Belt Sander Mount

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Introduction: Belt Sander Mount

About: I miss the days when magazines like Popular Mechanics had all sorts of DIY projects for making and repairing just about everything. I am enjoying posting things I have learned and done since I got my first to…

My belt sander has a “T” handle at the front. I wanted to use that to make a simple 3-point support for the sander to be mounted upside down. The photo shows my mount in place. It can be removed quickly by loosening one screw held by a wing nut.

This project could be made in wood, but with modifications.

Supplies

1/8 x 1/2 inch steel bar

1/8 x 3/4 inch steel bar

3/4 x 3/4 inch square tubing (13 inches long)

#10 machine screw and wing nut

Step 1: Bend to Fit “T” Handle

I need two loops to fit on the rounded ends of the “T” handle. I had a piece of junk steel that was once part of home exercise equipment. Part of it is a round piece 3/4 inch in diameter. I used a Vise-Grip pliers to hold 1/2 inch wide steel bar so I could bend it around half the diameter of the round piece on the exercise equipment. There was some fitting with a hammer and a slip joint pliers. I needed to make two of these loops so I would have one for each side. See the second photo.

Step 2: Finish the Loops

When the loops fit around the ends of the “T” handle in a satisfactory way, trim the ends as shown in the first photo. See also the second photo. Cut a straight piece of 1/2 inch steel bar to fit across the ends of the “C” loops one at a time. I used spring clamps as shown and welded the straight pieces to the “C” loops. I custom fit each loop to the end of the “T” handle where it will be used when all is complete.

Step 3: Tack Weld

The loops need to be welded to 1/8 x 3/4 inch buffer or spacer pieces of steel to allow enough clearance above the 3/4 x 3/4 inch square tubing. The case of the sander is a type of plastic. I do not want to damage it with heat from welding. I have had to relearn several times to fit things according to the way a situation is rather than the way I expect it should be. Because of that, I need to have the sander in place as it will be in use. Make a quick tack weld that does fuse both pieces well, but get the sander’s “T” handle out of each loop as soon as possible. This all worked better than I feared it might. Be aware one of the loops cannot be welded to the square tubing, but must be removable at will. After the sander has been removed, complete welds to be certain the loops are secured to the spacer pieces.

Step 4: Clean Up the Welds

Weld bead may have flowed into the area to be occupied by the end of the “T” handle. Smooth it with a file to guarantee the “T” handle still fits. The loop shown in the photo is the other loop, not the one shown in step 3.

Step 5: Weld and Drill

The loop on one side and its spacer will be welded to the square tubing. The loop on the other side will be welded to its spacer, but removable. The first photo shows the removable loop on the “T” handle. A piece of 1/8 x 3/4 inch steel bar has been welded to the spacer piece at a right angle. See the second photo. I drilled a hole in it for a #10 machine screw. In the first photo I am preparing to drill through the square tubing for the #10 screw. Check to be certain the loop assembly is on the “T” handle as firmly as possible, and is also firmly against the square tubing.

To use, slip the non-removable side of the fixture onto the “T” handle. Slip the removable loop onto the “T” handle and the square tube. Insert the #10 screw and tighten the retaining nut. Set the sander down on a table top. Lock the sander’s switch “on” and sand what is needed.

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    26 Comments

    0
    c.r.h.
    c.r.h.

    4 months ago

    I did something similar after tiring of clamping my belt sander a vice. No welding required, a little MDF, some wood scraps and a few spare kitchen drawer handles. Just a few screws to remove the fence and the sander lifts right out.

    Sander1.jpgSander2.jpg
    0
    charlessenf-gm
    charlessenf-gm

    Reply 4 months ago

    Wow! I've that same PC Sander. Why not publish the measurements and such?
    PS: I found teh sheets of insulation that folks use under sheet goods when breaking them down, work nicely as Vise Padding when trying to secure a tool in a vise - last time out, my jig saw.

    0
    Phil B
    Phil B

    Reply 4 months ago

    I did note I made the 3/4 x 3/4 square tube 13 inches long. The rest of the project was pretty much a matter of fitting things to the sander. I hope your sander is working out well for you. I got mine at a Sears Parts Depot as a factory refurbished unit back in the mid-1980s.

