My First Makita 4x24 Belt Sander

For the last nine years I have limited my procurement of 4x24 belt sanders to used ones.  They were usually some model of a Porter Cable sander.  PC sanders are heavier sanders than the Milwaukee belt sanders I preferred back in the day.  Milwaukee stopped making them and I found that used ones are all crapped up so I decided to try a Makita 4x24 sander, brand spanking new.  It comes with a very long cord.















Being a belt sander means I have to replace the metal platen with graphited canvas as to keep the abrasive belt running cooler.  I prefer not to run an abrasive belt across metal.  Here is how I do it.

First, place sander in a comfortable position to remove the platen.

I then remove the three screws fastening the metal platen to the sander.  I see that Makita has attached the cork sub-platen to the metal part, permanently.  I will have to find a piece of 1/8" thick cork to put under the graphited canvas.  


Using the original metal/cork platen as a template I layout and cut a piece of graphited canvas.  Don't let any of the graphite kernals fall to the shop floor as they will quickly turn it into a very slippery floor.
Now to fit the new cork sub-platen to the sander.  In this case I used one from a previous sander.
I now attach the graphited canvas oer the cork and screw it all down.
Now I install the abrasive belt.  See the nice sandwich of cork and graphited canvas under the abrasive belt?   I next tried the sander on a piece of wood.  It runs soooo sweet and smooth.  I love this sander!  I will have to figure out a way to add one more to my shop.


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