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clive 05-08-2021 01:32 AM

belt sander
 
I’m in the early stage of building a belt sander, I’m wondering what grit is the most useful? Any help appreciated.

LKeithR 05-08-2021 02:19 AM

If you're working with steel there's no point in using anything finer than 36 grit. That's what I use 99 per cent of the time. Once in a while if I've got something extra heavy to sand I'll throw on a 24 grit belt but the 36 works fine for most stuff. Anything finer takes too long to cut. The 36 grit actually only stays sharp for a while and then you've got a finer belt anyway.

I guess if you were trying to do some finish sanding--like prep for polishing before plating--a finer grit might be useful but for welding prep and general fabrication shaping 36 grit works great...

The nice thing is that it's easy to experiment with different grits and find what works for you.

And by the way, the blue Zirconia belts will give you the longest life...

Lew Hartswick 05-08-2021 08:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LKeithR (Post 770469)

And by the way, the blue Zirconia belts will give you the longest life...

Boy and How!!! My first use of one of them was about 20 years ago when I started to volunteer at the high school shop. there was one on the 2" belt sander there and that was a "revelation". I was use to the red-brown ones.
...lew...

dubby 05-08-2021 08:39 AM

It really does depend on what you're sanding. Most all of my work is done in plastic and aluminum, so I run much finer grits on my belt/disc combo machine. I run a 50 grit on the little HF 1" belt grinder though to really hog material off quick, then follow it up with 150 on the 4x36 belt, and 220 on the disc to debur and make fine tweaks to the edges.

Matt Shade 05-08-2021 11:37 AM

What size belt are you planning to run?

Is this actually a belt sander, or is this a belt grinder?

What do you intend to do with it the most?

I have a 2x72 inch grinder and it mainly has a 36 grit belt on it, but I keep ceramic belts in 36, 80, 120, and 220, and usually have aluminum oxide belts in 320 and 400 grit as well.

For general fabricating a 36 grit belt is perfect for weld prep, radiusing corners and general grinding.

If you want to dress up points on cold chisels, wood working tools and stuff like that and you can do that with a 36 grit belt at 6000sfpm you are a better man than me. I like 80 or 120 for more intricate tasks. The ceramic belts still cut extremely fast. The 220 to 400 range is mainly for polishing knife blades.

If you are worried about finish quality it is worth noting that even though a dull belt cuts slower, its still leaves scratches in whatever its grit is. A worn 36 grit belt may cut as slow as a 120 grit belt, but the scratches it leaves behind are still 36 grit ugly.

I also have a 4x36 inch sander that runs much slower than the big grinder. I keep 36 grit belts for it for flatting things, or hogging out the basic shape on knife handles, but most of the time it has an 80 grit belt on it for more finish type work.

I buy ceramic belts whenever I can. In 2x72 the 3M cubitron belts have unbelievable life. Its hard to find ceramic in 4x36 but they do outperform aluminum oxide when you can find them.

clive 05-10-2021 01:29 AM

Thank for the replies, it will just be for steel, as we are metric I plan on using a 50 x 2000 belt.

LKeithR 05-10-2021 01:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by clive (Post 770534)
...I plan on using a 50 x 2000 belt...

Approximately 2" x 78 3/4" for those who are metric challenged...:D

Lew Hartswick 05-10-2021 07:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LKeithR (Post 770535)
Approximately 2" x 78 3/4" for those who are metric challenged...:D

Thank you Keith. :-) When the numbers get over 50 (which was the focal length of my camera lens) I need help .
...lew...

ShawnR 05-10-2021 09:17 PM

Any photos of your sander so far? Are you using plans or winging it on your own? Going variable speed?

I am getting close to finishing one up too. Curious what you are doing.

Regards,

digr 05-11-2021 01:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ShawnR (Post 770558)
Any photos of your sander so far? Are you using plans or winging it on your own? Going variable speed?

I am getting close to finishing one up too. Curious what you are doing.

Regards,

Lets see the build:D

clive 05-12-2021 08:31 PM

I got real lazy and bought a set of plans, it’s a fill in project with no urgency. I just wanted dimensions, I am changing a few things as I felt there are different methods that suit me more. I’ll post as it happens but as I said there is no rush, I’ve been threatening to do this for years. Hopefully I’ll pick up most of the steel next week when I pick up another load.

ShawnR 06-04-2021 10:22 PM

5 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by digr (Post 770582)
Lets see the build:D

Well, you did ask....:)

Clive, maybe something in my photos will inspire or prompt changes to your build. It has been a real learning project for me, start to finish and I wanted to try to do a nice job, as opposed to just get a sander at the end. But my skill set is more redneck than machinist so, uh, it has been interesting, and fun...:D

I started referencing Jeremy Schmidts plans http://jerswoodshop.com/2x72-tilting-belt-grinder/ and Brian's plans for the Revolution https://housemade.us/products/revolu...-grinder-plans

My motor and control is from a treadmill, left hand threaded flywheel, hence the motor on the opposite side from most builds. I melted aluminum and cast the wheels. That was one of the first diversions, to finish the furnace I started years ago.

