Homemade thickness sander #1: #1 The idea is born

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Blog entry by usnret posted 02-26-2012 09:00 AM 10434 reads 2 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Homemade thickness sander series no next part

So I have wanted a thickness sander or drum sander, what ever you call it, for a while. Well I found a free treadmill on Craigslist. I salvaged a lot of the parts from the TM. I have the motor 95vdc, the belt rollers, the raising mechanism, the dampening mechanism, and the motor controller board.

Now as for the design I am stuck on here. First I have to see if the motor controller even works so I have to build a PWM to controll it. The real decision is do i use the DC motor and steel roller with bearings for the sanding drum, or do I use the DC motor and rollers for the conveyor feed? I can make a PWM controller for the motor to adjust the feed rate.

The rollers will allow me to use a 22” inch wide belt, which I cant find. I can get a belt fdrom Klingspor that is 25” and cut it down in width.

I am just asking for a little advice from some people that are smarter than me.

I will update the blog as I make progress.

-- Chief Petty Officer USN(RET) 1991-2011

4 comments so far

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3033 days

#1 posted 02-26-2012 12:07 PM

Since you are having doubts and at a good stage, before you start, you might like to look at a totally different design. No feed belt (it can be successfully done manually) and no complex lifting mechanism (just one more thing that can go wrong). Its a design many here have built around (myself included, ) at least up to 18” wide. This design, whilst old, still stands the test of time .

The Plan

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View Roger's profile


20928 posts in 2801 days

#2 posted 02-26-2012 12:58 PM

very interesting. I’ll be followin along. nice link Martyn

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View BigTiny's profile


1676 posts in 2885 days

#3 posted 02-26-2012 01:38 PM

Most of these things use a spiral wrap of abrasive strips about 4 inches wide.


-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10479 posts in 3425 days

#4 posted 02-26-2012 02:45 PM

Here is where I will buy belts for my treadmill sander. 2SAND Mine takes a 105X15 belt. Their prices are very reasonable. i.e. $30 for my belts. The treadmill I started with uses a Reeves Pulley for speed control. The same as my Shopsmith. Simple and effective.
I have mine ready to run but I’ve not figured out exactly how to make it into a thickness sander. I have several ideas. No good ones, though. Care to collaborate?

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

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