Saturday, July 27, 2013

Shop-made belt sander

I've built another tool. This is just a small one, a belt sander using a drill as the motor. I saw the plans in one of my "The Scale Cabinetmaker" magazines. I would have to say that these instructions were probably the most challenging to decipher (meaning it wasn't written too well in my opinion.) But having a knowledge of building tools I was able to overcome the deficiencies...and I have drills coming out of my ears :) 

This beautiful old craftsman was rescued from the trash. 
I bought the drill stand some 25+ years ago when I had the idea to make a lathe using a drill as the motor. I never got around to it, and luckily I knew where I put the stand.

I did not have to make the top hood/shield because it came with the drill stand, what luck! Oh, and the little table is from one of my bench grinders, I made a jig for sharpening, so this tool rest was up for grabs.

Here is a closer view:

This is a really cool little machine because of the tracking and tensioning systems. 

This is the belt tracking system. It consists of a bolt with flats ground on the end, and that fits into a larger sleeve. There is a pivot pin soldered in the middle. To track the belt, you just loosen the lower screw and then move the top screw in or out depending on which way the belt wants to wander. HA! It really works :)

The spring is the tensioning system. The rod is threaded with a wing nut and you tighten it for more tension on the belt. The little table "borrowed" from my grinder is fully adjustable.

I was very lucky to acquire a full set of Scale Cabinetmaker magazines in pristine condition, and I don't dare dog-ear the pages. I put bookmarks of everything I'm interested in and make copies in a binder, take it down into the shop and have a "book" of projects I want to do.

I know some of you have expressed that when I talk about tools your eyes glaze over, but this is an important part of me and my miniature business, being able to fill a need. Necessity is the mother of invention as they say. Some plans are my own, others are not. I love building tools and jigs.


  1. WOW I'm impressed and more than a little mystified. I love tools but building them isn't my idea of fun. Still if I needed something I think I might have to try it. WELL DONE! you AMAZE ME with all the things you can do.

  2. Great job, Linda! I love tools, my husband helped me change an old lathe into a thickness sander. Enjoy using your belt sander.

  3. Thats quite a machine. Well done.

  4. creo que has hecho un gran trabajo con el montaje de esa maquina , felicidades



  5. Dear miniature friend, I'm so with you on this. Just like you I got the chance to buy a big stack of The Scale Cabinetmaker a few years ago. Only a few copies short of all the issues I was over the moon!Being old school it showed that with basic tools you still could build amazing pieces if you are creative and inventiv. I found most articles very explanatory and return to them on a frequent base. That being said;

    Your belt sander is absolutely freakingly mind blowing brilliant!!

  6. Looks good, congrats. Always best to ignore those you make my eyes glaze over comments ;). If inventors listened to them we would still have rocks as our only tools ;).

  7. Hello Linda,
    I think you are brilliant! It amazes me how you create your own tools. I think proper tools are the most important part of any miniaturists collection! I love to see what you create and what you use to make your incredible artwork.
    Big hug,

  8. Neat. I like the tensioning mechanism.

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