Belt sanders use sanding belts to get the job done. Sometimes these belts come apart at the seams and you either need to buy a new one or fix the old. Although there is no certain way to get this right, you might be able to fix one in the short term to get the specific project finished but it will take time to get it right.
Sanding belt adhesive
There are no specific adhesives on the market that are used for sanding belts. The best type of adhesive to use would be industrial strength, such as builder’s adhesive, or Gorilla glue (glue for wood) will hold. Remember you need a glue that can withstand heat as your belt sander tends to get hot when used. You also need something that can cope with the amount of tension put on the belt, as belt sanders work under tension. You can use one of these hot glue guns.
So the question is what adhesive out there you can use on your sanding belt to get it back in working order. The adhesive that is used on the standard sanding belt is a hi-temp phenolic bonding agent much the same as the silicone RTV adhesive, however, the manufacturer adds polyester mesh to strengthen it.
There are many industrial adhesives on the market that you can use to glue your sanding belt, however, you should be aware that they are not going to last as long as the manufacturer’s adhesive but should give your sanding belt a few hours more life than it had.
In order to ensure that the adhesive you apply bonds, you must place it under pressure on the sandpaper and you must give it ample curing or bonding time of at least 24 hours. Test your joint before putting your newly glued sander belt on your sander.
Unfortunately, a lot of glues will not hold when used with a belt sander due to the extreme heat and tension your belt sander is under when working and it is best to buy a new belt that is designed for your machine, but if you need a quick repair to get your machine up and running again this is an option.
Sanding belt Joint Tape
The most common belt sander joint is the butt joint which is formed when the two ends that abut each other are joined together by using a narrow strip of tape. This tape can be different variations such as Kevlar or Poly-adhesive tapes. The most commonly used joint tape will be fire-reinforced as your belt sander is a hard working tool and you will need something truly strong to ensure the joint lasts.
You will apply this either on the front or the back of the belt. There are other variations that you can use to ensure that the belt is adjusted correctly and suites the belt sander you are using.
Kevlar tape for Sanding Belts
Kevlar tape is perfect for selective reinforcement, it has a plain weave pattern with uniform strength and can be used for applications that have unique shapes. Kevlar tape does not have an adhesive back and you will need to use something like a resin or epoxy to affix it.
Remember, Kevlar is great for reinforcement and repairs and will provide you with impact resistance, you will need dedicated serrated scissors to cut the Kevlar. You can use Kevlar tape to reinforce your joint on your belt sander using suitable glue to affix it. Kevlar tape is available in most hardware stores and on Amazon.
Poly-Adhesive tape for Sanding Belts
Poly-adhesive tape can be used to repair sanding belts. This is a tape that offers multi-purpose bonding and will offer you seals that are quite long lasting, it is elastic and flexible which is important when repairing sanding belts as they are moving and under tension all the time. Applying the Poly-adhesive tape will give you a permanent elastic seal and it will bond with a number of different types of material.
Remember your belt sander works hard and is under constant tension and heat, so although this is an option to use when sealing your joints, it will likely not be a long-lasting fix.
Splicing sanding belts
Choosing the correct belt fastener system is the most important step when splicing a belt. You need something that has great strength and durability as your belt sander is a very hard working machine and your belt is going to be exposed to a lot of heat and tension.
Repairing your sander belt is not as easy as you think. There are not a lot of adhesives that will give the bond you need considering the tension and heat your belt is exposed to. It would seem that even if you do manage to do a repair on your belt, it will not be a long lasting fix, but if you are in a pinch, you can make the necessary repairs for the short term.