Repairing a Wide Belt Platen

If damaged, the graphite and felt pad on a wide-belt sander can be repaired with generic materials. March 27, 2012

I have a SCM Uno 37 inch wide belt. The graphite has a groove worn into it that has penetrated into the pad that is between the graphite and the aluminum slide. SCM has none in stock and a minimum 30 day delivery from Italy. It is also $630, as it comes as a complete unit. Is there an aftermarket pad that would be available for this widebelt?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor B:
I don't know how bad the groove in the pad is, but perhaps it can be filled. I bought graphite sheet from my sanding belt supplier, contact-cemented a strip to the pad, and it's worked fine (25" SCMI). It would seem like somebody can provide thick felt for redoing the pad - $630 and 30-days' downtime is outrageous!

From contributor U:
McMaster Carr has felt in lots of thicknesses.

From contributor C:
You can buy thick felt anywhere - look online. The graphite on canvas is available from Process Engineering. If you have a calibration head on your sander, you can calibrate the felt after it's glued on the flexible platen (assuming the back is flat). If you can, you should do this anyway for the best finish, prior to gluing the graphite to it. You can even calibrate the graphite if you have an accurate calibration head.

From contributor J:
I would measure the thickness of your existing felt. You can pull it off the steel plate and clean all the remaining glue/tape off with acetone from your mounting plate. Once it is clean, you can use 3M contact adhesive spray on the felt and plate to reassemble. Then you can also glue the new graphite to your felt. Once the graphite is glued, I would trim it down to the size it was before in relation to the felt. It is also usually a good idea to let the graphite touch the ground on the mounting plate. This will help remove static electricity from your graphite. This is to avoid any sawdust buildup on the graphite.

From the original questioner:
Thanks to everyone for your help. I have owned this machine for 2 years and just got it up and running. It is a mid 80's model. It needed new oilite bearings in the pressure rollers. Other than that it works like a charm, other than the groove worn in the platen. Paid to have a maintenance mechanic familiar with this machine give it the once over, which was one of my better decisions.