I have been needing a narrow belt sander for a while but didn’t want to spend a lot on one, so I decided to take a chance on the Harbor Freight 1″ x 30″ Belt Sander. The sander was well packed and for the most part was fully assembled. All that was needed was to attach the table using the adjustable locking lever. As with most of these types of bench top tools the direction weren’t elaborated on but just what you need to know to operate the sander. I plan on using it for metal and wood working.
The included table is cast aluminum and is adequate for a machine this size. The lever for adjusting the angle is spring loaded and works well and is easily attached to the frame of the sander.
There is a metal bracket included to back up the sanding belt to help make the sanding surface more rigid. Problem is that sanding with the bracket installed creates an annoying “bumping” caused by the way the belt is made where it’s joined to make a continuous loop. One sanding belt is included, 60 grit. The quality of the belt is okay and I’ve used it on both wood and metal over a couple of projects. I was surprised to find the included belt held up nicely. Belt tracking is easy to adjust and stays dead straight under load.
The dust removal from sanding wood is provided with a 1-3/4″ outlet which doesn’t fit my 2-1/2″ hose from my shop vac. I had some galvanized sheet metal that I fashioned into a tube that would snug fit into the dust outlet of the sander. Once I carefully made the tube I soldered the joint. Next I cut a circular piece of 3/4″ plywood that fit my vac hose and sealed it in place with JB Weld Epoxy. The setup works quite well removing the dust generated by the sander. The diagram shows the size of the sheet metal trim before shaping into the tube if you want to fashion one. Just make sure to sand all edges of the metal after cutting with tin snips as the edges are sharp!
I used needle nose pliers and also using hand pressure to form the tube.
Epoxy was used to seal the joint.
Virtually dust free sanding…
I found that the sander is a welcome addition to my shop tool collection. The motor is strong and quiet, I had no problems sanding hard wood and even metal. After using the sander for a couple of weeks now, would I purchase it again? I definitely would.