June 16, 2006

Abrasive Belt Burning

The Wood Machinery Manufacturers of America have a new e-mail newsletter called "Productivity Tips". It is going to be a series of six e-newsletters dedicated to helping professional woodworkers improve productivity, quality, safety and ultimately, the bottom-line of their businesses. It is presented in a Q & A format and the answers are supplied by resident experts of WMMA companies.

Here's a question that particularly caught our attention:

Q. My abrasive belt is loading up and burning quickly, what am I doing wrong?
A. You're either trying to remove too much stock for the grit of belt you are using, or you are running the feed too fast. Basically, there are three types of belts, including: abrasive planning (grits from 24 through 60), light calibrating belts (grits from 80 through 120) and finishing belts (grits from 150 through 220 or more). Each grit type is designed to remove a specific amount of stock at a certain feed rate.

For instance, a 100-grit belt can remove 0.025 inch on oak at 20 feet per minute. If you push beyond these parameters, the belt will load up and burn your product. A rough guideline is to use abrasive planning belts if your stock removal is 0.060 inch or more, calibrating belts for stock removal from 0.012 inch to 0.050 inch and finishing belts for no more than 0.005 inch stock removal (at around 20 feet per minute).

The expert in this case was Tim Mueller, Marketing Director at Timesavers, Inc.

If you would like more information on the Wood Machinery Manufacturers of America, their website is at www.wmma.org

If you are interested in obtaining high quality sanding belts for woodworking, visit our website at www.abrasiveresource.com

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