It was a beautiful fall day and I had the shop opened up with a fan running behind me and after putting a new belt on the sander I just had to give it a test run. I picked up a 2×4 out of the scrap bin about 16 inch’s long, fired up the sander and laid the board carefully in place. Well the first thing I noticed was a cloud of dust coming off the end of that new belt, being new it was really cutting off some wood! As I leaned over a bit to have a better look I noticed a pile of dust on the floor already. Thinking this isn’t going to work in the winter when the shop is all closed up, I took one hand off the broad to turn the sander off. Did I mention that it was a new “coarse grit” belt! With only one hand on the wood, that new belt decided to take control and launch that board out the door. Now being an old Naval Aviation guy I figured that the guy who came up with the aircraft catapult launch system must have been sanding a board on a belt sander at the time the idea came to him. Anyway, that board flew out the door, hit the back tire of the Kubota tractor and then turned straight up to the sky, the only trouble with that is the metal roof of the tractor port. The next thing I know my wife ”The Crazy Cat Lady” was standing there with her hands on her hips and a look of surprise on her face, saying, what is going on out here. She has always maintained the opinion that it’s a good thing I work alone in the shop, other wise anyone working in there with me would get maimed, mutilated, disfigured, dismembered or out right killed.
It was at that point I became painfully aware, that if I was going to use this thing it needed two things. A stop bar and some kind of dust control. I sat down in the most used tool in the shop, the rocking chair, got my phone out and looked up the owners manual for this piece of machinery and after downloading it I e-mailed it to myself at work. That night I had a brand new printed copy of the owners manual to study on.
The stop bar was no big deal I had enough scrap metal around to build that. I just didn’t know what I needed to control the clouds of dust. After studying that owners manual and checking with Sears to find out that not very many parts are still available for that model, I came to the sad conclusion that I would have to build something to catch the dust. I went back to the metal scrap bin, found some light gauge metal and started bending and cutting and that is what I came up with.
It uses the hole that was there to mount the stock version of the dust catcher. Now for some way to hook up the shop vac. I had to go to Lowe’s (I should have procured stock in that place years ago) to see what they had that might work. I came back with a piece of chrome plated brass drain pipe. I used a hole saw in the drill press, cut an opening and then soldered the tailpipe in. The vacuum hose fit the tailpipe nicely and when I started sanding on the flying board again, with the stop bar in place, it sucked up I’d say at least 95% of the dust. Of course it won’t catch what goes over the dust trap but, what goes in, the vacuum sucks it up.
I put a piece on to try and catch the over flow and then realized that if I ever needed to sand on a long broad that would get in the way. So I took it right back off. I also cut a piece of quarter inch plywood for a deck between the sander and the stand.
Thanks for reading about my adventures in sanding or how to put a dent in a metal roof from below!
-- Rod P.........OLD GUY......Learning new things!