My new Covington wet belt sander arrived a few months ago. Yesterday I finally got around to taking it out for a spin. Any thoughts I had of coldworking my glass pieces in lickety split time quickly evaporated. It is definitely way faster and easier on the arm than coldworking by hand, but it still takes some time. Of course I suspect it will take less time as I get some more practice.
The most difficult part was finding the on/off switch. No, not really, but it did take me a minute. I looked all over the machine and on the motor and couldn’t find it. The instructions that came with the sander are pretty useless. There is no diagram with the parts labeled. I felt rather silly standing there staring at the sander knowing there must be an on/off switch somewhere. I finally saw it on the electrical cord; not exactly where I am used to seeing a switch for equipment.
Once I passed this hurdle, I was on my way. I started out with inexpensive silicon carbide belts but have already placed an order for diamond belts in three different grits. Silicon carbide belts cost just a few dollars, but they don’t last long. Diamond belts start at about $60 and go way up into the hundreds. I also bought a cork belt which puts a nice polished finish on the edge and a felt belt to use with cerium oxide for when I want a super high gloss finish.
It took a little getting used to but I think I’ve got the hang of it. I did, however, make a rookie mistake. I placed the glass flat on the metal base as I moved it across the belt. Of course it scratched the bottom of the glass! If I had thought about it for even one second I would have figured that out. I’ll post some pictures of the process as I work on some pieces in the next few weeks.