lubricant for sanding aluminum

I need to do some fairly extensive "grinding" of aluminum on belt
sander. I will be using a fairly coarse belt and would like to avoid
loading the belt with aluminum. I know there is a wax type lubricant
that can be used. What is the simplest, cheapest, most readily
available and effective solution??
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I don't know about that -- but a warning. If you have use that sander on steel previously, take care to clean out all the places the grinding may have accumulated before doing the aluminum. The problem is that the two dusts (aluminum and rusted steel) make thermite. You're more likely to ignite it if doing steel after aluminum rather than the other way around, but still a potential problem.
Good Luck, DoN.
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DoN. Nichols
Particularly a problem with finer grit - but yes, rusty steel on an aluminum loaded belt can be dangerous.
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I've read that candle wax can be used. Also read bar soap can be used. Which is better? Does either really work well?
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clare fired this volley in news:
I cannot speak to sanding. We use Gulf Wax (paraffin) on saws to cut screen room framing (which is thin-walled stuff, and will bend and 'snipe' if the blade hangs or an extra-large chip stuck to the blade hits a surface).
I once had a surplus metals dealer cut a 3" slab of aluminum for me with a hand-held circular saw, using liberal amounts of Gulf Wax rubbed on the blade and on the surface of the work as he proceeded.
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Lloyd E. Sponenburgh
When I had to belt sand a lot of aluminum I found the best method was water as a lube and coolant. I used waterproof belts (well, sorta waterproof) and a spray mister. Belt life went WAY up, easily 10 times longer life. The belt sander wasn't made waterproof but it was easy to protect the motor and other parts that needed it from the water. Sanding time went down too. The clean belt just had more grit exposed because it wasn't clogging the way it did with the solid type lubes meant for sanding. It took me only a few minutes to apply protection to the sander and the spray mister I already had, and still do. It was a typical type found in every machine shop. I didn't need to use much water either. I used the belt sander horizontally and used the stop it came with to keep the parts from getting away from me. The biggest problem I had was that after a few hours of sanding some of the glue from the belts would bleed through the belts and stick to the platen. This would cause uneven sanding. So I would remove the belt and scrape the glue off and start over. Eric
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