Motor for shopmade Belt Sander

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Forum topic by interpim posted 03-01-2009 06:20 AM 1105 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1158 posts in 2880 days

03-01-2009 06:20 AM

I plan on building a small 4” x 36” belt sander, and am curious as to how big a motor I need to spin it. Plus, if anyone has any ideas on how I could make it “oscillate” that would be awesome :)

-- San Diego, CA

7 replies so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16229 posts in 3640 days

#1 posted 03-01-2009 04:34 PM

I realize sometimes it’s just fun to make something yourself, but my Delta 4×36 belt/disc sander is one of the most used tools in my shop, and only cost $100 brand new. So unless you can get a motor for little or nothing, I doubt you’ll be saving much money.

I also have a Ridgid oscillating belt/spindle sander. The oscillation does speed up stock removal quite a bit, but you can obtain the same result on the stationary belt by moving the workpiece back and forth yourself as you sand.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View NY_Rocking_Chairs's profile


507 posts in 3019 days

#2 posted 03-01-2009 05:11 PM

I built the same belt sander and I purchased the motor from Electric Motor Warehouse.
1 1/2hp 3450RPM 56 Frame rigid base Leeson motor 115/208-230volts

It was not cheap, around $300.00

I purchased the belt and pulleys from Grainger and then had a machinist cut a key groove in the drum shaft so everything is keyed.

Good luck,

-- Rich, anybody want a peanut?

View marcb's profile


768 posts in 3095 days

#3 posted 03-01-2009 05:18 PM

I have a 1/3 HP motor on my belt sander. Sanding is something that shouldn’t require a ton of power. Let the sandpaper do the work, don’t press in hard. Otherwise you’ll be replacing your belts a lot more often.

View jm540's profile


150 posts in 2841 days

#4 posted 03-01-2009 06:14 PM

is this a belt or a drum sander

-- jay Rambling on and on again

View interpim's profile


1158 posts in 2880 days

#5 posted 03-01-2009 07:11 PM

Belt Sander… i was thinking of building the one featured in Shopnotes #37

-- San Diego, CA

View NY_Rocking_Chairs's profile


507 posts in 3019 days

#6 posted 03-02-2009 12:05 PM

Somehow I mis-read the question and then wrote the answer up wrong too. That motor I bought is on a 36” drum sander which is use to sand my table tops. Belt sander shouldn’t require that much muscle. Sorry for the confusion.

-- Rich, anybody want a peanut?

View BigFoot Products Canada's profile

BigFoot Products Canada

697 posts in 2815 days

#7 posted 03-02-2009 03:54 PM

I would think that a 1/4 hp would work just fine for that. Normally they spin at 1750 but you can up that easily with pulleys. Garage sales have them all the time for $5.00 or less. I have a bunch of them that I’ve bought from yard sales even some 1/3 rd hp’s for $5.00.
I use them for all sorts of things.. like building 12” disk sanders for my buddies etc. I just turn a mount on my lathe to fit the shaft.. then turn down the other end a little bigger than a face plate and thread it to accept the face plate.
Anyhow.. post it when your done.
Happy sanding!

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