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Thread: home made sander belts

  1. #1
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    Default home made sander belts

    I have a good strong belt sander that has a few issues, the tensioning system is broken, it tends to run the belt off to the side, its big and heavy enough to not be easy to use as a hand tool....so I was thinking of using it to make a freestanding bench sander with maybe a 500 mm or so belt, but I don't have a decent tool suppliers nearby but can easily locally get different grades of various width abrasives on a roll....

    Question..how would I join the length to make a belt of any given size, or can it even be done with off- the- roll by -the- metre belt.?.... or should I build the bench with distance between the rollers of a standard available size and just buy a whole lot of belts at once... The idea of making my own appeals, .
    Has anyone done this ? Any advice welcome and tanx in advance
    When you come to a fork in the road , take it.


    Smarter than the average bear, Booboo

  2. #2
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    Default Re: home made sander belts

    You can lap splice, or mylar splice either is easy enough.

    But if the tracking is out, that's the first thing to get fixed, an bad mannered linisher is an evil bastard.
    Someday, I'm going to settle down and be a grumpy old man.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: home made sander belts

    So , lap splicing I gather would just be an angled overlapping glue join, but how to avoid the step.... scrape the abrasive from side of the cloth, but still two layers.............. and I assume contact adhesive?
    Whats a Mlar splice...I have Mylar or Melinex in 75 and 125 mícron, but I use it professionally as a non stick barrier...what will glue it therefore...is it just a glorified sticky tape join?
    as to the tracking issue, I am gutting the tool to use the drive and passive roller mounted under a 5mm Ally plate bed and will sort the bias and tensions issues then. Its a problem now basically because the the whole chassis and structure of the tool is clapped, the variable speed switch doesn't, and if I am using it upside down on a bench , working the job not the tool, I have the switch held with a spring clamp because the lock button fell off. but the motor, drive, and bearings of the rollers are ok Its a Bosch Pro B75 750 watt. Too good to sling it and that offends principles anyway so I bought another hand held one, and will build this into the above idea.

    keep it coming !
    When you come to a fork in the road , take it.


    Smarter than the average bear, Booboo

  4. #4
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    Default Re: home made sander belts

    I splice my belts up using West System G/flex epoxy. Works like a charm as it does just that, flex!
    Jay
    Last edited by Jay Greer; 11-07-2017 at 05:11 PM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: home made sander belts

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greer View Post
    I space my belts up using West System G/flex epoxy. Works like a charm as it does just that, flex!
    Jay
    'I space my belts up......' does that mean join the two ends, therefore you do make belts from lengths off the roll...?
    When you come to a fork in the road , take it.


    Smarter than the average bear, Booboo

  6. #6
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    Default Re: home made sander belts

    Google fu <sanding belt splice tape>

    Procedures for Processing Butt-Type Coated Abrasives Splices

    Mylar is polyester. It makes for a tough, stiff tape.
    http://www.adktapes.com/coated.html

    This is not an endorsement, adktapes was easy to find and that's all I know about them.

    What, the L? spacing tapes is easier without the> typo.
    Last edited by MN Dave; 11-07-2017 at 05:04 PM.
    Management is the art of counting beans. Leadership is the art of making every being count. --Joe Finch

  7. #7
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    Default Re: home made sander belts

    Quote Originally Posted by jonboy View Post
    'I space my belts up......' does that mean join the two ends, therefore you do make belts from lengths off the roll...?
    I meant "splice"
    Jay

  8. #8
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    Default Re: home made sander belts

    I recall that Jim Ledger tried this a while ago and concluded that it was not worth the time and effort.
    Steve Martinsen

  9. #9
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    Default Re: home made sander belts

    thanks all, and Jay for the edit...i was wondering whether it was an oz expression for gluing I hadn't heard before....!

    before I start the build and therefore need to decide on belt length I think I'll experiment witha couple of ways of joining and test them on the standard belt sanders. but I suspect Smarti's recall of Mr Ledgers experience might ring true....
    When you come to a fork in the road , take it.


    Smarter than the average bear, Booboo

  10. #10
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    Default Re: home made sander belts

    Quote Originally Posted by SMARTINSEN View Post
    I recall that Jim Ledger tried this a while ago and concluded that it was not worth the time and effort.
    For hobbyists... maybe. It's certainly not difficult to learn how to make your own belts.

    For professionals... or those jealous of their time... it makes no sense. Time is money. Or time is a valuable commodity better used doing the tasks you love. Better to just get the belt sander repaired and continue to use it. Or... if you're wanting a different sort of sander, and it's not readily or affordably available... then construct it so that it takes a stock size belt.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  11. #11
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    Default Re: home made sander belts

    Actually I had a case of belts left over when I moved my shop and they suffered glue failure from storage. G/flex is the only glue I found that will hold them together, after much experimentation. They are pre-scarfed so are easy to re-glue with acouple of battens and clamps plus a wax paper sandwich around them.
    The G/flex is amazing! I couldn't justify tossing them or turning them into sanding boards.
    Jay

  12. #12
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    Default Re: home made sander belts

    Quote Originally Posted by jonboy View Post
    I have a good strong belt sander that has a few issues, the tensioning system is broken, it tends to run the belt off to the side, its big and heavy enough to not be easy to use as a hand tool....so I was thinking of using it to make a freestanding bench sander with maybe a 500 mm or so belt, but I don't have a decent tool suppliers nearby but can easily locally get different grades of various width abrasives on a roll....

    Question..how would I join the length to make a belt of any given size, or can it even be done with off- the- roll by -the- metre belt.?.... or should I build the bench with distance between the rollers of a standard available size and just buy a whole lot of belts at once... The idea of making my own appeals, .
    Has anyone done this ? Any advice welcome and tanx in advance
    Make sure that you get fabric backed sand"paper".

    John Welsford
    An expert is but a beginner with experience.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: home made sander belts

    Quote Originally Posted by john welsford View Post
    Make sure that you get fabric backed sand"paper".

    John Welsford
    well, an update is in order....last first... I thought the easy availability of sandpaper on a roll was the answer, diferente grades, for wood, for metal even a wet n dry type but they are all paper only no fabric. easy to join but lasted about two minutes...
    The fabric type I have to go 100kms for, or online, so might as well use standard large belts, typically 1200mm .available from the pro suppliers that has the fabric stuff, but not worth the effort to make them.

    Still, the super fine metal grade works well for sharpening the various guillotine blades and the bench planer. even if it lasts only a short time....still better than sending the Morso blades away at 40 beertokens each way for postage, and 90 a pair to sharpen...The book trimming guillotine blade is about 500mm, and that I was able to just hone it with the first cobbled up prototype.
    Thanks for the input everyone
    When you come to a fork in the road , take it.


    Smarter than the average bear, Booboo

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