I milled the flywheel down on the motor to accomodate a piece of 6" pipe (cleaned up ) and put them together with a temperature differential (what is the proper name for that? Flywheel in snowbank and pipe heated with a torch. Dropped the pipe over the flywheel. I think, iirc, about .010" difference when same temp)

It has been taking a long time with lots of head scratching and diversions along the way, but it has been fun so far. It is all taken apart right now for final welding and painting. It works great though, although I am able to bog the motor, and it draws a lot of current if I do that. I popped a 13 amp breaker in a power bar but have not popped the receptacle breaker yet (15 amp)

I put a piece of melamine in for the platen right now. I left a 5/8" gap from front of wheel to platen frame so I can have platen surface options. I see that some put a piece of glass in there, others just use a steel plate. Not sure what I am doing with that yet, but the melamine is smooth and hard and for the limited use it has seen so far, is working fairly well. Melamine is durable, but not intended for this so we will see. I have a lifetime of melamine if I was only going to use it for platens...

Here is a short video of it. The sparks coming back at me lead to the shrouding. Youtuber Vanderley does a really nice job on his sander and shrouding. (Oops, forgot the shrouded photos. See next post)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7F6KC5tIZgQ

ShawnR 06-04-2021 10:36 PM

4 Attachment(s)
The Tach, currently, gives RPM. The drive wheel works out to just over 20 inch circumference (20.6") so multiplying RPM by 20 gives belt speed(ish) I am considering adding a second magnet to the tach and then the factor would be only 10 for the belt speed. The RPM would be half that displayed, of course. I think most hobbyists are concerned with belt speed over motor speed. I can do 20x in my head ok so not too worried about what the display shows right now. I like the RPM until I get the bugs worked out.

I have never used a belt sander like this so not sure what I want yet. I am not into making knives but it looked like a good tool for the shop, and project. I need practice in everything I do in the shop and these projects are good for that.

ShawnR 06-04-2021 10:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by clive (Post 770656)
I got real lazy and bought a set of plans, it’s a fill in project with no urgency. I just wanted dimensions, I am changing a few things as I felt there are different methods that suit me more. I’ll post as it happens but as I said there is no rush, I’ve been threatening to do this for years. Hopefully I’ll pick up most of the steel next week when I pick up another load.

Lazy? or smart? ;) As I mentioned, I referenced plans, but winged it alot, depending on what material I had in stock. ie the 1x2" tube for the platen frame. I did not have a lot of 1/2" plate and liked the wheels being supported on both sides. I don't know the advantages of one over the other.

Are you looking for variable speed? What size motor? Horizontal option? I could see that as being very handy. I think, when I started, my criteria was variable speed, horizontal option, use a treadmill motor. I kind of liked the pressurized tube instead of a spring for belt tension so I went that direction.

toprecycler 06-05-2021 05:18 AM

Shawn, nice build. Sounds like you learned a lot. And you got a useable tool.

I would call the process you used to mount the pipe on the motor pulley “heat Shrink”. I’m sure there are other terms used by others.


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Ironman 06-05-2021 09:11 AM

Nice build, maybe someday I will finish my belt sander project:o

BukitCase 06-05-2021 10:46 AM

"maybe someday I will finish my belt sander project"

Gerry, if I EVER find "tuits" for sale on Amazon, my next credit card bill will be a few THOUSAND$$$ higher :eek: ... Steve

racer-john 06-14-2021 07:50 PM

belt sander
 
"I milled the flywheel down on the motor to accomodate a piece of 6" pipe (cleaned up )"

Nice work Shawn. I need one of these, one day. Lol. :D

ShawnR 06-14-2021 09:46 PM

99% done
 
2 Attachment(s)
The sander project is mostly done. Couple little things that just bug me but otherwise, done for now. It will be a nice addition to the shop and was a great learning experience for me.

I think I will be moving onto other projects/wants/needs and of course, the honeydo list. :)

JBFab 06-15-2021 10:35 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by BukitCase (Post 771287)
"maybe someday I will finish my belt sander project"

Gerry, if I EVER find "tuits" for sale on Amazon, my next credit card bill will be a few THOUSAND$$$ higher :eek: ... Steve

Round Tuits by the 25 pack!

toprecycler 06-15-2021 11:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JBFab (Post 771554)
Round Tuits by the 25 pack!


