building a belt sander

It occurs to me that I could make a belt sander myself (I'm thinking a 6x48 stationary sander). I have motors (up to 1 hp), pulleys, belts, lots of scrap steel, a welder, lots of wood, a metal lathe, ....). Also, I just fixed my junky 4x36 sander, and it seems to be a simple machine. What do I need to be especially concerned with? The rollers have to be crowned, I imagine alignment is pretty fussy, and so on. Has anybody done this? There is some guy who build a pretty small sander (like a 2" belt) out of plywood and so on, and you can find this on the web, but none of his stuff seemed particularly relevant to a larger one. So, has anybody done this?
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote: | It occurs to me that I could make a belt sander myself (I'm | thinking a 6x48 stationary sander). I have motors (up to 1 hp), | pulleys, belts, lots of scrap steel, a welder, lots of wood, a | metal lathe, ....). Also, I just fixed my junky 4x36 sander, and it | seems to be a simple machine. What do I need to be especially | concerned with? The rollers have to be crowned, I imagine | alignment is pretty fussy, and so on. Has anybody done this? There | is some guy who build a pretty small sander (like a 2" belt) out of | plywood and so on, and you can find this on the web, but none of | his stuff seemed particularly relevant to a larger one. So, has | anybody done this?
I'd guess that you'll want a platen heavy enough to not distort from the generated heat, and I think I'd want to face it with a full-size graphite pad. I understand that a bit of tape around the center of the rollers can provide all the crown needed to ensure tracking.
I think I'd want a full-length fence similar to a jointer fence, so that I could shift the position of the fence when the belt at the current position wears, and so that I could sand beveled edges accurately.
Seems like dust collection and a really solid base would be good ideas. :-)
I've never built one and my only belt sander is a 1"x42" - if you build one, please post photos to news:alt.binaries.pictures.woodworking.
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto /
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:
| It occurs to me that I could make a belt sander myself (I'm | thinking a 6x48 stationary sander). <snip>
SFWIW:
Built one from wood using a from a kit from by Gilliom.
Never got it working correctly. Scrapped it out.
Lew
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