Belt Sander – Introduction

Belt Sander

A while back I read about a project by one of my woodworking heroes, Matthias Wandel, on how he made a wooden bandsaw and ever since seeing it I’ve fancied trying to make one of my own. It’s not that I couldn’t afford to buy a bandsaw, I probably could, but I’m fascinated by the idea of making my own woodworking machines if I can.

I’m still comparatively new to woodwork so I’ve been trying to think of something that I could make that would use similar principals and techniques as the bandsaw but be less likely to take my head off if (or more likely when) it went wrong. The idea I’ve come up with is to make a table mounted belt and disk sander. This is not a tool that I’ve ever really felt was missing from my workshop but if I can build one then I’m sure it’ll get used.

If you are wondering this crazy idea came to me when I visited our local B&Q and found a load of sanding belts going for £1 each. With a bargain like that to be had I simply had to go out and spend a ton of money building a machine.

I plan on doing a full sketch-up drawing but there are loads of areas that I currently know nothing about. One such area where I lack knowledge is with the axles, do I need bearings or would a friction bearing be sufficient? Due to how long the axles are likely to be rotating on a good sanding session I’m guessing bearings are a necessity but what type and where from? I’m also clue less when it comes to power transfer. I’m guessing a belt drive is the best option? I also have basically no clue when it comes to electric motors so that is another area where I’m going to have to take a crash course.

Well, I’ve waffled on for long enough. I’ve got loads of time off over Christmas so my plan is to try to get this project completed before New Year if possible (fingers crossed).

This project is also available on UKWorkshop since the great guys on there are helping with with some of the finer details (ok, they are helping me with just about everything). I’ll also be cross posting a work in progress there but this site will probably have more detail.