Sanding belt sander!

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Project by barecycles posted 10-23-2013 02:35 AM 5284 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


7770 posts in 2216 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


5387 posts in 2377 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 Rob

View Ken90712's profile


17592 posts in 3362 days

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

Nice idea…

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

View jfk4032's profile


365 posts in 2699 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


16058 posts in 3507 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

Monte Pittman

29959 posts in 2511 days

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

I like it. Never really liked my Sanding block.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Don W's profile

Don W

18988 posts in 2740 days

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

great idea…..

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2821 posts in 3610 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


140 posts in 1965 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


257 posts in 2501 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

553 posts in 3171 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 2492 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


11741 posts in 3262 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 3711 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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