Home built 2" x 72" belt sander project

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Meridian_Mike
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Home built 2" x 72" belt sander project

Post by Meridian_Mike » Wed Dec 11, 2019 5:02 pm

I hunted and I searched the net for a DETAILED plan of how to build a 72" belt sander..... WITH DIMENSIONS...
SO..... after some weeping and gnashing of teeth, I researched the topic in several areas of the www net, I came up with this.....
If y'all want to add or subtract you are welcome to do so.

I HOPE this will help someone get a 2" x 72" sander on their bench at a minimal cost....

ANYWAY.... here is a layout WITH DIMENSIONS of the sander I hope to build .... LOL.... I drew up this sketch so I would have something to go by for my build.
(that detail in the lower left of the plan, is a section thru the main body of the frame.)

The plan.....
Belt Sander.jpg
The total length from the back of the motor to the front of the grinding surface should be about 2'-3" to 2'-6" or there about.

I researched the motor and it looks like the other builders prefer an electric motor somewhere in the 1 HP to 3 HP range. It is hard to find one that powerful that will just plug in to a household socket (120V)... SO, I had to jump up to a 240V motor. They also suggest a TEFC motor to keep grind dust out. I found a bunch on ebay that sells electric motors for a reasonable price.
I got this one on the way for a total of $133.17 SHIPPED to me.....
Western 1.5HP 230V 3600 RPM 3 phase.jpg
It is a Surplus Western (Brook Compton) 1.5 HP 230/460 volt, 3 phase, TEFC (Totally Enclosed Fan Cooled), 3600 RPM motor.
It has a 7/8" diameter shaft.

I got myself a 4" solid aluminum drive wheel from Origin Blade Maker (dot com). They have all the parts you want to make your sander OR you can buy the whole thing motor included from them somewhere in the $1200 to $1500 range (that is why I am building mine!)
Here is the drive wheel.....
4 inch Belt-Grinder-Drive-Wheel-for-2x72 $37.jpg
I got all the wheels from OBM because the price was good and I didn't want to try to find or made a set of wheels that would be precision quality for this project.
That being said, I got the adjustable tracking wheel from them also.... It is already mounted and hinged. All I will have to do is weld it on the upper tensioning arm and make an adjusting screw.
Belt-Grinder-Tracking-Wheel-for-2x72 $57.jpg
Another part I ordered from OBM was the front backing set-up with wheels already mounted and an adjustment slot cut into it. I saw all sorts of tutorials about how to make this MAJOR part but for $94 I got it from OBM and it is READY TO GO.....
This one is steel but you can get one from them that is aluminum.
Belt-Grinder-D-Backing-plate-for-2x72-grinder-with-wheels $94.jpg
I finally found (some place on the net) where a guy spec-ed out his gas piston spring. He said his was a 30 pound piston. (I would imagine 20# to 30# would be fine) SO.... according to my plan, I need one that is somewhere in the 7" to 10" range. SO, I found this guy on the bay. it is 10" fully extended and 7" compressed. I should be able to work with that.
The seller had all strengths and lengths. I got this one on it's way to me for $21 shipped.....
10 inch 30 pound spring.jpg
I thought about buying a tooling arm from OBM ... They have this one for $36 plus some shipping. That would add up to be somewhere close to $50 in my hands....
Belt-Grinder-Tooling-Arm-2x72 $36.jpg
BUT.... I thought about it and figured I would just make my own. I ordered this piece of aluminum tube from a guy on the bay for $19 shipped. I figure I can drill it and make it like I want.
It is 1 1/2" square tube x 24" long. (generic picture)....
1.5 x 24 inch aluminum tube $19.jpg
SO... here is where I stand so far, with the (I sorta think) major parts secured.....
Electric motor ...... $133.17 (shipped)
OBM parts ........... $225.00 (shipped)
Gas spring ........... $20.89 (shipped)
Aluminum tube ..... $18.45 (shipped)
----------------------------------------------
Total thus far....... $397.51 invested

NOW...... short of buying bolts, turn handles or what ever else I want to use to dress this guy up with, .... I plan to build the balance from metal I can get here at my place of business FOR FREE ..... (that is the price I like to pay for stuff....LOL). You can do similar by using scrap materials.

