By Curtis Hicks, Uneeda Corp.
Uneeda wanted to give everybody a little bit of education on how to store paper wide sanding belts. I’m actually going to show you some pictures that I recently took at a customer’s place, and what you have here is a paper wide belt and as you can see, they have it sitting on the floor.
It’s not a good way at all to store a wide belt, especially a paper one, because what happens is this paper basically acts like a sponge. What’s going on here is this end of the wide belt is just sucking up water just like a sponge would. It’s going to definitely absorb more water than the other end of the belt will, so what will happen is when you put that belt on the machine, that side gets swollen, and it makes it more difficult for the belt to trap-to-track.
So, the next best solution is to hang your belts. Basically you use three or four inch PVC pipes. At this shop they built a hanging rack out of PVC. That’s a much better situation. It gets the belt off the floor. This will definitely help your belts track better if you hang them this way before you put them on the machine.
You’ll notice in the video, when the belts were first hung up, one wide belt was rubbing against another. That’s another big problem with wide belts: you do not want grain rubbing against grain because what will happen is, you’re likely to fracture some of that grain. And then you’ll end up getting raised lines when you run the belt, because some of the grains would have broken off.
The absolute most perfect way to store your wide belts is to hang them on a rack built out of PVC – three- or four-inch PVC – and what’s really good about this approach is these PVC pipes are typically are about the size of your idler rollers.
Don’t stand sanding belts on edge.
The very best way to store them is to go get some PVC—just cut some PVC pipe—and simply lay them inside the wide belt. It does not hurt the wide belts at all, and it has a lot of benefits. For instance, as you can see now, the grain on this belt is not touching the grain on that belt, and that’s a great improvement. In the example in the video, these pipes were very freshly put in. But as the day goes on, these belts are really going to straighten out and conform to that PVC pipe, so that when you do pull the belt to put on the machine it slides in real easy.