I think I got one of those 25 years ago in a personal improvement class by Zig ziglar that my workplace at the time offered. [emoji4]


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BukitCase 06-15-2021 12:23 PM

I useta fantasize about cloning myself (less explanations to minions) til I saw the movie Multiplicity - the thought of more "helpers" around that were as stubborn as I am (and each one dumber than the last) was enough to scrap THAT idea :rolleyes: ... Steve

mccutter 06-15-2021 04:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BukitCase (Post 771558)
I useta fantasize about cloning myself (less explanations to minions) til I saw the movie Multiplicity - the thought of more "helpers" around that were as stubborn as I am (and each one dumber than the last) was enough to scrap THAT idea :rolleyes: ... Steve

I wouldn't mind a few clones of myself but we'd be constantly talking to ourselves like "what'd you say? what'd you say?" :D

clive 06-16-2021 11:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ShawnR (Post 771279)
Lazy? or smart? ;) As I mentioned, I referenced plans, but winged it alot, depending on what material I had in stock. ie the 1x2" tube for the platen frame. I did not have a lot of 1/2" plate and liked the wheels being supported on both sides. I don't know the advantages of one over the other.

Are you looking for variable speed? What size motor? Horizontal option? I could see that as being very handy. I think, when I started, my criteria was variable speed, horizontal option, use a treadmill motor. I kind of liked the pressurized tube instead of a spring for belt tension so I went that direction.

I like your idea of using a treadmill motor, round here we get hard waste roadside collections a few times a year and there are often treadmills being chucked out. The plans allow for it to turn on it’s side but don’t know if I will do that. I have been sidetracked with a guitar refurbish so will have to get back to it, I sorted the steel but haven’t picked it up yet. This is really a side project, most of my energy goes in making batches of steel wheels for garden ornaments which I sell so I keep threatening to do it between wheels but there is a bit of demand for them so it gets put back again.

toprecycler 06-17-2021 05:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by clive (Post 771602)
I like your idea of using a treadmill motor, round here we get hard waste roadside collections a few times a year and there are often treadmills being chucked out. The plans allow for it to turn on it’s side but don’t know if I will do that. I have been sidetracked with a guitar refurbish so will have to get back to it, I sorted the steel but haven’t picked it up yet. This is really a side project, most of my energy goes in making batches of steel wheels for garden ornaments which I sell so I keep threatening to do it between wheels but there is a bit of demand for them so it gets put back again.


The question is would the sander help make the parts for the wheels? Then it could be put higher up in priority list.[emoji4]


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clive 06-17-2021 07:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by toprecycler (Post 771606)
The question is would the sander help make the parts for the wheels? Then it could be put higher up in priority list.[emoji4]


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No, I already pondered that, it will happen but I’m easily side tracked so it could be awhile.

ShawnR 06-17-2021 10:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by toprecycler (Post 771606)
The question is would the sander help make the parts for the wheels? Then it could be put higher up in priority list.[emoji4]


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

lol..yea, that helps. I did use the sander to shape or finish parts for parts of the sander. I did think that was ironic (or efficient) :confused:

When you really need it, you will set time aside for it. I think that is the way most of us hobbyists work. We can do a lot of good stuff, but the problem is what will be worthy of our time (today, this week, this month?...)

I retired in January and find that I can focus more. I don't have to walk away from a job. I can be a slow learner sometimes (ie, 3 days to figure out threading on a lathe) but when working, I would have given up and it would have been another unfinished job.

So when YOU are ready is the best time. If you are getting by now, then it is not a priority, and not a priority.

Hopefully, these posts help you though. I have not used the horizontal mode much ie, at all, but if I am doing wood working and want to sand some end grain, I think that will be when I appreciate the option.

Cheers,

Scratch 06-18-2021 11:21 AM

Nice looking belt sander! I finished mine last year (I think) but my controller for the treadmill motor went out and I haven't found a replacement for it yet. I thought it was the motor but had it tested and they said it was fine so it must be the controller. Not sure what to do, I may have to get some of those round tuits myself soon.

ShawnR 06-20-2021 01:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Scratch (Post 771655)
Nice looking belt sander! I finished mine last year (I think) but my controller for the treadmill motor went out and I haven't found a replacement for it yet. I thought it was the motor but had it tested and they said it was fine so it must be the controller. Not sure what to do, I may have to get some of those round tuits myself soon.

Thanks Scratch. Nice thing about treadmills are that many use standard parts so if you can find another treadmill, perhaps you can grab another controller. There seem to be a couple of variations of them, but also some good websites where guys have modified them for use. The biggest difference I have noted so far is that some require a pulse train to trigger the controller and some just need the external potentiometer. I have both around here but used the simple one for this sander.

Wanted ads on your local Kijiji or Craigs list might produce a treadmill with controller pretty quick..?

Good luck with yours.

Scotts 06-20-2021 02:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Scratch (Post 771655)
Nice looking belt sander! I finished mine last year (I think) but my controller for the treadmill motor went out and I haven't found a replacement for it yet. I thought it was the motor but had it tested and they said it was fine so it must be the controller. Not sure what to do, I may have to get some of those round tuits myself soon.

Does the motor have any information on it? Or old controller? Voltage in and voltage out info any where?

Scott

Scratch 06-21-2021 10:07 AM

Starting a new thread to not hi-jack this one.


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