Wide belt sanders for moulding

Can the same finish quality be attained with a wide belt sander as with a random orbit sander? April 25, 2001

We manufacture flat mouldings out of hardwood. These are milled with a moulder, then sanded with Dynabrade sanders using 150-180 grit. We spray finish. I would like to use a wide belt sander to increase production. Is it possible to sand these mouldings with a wide belt (one or two head) at 180 grit and get the same or better quality than I am with random orbitals? Can I start finishing these mouldings from the wide belt sander?

Forum Responses
If you purchase a quality machine, yes. The more belts, the better. A friend of mine sends his stock through his moulder (SCMI) right into his wide belt, 150 grit. Then it goes into his spray room, where he lays down a nice pre-cat. His stuff looks excellent, but he buys nothing but the best knives and belts and keeps his equipment tuned.

It'll work great as long as you're only making flat moulding. We have a Makor profile sander. You shape the wheels to match the profile and sand away. Works great.

From a finishing standpoint, the grit on a wide belt is different from that on a random. 100 on a wide belt is about 80 grit on a random; 180 on a wide belt is about 150 on a random. This comes into play when the cabinet shop tells us that they sanded up to 180, we stain the wood expecting it to have the same porosity that a random would give the surface and the stain color comes out darker.