I have the 2 main side pieces being cut out as we speak from 1/4" plate on our CNC machine.... (YES, that is cheating!! :lol: )
The rest I will dig out of the scrap bins. Far a finished build, I hope all else I will have to do is, cut, drill, weld and bolt together.

Stay tuned for further developments.....
:D
“We the willing, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful.
We have done so much, with so little, for so long, we are now qualified to do anything, with nothing.”
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Re: Home built 2" x 72" belt sander project

Post by Jeffinn » Wed Dec 11, 2019 6:25 pm

Looks great so far Mike! I’m looking forward to seeing the final build!
Jeff
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Re: Home built 2" x 72" belt sander project

Post by orvet » Wed Dec 11, 2019 7:00 pm

That looks good Mike except I am wondering if you are going to put a speed control on it?
My 2 x 72 is a Grizzly, which is admittedly a minimal 2 x 72, it only runs at 1700 RPM... I would hate to see it running at 3200 RPMs! :shock:
I am afraid it would be way too fast for finish work, though it might work great for hogging a lot of metal off quickly though.
The faster it goes, the more heat it generates, that's what what concerns me about it. Aside from that I think it looks great and the price is outstanding, about what I paid for my Grizzly 8 or 10 years ago. Of course they are much more expensive now!

I'm not an expert on 2 x 72 belt sanders, but it looks like a solid design. You should certainly have enough power with that 3 HP motor! I have more than enough power with mine with just a 1 HP motor, I have never needed more power with mine. I like your idea of the TEFC motor, if it gets enough air for cooling should last longer by reducing the grit that gets in it.

Be sure to post pictures when it's done, I can't wait to see it! ::tu::
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Re: Home built 2" x 72" belt sander project

Post by Meridian_Mike » Wed Dec 11, 2019 7:46 pm

I'm glad you brought up the speed issue Dale.
I do have plans (in my head) of putting some sort of motor speed control on it some time in the future. I have seen one that seems to be a heavily used controller and prices for it run in about the $250 range.

I am still investigating this angle but..... YES..... I do want to add a speed control before it goes into full time use on my bench.

In my reading and searching for ADVICE and parameters for my build, it seems the criteria I have found says you want to run between 2500 and 4000 SFM (Surface Feet / Minute)....
I THINK the 2500 SFM would be about 1700 RPM..... MAYBE...

SO, what I have right now without a speed control will be about
3200 RPM which will be.....
3656 SFM and that equates to
a SCREAMING 42 MPH.... That's in a hurry!!!

I have a couple of options bouncing around in my head...
An inline electrical speed controller ....

OR ....

a step down pulley system. I thought about a set of pulleys on a shaft with corresponding pulleys on my motor. That way, I can manually select my belt speed.

Like this here...
motor-pulley-250x250.jpg
motor-pulley-250x250.jpg (10.12 KiB) Viewed 2739 times
pulley_speed_01a.jpg
Here is a NICE speed calculator....
http://dcknives.com/public/belt_speed.php

I am still undecided on this issue.....
::shrug::
“We the willing, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful.
We have done so much, with so little, for so long, we are now qualified to do anything, with nothing.”
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Re: Home built 2" x 72" belt sander project

Post by orvet » Wed Dec 11, 2019 8:15 pm

The pulley system is what I use to control the speed of my homemade buffer and both my drill press work on the same step down pulley system as well. It works well for the buffer, I am not sure how well it would work for a belt sander. It might start slipping at some point, especially if it's not tensioned properly. I think if you built in a good system of tensioning the belt, that would work fine.
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Re: Home built 2" x 72" belt sander project

