Build Your Own Belt Sander with This Simple Guide
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If you've been shopping around for the perfect belt sander but keep turning up empty-handed, then it might be time to design and build your own. Find out how with this simple guide.
As you can imagine, you'll need some tools and materials before you get started.
Materials and gear needed
- Old 1.5 hp induction motor
- Reclaimed 10.5-inch (266.7mm) thick Mahogany wood
- Scrap 1-inch (25.4mm) shaft
- Gas strut
- 6204 ball bearings
- Cylindrical hinges
- 15/64 inches (6 mm) thick mild steel plate
- Thread tapping tool
- Bench drill
- Shop Fox mini lathe
- Angle grinder
- Basic tools (wrench, screwdrivers, etc)
- DEKOPRO Welding gear and safety equipment
- Various nuts and bolts
With all your materials and tools in hand, it is time to get on with the build.
Step 1: Prepare the motor
The first step is to grab your induction motor and Mahogany wood. Cut the wood into a rough octagonal block, and core a hole through the middle large enough to mount it to the induction motor's shaft.
Connect the wooden block to the shaft. With that done, turn on the motor, and work the block into a cylinder. Alternatively, you could do this using a lathe.
With that done, partially dismantle the motor to remove the main end cap of the shaft end of the motor. Drill three holes through it as shown, and tap a thread in each to receive bolts later.
Step 2: Make the main belt sander mount
Next, take your mild steel plate and place the wooden cylinder onto it. Take a ribbon of sandpaper and position it around the cylinder and plate to mark out how your want it to run.
Stretch out the paper using a series of ball bearings and mark their positions ready for mounting to the mild steel plate - in this case in a roughly triangular fashion.
With that done, remove the parts and place the modified motor end plate on the mild steel plate. Mark off the position of the mounting holes on the mild steel plate too.
With that done, mark off any excess pieces of the mild steel plate not needed.
Take the mild steel plate and drill and/or core the marked points for the ball bearings, wooden cylinder, and motor endplate as needed. Next, cut off any excess parts of the mild steel plate using an angle grinder too.
With that done, take your 1-inch shafting, and machine down to size using a lathe to fit the 6204 ball bearings' inner diameter. Thread the bearings onto the shaft and secure them into place using a clip.
Remove the bearings, and weld the modified shaft to the mild steel plate.
Step 3: Assemble the belt sander main assembly
With that done, take the motor endplate and mount it to the mild steel plate using bolts, washers, and nuts as needed.
Next, reassemble the motor and secure the endplate into place as needed. Add the ball bearings once again to the shaft.
Attach the wooden block to the main shaft of the motor too. With that done, you can now make the main belt tracking mechanism.
Use some more mild steel plates, namely some of the offcuts, to do so. Add some more 1-inch steel shaft and weld as needed. Next, take your cylindrical hinges and weld them to the belt tracking assembly as needed.
Once done, mount the tracking assembly to the main motor as shown. With that complete, install your gas strut too. Next, add your 6205 ball bearings to the upper belt sander shaft.
With that done, add the belt of sandpaper over the wooden cylinder and ball bearings. The gas strut you installed will allow you to depress the top pulley to install.
With that done, make the backplate and platform piece and install as needed. If not already done, completely rebuild the motor.
And with that done, your DIY belt sander is now complete. Now put it somewhere in pride of place in your workshop and get to using it.
If you enjoyed this simple build, you might want to make some more DIY tools? How about, for example, your own pipe bending machine?