Narrow Belt Sander
This custom-built belt sander can refine wood parts just as well as it shapes metal.
“Why build a power tool when you can just buy one?” I get that question a lot. The easy answer is to save money. And it’s true that the power tools shown in ShopNotes cost far less than commercial versions. There’s more to it. Building your own tools allow you to customize the features: you can add qualities that improve your work — and leave off bells and whistles that offer little benefit. This sander offers a great case study. As you’ll see, the sander is built with a ruggedness that’s tough to match. We use high-quality components inside the machine so that it works right and is enjoyable to operate. We picked a well-made motor that provides plenty of power and runs quietly. The platen behind the belt is easily adjusted (or removed) to suit the task at hand. And speaking of the belt, there’s a very simple mechanism that applies tension and allows fast belt changes without requiring tools. There’s one last thing you can do to take the project up a notch: give it a solid paint job. We like using the “hammered” finish spray paints that leave a wrinkled surface behind. It’s reminiscent of old tools and transforms bland plywood into a sharp-looking machine.
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What You Get:
- 9 pages of step-by-step instructions
- 30 full-color photos, illustrations, and exploded views
- Materials List & Project Supplies Sources
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Similar Woodsmith Plans
The United States Customary System of Units (USCS or USC), more commonly referred to as the English or Imperial system, is the standard set of units for our plans. It uses inches and feet for measurement. This is the one you probably want if you are in the United States, and it is the one we have traditionally offered on this website.
The International System of Units (SI), more commonly referred to as the metric system, is the alternative set of units that we have available for some of our plans. It uses millimeters, centimeters, and meters for measurement. This is the one you probably want if you are outside the United States. These plans are provided by our business partner, Australian Woodsmith, and are based on the original Woodsmith plan. However, dimensions and other elements of the plan may vary between the metric and standard versions. Be sure to double-check the plan before building.
All of the information that you need to build our plans can be found in the standard plan. However, if you want even more granular detail to make your job easier, you should consider our premium plans. These come with additional shop diagrams that we drew when creating the prototypes. Shop drawings are not available for every plan.