Post by Meridian_Mike » Wed Dec 11, 2019 8:27 pm

orvet wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 8:15 pm
The pulley system is what I use to control the speed of my homemade buffer and both my drill press work on the same step down pulley system as well. It works well for the buffer, I am not sure how well it would work for a belt sander. It might start slipping at some point, especially if it's not tensioned properly. I think if you built in a good system of tensioning the belt, that would work fine.
Yep, I am sure belt slipage could be an issue.
I have seen some other builds that used a pulley system to get the sander belt speed they wanted. Looking at the calculator, I see that a 2" pulley at the motor and a 4" sheave at the drive shaft, there would be a reduction of belt speed to about 1746 RPMs (or 914 SFM). That sounds like a good speed according to what you are working with.

This system would give me a 4 speed sander where the variable speed controller would have endless possibilities....

The jury is out.....
::hmm::
“We the willing, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful.
We have done so much, with so little, for so long, we are now qualified to do anything, with nothing.”
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Re: Home built 2" x 72" belt sander project

Post by Doc B » Wed Dec 11, 2019 8:45 pm

I would never be able to draw "the plan"...much less implement it! Very impressive start! Can't wait to see it! ::tu:: ::tu:: ::tu::
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Re: Home built 2" x 72" belt sander project

Post by Jeffinn » Thu Dec 12, 2019 3:13 pm

Meridian_Mike wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 8:27 pm
orvet wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 8:15 pm
The pulley system is what I use to control the speed of my homemade buffer and both my drill press work on the same step down pulley system as well. It works well for the buffer, I am not sure how well it would work for a belt sander. It might start slipping at some point, especially if it's not tensioned properly. I think if you built in a good system of tensioning the belt, that would work fine.
Yep, I am sure belt slipage could be an issue.
I have seen some other builds that used a pulley system to get the sander belt speed they wanted. Looking at the calculator, I see that a 2" pulley at the motor and a 4" sheave at the drive shaft, there would be a reduction of belt speed to about 1746 RPMs (or 914 SFM). That sounds like a good speed according to what you are working with.

This system would give me a 4 speed sander where the variable speed controller would have endless possibilities....

The jury is out.....
::hmm::
My Coote belt grinder has the pulley system on it for speed control. To be honest, it’s set at the lower speed and that’s where I leave it because I just haven’t had a need for the higher speeds. The motor is on a simple pivot which provides the necessary belt tensioning. For a belt I use a power twist variety similar to this one which minimizes vibration and allowed me to lengthen or shorten the belt as needed: https://www.rockler.com/1-2-power-twist ... gKHf_D_BwE
If money is no object then the electronic controller is a great way to go otherwise the pulley system will suit your needs just fine.
Jeff
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Re: Home built 2" x 72" belt sander project

Post by Meridian_Mike » Thu Dec 12, 2019 3:43 pm

Jeffinn wrote:
Thu Dec 12, 2019 3:13 pm

My Coote belt grinder has the pulley system on it for speed control. To be honest, it’s set at the lower speed and that’s where I leave it because I just haven’t had a need for the higher speeds. The motor is on a simple pivot which provides the necessary belt tensioning. For a belt I use a power twist variety similar to this one which minimizes vibration and allowed me to lengthen or shorten the belt as needed: https://www.rockler.com/1-2-power-twist ... gKHf_D_BwE

If money is no object then the electronic controller is a great way to go otherwise the pulley system will suit your needs just fine.
Jeff
LOL.... yep, at my house money is DEFINITELY an object.....LOL.
I just bought a few more parts for a pulley sheave system so I am going to try to step down the speed that way.
With a 2" pulley on the motor and a 4" step pulley on the sheave I should get close to the 1750 RPM speed.

The one I ordered for the motor keeps a 2" pulley for 2 positions....
2 inch pulley for motor.jpg
Then, the one for the sheave will be a step down pulley. It has a 4" as the largest and a 2.5"" as the smallest.
4 3.5 3 2.5 inch step for shaft.jpg
According to the calculator, I can get about a 1828 SFM (surface feet per minute) step down with the 4" pulley. With the 2 part pulley at the motor, I can get at least 2 speeds with this set up.

