[Woodshop] BROKEN belt sander (Chicago Electric)

I was using the belt sander to take some paint off wood boards today and it stopped working. Basically when you pull the trigger you can hear the motor spin but the wheels don’t turn round n’ round and the belt doesn’t move. The thing was getting fairly hot before it stopped working and I probably should have heeded that and given it a rest but I goofed. So seemingly an overuse-type injury? I left it on the table to the right of the table saw with a note.

I don’t know anything about fixing it and would be very grateful if anyone could give me some guidance.


Haaa, this is what I get for fixing the plug last night. Will look at it today. Chances are the belt is just off center but who knows.

And yes, please stop using if things get hotter than expected.


Thanks noah and sorry for the trouble!

Ok, spent 20 or so minutes trying to fix it, gave up (have to get work done). May still be fixable, but it’ll require doing more surgury than I have time for right now.

Here’s what happened: when using a belt sander, the belt can drift, particularly if you move it side to side. Sometimes, it drifts all the way to the edges, which is where bad things start to happen.

In this case, it drifted to the side, and stayed there (presumably while running at full blast) long enough that the friction from the belt melted the plastic, and so now the belt is fused to the sander. there’s all kinds of melted plastic debris in there, and I can’t quite reach where it’s stuck together to remove the rest of the belt.

The motor is running fine, it’s just that the belt is fused in place right now and difficult to remove. So maybe still fixable?

I see. I will look into whether this is an issue any local repair shops have experience dealing with.

Update: After some “percussive surgery” (beating the fucking shit out of it with a hammer and sharp things), I managed to dislodge the belt, and the belt sander is now working (albeit missing a screw now…)

However, the guards that would normally prevent this kind of thing from happening are so worn down/burnt out that they are no longer effective, probably contributing to the problem in the first place, but certainly made worse now. This is an abused-ass belt sander. Totally works if you take care of it and check to make sure the belt stays in place, but it’ll always be a bit prone to slipping from now on.