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What type of abrasive belts for steel?

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  • What type of abrasive belts for steel?

    I have been using the abrasive belts made for wood on my old 6" x 48" Delta floor-mounted belt sander to occasionally work steel and iron. They do the job but soon wear out, plus they pretty much ruin a belt for wood.

    I am wondering if there are better belts made for steel and iron that last a long time. Any thoughts from you guys? And where do you buy them?

  • #2
    3M cubitron, Norton Blaze or other ceramic belts from other makes. Zirkonia belt if you want mid-range price/performance

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    • #3
      Originally posted by MattiJ View Post
      3M cubitron, Norton Blaze or other ceramic belts from other makes. Zirkonia belt if you want mid-range price/performance
      ^^^ yes... good belts cost a lot more but are well worth it.
      Mike
      Central Ohio, USA

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      • #4
        The blue Zirconia belts are the best value for your money. We run a couple different brands from
        Europe--can't remember the name offhand but they're very good. We've tried the 3M Cubitron stuff
        in sanding discs, grinding wheels and sanding belts and the extra cost is't worth it--they just don't
        last that much longer. And, as far as I'm concerned, you should stay away from Norton. In 40+ years
        of running our shop I never found a Norton product that I liked or that performed as well as the
        European offerings...
        Keith
        __________________________
        Just one project too many--that's what finally got him...

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        • #5
          Thanks guys! Blue Zirconia belts! I am going to search for them now!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Planeman41 View Post
            Thanks guys! Blue Zirconia belts! I am going to search for them now!
            And if you're going to run the Zirconia belts--which I think is a very wise choice--run 24 or 36 grit if you really want
            to remove some material. Don't mess around with 60 or 80 or 100 grit unless you are truly trying to get a super
            fine finish. A 36 grit belt will soften up pretty quick as the edge wears off the abrasive. We just keep a few of the
            older belts around for those times when we want a finer surface finish...
            Keith
            __________________________
            Just one project too many--that's what finally got him...

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            • #7
              Originally posted by LKeithR View Post
              The blue Zirconia belts are the best value for your money. We run a couple different brands from
              Europe--can't remember the name offhand but they're very good. We've tried the 3M Cubitron stuff
              in sanding discs, grinding wheels and sanding belts and the extra cost is't worth it--they just don't
              last that much longer. And, as far as I'm concerned, you should stay away from Norton. In 40+ years
              of running our shop I never found a Norton product that I liked or that performed as well as the
              European offerings...
              Defiantly these ones. I have some on a small belt sander in my home shop, I don't remember the brand. There is a tear down the middle of one which hasn't affected its operation in the least. It's been there for many months now and since I'm retired and cheap I haven't changed it. Still going strong. Still cuts very well.
              The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

              Bluewater Model Engineering Society at https://sites.google.com/site/bluewatermes/

              Southwestern Ontario. Canada

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              • #8
                Where is the best place to get belts from?
                Andy

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by LKeithR View Post
                  And if you're going to run the Zirconia belts--which I think is a very wise choice--run 24 or 36 grit if you really want
                  to remove some material. Don't mess around with 60 or 80 or 100 grit unless you are truly trying to get a super
                  fine finish. A 36 grit belt will soften up pretty quick as the edge wears off the abrasive. We just keep a few of the
                  older belts around for those times when we want a finer surface finish...
                  I’ve found that the 50 grit seems to be a great choice, aggressive enough to cut, but fine enough, where I do not have to change belts to get a good finish. I have been using Carborundum 2” x 48” 50 grit belts on my Jancy RaduisMaster, for about 8+ yrs, at about 4000 fpm, they work great.
                  jack

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                  • #10
                    "Run 24 or 36 grit if you really want to remove some material"

                    Thanks for the tip! I looked into the Zirconia belts but haven't ordered yet. Was thinking about 100 grit but will follow your suggestion when I order. I usually buy coarser wood abrasive belts to be able to use the worn down belts for finer work. I should have been thinking this way when I was looking.

                    Ain't this website a great place!
                    Last edited by Planeman41; 04-15-2019, 12:03 PM.

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                    • #11
                      When I was still working for an employee, we went through a lot of belts on our belt sander in a toolroom with about 50 people using that sander. We switched to the blue zirconia belts and our usage dropped dramatically. I use them in my shop now too.

                      Brian
                      Last edited by bborr01; 04-16-2019, 02:27 AM.
                      OPEN EYES, OPEN EARS, OPEN MIND

                      THINK HARDER

                      BETTER TO HAVE TOOLS YOU DON'T NEED THAN TO NEED TOOLS YOU DON'T HAVE

                      MY NAME IS BRIAN AND I AM A TOOLOHOLIC

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                      • #12
                        As far as where to buy... check out Benchmark Abrasives out of Arizona... I bought some 40 grit flapper discs for my 4 1/2" grinder, and some 2" quick locks for my die grinder and both are awesome... The flapper disc last more than double what I was getting out of the dewalt ones...both Blue zirconium...and the 2 inch I got in ceramic... the 4130 chrome molly barely touched it...And I have no affiliation with benchmark other than being a satisfied customer... oh I almost forgot... they are cheaper even with shipping than I can buy locally!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by shawnspeed View Post
                          As far as where to buy... check out Benchmark Abrasives out of Arizona... I bought some 40 grit flapper discs for my 4 1/2" grinder, and some 2" quick locks for my die grinder and both are awesome... The flapper disc last more than double what I was getting out of the dewalt ones...both Blue zirconium...and the 2 inch I got in ceramic... the 4130 chrome molly barely touched it...And I have no affiliation with benchmark other than being a satisfied customer... oh I almost forgot... they are cheaper even with shipping than I can buy locally!
                          I had an ad show up on my facebook page for them. It was for ten or twelve flap disks for the price of shipping. I haven't tried them yet but probably will in the future. Thanks for the review.

                          Brian
                          OPEN EYES, OPEN EARS, OPEN MIND

                          THINK HARDER

                          BETTER TO HAVE TOOLS YOU DON'T NEED THAN TO NEED TOOLS YOU DON'T HAVE

                          MY NAME IS BRIAN AND I AM A TOOLOHOLIC

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                          • #14
                            Some suppliers:
                            https://www.bladeforums.com/threads/...-price.860299/
                            Supergrit and Pops knife supply seem popular accross several forums

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by vpt View Post
                              Where is the best place to get belts from?
                              I like AA Abrasives. Nice quality belts. Omni directional belts have a smoother seam that you may want to consider.

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