Platen Hardness and Wide-Belt Sander Performance

Different platens combined with different belt grits can help you fine-tune your sanding results. August 8, 2008

Does anyone have experience with the SCMI combination head wide belt? I bought mine used but in a pristine condition (demo model.) It came with three platens, hard, semi-hard and soft. I process hardwood lumber glued into panel stock. I imagine the soft and semi-soft platen would be for veneer surfaces but nowhere in their literature does it specify what the different platens would be used for. Does anyone have any experience with platens of different hardness? I would appreciate any advice anyone has to offer.

Forum Responses
(Solid Wood Machining Forum)
From contributor J:
We switched our profile sander to aluminum blocks and cork versus hard rubber and graphite and the results are pretty good. Not sure if this helps but I thought I would throw it in.

From contributor T:
To contributor J: You figure the softness of the cork provided a better finish than hard rubber and graphite? Are you profile sanding typical hardwood panels? I would be interested as the soft platen is very similar to a cork type material.

From contributor J:
Not panels but hardwood moulding. The trick is to keep the pressure just right so we don't round the edges.