Bee Wet Belt Sander refurbishing - WarmGlass.com

Bee Wet Belt Sander refurbishing

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Marian
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2004 5:37 pm
Location: Big Island Hawaii
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Bee Wet Belt Sander refurbishing

Postby Marian » Fri Feb 20, 2015 6:36 am

My Bee sander is in need of recrowning the upper wheel which is pretty flat. How hard is this to do? Any tips for getting it off and who would do the resurfacing? I'm not mechanically handy, would an auto mechanic know about how to do this?
The belts are starting to wander when they are used for 20 minutes and get softer, my guess anyway. My machine is at least 6 years old and is used every day.

Kevin Midgley
Posts: 713
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2003 11:36 am
Location: Tofino, British Columbia, Canada

Re: Bee Wet Belt Sander refurbishing

Postby Kevin Midgley » Fri Feb 20, 2015 3:32 pm

Any of these belt sanding machines need periodic maintenance. I don't think the machining for a Bee top roller would be that difficult for a machinist to do but are you sure you need it doing?
It is more likely that the pressure spring up there has rusted out. Wearing gloves, with the belt removed you should be able to feel around up there and see if it has broken. this is where the fun begins for you have to remove everything up there to replace the spring. Check your owner's manual. If you didn't before you started to use your machine, back out every screw and bolt, coat them with Neverseize copper compound before reinstalling each one and cover that spring in grease, well now you will pay for that error. While you have the upper assembly open you may as well replace the upper bearing which has been specially made with specially made for BEE hardened steel. If it is rumbly on rotation it needs replacement. You need a press to take the old bearing out and to install the new one. You or a machine shop will figure it out.
Be sure to coat the spring with big glops of heavy grease to slow the rusting.
I've replaced bearings more than once, a spring once, but I've never had to re-crown the top roller.
One thing for sure, you will curse on the first reassembly of the bearing and pressure lever. There's a 'trick' to it I cannot explain and you finally get the aha moment.

If the spring is still good, the bearing not rumbly and noisy on rotation, disassembly is not required and perhaps the crown does need restoring. The quickest way although not the best is to wrap the top roller in the center with duct tape.
Always always always take the tension off the belt when not in use and open the belt door to allow the area to dry out.
Order parts direct from Bee. Simpler and you'll pay 20% less than in paying for it in US dollars.
You may as well order a replacement bearing for the platten roller if it is rumbly and have it replaced at the same time if you are going to the machine shop for one, the charge for doing the 2 will be about the same. I've never had to replace the bottom bearing. I'd also order spare bearings for the next time you want to grind quietly and save your hearing. I do hope you are wearing ear plugs AND ear muffs of superb noise reduction ratings. Your ears will thank you.

Marian
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2004 5:37 pm
Location: Big Island Hawaii
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Re: Bee Wet Belt Sander refurbishing

Postby Marian » Fri Feb 20, 2015 4:15 pm

Thanks Kevin, as always, your comments and advice are greatly valued. I did study my owners manual and see the parts you cited. I am on the Big Island in Hawaii and will start calling and see if a machinist will look at my sander as a house call, hopefully and not have to transport. I will try your first aid recommendation and the copper Neverseize.

Kevin Midgley
Posts: 713
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2003 11:36 am
Location: Tofino, British Columbia, Canada

Re: Bee Wet Belt Sander refurbishing

Postby Kevin Midgley » Fri Feb 20, 2015 5:54 pm

Do the inspection yourself. The only need for a machine shop (unless you devise a method of using a gear puller or somehow pound out the bearing) is for removing the bearings from the wheel or re-crowning it. You will pay machine shop rates for something you can unbolt yourself relatively easily. The re-install will have the same issue for the machine shop guy, not difficult once you have the aha moment and it may take him an hour before the aha moment and you'll be paying. Then you'll be shaking your head saying to yourself why was I missing that?
I have not checked on youtube for a spring install. I'm 99% sure it will be the spring. You could also try the several layers of duct tape before calling for assistance if it isn't the spring.
Of course if you are making so much money by making your glass, by all means call in the shop guys. They might show up in a couple of days and you could check the spring out in under 15 minutes including the installing of duct tape, which by the way is a common thing to do with these machines as they get older. It works so why not.

Marian
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2004 5:37 pm
Location: Big Island Hawaii
Contact:

Re: Bee Wet Belt Sander refurbishing

Postby Marian » Fri Feb 20, 2015 7:52 pm

I put on the duct tape already, works great! New belt, too, and I brushed off the upper assembly, I'll rinse it off real good after this session and take a look with the flashlight. The machine is not especially loud so I'm hoping the bearings are in good shape still. Funny about the belts, some are very snug, others not so. The tolerances from one to another may not be as exact as I would like to think even in the same manufacturer.
I had a big problem with the water emitters last year. I must have fiddled and changed it 3 times. It took a lot of disassemblies to realize the emitter screwed off from the front. I was taking it out the back of the machine- the hard way. I have a good one on now, it will probably work for years like the first one did. If anyone is tempted to think you can just blast through the little hole, don't- it has a spinner in there- use a hex inside of it and take it apart to see what is wrong.

Kevin Midgley
Posts: 713
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2003 11:36 am
Location: Tofino, British Columbia, Canada

Re: Bee Wet Belt Sander refurbishing

Postby Kevin Midgley » Fri Feb 20, 2015 9:48 pm

Now not having ever had problems with the water sprayer other than a dead solenoid once, I've never had to take one apart.
Nothing like duct tape to solve a problem cheaply.
Belts can stretch if you forget to release them and allow them to dry tight on the machine.

Marty
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Location: Maine
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Re: Bee Wet Belt Sander refurbishing

Postby Marty » Fri Feb 20, 2015 11:23 pm

Brass wire brush on the water nozzle to get the gunk off.
Had to change the lower bearing once when it got real noisy- it was a PITA but doable.
Do whatever Kevin says. I'm sorry I didn't but I will on the next one.

Kevin Midgley
Posts: 713
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2003 11:36 am
Location: Tofino, British Columbia, Canada

Re: Bee Wet Belt Sander refurbishing

Postby Kevin Midgley » Sat Feb 21, 2015 1:43 pm

So Marty was cursing and swearing on a stack of Bee operating manuals that you'll never again leave the tension on the belt the important thing to do while changing that bottom bearing or were there any other tricks you could remember for those of us lacking that life 'changing' experience? :lol: I'm hoping I never have to do that one.

Marty
Posts: 853
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2003 3:58 pm
Location: Maine
Contact:

Re: Bee Wet Belt Sander refurbishing

Postby Marty » Sat Feb 21, 2015 8:44 pm

It was a while back and all I remember is that it wasn't fun. I did have to borrow a gear puller.
The return to quiet running after reassembly made it all worthwhile.

Marian
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2004 5:37 pm
Location: Big Island Hawaii
Contact:

Re: Bee Wet Belt Sander refurbishing

Postby Marian » Sun Feb 22, 2015 3:57 am

The duct tape works amazingly well. no wandering belts, runs pretty quiet, too. Thanks again Kevin, Marty , your admonishment well taken. I have been mostly religious to take off the tension, thanks for way earlier advice from you guys.


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