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Here is a way to make your own sanding / linisher belts. This could be a good option if you live in a location where belts are not readily available in the sizes you require. I built a 6" X 48" belt sander and needed to make my own sanding belts due to the lack of suppliers and cost. I first made belts following a popular method of sanding one edge and overlapping the joint, the fixing with epoxy, but it did not provide a flat enough sanding surface for my needs, so I experimented with various ways to find the result I wanted. The solution I ended up with uses a backing cloth fixed with contact adhesive which is elastic and strong and I further strengthened the edges using epoxy. These belts can be mounted in any direction unlike belts that use an overlapped joint. This further removes confusion or mistakes in mounting belts if the direction arrows have become obscure with use, which can be the case.

Step 1: What You Will Need

Sandpaper of your chosen grit (wide sheet or roll)

Tape measure or rule

Pencil or marker

Scissors or utility knife

Close weave cotton cloth

Contact adhesive

Baking paper

2 part epoxy

Something to mix epoxy on

Wallpaper seam roller (optional)

Scrap pieces of wood for clamping

Clamps (optional)

Plastic sheet to protect the work surface

Step 2: Measure and Cut Sandpaper

I was able to buy 1 meter wide sandpaper sheet as per meter length I require. I bought a sheet 2 meters long. Now I know this method of making belts works well for me, a 3 meter length would have been a better option.

I measured and cut the sheet into 15cm wide strips. This provided me with the material to make 6 belts.

My belts need to be 140cm long to the joint line.

My first experiment was to cut the joint line at an angle similar to that on my old belts. I also experimented using a butt joint for ease and it is just as strong and also an easier way to make the belts.

After cutting to the joint line length I applied a small amount of super glue to hold the edges together while I worked, but this step is not essential.

Step 3: Apply the Backing Cloth

Cut the backing cloth (close weave cotton or denim) 12cm wide. I made sure it was long enough to overhang the width of the belt, so as to trim it later.

Spread an even coat of contact adhesive to the cloth. Use a piece of plastic underneath it to protect the surface you are working on. The instructions for the contact adhesive recommends waiting until the surface is dry to the touch. It does not take long to dry.

Mark a line either side of the joint line on the back of the sandpaper to match the width of the backing cloth. These lines are used as a guide for where to apply the contact adhesive.

Apply the contact adhesive within the guide lines on the back of the sandpaper and wait until it's dry to the touch.

Once it feels dry carefully place the backing cloth between the guidelines on the sandpaper with the 'adhesive applied' surfaces facing each other. It should adhere really well, so you may only get one chance to align it.

Trim any excess overhanging the width of the belt and apply pressure using a wallpaper seam roller. A cloth rubbed over some plastic will also work.

Step 4: Clamp Until the Adhesive Dries

Place a piece of baking paper over the backing cloth.

Sandwich the joined part of belt between some scraps of wood large enough to cover the joint and clamp or weigh down with a heavy object.

Leave for as long as possible. 24 hours or more.

Step 5: Strengthen the Edges of the Joint

Once the contact adhesive has been left to dry mix some 2 part epoxy to apply along the joint line and the edges of the backing cloth. My method is to dab it along the lines leaving it slightly proud, then go back and smooth it out as flat as possible by drawing a small spatula across it.

. I used 5 minute epoxy and I had enough time to finish the process before it set up completely.

Let the epoxy fully cure before using the belt.

Step 6: Further Experiments

I since only use a straight edge butt joint to make my belts. I use the same steps as with the angled joint. I find a straight joint saves time, is easier and faster to repeat the same result. I have not had a belt fail at the joint yet with either method.

<p>Up there with the best - thanks for sharing!</p>
<p>id like to see how you made that amazing looking machine </p>
<p>The machine was made from the plans by Matthias Wandel. The plans are really easy to follow and the machine works great. It cost me around 10 Euros for materials including the drive belt as I already had a motor.</p>
<p>was it free down load and do you have a link ?</p>
<p>The plans are not free, but for what you <br>pay they are worth it. It's not a difficult machine to build. You can <br>check out the plans and more information at his website here.</p><p><a href="http://woodgears.ca">http://woodgears.ca</a></p>
<p>ok thank you</p>
<p>I knew it!</p>
<p>Surprisingly, belts do have a shelf life, about a year is the industry standard, so repairing them is a great idea, although many shops simply pitch them when they start to break prematurely. I had heard, but not yet tried using heat activated carpet tape, the stuff professional installers use to bind seams, it is heat fusible with a clothes iron and is cheap and is a backed material made to resist stretching.</p>
<p>I would really like to know if you manage to try it out and how it works. if I can manage to locate some tape I will definitely give it a go. The first one I made was without the epoxy to strengthen the edges and it still survived a long time only to tear down the centre after a lot of use and the joint remained intact.</p>
<p>When I was active with my own small business (retired now) I used to buy what were called remains from abrasive manufacturers. These were leftover, end of rolls, oops bits of sheet and cloth sold cheap. I would make mostly pads and discs for my shop use from this stuff, but i did have a belt sander and always wanted to follow up on that obscure tip I found in a woodworking magazine. It's all academic for me now, I use very little of it anymore.</p><p>A tip on closing though: The directional arrows printed on abrasive stock is only meant to be used for belt orientation when an overlapped joint is fabricated, when a butt joint is used, one can ignore the arrow, it never did pertain to &quot;grain orientation&quot; as some misteakenly attest.</p>
<p>Thanks again for the information. I forgot to mention that the belts can also be mounted in any direction. It saves any confusion or mistake as can be made with the overlapped joint as you mention, especially if the arrows become obscure over time as can be the case.</p>
<p>If you had access to ready made belts, how much of a cost saving would you estimate for your method. Also, nice looking machine you have. Thanks for the info.</p>
<p>The tried to order belts from the only company that I could find advertising them and they told me I would need to order them and wait a considerable length of time. the cost of 5 belts was 32 Euros plus shipping costs. I made 6 belts for about 14 Euros after the cost of materials. I could have made 12 belts for about 20 Euros if I would have bought the sandpaper as a 3 meter length instead of a 2 meter length. i hope this information is helpful. thank you for kind comment on the machine :)</p>

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