    0
    charlessenf-gm
    charlessenf-gm

    Reply 2 months ago

    " Sears Parts Depot "
    Wow, you, too, eh!
    I spent hours over the years searching out discounted tool at various Sears Stores. Now, I've four rolling tool boxes chuck full of stuff and as much space taken up with various containers full of ever imaginable piece of hardware collected over fifty years and moved at no little expense from one abode to another - headed for the Habitat ReStore when I'm recycled.

    0
    edmatthews2010
    edmatthews2010

    Reply 4 months ago

    I like Phil B's sander design and the fence on your sander. Will be doing some thinking.

    0
    Phil B
    Phil B

    Reply 4 months ago

    What you have done is nice. I wanted to avoid a framework like you have done. I wanted something very simple and small that fastens securely very quickly and can be removed just as quickly.

    0
    c.r.h.
    c.r.h.

    Reply 4 months ago

    Very good. Makes sense. The Porter Cable while very durable is pretty bulky, heavy and awkward to handle so there was no way to come up with a simple solution especially when taking into account the dust bag. Hey, its always nice to share ideas.

    0
    Phil B
    Phil B

    Reply 4 months ago

    I understand. I thought about this for almost two years before I finally knew how I wanted to do it. Thanks.

    0
    soverythoughtful
    soverythoughtful

    4 months ago

    I would describe myself as a powder puff who lacks upper-body strength and worries about wrecking her manicure when it comes to sandpaper/blocks. So when I saw the picture of your project in my email, I instantly LOVED it--I could sand little things with the speed and ease of a belt--WITHOUT having to hold a tiresomely heavy tool! Thanks, Phil B!

    0
    Phil B
    Phil B

    Reply 4 months ago

    Many people mount a belt sander inverted. I wanted a way to mount mine in a very minimalist fashion that breaks down easily and speedily, and has a small footprint for storage, plus would be easy to make. When I use this it will be for small things I want to shape a little. Some things will vary, depending on the machine you have. But, I think many different machines could be similarly adapted.

    0
    soverythoughtful
    soverythoughtful

    Reply 4 months ago

    Agreed! And I will paraphrase others here--your mount is elegant in its simplicity. :)

    0
    Phil B
    Phil B

    Reply 4 months ago

    Thank you. Complex Rube Goldberg ideas come quickly. Simple ideas take lots of time.

    0
    charlessenf-gm
    charlessenf-gm

    4 months ago

    Good job! Well done. I've used the VISE approach and own a Lincoln 'Tombstone" welder as well as all the tools necessary to build something out of Baltic Birch and Walnut, but your solution (given your t-handle sander) is simple and elegant.
    And, clearly detailed in your Instructable. Thanks

    0
    Phil B
    Phil B

    Reply 4 months ago

    I never had a vise with a large enough capacity until recently, but that is a reasonable way to handle an occasional need. I have thought about sanders with more of a knob handle and looked at some on-line. I suppose it might be possible to place paper over the opening and lightly press an impression on the opening. Then use that as a pattern to cut a piece of wood for each side that can fit inside the hollow opening of the knob-like structure. My hope was that what I did might give someone the idea of a simple crossbar mount that would suffice in place of a structure that engulfs the bulk of the sander.

    0
    charlessenf-gm
    charlessenf-gm

    Reply 4 months ago

    "might give someone the idea of a simple crossbar mount" Yes, exactly. You did good!

    0
    ron342
    ron342

    4 months ago

    Thanks Phill
    Just simple elegant and fast it doesn't take a lot of room to store,
    Thanks

    0
    Phil B
    Phil B

    Reply 4 months ago

    I think it would be possible to make an inverted mount similar to this to fit other sanders. I hope you can use it and that it works out well for you?

    0
    ventifact
    ventifact

    4 months ago on Step 5

    I would recommend clamping the whole assembly to your work surface. One jamb of the work and all will go tumbling with you trying to catch a running sander.

    0
    Phil B
    Phil B

    Reply 4 months ago

    If I feel a need to further secure it, I will likely use C clamps on a table edge. Have you considered submitting a project as a published Instructable?