DIY Belt Sander

Build your own belt sander and shave minutes off of your projects.


| February/March 2001



184-086-1a


Photo courtesy MOTHER EARTH NEWS editors

Shaving Minutes off Your Projects

Now that you've made a workbench, there's nothing to stop you from building our belt sander. The project involves working with metal as well as wood, but the extent of the metalwork consists solely of modifying standard hardware-store items. We've included a buyer's guide for some of the hardware products (check the materials list below).

Material List 

 4 ea. 2-pc. drum sander set (rubber wheels)
2 pkg. 1/2" patio door rollers (nylon ball bearing)
2 pkg. springs (SP-9710)
1 pkg. drawer slides (14" liberty)
24" 5/ 6" all thread
2 ea. 1/4" x 4 1/4" bolts
8 ea. 1/4" finder washers
4 ea. 5/6" nuts
4 ea. 5/6" nylon washers
2 ea. 1/4" nuts
4 ea. 1/4" washers
1 tube Locktite
1 tube carpenter's glue
1 kit epoxy
24" x 24" 3/4" plywood
6" x 6" 1/4" spacer wood
18" 1/2" x 1" fir (cleats)

Step 1: Support Stand

The wood support stand is easy to make — all you have to do is cut out the parts and glue and screw them together. Take care to be extremely accurate when you drill the holes that serve as attachment points for the metal assembly. The center spacing block is comprised of five separate parts that need to be glued together so that the channels that the two securing bolts pass through are perfectly aligned and centered (relative to the metal parts).

Step 2: The Cradle

The cradle for your drill motor needs to match the contours of your drill motor's casing. What you want is a straight-line attachment between the chuck and the axle of the drive wheel. The cradle should bear the weight of the drill motor, keep the attachment point in line, and keep the drill motor stationary. Use only screws to attach the cradle to the stand — this will make it easy to remove the cradle if you want to use a different drill motor later.





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