AND... good point about the motor being on a pivot. I think I can do that ....... and let the motor weight be the tensioner.... Thanks for the idea Jeff.

For now, this is all an experiment for me. I should be able to eventually get something that pleases me. I'm sure the first attempt at the build won't be final. BUT, at least I can make changes to the original as I go.

:D
“We the willing, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful.
We have done so much, with so little, for so long, we are now qualified to do anything, with nothing.”
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Re: Home built 2" x 72" belt sander project

Post by Meridian_Mike » Thu Dec 12, 2019 4:43 pm

The site I have been using as a reference for my build (Origin Blade Maker) suggests you want a target speed of 2500 to 4000 Surface Feet per Minute or SFM.
I used the calculator (I posted a link to earlier in the thread).....
Here is what I found my belt speed possibilities will be with the pulleys I have coming.....

2" drive pulley on the motor (which will be producing about 3600 RPMs).
THEN
with a 4" drive wheel at the belt....
and the step pulley at the other end of the shaft with 2 1/2", 3", 3 1/2" and 4" slots .....
I am looking at getting these results.....
.
DC_sheaves_logo.jpg
.
SO.... looks like I will have at least 3 possibilities that will be SLOWER than the suggested speed and 1 that will fall inside the target area but at the low end.
I have no idea what this will be in RPMs.....

We shall see.
:)
“We the willing, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful.
We have done so much, with so little, for so long, we are now qualified to do anything, with nothing.”
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Re: Home built 2" x 72" belt sander project

Post by Montanaman » Thu Dec 12, 2019 5:49 pm

Is that motor a 230 single phase and 460 3 phase? or 230/460 3 phase? Do you have 3 phase in your shop? Great project ::tu::

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Re: Home built 2" x 72" belt sander project

Post by Meridian_Mike » Thu Dec 12, 2019 7:56 pm

Montanaman wrote:
Thu Dec 12, 2019 5:49 pm
230/460 3 phase?
Do you have 3 phase in your shop? Great project ::tu::
Yep, I have 3 phase in my shop.....
Well, it's in the breaker box.....

It should be a fun project!
::tu::
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We have done so much, with so little, for so long, we are now qualified to do anything, with nothing.”
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Re: Home built 2" x 72" belt sander project

Post by Meridian_Mike » Fri Dec 13, 2019 12:29 pm

Montanaman wrote:
Thu Dec 12, 2019 5:49 pm
Is that motor a 230 single phase and 460 3 phase? or 230/460 3 phase? Do you have 3 phase in your shop? Great project ::tu::
Well.... after a lesson about power from my electrician friend..... It turns out I only have SINGLE PHASE power to my shop.
I'm glad you brought that up Montanaman.....!! THANKS!!

SO.... once again, back to the ole drawing board!

I am going to have to have a VFD (Variable Frequency Drive) to power this motor.

With that on my mind, I started looking around for an AFFORDABLE (for me) VFD.
I have found a few in the $100 range, BUT BEFORE I PULL THE TRIGGER and buy one..... I am going to make SURE it will power the motor and perform like I want.
More to come......

::facepalm::
“We the willing, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful.
We have done so much, with so little, for so long, we are now qualified to do anything, with nothing.”
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Re: Home built 2" x 72" belt sander project

Post by ReidJustin » Mon Feb 15, 2021 8:00 am

Hmm ... an Interesting scheme, but I'm not sure how good your sander will be. Usually, such tools are of high accuracy and quality, which is the main thing when creating such a tool.

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Re: Home built 2" x 72" belt sander project

Post by Colonel26 » Mon Feb 15, 2021 8:21 am

Mike I’m definitely interested to see how this turns out. I’ve been tempted several times to try one of these myself, but just haven’t gotten my round to it’s top line up. Keep the pics coming!
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