Sanding belt sander!

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Project by barecycles posted 10-23-2013 02:35 AM 3737 views 20 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Sanding belt sander!
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While making one of the rental houses ready for tenants I ran across a sack of these:

A lot were used but many were brand new, unopened sanding belts. The only problem is, I don’t have a belt sander. I know, any self-respecting woodworker would immediately run out and buy a new belt sander but I don’t know the meaning of the word self-respecting (come to think of it, I don’t know the meaning to a lot of words).

Even so, I devised a plan. I have been collecting Shopnotes for quite a long time and I made a deal with myself that I would try to take an issue each week and make something out of the magazine. Lo and behold, the very first issue has an article on how to make a sanding block with belt sander belts. The article uses a 3” x 21” belt and many of the belts were that size.

It uses a scrap piece of 2×4, a dowel and springs. Here are my unsuspecting pieces:

I trim the 2×4 to 3” to match the belt width.

I cut the 2×4 to 8-3/4” and bevel one end to ease installing the belt.

Then drill holes for the dowels and cut about 1” off the end.

Glue in the dowels.

Slide on the springs. Put the two pieces back together and it’s ready for the belt.

It’s a big, beefy sanding block and the spring tension keeps the belt in place. I also like being able to just rotate the belt around the block when I need fresh grit.

So, until I break down and get a new belt sander, I’ll be using these belts like this.

-- Sweeping up sawdust in Texas

14 comments so far

View doubleDD's profile


4024 posts in 1133 days

#1 posted 10-23-2013 02:58 AM

This is a great idea. I have many left over ass’t belts that are waiting for this. Thanks for sharing.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View robscastle's profile


2575 posts in 1294 days

#2 posted 10-23-2013 04:56 AM

Dear barecycles ,.....funny name conjers up all sorts of thoughts.

Anyway nice job on the static belt sander, you did a really great job however don’t be such a tight a** go buy a electric belt sander, claim it as a business expense in maintaining your rental properties and you will also find it will take less time doing maintenance jobs.

A mans shop is not complete without a belt sander..!!

Plus just think how many hours of fun you could having belt sander races with your mates.!!

I will check back on you from time to time and see how you progressed !!

Intended humour only!!

-- Regards Robert

View Ken90712's profile


16042 posts in 2279 days

#3 posted 10-23-2013 08:07 AM

Nice idea…

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View jfk4032's profile


294 posts in 1617 days

#4 posted 10-23-2013 10:09 AM

Ingenious…some of the best ideas are simple and practical yet so functional. Although a belt sander is in my tool arsenal, it hogs off a lot of wood quickly. There are some instances where more delicate smoothing and removal of material is required and this hand sander would be perfect.

-- ---Joel; Central MD...rookie empter nester and getting back into woodworking!

View stefang's profile (online now)


14960 posts in 2424 days

#5 posted 10-23-2013 10:24 AM

Looks great, and maybe better than the noisy machine.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Monte Pittman's profile (online now)

Monte Pittman

18618 posts in 1428 days

#6 posted 10-23-2013 10:44 AM

I like it. Never really liked my Sanding block.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Don W's profile

Don W

16825 posts in 1658 days

#7 posted 10-23-2013 11:17 AM

great idea…..

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2497 posts in 2528 days

#8 posted 10-23-2013 12:18 PM

Great idea. I do have a belt sander a 48” one. I find that the used belts are tough and tear nicely into strips of various widths. I use them to sand curved things like railings and moldings. Use them like polishing a shoe with a stropping rag. Works amazingly well.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View exit116's profile


134 posts in 882 days

#9 posted 10-23-2013 05:51 PM

thanks for posting, I will be trying this. I have for awhile used sandpaper flat on the bench for fixing things(my mistakes) but I like the block alot.

-- Money: if you do not have fun earning it, have fun spending it, I do not enjoy spending it so I have fun earning it.

View barecycles's profile


256 posts in 1419 days

#10 posted 10-23-2013 06:51 PM

Craftsman, I think that is what I’ll do with the used belts I found. Some of those are bigger than 21” anyway…thanks!

-- Sweeping up sawdust in Texas

View Greg In Maryland's profile

Greg In Maryland

529 posts in 2088 days

#11 posted 10-23-2013 07:06 PM

This is a great job and something I really want to try. Thanks for sharing.


View Francois Vigneron's profile

Francois Vigneron

263 posts in 1410 days

#12 posted 10-23-2013 08:46 PM

That’s very clever ! Thanks for sharing this idea.

-- Francois Vigneron, Gif-sur-Yvette, France & Altadena, CA

View mafe's profile


10541 posts in 2179 days

#13 posted 10-23-2013 10:35 PM

Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Jerry's profile


221 posts in 2629 days

#14 posted 10-26-2013 12:30 PM

Great idea, thanks for sharing!!
I cut down my old belts and the long used strip from my drum sander for my lathe. The backing is very tough and the “shoe polishing method” mentioned by Craftsman is a great way to keep your fingers away from the heat.

-- Jerry - Rochester, MN *Whether you think you can or you can't, you are probably right* - Henry Ford

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