I've been using an AEG HBSE 75S belt sander with sanding frame
for over 25 years.
I've long thought no other portable tool comes close to flattening large surfaces.
If you've never used a belt sander with well adjusted sanding frame you don't know what you're missing.
I have to re-finish a large bench similar to this one except it's over eight feet long and double ended.
It is also made of pine like the one in the picture.
The first stage of refinishing this piece is to disassemble and run the parts through a wide belt sander at 100 grit.
This removes the old finish, scratches, and gouges. After raising the grain compressed by the big belt I need to start at 80 grit with portable sanders.
When my nine year old ES 125 died ($110 to replace 3 bearings) I decide to upgrade to a 6" MIRKA Ceros.
I thought from all the good I'd heard about the Ceros I might be able to skip the very noisy belt sander.
Not gonna work. First, 80 grit Abranet is much slower than the belt sander. Second, the relatively soft surface of the abrasive using the pad protector overcut the early growth and undercut the late growth resulting in an undulating surface. Some people may like that for some projects but it isn't appropriate here.
I had to go back and re-sand the panel with the belt sander to get it flat again. Nothing else will do.
(Rotex is faster than Ceros and there is less undulation but it still lacks the control of flattening the sanding frame provides.)
Why am I writing? Because my belt sander is very old. The brushes need replacing again and don't seem
to be available anymore but the commutator is scored too so even if I find new brushes they'll go fast.
Well, Festool bought the factory that made my belt sander and now makes virtually identical sanders with the Festool badge. A large part of why I committed to Festool nine years ago is that fact. I thought I'd be able to replace my AEG sander with a Festool sander by now but I can't even get the brushes because Festool won't sell them here.
I'd gladly give Festool hundreds of dollars for a 220 volt sander if they'd let me.
Since this is under the Ask Festool section I'll ask this, can I at least get some replacement brushes?