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Modifying a bench sander to access the edge of the belt.......

brino

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#1
I've done alright using a bench grinder in the past for shaping my lathe tools, but I wanted to try @mikey's method he posted about here:
http://www.hobby-machinist.com/threads/models-for-grinding-hss-lathe-tools.62111/post-511692

The problem is that my current bench sander doesn't let me get anywhere near the edge of the sanding disc or belt.
It won't allow doing the top face of the lathe tool like @mikey shows:
1509304466515.png
(used without permission from page 4 of Mikey's thread here: http://www.hobby-machinist.com/threads/models-for-grinding-hss-lathe-tools.62111/post-514226)

My machine is a Mastercraft 55-3554-4 120V, 6A, 4x36" belt and 8" disc sander.
Despite the make, it's been....well.....okay........ignoring the fact that you may need to spin the belt by hand to get it to start spinning rather than sitting there and humming.

Here's the machine:
sander_full.jpg
(sorry the background is so "busy".........I have a way too much crammed into my 20'x20' garage!)

Here's the disc sander:
recessed_disc.jpg
the table does tilt down, but the disc is recessed in that ring.

and the edge of the belt:
belt_edge.jpg
so again I cannot get anywhere near it........unless.......

the frame is pretty thick......
belt_frame.jpg

If I could remove some material in this area:
whittle.jpg
then I could use the very edge of the belt!

Here it is set up on the mill:
setup1.jpg
those clamps are directly over the three cross supports in the c-shaped frame.
the drive shaft is in the t-slot.

First cut:
cut1.jpg

...and done:
hole.jpg

ready to use with the little table installed:
result.jpg

It worked great!
The frame is still plenty strong.....and I was able to try Mikey's method of shaping lathe tools.
I'll post those results in that thread.......

-brino

By the way, the newer model of that sander here: http://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/mastercraft-belt-disc-sander-4-x-36-in-0553559p.html has the same part number but looks very different! The disc size is smaller 6" (instead of 8") and the unit seems to use more plastic.....so I don't know if my modifications would work on the newer model. Also the motor is now 4.3A (instead of 6A) and the manual says 1/2hp.
 

mikey

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#2
That is inspired, Brino! I bet a lot of guys will be copying your idea because these 4x6 belt sanders are like McDonalds or Starbucks - they're everywhere.
 

Ken from ontario

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#3
That is inspired, Brino! I bet a lot of guys will be copying your idea because these 4x6 belt sanders are like McDonalds or Starbucks - they're everywhere.
you're right ,just about every woodworker has or has had one of those belt/disc sander, I too have one with a 8" disc.lol.
Here's one that's a bit different but probably could be modified and a platen added to it for grinding, It has a 1/2 hp motor ,$45,I'm thinking maybe I should at least go look at it :
https://www.kijiji.ca/v-power-tool/peterborough/tools/1308736156

1509319059323.png
 

mikey

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#5
you're right ,just about every woodworker has or has had one of those belt/disc sander, I too have one with a 8" disc.lol.
Here's one that's a bit different but probably could be modified and a platen added to it for grinding, It has a 1/2 hp motor ,$45,I'm thinking maybe I should at least go look at it :
https://www.kijiji.ca/v-power-tool/peterborough/tools/1308736156

View attachment 245496
@DHarris has one. Ask him how he likes it. For 45 bucks, I agree with Brino - go get it.
 

DHarris

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#7
Hey Ken,

Yep, I have one just like it - got it from Harbor Freight about 25 +/- years ago! I've had to strengthen the upright post to help with tracking & I've replaced the platen with a pc of angle iron cut & ground to size (width) for a 1 inch wide belt.

My next set of modifications will be to put a 2 inch wide platen on and try to add some 2 inch rollers so I can use wider belts (and ceramic belts as well).

I'll try to add some photos when I can figure out what is FUBAR'd with my phone at the moment????

EDIT: To add 2 pictures. note: strengthening the vertical arm does not entirely fix the flex / tracking issues as the forward facing arm also acts as the spring loaded tensioner for the belt & is cheap / thin metal and still flexes at it's attachment point. Table tilt mech. SUCKS! - will also look at that.

At this point, I'm looking at just building something that really meets my needs and just using the 1/2 hp motor from this. So, if the motor in the one above is good, it's still worth picking it up.

IMG_20171030_094211993.jpg IMG_20171030_094220650.jpg
 
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T Bredehoft

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#8
For reasons beyond my understanding, I read about the opening to access the belt edge and thought of a dust collector. I rigged a couple of pieces of PVC pipe to connect my shop vac to a piece of PVC with a slot in it at the downstream end of the belt. I can't see any dust escaping, so it must work. Picture after I get my camera battery charged. Again.

Here's a picture, remember, I'm a Tool Maker not a photographer.

Sander sucker.jpg

Next project, set up a switch to operate both shop vac and sander with one click.
 
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