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Milwaukee 5900 and 5925 Belt Sanders

rrausch's picture

Long story:  In 1998 my garage shop in West L.A. was broken into by Hisp. gang members and some Milwaukee and Skil power tools were stolen.  They also got my Delta 1172 Tenoning Jig.  Among the missing was my old Skil locomotive Belt Sander--the type that's really getting popular now.

Well, in a fit of frustration after that happened, I went and bought a new Porter Cable 503 belt sander.  Then after I bought it I didn't ever use it very much, as I didn't want to bang it around in the back of my truck.  So I carried an old Black and Dorkie belt sander around on jobs, and left the P.C. 503 in my (new) shop.  (That had lots better security).

So the years go by, and I didn't use the P.C 503 that much at all.  So about a month ago I sold that sucker on ebay for what I felt was a good price ($460).  And my old Black and Darker belt sander was about worn out--half the time it wouldn't start up unless I held it sideways.  Anyway, I also sold the B&D for $10 and considered myself better off.  So I went on ebay and bought a pair of Milwaukee belt sanders--a 5900 and a 5925.  The 5925 has dust collection and the 5900 doesn't.  I paid about $60 each for them and they are very clean and had been well taken care of.

So I'm wondering if these Milwaukee's have any pecularities that I need to know about.  Do they eat drive belts?

By the way, the Hisp. gang members were really dumb.  I had a collection of old Stanley planes that was worth much more than the power tools, and they left them alone. 

Not as dumb as the almost (post #205960, reply #1 of 5)

Not as dumb as the almost certainly white, middle class kid who got into my unlocked van.  He took a portable CD player ("Walkman"), and my safety glasses, but left about $1500 worth of tools in the back.

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

Criminals are so stupid (post #205960, reply #2 of 5)

Criminals are so stupid aren't they!!  And why did he take your safety glasses I wonder??  I figured I lost about $1,400 in power tools that night.  I had no theft insurance, but I recovered from that loss.  But the scum who broke in and stold my tools are probably in the State Pen by now, or dead.  That neighborhood was a hisp. gang neighborhood, and I'd seen all the shaved-head, baggy-pantsed guys all around, and none of them paid me any attention and I didn't pay them any attention.  Live and let live.  Then the morning I discovered the theft I was out back of my shop and a low-rider Chevy comes tooling up the alley real slow, and as they go by me they all look at me and start laughing, and one of them cat-calls out, "Hey maaaan... how you doin?"  And they all laughed some more as they drove off.  Real fine specimens of humanity there.  But like I say, I survived and several years later moved back to the farm I'd grown up on, where I felt a lot safer.

I'm sure you know- (post #205960, reply #3 of 5)

the knob on the side is the tracking adjustment.  Keep that right and use good belts and you shouldn't bust any belts.  Not familiar with milwaukee, but my near 40 yo Rockwell treats belts just fine.  Now some are arrowless I guess, but b/4 you needed to place the belt on in the right direction or that could yeild to failiure.

I don't think I've ever seen one of those sanders in my life.  I could see why they call them fire engines.

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


I really lusted after a new (post #205960, reply #4 of 5)

I really lusted after a new Millwaukee belt sander back in the late 1980's, but never did buy one.  New, they were around $375 or so then.  And shortly thereafter I got my Skil locomotive.  But the Skil had no dust collection and you couldn't use it upside down--sometimes I'll turn a belt sander over and hold it between my legs and use it upside down when I'm working on something small or unwieldy.  The Skil was worm-drive, and using it upside down deprives the worm gear of oil... or so I was told.  Anyway I was pleasantly surprised to find these Milwaukee belt sanders selling for a decent price on ebay.  I'm thinking I'll get a couple of extra drive belts just for insurance.  I'd hate to be on a job and have the drive belt break. 

I once used my Skil worm drive to sand down the hardwood floor in an apartment I lived in!  There was dust everywhere, but it didn't balk a bit.  The Skil was all aluminum and it got pretty hot after a few hours of use, but I stayed with it till I got the floor done.

Worst case scenario............... (post #205960, reply #5 of 5)

Paint some nice flames on the side and get 'em in one of those drag races I've heard about.

I would especially get some of the things you might need-with Milwaukee passing to different owners with different marketing strategies, parts might not be all that available the older those things get.


I had one of the old Rockwell Silverline jigsaws, that eventually crapped out-that from the mid 70's.

The early 70's 315 Rockwell Circular saw I started out with, still use daily as needed.  I added a couple more-both gifts from other tradesmen-those run as well.

The 3x24 silver belt sander is also a daily (sort of) used item in the van.


That's near 40 yrs of professional use.  

Not that I have anything against those that buy cheap and discard when busted, but you can't make time going and buying equipment.

It certainly helps that I've had no employees and do take care of my tools.  I'd rather repair Good, than buy Poor.

The milwaukee screw gun and sawzall from mid 70's is in use as well.   But, if I was smart, I'd buy a new sawzall, the power and stroke is much improved.

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.