Here's how to build your own belt sander from scrap metal

Turn scrap metal into this amazing DIY belt sander in no time.
Christopher McFadden

If the video player is not working, you can watch the video from this alternative link.

If you have a lot of scrap metal lying around, why not put it to use by making your own tools? How about, for example, your own DIY belt sander? 

Follow this simple guide to find out how.  

diy belt sander complete
Source: Newsflare

As you can imagine, you'll need some tools and materials before you get started.

Materials and gear needed

  • Old working motor
  • Motor speed controller
  • Metal sheeting
  • Wood
  • Spring
  • Wood glue
  • Spray paints
  • Welding gear
  • Basic tools
  • Various nuts and bolts and screws

With all your gear in hand, it is time to get on with this great little build.

Step 1: Make the main gubbins

The first step is to take your old motor and speed controller. Wire up the controller to the motor circuitry as required. 

diy belt grinder motor
Source: Newsflare

With that done, power up the motor and test the speed controller. As you adjust the dial it should immediately adjust the rotor speed of the motor. 

If not, adjust the wiring and check for defects as needed. 

With that done, take your steel plate and cut it into a small square large enough to act freely rotate with the motor rotor. Turn on the motor at a slow speed, and mark out a circle using a felt tip pen or similar. 

diy belt grinder disk
Source: Newsflare

With that done, cut the plate into the disk shape and mount it to a cylinder of wood to the same diameter. Round off as needed. Make another cylinder of wood to match and core a hole through the center to the diameter of the motor rotor. 

Glue the wooden cylinders together using wood glue. Screw the wooden cylinders together as needed.

diy belt grinder cylinders
Source: Newsflare

Step 2: Make the main boxing

Next, take another piece of the steel plate and cut it to size to fit the motor. Weld-on some bolts, add some strips of rubber to act as cushioning and mount the motor to the plate. 

diy belt grinder base
Source: Newsflare

With that done, mount the grinder disk to the motor rotor. 

Next, take yet more steel plates and cut the upstand piece of the grinder. Mount it into place on the base plate behind the main grinder wheel. 

With that done, measure out and cut the other parts of the grinder boxing as shown in the video. Weld or bolt the pieces together as needed.

With that done, take the speed controller and insert it into place within the boxing. 

diy belt grinder boxing
Source: Newsflare

Step 3: Make the main grinder arm

With that done, take some more steel plate and rig up the main grinder arm as shown in the video. Next, mount it into place on the upstand of the main assembly. 

Ensure you add the mainspring assembly to the rear too so that the arm can be adjusted to install the main sandpaper belt. 

diy belt grinder arm
Source: Newsflare

With that done, make the top roller for the grinder. You can either do this from scratch or repurpose another piece of metal to suit.

Mount it into place on the arm as needed. Next, fashion a belt guide plate for the piece and mount it into position on the main assembly as shown.

diy belt grinder guide
Source: Newsflare

Next, cut and weld more pieces of steel plate to make the main grinding platform for the machine. Mount this into place just in front of the main belt pulley wheel. 

diy belt grinder platform
Source: Newsflare

Bevel the main pulley wheel slightly too as needed.

Step 4: Paint the grinder and finish the piece

With that main assembly basically complete, you can now partially disassemble it ready for painting. Clean up the parts, and spray paint in whatever color you like. 

Leave the paint to fully dry. 

diy belt grinder paint
Source: Newsflare

Once the paint is dry, reassemble the machine as needed. Lastly, take your sandpaper belt and install it between the main pulley wheels of the grinder. 

Ensure it is taught but be careful not to rip the sandpaper. 

diy belt sander belt
Source: Newsflare

With that done, your DIY belt sander is now complete. Now just place it somewhere pride-of-place, and put it to work. 

If you enjoyed this project, you might enjoy learning how to make some more DIY machines? How about, for example, your own hydraulic press?

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