Shop Built 6"x48" Belt Sander

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Project by Lazyman posted 12-01-2015 11:50 PM 2391 views 9 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was inspired by Woodsmith Magazine and Matthias Wandel’s Youtube videos of shop built power tools to make my own belt sander for the shop and I figured if I am going to make one, I might as well make one larger than the cheap ones you can find everywhere for around $100 or less. I borrowed several design ideas from Woodsmith’s design for a belt sander powered by a lathe and many ideas from Matthias Wandel’s various projects over the years. For more information and pictures, see my blog about the build starting here:

I also uploaded a short summary video to Youtube that shows it in action here:

I used Sketchup to design and prototype it. It was designed around an old 1/2 HP blower motor that I have had sitting on the shelf for over 10 years. Since most large belt sanders seem to have much larger motors I was worried it might bog down but this thing has plenty of power, even with 1:1 pulleys transfering power from the motor the carriage.

As usual, the design, prototyping and troubleshooting process made this a really fun and rewarding project, especially for a first attempt at power tool making. Thanks for looking.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

6 comments so far

View Ebro's profile


158 posts in 1198 days

#1 posted 12-02-2015 02:27 AM

Wow! That is really awesome and thanks for sharing the video. Congrats on the successful build.

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


2424 posts in 1871 days

#2 posted 12-02-2015 03:11 AM

Nice build.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View Lazyman's profile


688 posts in 849 days

#3 posted 12-02-2015 03:14 PM

Thanks. This was a blast to design and build and it has already gotten good use in my shop. I retired the frustratingly tiny Dewalt handheld belt sander I used to have setup for stationary sanding. I am really glad I decided to build a 6×48 instead of buying or building a smaller one, especially since it probably has an only slightly larger bench foot print compared to one of the cheap ones. This is going to get used a lot.

Note that forgot to mention that I designed this so that I can also turn it on its side and use it as an edge sander as well, though I would need to setup or attach some sort of raised platform to do that. That’ll be a future enhancement should I find a need to do a bunch of edge sanding.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View helluvawreck's profile


23142 posts in 2328 days

#4 posted 12-02-2015 03:21 PM

That’s a fine shop built machine. Congratulations.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View roer's profile


60 posts in 2701 days

#5 posted 12-03-2015 08:10 PM

I Would love a copy of Your sketchup file. Could you post it ? Thanks In advance :0)

View Lazyman's profile


688 posts in 849 days

#6 posted 12-04-2015 12:23 AM

I’ll be glad to share my Sketchup file. I would love to see others build one of these. Just send me a PM with an email address and I will send it to you. I think that I have kept it up to date with the changes I made along the way, mostly because I usually use Sketchup to ruminate about changes before I make them. I haven’t packaged it up as a nice neat set of plans for others to follow but I did layout the components to help with cutting. You may have to know your way around using Sketchup for them to be very useful in their current state.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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