October 30, 2014
What do those arrows mean on the back of my sanding belt?
When sanding with a belt sander, you always want to make sure your belt is
oriented properly. Some sanding belts do have a preferred direction, and they
have been manufactured to consider the arrow on the inside. These arrows,
however, are only important to pay attention to when your belts have an
overlapped joint and there is a “bump” to be concerned with. In that case, you
will want the arrows on the inside of the belt to follow the same direction that
the belt is running on the sander. Most belts made in the United States---and all
of the sanding belts we convert at abrasiveresource.com -- are now manufactured with a high strength tape butt joint, and belts made with these butt joints can be
run in either direction . . . so it's OK to ignore the arrows. The tape spliced joints are bi-directional.
Bi-directional belts can be installed either way. The only adjustment you’ll probably have to make is “tracking” to keep the belt centered on the rollers. Hold the sander up, turn it on, and see if the belt either rubs against the housing or starts working its way off the rollers. With the trigger on, adjust the tracking knob until the belt is centered on the rollers. You may have to make a slight adjustment when the sander is on your work piece. If your sander has automatic tracking, you won’t need to be concerned with manually adjusting the tracking.