mitered edge.
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Re: Time to purchase small wet belt sander - need your input

Postby Bert Weiss » Thu Jun 14, 2012 9:50 pm

Rick Wilton wrote:Don,

I have a 4x106 sander a couple of 1" x 30" a 4"x 36" and the hand held machine we mentioned. The absolutely least used one of the bunch is the "professional" 4 x 106. I can achieve an optical polish with my hand held very easily. I been in many professional glass shops that use these for many uses, these are glass shops that have polishing equipment that costs over $100,000 and they'll use the $100.00 hand sander to finish off a rounded corner or polish a mitered edge.
Where is the like button?

Since my work tends to be large, I prefer bringing the sander to the glass instead of vice versa. My dry belt sander is one of the most used tools in my shop. I sand each sharp edge of every piece of glass I cut. Because there is no water, cleanup is really easy. The big deal is that I don't cut my fingers during cleanup.

When I need a grind and polish, I start with 120, go to 220, and then 400. After 400. fire polish works perfectly. The sander has a roller platen that I prefer to use. Mostly I work dry. Yes you can over heat, but you have to work at it. If I am worried, I grab the bottle of glass cleaner and give it a schpritz. Either that or move on and come back after it cools down a bit. The belts are designed for both wet and dry sanding.

I would like a wet diamond angle grinder for the larger areas. However my belts are 1-1/8" wide, and most of my work is within that range.

I got my first one of these when I bought out a whole set of tools from a mirror shop that went out of business, sheet dolly, suction cups, belt sander etc. I finally wore out the Makita. I replaced it with CRL's cheap Chinese knock off. It is a lot less expensive than the Makita and you get what you pay for. You will find this tool in most neighborhood glass shops, and like Rick said, they also have a 4 x 106 wet belt.
Bert

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Re: Time to purchase small wet belt sander - need your input

Postby Brock » Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:39 pm

Rick Wilton wrote:Don,

I have a 4x106 sander a couple of 1" x 30" a 4"x 36" and the hand held machine we mentioned. The absolutely least used one of the bunch is the "professional" 4 x 106. I can achieve an optical polish with my hand held very easily. I been in many professional glass shops that use these for many uses, these are glass shops that have polishing equipment that costs over $100,000 and they'll use the $100.00 hand sander to finish off a rounded corner or polish a mitered edge.


I know they are handy for arrissing large pieces, but can you do a small plate or bowl?
Most people here are not edging large pieces of float glass, they want to grind and polish smaller work.
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Re: Time to purchase small wet belt sander - need your input

Postby Rick Wilton » Fri Jun 15, 2012 12:20 am

Yes you can, no it's not the ideal tool for it, but it does work. I clamp a piece to my bench and use the hand held when appropriate. I don't have to use it for that much anymore but did often in the past.

Yes a real WBS is better but for those with lack of space and or cash it's very useful.
Rick Wilton
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Re: Time to purchase small wet belt sander - need your input

Postby The Hobbyist » Fri Jun 15, 2012 1:59 pm

The medium size Covington WBS (41 1/2" belt) worked great for me for many years until I had the room and could afford a large CRL 106" machine. I still have the Covington and use it occassionally.

I agree with Brock. I can't visualize taking the machine to the work for the things I make; sushi plates, bowls, platters, etc. Using a hand held grinder dry sounds unhealthy and wet sounds very messy.

Jim
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Re: Time to purchase small wet belt sander - need your input

Postby Chelseaglass » Sun Jun 17, 2012 12:40 pm

Where does an angle grinder come into play? I saw one described for use in coldworking on "Glasscampus.com". The picture with the text was of a MK machine with a water supply hose attatched and the statement that it could be used on flat surfaces.....??
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Re: Time to purchase small wet belt sander - need your input

Postby Brock » Sun Jun 17, 2012 12:47 pm

That's exactly right, they are for flat surfaces, not edging. Here is a good supplier:

http://www.calibrestonetools.com/
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Re: Time to purchase small wet belt sander - need your input

Postby Jerrwel » Sun Jun 17, 2012 5:08 pm

bob proulx wrote:Check out the Covingtons on the link below, these are nice small units. I have a bigger unit now but I had a Gryphon table top and would recommend you stay away from Gryphon, I had problems from day one, service sucked and they never took care of their problem. I have talked to many other fusers who are not happy with the Gryphon.

http://www.covington-engineering.com/belt_sanders.htm

Bob


Agree with staying away from 'crafters' tools; wish I had the money back spent on the Gemini Apollo ring saw and accessories!

I have the Covington 464WBS which is their basic vertical WBS. Nothing better for what it's designed to do; however, have been considering whether the horizontal 460WBS might be good too; would appreciate feedback on this.

Also find the use of oil rather than water interesting. It would seem that oil could be used with a WBS as effectively as with a dry sander or angle grinder. Would appreciate insight on this issue too.
Jerry
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Re: Time to purchase small wet belt sander - need your input

Postby Bert Weiss » Sun Jun 17, 2012 5:27 pm

Once upon a time, there were not glass fabricating shops with 5 and 6 figure glass polishing machines, in every region. There were neighborhood glass shops with a 4 x 106 wetbelt and either a 3 x 24 dry belt or an 1-1/8" x 21" dry belt (or both). They would run through the belts, stopping at either 400 or cork, and give the belt a spray with the polishing oil, and give it the final pass by (without running water). This yields a nice matte finish. They rarely had a felt wheel to bring it to high polish. We are talking about edging table tops, shelves, mirrors, etc.

Today, you just order it and it comes through with a high polish. (unless they only bother to matte polish, which has certainly happened to me when I least expected it)
Bert

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Re: Time to purchase small wet belt sander - need your input

Postby andy o » Sat May 11, 2013 4:27 pm

Hi,

I have also been thinking of buying the small Covington WBS, but shipping it to the UK and paying 20% tax, pushes the cost up past $900. So I was interested to read that you can get good results from a dry hand held sander. If a hand held dry sander works well, can you also get good results from using a dry table mounted 4" x 36" belt sander?

thanks

Andrew Openshaw
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Re: Time to purchase small wet belt sander - need your input

Postby Stephen Richard » Sun May 12, 2013 1:12 am

andy o wrote:Hi,

I have also been thinking of buying the small Covington WBS, but shipping it to the UK and paying 20% tax, pushes the cost up past $900. So I was interested to read that you can get good results from a dry hand held sander. If a hand held dry sander works well, can you also get good results from using a dry table mounted 4" x 36" belt sander?

thanks

Andrew Openshaw



Andrew,
There is a distributor of Covington machines in Cumbria. This may reduce costs a bit.
Steve Richard
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Re: Time to purchase small wet belt sander - need your input

Postby andy o » Mon May 13, 2013 3:00 pm

Stephen,

Thanks for the reply, so you have a company name for the Covington supplier based in Cumbria?

I can't find them using Google.

Thanks

Andrew
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Re: Time to purchase small wet belt sander - need your input

Postby Stephen Richard » Mon May 13, 2013 3:19 pm

Andrew,
I can't find them either, so I have written to the company asking.
I might be interested in becoming a distributor myself, if there are now none in the UK.
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