Roughing Up a Wide-Belt Feed Mat

Tips on how to roughen the surface of the feed mat on a 2-head widebelt sander to keep parts from slipping as they're fed in. February 12, 2010

We have a SCM 2 head wide belt sander with the gray waffle style feed mat. The mat is slippery and some of our parts get stuck in the machine. We were going to raise the bed up into some 60 grit paper to rough it up, but the bed won't go high enough. Has anyone else had this problem or know the solution?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor P:
If this is an older machine you should check the pressure rollers or shoes according to which it is equipped with. Make sure the springs are not broke and the rollers are dropping below (with pressure) the line of the drums and or platen. Call SCM, you may can change the springs to a heavier set.

From contributor J:
It will not go all the way up with the power lift, but you can keep raising it with the fine tune/ hand crank usually located under the belt. Just do it slowly when you are close to 0.0, or you will sand too much of your belt.

From the original questioner:
Could you explain the fine tune hand crank further? I see 1 3" diameter knob on the front of the machine under the bed, but that is it.

From contributor J:
That's it. That is the fine tune dial. Three full revolutions in the counter clockwise direction will be equal to .01 inches. Aways turn counterclockwise, raising the table. Never turn clockwise (I don't know why). Usually the auto raise cuts out around .14 inches, so you will have to turn that dial about 40 revolutions to get to 0.0, but that should do it.

From contributor G:
If you can't raise the table up far enough you can use a random orbit sander on it. Run the conveyor belt as you sand. It takes a little longer but it does work.

From contributor R:
Take off the cover under the side where you change belts. There is a limit switch there that you can just loosen. Depending on where it is set, you might damage it by running the table up manually. But once you are ready to resurface the feed mat, draw a few lines side-to-side with a marker so that you can more easily tell when the entire surface has been hit by the 60 grit. Go slow!

From contributor P:
I had the same belt on my SCM; roughing it up didn't help. Replacing it with a lace-together rubber belt did. It's been fine ever since - seven years and counting.