How to Add Graphite to a Beltsander

Graphite impregnated sanding shoes will prolong belt life and improve the performance of both the sander and the belt. Easily change out the stock, steel shoe with this flexible, self-lubricating shoe to keep belts cooler for longer life. It will also make sanding solid surface material much easier.

They can be purchased directly from your Porter Cable supplier or find them on the internet. I was able to find some on Amazon and many tool suppliers ranging in price from $8 – $13.

Although you can purchase precut, I find it a bit cheaper to just buy a roll of graphite from my local cabinet supply and install them as needed. The following is a step by step to make and install your own graphite sanding shoe.

Tools Required: Razor Knife, Screwdriver, Graphite Roll

Step 1: Flip the sander on its side to gain access to the belt removal lever. Remove the belt. Remove three screws. Remove steel shoe.

Step 2: Place steel shoe over graphite roll and cut to exact size.

Step 3: Mark and punch holes through the graphite for the screws using the steel shoe as a guide.

Step 4: Keep the existing steel shoe, place graphite over steel, place steel bar with holes over graphite and insert three screws.

Step 5: Screw shoe assembly to the beltsander base.

Step 6: Reinstall the sandpaper belt making sure the graphite is between the steel and sanding belt.

Alternative: Purchase and install a factory, Porter-Cable graphite shoe. No need to cut from a roll, just remove and replace.

That’s it. The difference will amaze you. A graphite pad will create less friction and a much evener sanding surface. Give it a try and hope it helps.

About the Author: Andy Graves is the owner and operator of Olive Mill Manufacturing Inc. in Anaheim California. Olive Mill specialized in residential and commercial countertop fabrication/installation. Graves can be reached at Visit his website: