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I Forge Iron

2 x 72 Belt Sander \ Build

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After many years of wrestling with the bench mounted floor sander and watching things fly across the shop, I decided to build a belt grinder.

Dereck Glazier at the New England School of Metalwork organized a group build and we produced a re-engineered version of the no-weld grinder. This model is welded and utilizes most of the design elements popular in the various models you can buy plans for. Dereck did a fantastic and through job on this project and everone involved had a great time. Several of the fellow smiths in attendance had built tire hammers last year with Clay. Everyone knew what to do and got down to it without much delay. We had everything welded, assembled, wired, fitted and tested in about 9 hours.

8 In and 2 in contact wheels, mfg. Beaumont metals. I driver pulley and one idler pulley that is adjustable for tracking. 1.5 HP HD Motor. 4 speed matched step pulleys. Heavy duty pillow blocks with grease fittings are fixed to .25 in angle base. 3 axis adjustable platen. Tubular constrcution allows infinite adjustment within range. All tube penetrations are reinforced to avoid any deformity when tightened. They will not crush. One 3/4 in wrench is the only required tooling.

I try to keep the shop modular so we can use as much of the floor space (36 x 24poured slab) as possible. To this end I mount most of my tooling so it is movable. The Grinder is mounted on .75 in HD board, sandwiched with a .75 in piece of stall matting to act as a vibration damper. The assemply is through bolted to a .5 in piece of scrap plate we had out back. The legs are 2 x 2 angle and the frame is stiffened with a shelf. 4 casters, 2 fixed and 2 swivel complete the assembly. Because it can move the height of the unit is just under the benches in the shop, this way where ever you work you can clamp the unit in place for added stability. I will add a piece of expanded metal for the shelf when I generate some scrap. The iron work was all cleaned, primed and painted out in gloss haze gray.

I ordered up some belts from POPS Knife supply. Very reasonable pricing. I tested the unit this afternoon with a 50 grit hogging belt. It worked like a charm and I was suitably impressed. My estimated cost total is about $1200 USD. I did not include the gas, lodging costs for the group build event or my own shop time. I used scrap steel we had on hand for the frame. Upon review, a very reasonable cost for a versitile grinder. If you are in the market for a grinder consider this option.

Photos attached. Tel me what you think? Any ideas on improvements or tooling I may have overlooked?





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Yes. You can lead with either the 2 in or the 8 in contact wheels. You can establish the platten at whatever angle you want in regard the rest. Also you can rotate the arm so that the slack portion of the belt is any number of other orientations on the radius of its swing. It's a single pivot point offest toward the 8 in wheel end.


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