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Thread: diy belt sander

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Default diy belt sander

    I have made myself a kmg style belt sander. Its useful but often just not wide enough. Does anyone know what the standerd length and width is of those belts that are in the region of 4 inch wide.
    Would a one horse power motor be sufficient for a 4 inch . Also I would like to make a floor standing sander so I can move it around. If anyone has any links or photos or even better some plans I would be very grateful. Thanks .

  2. #2
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    75x2000mm belt is by far most common size around here. 150x2000 and 100x1220mm after that.

    One horse for 4" belt is kind of little. Rule of thumb I have seen somewhere was one horse per inch and commercial versions seem to about this or even more.(5.5hp on a 3" belt)
    Last edited by MattiJ; 09-13-2017 at 01:46 AM.

  3. #3
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    Id want somewhere in the region of 5hp for a 4 inch belt. I've got a 2hp on my 2x72, and I've bogged it down pretty easily before. Double the width, double the HP. For size, 4x36 is the most common, but you do lose the advantage of keeping the belt as cool running as a 2x72. I'd rather go with the 4x118 belt size, sure you can't find them at HD, but the extra length gets you more abrasive, longer life and cooler operation

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by epicfail48 View Post
    I'd rather go with the 4x118 belt size, sure you can't find them at HD, but the extra length gets you more abrasive, longer life and cooler operation
    118" belt is starting to make the grinder somewhat largish. Maybe not a problem at all but worth noting beforehand.

  5. #5
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    Jan 2013
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    A few thoughts -

    The required power depends a lot on how hard you will use it, and how hard you're going to feed metal into the unit. As others have noted, the rule of thumb is one hp per inch of belt width, but that really depends.

    Folks will often warn that excessive feed pressure can cause a dramatic belt failure that sends the belt into the operator's hands, etc. If the belt is in a horiontal orientation, with grinding on the end wheel, the belt could be sent toward the operator's face.

    Since you are in S. Africa, that poses challenges with getting belts. What we can get in the states may not be anything like you can get there. Before you build anything, I would strongly encourage you to research your belt options and I know that is exactly what you are asking. For production shops, where time is money, they can afford to spend a lot more money on modern high removal rate belts. That may not make as much sense for home use.

    You also have the question of orientation. Will it be a vertical only? Or will it tilt to horiontal? Or will it be horizontal and then turned on a side?

    Your roll around system needs a way to anchor the machine and get it off the wheels. You're going to put pressure on this, etc, and you don't want it moving or vibrating.

    In terms of designs for 4", I would look hard at the existing designs. The old porter cables, the kalamazoos, the rockford/deltas. Will the motor be direct drive or via belt? For a roll around unit, it seems having the motor in the lower cabinet is essential for stability.

    One area of design variation is the mechanism that tensions the belt. How often will you change belts? For some people, quick belt changes are critical. For others, not so much (because they mostly do hogging with coarse grits, etc). The mechanism to tension the belt should be independent of the mechanism to align the belt. That isn't always the case on some designs.

    The kalamazoos tend to use a pneumatic cylinder for belt tension. So you need shop air of around 40psi to do that. If the air is a non-issue, that can be a very simple way to tension the belt and is quick to release. You can find parts/service drawings of the kalamazoo design. I'd give them a very hard look. The machines have a small footprint and seem well optimized.

    One other thing. How the belts are stored can determine the life of the glue joint at the seam. Watch out for old belts of unknown storage history. I have at times been very tempted to buy surplus old belts at auction, and then build a grinder around that supply.

  6. #6
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    Jan 2003
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    For those in the USA belt size is not a major issue. You can base your design on other factors. Custom size belts are made by "converters". A converter in Los Angeles I've used is Jet & Western Abrasives. Converters have access to a number of manufacturers abrasives. I would call Jet, tell them what I was sanding and they would suggest the best abrasive and belt material. Cost of custom belts is about what you would pay at retail for an equivalent amount of belt.

    Converters usually don't have access to the proprietary "super" abrasives. 3M Trizact is one I wanted for my 1" x 90" belts so I had to go direct to 3M. 3M, Norton, etc are a bit harder to deal with than converters because of their higher minimums. 3M has a minimum of 100 belts in 1" width, I was able to get around that by ordering them in 1-1/16" width where the minimum quantity is way less.

  7. #7
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    This is all good info. I had a download once of a site with hundreds of different designs for linishers. I lost it when my pc crashed. I cant seem to find it anymore. It was a real good link. Does anyone know the site I am referring to.?

  8. #8
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    I use a 4x36 belt on my drum sander. Not the same thing, I know, but I upgraded my choice of belt to a zirconia- I'll never look back.
    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

  9. #9
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    Are you referring to PINTEREST.THEY USUALLY HAVE GOOD PHOTOGRAPHIC IDEAS. Alistair
    Please excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

  10. #10

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    and you may want to consider using a 3 phase motor and a VFD for variable speed. Jim

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